A funny thing happened on the way to researching Facebook pages for my gay dating advice site. I found out that the most popular Facebook page for gay dating turns out to cater to members of one of the most closeted institution in America: the military.
Here's the list (ranked by # of Likes):
Look at how low those numbers are! I was surprised at how little gay men use Facebook as a way of meeting other guys. True, you can hit on your friend's friends (a long tradition with our people), but there are surprisingly few gay men who belong to Facebook pages that are devoted to getting guys to meet each other.
For the record, I'm not counting the Facebook offshoots of large dating and hook up sites like Manhunt or GrindR, but organic pages devoted to gay dating, of which there are hundreds. Just type in "Gay dating" in Facebook's search box and you'll see what I mean. In fact, the reason I did the research is that Facebook does not rank the gay dating pages by how many members are in it, so it's incredibly difficult to figure out who the real players are without combing through hundreds of listings.
While there are hundreds of pages, very few people actually belong to them (technically, "Liked" them). Why? Most likely, it's because Facebook does not give you the privacy or anonymity that large dating or hookup sites online give you. On gay.com, for example, you can be completely anonymous. You don't have to put your real name or what you do or who your friends are. Hell, you don't even have to put a picture of your face up there. Torso shots will do.
But on Facebook, that's not possible. So the only people who join Facebook's gay dating pages are people who are so far out of the closet they can't find their shoes.
So how is it possible that the most popular Facebook page belongs to a closeted group like gays in the military? Presumably, all the members are former military. What else could explain the irony? But wait there's more. There are two other popular pages whose members belong to highly closeted demos: African-Americans and older Americans.
Isn't that funny? Members of the most closeted groups use the most blatantly open website to meet each other.