It’s already the end of March and the pride month is barely a month away. Time to prepare our rainbow flags and call in our LGBTQ friends because we are days away from celebrating their community as one of ours.
Let us first talk about the community, openly.
- What does the acronym LGBTQ stand for and what do each of them mean?
LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning, respectively.
A lesbian is a female homosexual: a female who experiences romantic or sexual attraction to other females.
A gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or a trait of being homosexual. Gay is often used to describe homosexual males.
(Note: Lesbians may also be referred to as a gay)
A bisexual is a term used to represent people who feel romantically and sexually attracted to both males and females.
A transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.
The queer community is newly emerging. It is an umbrella term because it encompasses a lot of people. It refers to the people who do not have any specific sexual orientation or is not gender specific. It is also identified as the questioning community since they are still in the process of exploring and identifying their identity.
- How do people know if they are lesbian, gay or bisexual?
According to the current scientific and professional studies, the core attractions that form the basis for adult sexual orientation, typically emerge between mid childhood and early adolescence. Following one’s pattern of emotional, romantic and sexual attraction without any prior sexual experience, people can celibate and still know their sexual desire and orientation- be it lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual.
We often come across the word, “coming out”. It is used to refer to several aspects of the community’s people’s experiences being put out to the world, openly, without holding any prejudice or discrimination.
Throughout the world, this community faced violence from the world majoring straight sexed people. Intense prejudice against lesbians, gay men and bisexuals was widespread thought-out much of the 20th century. They were the target of strongly held negative attitude. Sexual orientation discrimination takes many forms too. Severe anti-gay prejudice has been reflected over the past years, high rate if harrassment and violence towards them has also been recorded. Discrimination against them in employment and housing sectors have also been widespread, still.
The other day, I watched a video of a 12 year old boy being interviewed to know his views on his lesbian parents. He said, like I quote, “I have 2 mums… My family is not awkward“, and that is the most matured thought that can be expected from someone as young as 12.
Recently in India, a gay marriage was held and I had the chance to look at their wedding pictures, it was honestly the most majestic wedding I have ever seen over the past few years. Love is love and there can’t be any terms or conditions attached to it. Love is natural and it comes from within. Different people work differently, both emotionally and physically and it is the society’s job to accept it with compassion.
What our society lacks is the power and compassion to love something that is not mechanical and pre-planned, something that is natural and impulsive, because a lot of emotions are involved in that case, which our society is not ready to offer. There is nothing unnatural about two consenting adults falling in love and living life their way, having a family, making kids and growing old together.
The LGBTQ community was long suppressed but unstoppable, and still is. We can trace it’s history as back as the Egyptian civilization, during the 2450 BCE, when Khnumhotep and Niankhkhum, the royal servants of King Nyuserra Ini, were found buried together in a tomb. Paintings inside the tomb depicted the two males embracing and kissing each other on the nose with inscriptions which meant, “joined in life and joined in death“. They are considered to be the first same-gender couples in the history of LGBTQ. Paintings from 540 BCE on the Etruscan Tomb of Bulls depicted homosexual intercourse.
The LGBTQ community can be traced so many years back that it cannot be ascribed as a bolt from the blue, or a rain without there being any cloud. This community is a part and parcel of our society. This community still thrives to live like every other straight-sex person in the society, yet they have poignantly made it known about their very existence, their increase in number to becoming an important ingredient of our social structure.