LGBTI is a term that has been used since the last decade of the 20th century. It stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex. The term ‘lesbian’ is used in reference to a woman who is romantically, sexually, and/or emotionally attracted to another woman. Gay is a term used to describe a man who is romantically, sexually, and/or emotionally attracted to another man.
Earlier, the term ‘gay’ was used in reference to lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. A bisexual individual is the one who is romantically, sexually, and/or emotionally attracted to people of both the genders. The term ‘transgender’ is used to describe individuals who find their gender identity and/or gender expression different.
It differs from the gender they had been assigned when they were born. The term ‘intersex’ refers to individuals who do not fit the typical definition of a male or female body. They are born with any of the sexual variations including genitals, sex hormones, or chromosomes.
Myths about LGBTIs that have now been debunked
There was a time when several myths were spread about the LGBTI individuals. This turned a larger section of the society against them. Over the past few years, many of these myths have been debunked. This has happened due to easy access to factual information on the internet. Research and studies have also played an important role in debunking these myths. Here are the some of the greatest myths and facts:
Myth: People become lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender by choice.
Fact: Gender identities and sexual orientations are never a matter of choice. According to research, such things emerge in individuals quite early in their lives. They are never the result of external factors, such as family or social life.
People may choose how they express themselves in social situations. Their gender identities and sexual orientations are never chosen by them. Neither are they lifestyle choices as some might believe even today.
Myth: Being a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex is a dysfunction that needs treatment.
Fact: The debunking of this widespread myth can be attributed to an important event. The American Psychological Association adopted a resolution in 2009. It was about the attitude of mental health professionals. It instructed them to avoid telling their clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy.
The resolution also pointed out to the fact that being an LGBTI was not a health condition or mental illness. Identifying as LGBTI is a natural process. It is not a condition that can be cured by psychotherapy or any other form of treatment.
Myth: The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people who hide their sexual orientation from others fit well into society and lead a happy life later on.
Fact: Individuals who identified themselves as LGBTIs hid their sexual orientation or gender identity in the past. This was done to fit into the society they lived in. Unfortunately, this problem continues in many countries that are averse to LGBTI rights. As a result, such individuals go through intense internal struggles. As a consequence, they develop stress and even fall into depression.