June is Pride Month, so we gathered some facts about the LGBT+ community.
The term LGBT+ or GLBT or LGBTQ was adopted in the 1990s and refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people (and queer).
Gilbert Baker, also known as "Gay Betsy Ross", designed the famous Rainbow Flag, or Flag of Pride, in San Francisco in 1978. The flag is the most prominent symbol of lesbian and gay pride. The colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet represent sexuality, life, healing, the sun, nature, art, harmony and spirit, respectively.
Looking back, records of same-sex relationships have been found in almost every culture throughout history, with varying degrees of acceptance. In some Native American cultures, having a same-sex attraction was called “Two-Spirits”. The tribe honored these people for having special gifts and being specially blessed.
In the case of the ancient Greeks, these did not have terms that indicated a dichotomy between "heterosexual" and "homosexual". Rather, the distinction in sexual relations was who would take a passive or active role. The word "lesbian" is also derived from a Greek island, Lesbos, home of the Greek poet Sappho. Her poetry proclaimed her love for girls and praised the beauty of women. The most common form of same-sex love was between an older man, the “Erastes”, who acted as a mentor, lover and role model for a younger boy, the “Eromenos”. It was believed that sperm was the source of knowledge and that its product would pass on the wisdom of the “Erastes” to the “Eromenos”.
However, beyond these cultures, some scholars have proposed that the first homosexual couple to be mentioned in history were the ancient Egyptian servants Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum who lived around 2400 BC!
For most of the 20th century, many researchers have linked homosexuality to education. Freud, for example, postulated that overprotective mothers and distant fathers contributed to male homosexuality.
It was also in this century that, in 1968, Dr. John Money performed the first complete male-to-female sex exchange operation in the United States, at Johns Hopkins University. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association decided that homosexuality should no longer be classified as a mental disorder, and in 1982, the Gay Related Immune Disorder (GRID) was renamed Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
The majority of the LGBT+ community today discourages the use of the term "sexual preference" because it implies that sexuality is the result of conscious choice. Currently, scientists estimate that approximately 5% of the total human population worldwide is homosexually oriented, and for example, in the case of the American population, 1% of the population is transgender.
The Pride Month is important not only for these people, but for the many others that join the parades and celebrations, in support of equality and respect for one another. Each person deserves to be happy with whomever they want, and each person deserves to be whoever they are, despite the body they were born with. Currently, and especially in older age groups, it’s very difficult to accept such mentality and changes, but it’s important to keep fighting on and defending each other and our rights. People need to respect that it’s not up to us to decide which relationship another person can have, and which gender another person can be. We have to keep fighting to change the mindsets of these people, they need to understand that their acceptance won’t in any way affect their lives, but will have a huge impact on the lives of LGBT+ people! So why deny them happiness? If you are happy, why won’t you let the rest of the world be happy too?
Love is the most beautiful sentiment one can experience, and it’s the source of happiness, peace and joy. Love is Love, and Love will always win!