A Deep Dive Into The LGBT Issues
You don’t want to belong to the LGBT community in order to support them. All you need is to be a HUMAN. When someone asks me “why do you call for LGBT rights?”with that visibly bad frown on their face, I tell them, “I don’t support LGBT rights, I support EQUALITY.” It’s so sad that even the 21st century is not free of such sucking thoughts. Being a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender is no different from being a Male or Female. It’s never a question of choice but of identity and basic human rights.
UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY
Sexual orientation is a characteristic of all human beings that describes to whom they are sexually or emotionally attracted.
i) Heterosexuals - Heterosexuals are men or women who are attracted to the opposite sex.
ii)Homosexuals - Homosexuals (lesbians and gays) are women or men who are attracted to the same sex.
iii)Bisexuals - Bisexuals are those who are attracted to both sexes.
Gender identity is a related but different concept to sexual orientation. Generally, People relate themselves to the traditional notions of gender i.e, femininity or masculinity. However, some people locate themselves either in between or outside of these traditional gender categories altogether. A transgender person does not identify with the traditional gender role assigned to him or her by society based on his or her biological sex. A trans person, therefore, may identify with the opposite gender, or with both genders or with neither. It includes such diverse categories as transvestism, transsexualism and other traits and behaviours not typically associated with one’s assigned gender.
“ In layman’s terms, the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation is the difference between who you are and whom you love.”
Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender people (LGBT) all have distinct and separate identities and experiences in the world. Each has a multiple identity linked not only to her/ his diversity as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person, but also to the broad variety of experiences associated with her/his gender, ethnicity, class, age, abilities, and so forth. In that sense, the LGBT community is not at all a homogeneous group.
WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THE Anti- LGBT MOOD?
From my study on the subject, it became evident to me that two key elements were the strongest factors for this Anti- LGBT mood. Sorry to say that these factors are so deeply rooted in our society and hence, these kinds of acts and thoughts are often seen as ‘normal conduct’.
i)Heterosexism - It is the discrimination or prejudice against homosexuals on the assumption that heterosexuality is the normal sexual orientation. Heterosexism contributes very much to the hellish denial and discrimination towards the LGBT community.
ii)Homophobia and Transphobia - Homophobia is a commonly used term to define the hatred and fear of LGB people that is prevalent in society while transphobia is the dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people. It can be unequivocally said that homophobia and transphobia leads to widespread hostility and harassment to the LGBT community.
HURDLES TO REACH EQUALITY - UNDERSTANDING LGBT ISSUES
Excuse me. I need to interrupt at this point.
There are a lot of legal barriers that need to change which varies from one country to the other. It needs much deeper learning to fathom them and even more to make laymen understand them. After all, I’m not a lawyer (sorry for that!).
Given the panorama, let me hit the nail on the head.
There are a lot beyond laws that common men can do. Social perspective must change. We should be able to accept the LGBT community as a part of our society. No matter who they are, society must learn the art of inclusiveness. They too are humans. They do deserve the same rights to live in the society with dignity and honour. They are no bigger threat to the society than any other straight.
Let’s get back on track here.(Pardon me, the interruption was a bit longer than I thought.)
Now, let me list a few barriers on the road to equality. It’s terrible that these injustices happen day in and day out and we pretend not to see them even though we do.
There are widespread physical and psychological violence against LGBT persons in all regions — including murder, assault, kidnapping, rape, sexual violence, as well as torture and ill-treatment in institutional and other setting.They may also face abuse in medical settings, including unethical and harmful so-called “therapies” to change sexual orientation, forced or coercive sterilisation, forced genital and anal examinations, and unnecessary surgery and treatment without their consent.
ii) Employment Discrimination
While there is notable progress in legalisation of LGBT rights, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people fear that revealing their sexuality or sexual orientation at the workplace will have negative consequences. The major challenge for LGBT people in the workplace is continuing harassment or discrimination. It is estimated that 40 % of LGB experienced harassment and discrimination at work because of their sexual orientation. The statistics for transgender employees on the other hand is significantly higher, with 97% experiencing harassment or discrimination at work due to their gender identity.
iii)Bathrooms, Schools, & Other Public Accommodations
The fight over public bathrooms has become the symbol for the LGBT rights movement in recent years. The core of the issue is the question mark over the very access of every individual to public accommodations including safe access to goods, services, facilities, and other privileges in the public sphere. The battle being fought over bathrooms is about whether the LGBT, the trans individuals in particular, is able to use the bathroom that suits their gender identity and not the gender on their birth certificate.
Perhaps, a separate bathroom for trans would work better.(That’s my notion, please do feel free to agree or not).
Research shows that anti-LGBT discrimination has harmful effects on LGBT workers’ economic well-being, leading to high rates of unemployment, homelessness, poor health and food insecurity. Studies also reveal that the LGBT community is more susceptible to socio-economic disadvantages.
v)Inadequate Health care
Social discrimination and inadequate health care access contribute very much to the increasing health disparities for the LGBT community. According to the studies conducted by the Fenway Institute, LGBT people are more likely than straight people to report unmet health needs and have difficulty accessing care and obtaining insurance, which leads to higher rates of disease, chronic illness, drug use, mental illness and obesity among the population.
STEPS TO LGBT EQUALITY - HOW FAR TO GO?
Frankly speaking, there is no complete list of what we can do. These steps can often start from a small smile to one of them you see on the street or it can be by giving a glass of water to quench their thirst.
So, let me list out a few broader steps here. These are just a few as I said. The act of goodness can never have a full stop.
i)Stop the violence everywhere
ii)Use TV and films to change hearts and minds
iii)Unleash parent power
iv)Encourage LGBT activism
v)More leadership from the UN
vi)Take discrimination cases to the courts
vii) Increase acceptance with creative ideas
viii)Campaign to improve social attitudes
ix)Financial support for projects on LGBT
x)Supporting businesses and inclusive workplace.
and much more…….
There you go!!!
That brings the car to its porch……..
There are a lot of ongoing debates regarding LGBT issues and rights. There may be legal challenges and procedures to reach the destiny and the battle for equality has never been easy. But, the years old proverb immediately comes to my mind. Yes, "Difficult roads often leads to beautiful destinations".
To all my dear fellows across the globe, this is my humble submission to you. There is nothing wrong in being a lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans individual. It’s neither their fault nor anyone’s. It’s definitely not their choice too. It’s just the way they are, exactly the way, you are you. Diversity is the law of nature. We can’t change the way nature works. It’s as simple as that. None of us, neither you nor me nor anyone else owns the right to deny LGBT rights.
Let’s not call for protest. Let’s not call for violence. Let’s not call for discrimination. Instead…..
Let’s come together. Let’s call for equality. Let’s call for justice. Above all, Let’s call for humanity and peace.
Let it be our clarion call, now and forever………..
DEVU S THIRUMANGAL
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Do you support the call for LGBT rights and equality?
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Devu S Thirumangal