Are South African gays among the world’s happiest?

Green indicates more happiness, red the least happiness.

Green indicates more happiness, red the least happiness.

An online survey has found that South African gays live pretty happy lives, relative to most of the rest of the world.

The claim stems from a massive global “gay happiness” survey of 115,000 gay men by the Planet Romeo dating site, in collaboration with Germany’s Johannes Gutenberg University.

In the index, South Africa rates at number 22 out of 127 countries when it comes to the happiness of its gay men.

The score was based on three criteria about which gay men were questioned: How they feel about society’s view on homosexuality; how they experience the way they are treated by other people; and how satisfied they are with their lives and their self-acceptance.

On this “gay happiness index”, South Africa scored 63 points out of a hundred, beating out countries like Ireland (62), the USA (61), and Brazil (39).

Unsurprisingly, South African men gave their lowest rating in the category of how homosexuality is viewed by the public. (A separate 2013 survey found that 61% of the South African public believe that homosexuality should not be accepted by society.)

When it comes to satisfaction with their lives and self-acceptance, local gay men gave themselves a pretty good rating of 71 out of a hundred.

It should be noted that only 252 South Africans took part in the survey, compared to, for example, 29,325 from Germany. This suggests that the results may not be entirely representative or terribly accurate.

Nevertheless, the top ten countries in which gay men say they are happiest are led by Iceland at the top, followed by Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Uruguay, Canada, Israel, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

The ten most miserable countries to live in are Kazakhstan, Ghana, Cameroon, Iran, Nigeria, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Ethiopia and Sudan, with Uganda right at the bottom of the list.

Do you think this survey got it right? How happy do you feel about your life as a gay man in South Africa?

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