Facebook's Got Gay Pride Covered, More Or Less

I love June, and whenever it coincides with my relationship status being, um, er — complicated — it’s blast.

Whether you see anything on Facebook about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride celebrations depends on who your friends are and which pages you like.

The more nonhetero-themed pages you like, the busier your events page and news feed gets during Pride month. Not all of the festivities use Facebook’s events features to invite revelers, but I can only guess that this is no different from party planning among other demographics.

There’s also some geographic variation here: San Francisco and New York celebrate Pride this weekend, but other cities stagger their celebrations throughout the summer in deference to the two largest hubs of activity. It also encourages travel.

That reminds me of something I’ve yet to find on Facebook: A single page listing when Pride is happening around the world, with details on travel accommodations. Hopefully, it’s just a matter of time before someone puts that content on the social network.

Now that I’m pointing out things I’d love to see on Facebook, it would be great to see more nonhetero folks proudly use the dating applications on the site.

Facebook continues to show strong support for our demographic, but we all continue to find more same-sex dates in other venues besides the leading social network.

I believe this isn’t Facebook’s fault at all — nor any of the developers of the dating applications — but rather a casualty of misunderstandings about privacy on the site. Even people who do know about Facebook’s privacy settings tend to not use them to their fullest potential.

I’ve candidly discussed this topic with a Facebook spokesperson through a volley of emails. This individual didn’t agree nor disagree with me, but nonetheless very astutely pointed out:

…we’ve heard that Facebook has helped people come out to friends and family because it means they can just add it to their profile rather than have individual conversations with everyone.

That makes perfect sense to me, although I admit that my profile settings don’t show heterosexual coworkers and professional contacts that I date both genders — whoops, I guess the cat’s out of the bag now!

So I used Facebook’s questions to conduct an informal survey about how many Pride-related events people are seeing. Using the application, I sent my question to the roughly 400 people on my friend list labeled “nonhetero.” They represent every letter in the LGBT acronym and some geographic diversity, although most reside where I do, in the world capital of all that is queer, San Francisco.

Perhaps everyone’s so busy partying that they haven’t had time to notice my question. I’d posted it on Tuesday and then put reminder requests on my wall yesterday and today.

Below you can see that as of this writing, only 11 friends have answered (Note, however, that the design of AllFacebook required me to Photoshop this screenshot to fit in the space).


Maybe a differently worded question would have gotten more responses. It could also be that interest in the questions application overall is waning.

But I think privacy worries impacts the response rate. Unless you know to rig questions to not post your votes in the news feed, all of your friends see it. But even if you set the app that way, it’s impossible to answer anything anonymously. So I believe that the 11 who voted are those who happen to be out to their entire friend lists.

But that’s really a speed bump compared to the bigger picture — there are lots of Pride events listed on Facebook. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the screenshot beneath this post. The image comes from my event page. What a busy weekend I have ahead of me!

Readers, how many of your friends are posting things having to do with Gay Pride?

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