Discrimination Against Sexual and Gender Minorities - Healthcare Guild

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Combatting Discrimination - Myths and Facts about Sexual Orientation

Lesbian, gay and bisexual people cannot be identified by certain mannerisms or physical characteristics. People who are lesbian, gay or bisexual come in as many different shapes, colors and sizes as do people who are heterosexual.

Sexual experiences as a child are not necessarily indicative of one's sexual orientation as an adult. Many lesbian, gay and bisexual people have early heterosexual experiences, but are still lesbian, gay or bisexual; many avowed heterosexuals have had sexual contact with members of their own sex, but are still heterosexual.

No one knows what causes sexual orientation. Many lesbian, gay and bisexual people know that they are attracted to members of their own sex at an early age, sometimes as young as 6 or 7 years old. Others learn much later in life, in their 30's, 40's or 50's. Some research indicates that sexual orientation is determined between birth and age 3, but no one is sure what causes particular orientations.

Many people accuse lesbian, gay and bisexual people of "flaunting" their sexuality when they talk about their partner, hold hands or kiss one another in public. These are activities that heterosexual couples do all the time. Due to homophobic reactions, some lesbian, gay and bisexual people are actually forced to hide their sexuality in public, not flaunt it.

People who are lesbian, gay and bisexual work in all types of jobs and they live in all types of situations. They belong to all ethnic and racial groups. They are members of all religious communities. They exhibit a range of mental and physical capabilities. They are young, middle aged, and old.

Sometimes oppression based on sexual orientation escalates into acts of physical violence. In surveys of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, 52-87% have been verbally harassed, 21-27% have been pelted with objects, 13-38% have been chased or followed and 9-24% have been physically assaulted.

Most lesbian, gay and bisexual people are comfortable with their own biological sex; they don't regard themselves as members of the opposite sex. Being lesbian, gay or bisexual is not the same as being transgender.

The majority of child molesters are heterosexual men, not lesbian, gay or bisexual people. Almost all studies show that over 90% of child molestation is committed by heterosexual men.

Homosexuality is not a type of mental illness and cannot be "cured" by psychotherapy. Although homosexuality was once thought to be a mental illness, the American Psychiatric and Psychological Associations no longer consider it to be one. Psychiatric and psychological attempts to "cure" lesbians and gay men have failed to change the sexual orientation of the patient. These "treatments" may help change sexual behavior temporarily but also can create emotional trauma.

There is no definable gay “lifestyle”.  Similarly, there is no standard heterosexual lifestyle. Some people might like to think that a "normal" adult lifestyle is a heterosexual marriage with two children. Less than 7% of all family units in the U.S. consist of a mother, a father and two children living together. The most accurate generalization might be this: lesbian, gay and bisexual people are different from one another in the same ways that heterosexual people are different from one another.

Compiled by Youth Pride, Inc. with the help of The Campaign to End Homophobia.

Combatting Discrimination Against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender People in Christian Churches

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals have unique health experiences and needs, but as a nation, we do not know exactly what these experiences and needs are. To advance...

Salon Magazine - The Tightrope of Gay PDA

I can’t really remember the exact circumstances of when I first held a man’s hand in public. The emotions that preceded it have all faded, along with the person, in the ensuing years. What I do remember, throughout the five or so minutes that I grasped that boy’s moist palm, is anxiously searching every face around us, every person that passed us by, checking for any sign of potential trouble or disapproval. The simple act itself — of taking my date’s hand — seemed less a simple sign of affection than an open dare to voyeurs, an exercise in what my grandmother would have called “making a spectacle of yourself.”

GLSEN - Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network: Combatting Discrimination Against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender People in High Schools

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community....

Campus Pride - Combatting Discrimination Against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender People in Colleges and Universities

Campus Pride serves LGBT and ally student leaders and campus organizations in the areas of leadership development, support programs and services to create safer, more inclusive LGBT-friendly colleges and universities. It exists to develop, support and give “voice and action” in building future LGBT and ally student leaders. Campus Pride envisions campuses and a society free of anti-LGBT prejudice, bigotry and hate. It works to develop student leaders, campus networks, and future actions to create such positive change...

Scouts for Equality - Over 1 Million Signatures Opposing the LGBT Boyscout Ban

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is an institution that has served our country well. We understand how much Scouting has done for our nation and have personally witnessed the
benefits it offers to our youth and communities. Recently, however, the BSA reaffirmed a membership policy that bars gay youth and leaders from participating in the organization.  The BSA’s decision to continue a policy of discrimination follows the high-profile forced resignations of Scout leaders like Jennifer Tyrrell and Greg Bourke — both of whom were removed from an organization in which they have been exemplary role models....

NOW - National Organization for Women

NOW is committed to fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas, including employment, housing, public accommodations, health services, child custody and military policies. NOW is committed to educational efforts that combat the adverse effects of homophobia, promote positive images in the media and ultimately ensure civil rights protection for all. NOW asserts the right of lesbians to live their lives with dignity and security, and the rights of equal marriage for all.

How Beliefs Resist Change

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