LGBTQ Community

24/09/2019 17:21 PM IST

Many of us are familiar with this community. We've heard of it, we have a lot of opinions on it. But do we understand it? Not really.

LGBTQ+ is the acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer. The '+' stands for many more sexualities. These terms are used to describe a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

A more detailed explanation is as follows:

A person who is physically, romantically, and/or emotionally attracted to those of the same gender or to those of another gender. People may experience this attraction in differing ways and degrees over their lives. Bisexual people need not have had specific sexual experiences to be bisexual; in fact, they need not have had any sexual experience at all to identify as bisexual. No, bisexual people are not kidding themselves.

An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. People under the transgender umbrella may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms - including transgender.

An adjective used by some people, particularly younger people, whose sexual orientation is not exclusively heterosexual. Typically, for those who identify as queer, the terms lesbian, gay, and bisexual are too limiting and/or don't fit them. Some people may use queer, or more commonly genderqueer, to describe their gender identity and/or gender expression. Queer was once considered as a derogatory term, but it has recently been reclaimed by some of the community, however it is not universally accepted even within the community.

Homophobia is the fear, hatred, discomfort with, or mistrust of people who are LGBTQ+. Biphobia is fear, hatred, discomfort, or mistrust, specifically of people who are bisexual. Similarly, transphobia is fear, hatred, discomfort with, or mistrust of people who are transgender, genderqueer, or don't follow traditional gender norms.

Identifying as a member is nothing to be ashamed of. You are who you are, you love who you love.

What we must understand is that straight isn't default. When you come out, you don't come out as gay, or bi, or trans. You come out as you.

We need to stop using gay as an insult. Gay isn't an insult. Gay is a sexual orientation. We need to stop being offended or weird out by this topic. In internet language: homophobia ain't it, chief. That's the tea.

More importantly, this topic needs to spoken about more especially in school. We need to stop treating this topic as a taboo. Even in our Cambridge assigned textbooks, the topic isn't given any importance.

There is a huge need for change in the way we perceive things. A huge need for the school to acknowledge this topic, to stop treating it like a taboo.

We as a nation have progressed, with the legalizing of article 377. Hopefully, that's just the beginning.

But have we really progressed?
Do you really accept people for who they are?
Do you really accept that love is love?
There's still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our society. It is terrible, immoral, stupid,
regrettable, heartless, but it is there. Being gay is not a crime, and it is not a sin.
You don't have to be LGBTQ+ to support the community.
Because after all, love is love.

Jiya Banerjee
Grade 8, BHIS Santacruz