WHAT percent of American men are gay? This question is notoriously difficult to answer. Historical estimates range from about 2 percent to 10 percent. But somewhere in the exabytes of data that human beings create every day are answers to even the most challenging questions.
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R oughly half of Americans think federal law bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Despite four years of nationwide same-sex marriage, despite rapidly growing cultural acceptance for LGBTQ people, despite extensive annual Pride celebrations—these Americans are wrong. In the spring, the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, a sweeping bill that would prohibit anti-LGBTQ discrimination in all aspects of public and commercial life, without any religious exemptions. In the fall, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case R. Harris Funeral Homes v. The justices will consider whether existing workplace protections in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of already cover discrimination on the basis of gender identity. As the movement has gained cultural momentum, activists have largely moved away from a posture of compromise—they believe they can win full protections for LGBTQ people in any context, without exceptions.
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In light of the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, the subject of race in America is at the forefront of everybody's minds, including my own. Polls show that many white and black people view this tragedy through starkly different lenses. This serves as a sobering reminder that despite the distance this country has traveled on a range of social issues, there is still an enormous amount of ground to cover in reconciling our nation's sinful past with its hopeful future. As a gay white man and drag queen who is engaged to an African-American man, my interracial same-sex relationship has given me unique insight into the fundamental mistrust, and often subconscious disdain, that people have for anyone different from themselves. Ask almost any white person in America and they will tell you straight out that they are not racist.
Online dating is often treated as a wacky new trend. Since people started living in big societies several thousand years ago, couples have gotten together mostly because their families wanted them to. Even since then, this individual search for love has usually ended with a romantic introduction through family or friends. This rise in the pairing off of total strangers is changing the kinds of couples that become families, and that is changing the makeup of the next generation of Americans they raise. Most dramatically, online dating is acting as a desegregating force in the U.