Almost eight in 10 Gen Z transgender people have only come out online and are still closeted in real life, according to a report by Tinder.
One year on from the introduction of its orientation feature, which allowed daters to pick up to three sexual orientations to find better matches, Tinderhas conducted research into Gen Z attitudes towards LGBT+ issues.
Gen Z, described in the Tinder research as 18 to 25-year-olds, were more likely than other age groups to use the orientation feature, were most likely to include more than one sexual orientation, and were more likely to choose more than one gender descriptor.
Of the 3,453 Gen Z Tinder users surveyed, one third said they had become more open to dating different genders within the last three years, and one fifth said they would explore polyamory.
But despite this openness towards gender identity and sexual orientation, the generation still faces difficulties with living authentically in real life, with just 13 per cent of LGBT+ Gen Z users saying they had come out to family and friends.
A huge 78 per cent of Gen Z transgender people surveyed said that they have been open about their identity online, but not with people in their real lives. Forty-one per cent of those who identified as gender fluid said the same.
The internet has become a safe haven for Gen Z, and 71 per cent said online platforms had allowed them to connect with others, and three quarters said dating apps help them to get to know themselves better.
While 86 per cent believe their generation is more tolerant that their parents’ generation, they are clear that there is more work to be done.
Forty-three per cent said they needed better education and guidance on LGBT+ issues, with more than a quarter using TV and movies to educate themselves, and almost a third learning from social media and influencers.
Tinder’s orientation feature is available in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, India, Australia and New Zealand, but the dating app has said it will now be rolling out the function globally.
Elie Seidman, CEO of Tinder, said: “Our younger members, Gen Z, are leading the way to a more inclusive world and we know that with our scale, we can help make a difference with our product.”