Human gender and sexuality have been seen in many different ways by different cultures over time. More recently, many cultures adopted a very binary view of gender in that there were only two, male and female. Similarly, the natural state of those two genders was assumed to be heterosexual with any other attractions being deviant. This is no longer considered to be the case although lingering prejudices exist. The lobby for greater equality tends to use the acronym LGBTQI or some variant of it to cover the following groups.

L,G-Lesbians and Gays

Women and men who are attracted to people of the same sex come under this category. Lesbians are only female although the term gay is sometimes used for people of both sexes. Some of the problems that they still face are an inability to marry their lifelong partners legally or adopt children depending on where they live.

B- Bisexuals

People who are attracted to other people of both sexes fall under this category. Sometimes they are discriminated against by members of both the straight and gay community because they are expected to ‘pick a side’ or because they are seen to be easily able to escape the discrimination faced by homosexuals if they settle down with an opposite sex partner.

T- Trans people

This refers to people who either dress as the opposite sex or have had surgery to correct what they see as a mismatch between their true selves and the sex they were born with. This has led to violence against trans women who have been perceived to still be men. They are also not always allowed to use the bathrooms of their adopted gender.

I- Intersex

There have always been cases where babies have been born with sex characteristics of more than one sex. They were once known as hermaphrodites but are now called intersex. One of their main issues is allowing babies to grow old enough to choose their own gender identity rather than deciding based on what seems most easy to surgically replicate.

Q- Queer

For many people whose gender identity does not fit neatly into other boxes the word queer can be used. Some of these people may simply be disinterested in being recognized as any specific gender at all.

While these many ways of being exist and have become more easy to spot, the important thing to remember is the humanity of those involved. Even if a person has a different outlook and lifestyle they should be allowed to live with dignity.


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