Homosexuality is a phenomenon as old as human history. It is possible to say that it has always existed from the past to the present, and that mistake is a source of inspiration for art and philosophy movements in some societies. However, it has been accepted as a crime in some societies. Those who committed this crime were punished severely, up to execution, and homosexuals were excluded and belittled by the society. In some countries, individuals are not allowed to have sex change surgery. As a result of this prejudice against homosexuals, a phenomenon called “homophobia has been derived and it has become one of the first words that come to mind when homosexuality is mentioned.
What is LGBT?
LGBT; It is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (transgender) words. It is also abbreviated as GLBT in some sources. Until the 1990s, the abbreviation LGB was used. However, with the addition of the word gay since the late 1980s, the abbreviation turned into LGTB.
In fact, the acronym LGTB has different uses. For example:
LGBTT: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transvestite
LGBTI: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex
LGBTTIQ: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite, transgender, intersex, queer
Since 1990, the abbreviation LGBT has been used. The aim of this community is to defend gay rights under one roof. It is also to combat prejudice against homosexuals in society. Such that; The LGTB movement has become synonymous with the gay movement.
Since the acronym LGTB does not include the words transvestite, transsexual and bisexual, it is no longer the umbrella word. The move started using the abbreviation GLBTT. However, this abbreviation also received the criticism of “lesbians are ignored in society”. In the face of this situation, positive discrimination was made against women by taking the letter L as the starting point. In time, some organizations abroad added the letters “I” representing intersexuals and “Q” representing queer people to this umbrella word.
LGBT culture; It is a general nomenclature used to describe activities and activities organized by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Although the definition of gay culture is also used instead of LGBT Culture, the definition of gay culture is not synonymous with LGBT culture.
LGBT individuals use some symbols to describe their own goals and orientations. These symbols define the purpose of existence and values of the organization.
LGBT Social Movements
LGBT people say that their purpose is to provide social equality for all LGBT people, to develop LGBT communities and to save the society from sexual oppression.
LGBT activities that are now organized; It consists of a large number of political and cultural activities, including street walks, support group activities, community activities and lobbying.
Meaning of the LGBT Flag
One of the LGBT symbols is the rainbow flag. This flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978. It started with the original 8-striped gay flag, it was renewed between 1978 and 1979 due to the lack of pink fabric in that period, and then the pink colorless homosexual flag was used in its current form, and then the turquoise-free. The LGBT flag is also called the gay flag.
In its current form, the LGBT flag was first used in the LGBT Pride Parade in the United States. This flag is still frequently seen today at events organized by LGBT activists and supporters.
Each color in the LGBT flag represents a separate situation. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple were used in the first flag designed. Pink and cyan colors are not printed due to the lack of these colors in the factories.
History of LGBT and Homosexuality
The history of homosexuality is as old as human history. In written sources, this date is BC. It goes back to the years between 2000-3000. The oldest documents on LGBT history are from Ancient Egypt, Sumerians and Hittites. In some temples in Mesopotamia there were homosexual prostitutes devoted to the service of the cult along with holy prostitutes. This practice existed in India until recently.
Hittites and Jews were also included in the history of LGBT. In some studies in the 1400s, an article allowing marriage between men was found in a Hittite law. The most important feature of this law is that it is the first law in history that allows same-sex marriage. It is known that Jews have fought a great struggle against homosexuality throughout history.
In Ancient Greece, one of the Mediterranean countries, the situation was the opposite: homosexuality was a more liberal and accepted reality. It was even glorified from time to time. Homosexuality was respected in art and philosophical matters. Its use in Greek Mythology was an indication of this. Homosexuality was also used frequently in ancient Greek art. Naked or half-naked male figures were used at first time, BC. The use of homosexuality in the art of sculpture in the 4th and 5th centuries had its heyday. Both male and female homosexuality were frequently mentioned in ancient Greek poems. The most important representative of this trend is Sappho, who is also bisexual.
According to some sources; Sappho has mischief in Lesbos. In this gymnasium, it was said that homosexual relationships were experienced between students and this situation attracted the reactions of both the administrators and the public. In addition, Sappho was exiled to Sicily by the Lesbos Tirana because he was thought to be a lesbian from the poems he wrote.
In the Ancient Greek period; Women who were more fond of dealing with women than with men were called as tribades. In Roman Civilization, there was pressure against homosexuals. However, this pressure was applied only to Roman citizens. It is known that homosexuality was widespread throughout almost the entire history of ancient China. As the period BC. From 206 to AD. We can say that homosexuality lived its golden age during the Han Dynasty, which ruled the country between 220 BC. In feudal Japan, homosexuality was commonplace in military circles. In the Medieval Arab Civilization, there was a poetry tradition in which relations between men were the subject. When the famous One Thousand and One Nights is read, it is realized that there is a poetry tradition inspired by the homosexual relationships between men. In Afghanistan, until the 19th century, men (boys) who dressed as women and put on make-up were employed in male harems.
Homosexuality is prohibited in Christianity. There were even those who were executed by court decision. Despite this, it is known that homosexual relationships were very common, especially in the medieval period. In the 15th and 16th centuries, that is, during the Renaissance, homosexuality has been on the rise as it was in the Ancient Greek period. This rise continued in the Modern Age. Homosexuality in Europe ceased to be a crime in the French Period, with the abolition of all crimes and punishments based on religion.
It is possible to say that there was a serious prejudice against homosexuals in the public until 1968. However, after the sexual revolution in 1968 and the Stonewall riots in 1969, this situation changed a little. LGBT culture has grown rapidly after this date and started to be accepted all over the world starting from Western Europe. Unlike North and South America, Australia, Central and Eastern Europe, African and Asian countries except South Africa, Israel, Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Nepal and Taiwan still considered homosexuality as a crime and even did not allow sex reassignment surgeries.
Since the end of the 1970s, there have been radical changes in the perspective of individuals with LGBT and the period of organization has begun for these individuals.
Now let’s take a closer look at the concepts associated with LGBT, which we have examined in detail.
What is Gender?
It is a set of various roles and responsibilities that are socially imposed on women because they are women and men because they are men. This concept, which includes the behavioral patterns expected from women and men and characteristics of gender identity, gives rise to gender roles. The individual who thinks that he / she should live according to the norms determined by the society to which he / she was born, adopts the gender role and shapes his / her behaviors / lives accordingly.
What is Heterosexual?
People who are emotionally and sexually attracted to the opposite sex are called heterosexual (‘straight’ for short). The understanding that accepts that this is a normal and common sexual orientation is called heteronormativity and accordingly, every person is considered ‘normal’ if they are only interested in the opposite sex. According to the definition of Kaos GL, “The division of people into two as men and women; It is a set of beliefs, thoughts and norms that claim that sexual relations / marriages can only be between people of opposite sexes and that each gender has its own roles. “
What is Homosexuality?
Simply, people who prefer their own sex sexually and emotionally, who are attracted to their same sex are called homosexuals. Male homosexuals are called gay, female homosexuals are lesbians, people who prefer to be with men or women, both sexes and who may be interested in both genders are also called bisexuals. Homosexuality is a state of sexual preference. It is to prefer one’s own or both sexes, not the opposite sex.
What is Transsexuality?
Transsexuals are people who identify themselves as belonging to the opposite sex and whose gender consciousness differs from the physical sex they are born with. Transsexuals who do not feel belonging to the gender they were born with and who feel closer to the opposite sex as they get older, when the time comes, they have the gender they feel belonging to with physical operations.
Transsexuality is not a choice. Gender reassignment is not a simple choice made by saying “I don’t want to be a man anymore, let me be a woman.” The person who already feels a woman in essence, needs the necessary physical interventions and the need to continue his life as a woman. Seen in this way, transsexuality can be considered an innate disorder and heals when the person has the gender they feel belonging with surgery. Conversely, when people who do not feel belonging to their innate assigned gender are forced to live in this body and with this sexual identity, serious psychological and physical disorders occur.
What is Transvestite?
People who associate the opposite sex with their external appearance are called transvestites. In other words, they are people who like to dress or act like a woman even though they are a man, or who feel more comfortable in masculine attitudes and clothing even though they are a woman.
What is Transgender?
Transgender is a term that includes all individuals who do not feel belonging to their biological sex. Both transsexuals and transvestites are included in the concept of transgender.
What is Intersex?
People born with abnormal reproductive and sex organs are called intersexuals. With the definition of intersexual Shalala on his website: “Intersex may not be an identity category for every intersex person. Some intersex people use the word “intersex” as part of their identity as their sexual identity, while others see it as a medical condition or a unique physical condition. Some intersex people define and live as ordinary men and women. They may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual in orientation, or they may reject the binary gender system and not put themselves into existing definitions of sexual orientation. It may be more useful to explain the sexual orientation of some intersex people (who are anthrosexual (humanoid) or pansexual (who may have a sexual desire for all sexual identities), for example, we can include two intersex orientations who are romantically involved and identify their sexual identity as intersex.
What is a Queer?
It is a definition that states that gender identity and sexual orientations are not fixed and that it is not correct to generalize heterosexuals or homosexuals, all people over certain identity definitions.
What is Homophobia?
It is the state of not accepting homosexuals, having negative attitudes towards homosexuals emotionally and socially. People who think that only heterosexuality is normal and homosexuality is an illness, a wrong condition that needs to be corrected is called ‘homophobic’. In the long term and at the social level, homophobia is a dangerous situation that triggers discrimination and violence against homosexual individuals.
What is Transphobia?
It is a concept expressing discrimination, prejudice and even hatefulness towards transvestites and transsexuals. It also includes excluding, humiliating and ignoring people who do not conform to the gender roles expected of them due to their birth gender.
What is Bisexuality?
Bisexuality is the potential to be sexually attracted to people of both sexes and to engage in emotional or sexual relationships with them. A bisexual person may not be equally interested in either sex, and the degree of interest may change over time. Researchers think that female sexuality is more flexible than men. While they may not believe that women are bisexual by nature, they do think that women’s sexual attraction changes more easily than men.
Self-perception is key to bisexual identity. Many people engage in sexual activity with people of both sexes but do not identify as bisexual. Similarly, some other people have sex with only one sex, or never have sex, but still identify as bisexual. There is no behavioral “test” that can determine whether a person is bisexual or not.
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