Understanding LGBTQ+

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Understanding LGBTQ+

When you talk about being straight, gay, lesbian, or transgender, do you actually realize that you are talking about gender identity and sexual orientation? Quick explanation about gender identity which refers to how someone identifies themselves as male, female, or something else. While sexual orientation refers to how someone is attracted to male partners, female partners, or both as many also call as heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual.

LGBTQ+ is an initial for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and more. Most people commonly use LGBTQ+ terms which included other communities in the LGBTTTQQIAA. Let’s take a look at what these initials mean!

  • Lesbian is commonly use to a female who has attraction and experience romantic love with other female or a female homosexual
  • Gay is a term to a homosexual person and often used for homosexual males, but actually lesbians may also be referred to as gay
  • Bisexual is when someone experience romantic, sexual attraction or sexual behavior towards both males and females
  • Transgender is an umbrella term for someone whose gender identity does not align to the their sex assigned at birth. This includes genderqueer people, trans women, trans men, and bigender
  • Transsexual refers to someone who experience a gender identity inconsistently with their sex assigned at birth
  • 2/Two-Spirit term used by indigenous North Americans or Canadian First Nations for people within indigenous communities who are seen as having both male and female spirits
  • Queer describes sexual and gender identities other than heterosexual and cisgender. Sometimes it is used to express that sexuality and gender can be complicated and change over time that may not fit into either identities like male or female, gay or straight
  • Questioning is a term when someone is still in a process of exploration who may be unsure or have concerns to apply a social label to themselves for various reasons
  • Intersex are individuals born with a variation in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, or genitals that doesn’t fit the typical definitions as male or female
  • Asexual (nonsexuality) is the lack of sexual attraction to anyone or can be identified when experience low or absent interest in sexual activity
  • An Ally is a person who considers themselves as a friend to LGBTQ+ community

Myths and Facts

As for other things and so with LGBTQ+, we might have caught ourselves in false information and have to seek a fact check. There are some myths that have been spread and we are here to give insights about the mislead information you might have heard. Parliamentarians for Global Action have spell out these myths and facts check on society view towards LGBTQ+ community. Here are some of myths which we also often hear in Indonesia and the fact check:

Myth Fact
Homosexuality is a "Western phenomenon" Same-sex attraction and so with LGBTQ+ people exist everywhere, in all country, in various ethnic groups, at all socioeconomic levels and in all communities for a very long time. True thing is that criminal laws that are being used to punish LGBTQ+ people in many countries originate from Western’s 19th century colonial powers.
Homosexuality is an illness, or a health issue World Health Organization (WHO) has been explicitly clarified that homosexuality is neither a disorder nor a disease. WHO also emphasized that homosexuality is a natural and non-pathological variation of human sexuality.
We can change someone's sexual orientation and gender identity WHO made it clear that sexual orientation can not be changed by someone else but him/herself. Attempts to forcibly change the sexual orientation of gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons are ineffective, harmful and may lead to torture
All LGBTQ+ people have HIV/AIDS Definitely not true. HIV/AIDS can affects anyone wether heterosexual, cis-gender and LGBTQ people, men and women. The fact is the stigma, discrimination, and exclusion towards LGBTQ+ people that limits the access to information on HIV and safe sex practices, prevention, getting test, treatment, care and support. This leaves LGBTQ+ people at higher risk of contracting HIV.
LGBTQ+ people are "dangerous to children" Research shows that LGBTQ+ people all over the world are good parents, teachers, and role models for young people, just like straight and cisgender people. This also applies when it comes about any forms of abuse to children, it should be prevented and punished wherever they occur and whoever is involved. Portraying LGBTQ+ people as paedophiles or as dangerous to children is wrong and offensive.
Repealing laws that criminalize same sex activity means "promoting homosexuality" Promoting equal rights of LGBTQ+ people is not "promoting homosexuality". It does mean promoting the same fundamental human rights for everyone which is the core values that all UN Member States have the obligation to uphold.
LGBTQ+ people are "not normal", they are a creation of modern age, their identity is just a "trend" Sexual orientation and gender identity are not a "trend". There is recorded history for almost every country around the world of people whose identities and behaviors resemblance to what we call today as heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgender identity.


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