Introduction On the 26th of June 2015

Introduction

On the 26th of June 2015, the supreme court legalized gay marriage. Many people saw this as huge step towards a much better more accepting future and there were many parades celebrating the announcement and many political figures such as the president at the time, Barack Obama and the first lady, Michelle Obama. However, others were repulsed and horrified because god forbid it could turn their kids gay. But LGBT history actually goes back way further than that day. In fact, the first American state to legalize gay marriage was Massachusetts on May 17, 2004. Even Massachusetts was far behind Amsterdam, the first country to legalize nationwide same-sex marriage on the 1st of April 2001. Actually America was pretty late to the legalizing same-sex marriage thing.

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Different groups in the LGBT community

Currently there are hundreds of different groups in the LGBT community most of which are slight alteration of the other. However, there are some more poignant labels that many people identify with making them more common and better accepted.
I. Lesbian/ Gay: being attracted solely to the same gender. Represented by a rainbow flag with 6 colours. The first flag was designed in 1978 by Gilbert Baker for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Celebration. It had 8 stripes.

II. Bisexual: attraction to the opposite gender and the same gender (before trans people became more accepted it symbolized attraction to all genders). The flag was designed in 1998 on December 5th by Michael Page The 3 colours represent attraction to the 2 genders (Blue and pink) and the purple represented being attracted to both of them

III. Transgender and nonbinary: Transgender means transitioned gender which is when an individual will switch from their assigned gender at birth to the opposite gender (male to female or female to male). Nonbinary on the other hand means not identifying with the gender spectrum at all hence the name “non binary”. It was designed by a transgender woman Monica Helms, for a Pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona in 2000. The baby blue colour is traditional for baby boys and the baby pink colour is traditional for baby girls. The white stripe symbolizes those currently transitioning or nonbinary.

Biological explanation

One of the biggest topics for discussion. What makes people gay/ transgender? Is there like a gay gene? Are all LGBT people actually Pokémon? Apparently not but that would be rad.
According to psychologists being gay can be caused by many factors
1. Genes: There is hereditary link to the homosexual gene however it is not strictly genetic as in that case it would die out because same-sex couples cannot reproduce. The gay gene could be expressed in epi-marks (extra layers of information that control how certain genes are expressed). They are passed from father to daughter and mother to son, meaning that your parent could have a dormant gay gene and pass it on to you and your sibling and there is a 50-50 chance one of you ends up gay.

2. Researchers have discovered that the brains of heterosexual people and homosexual people differ specifically the connections in the amygdala and the corpus callosum (control center for emotions and the nerve band joining the two hemispheres of the brain). Anyone with basic knowledge of the brain knows that they are the most complex and vital organs in the human body and it also explains why they could have such an effect on humans.

LGBT history

Believe it or not LGBT people were very common in the BC ages and even in the early AC ages! Loads of ancient civilizations and religions believed in a third gender, gender conversion, and same-sex relationships. Sadly, some of those ancient civilizations were almost as accepting as a group of conservatives.
1. The first transgender person who underwent gender conversion surgeries was Lili Elbe, commonly known as the Danish girl. Ms. Elbe was married to a woman called Gerda Gottlieb and they were both artists, Gerda would paint pictures of high fashion women and sometimes used Lili as a model for those. That was before the king of Denmark deemed their marriage unlawful in 1930(which was after she was proclaimed female). She died of paralysis just short of her 49th birthday from surgical complications.
2. America’s first non-indigenous transgender person was Joseph Lobdell. Born in 1829 Joseph led quite a happy life for the most part, he married a woman and they lived happily that is until she died. After that he became a bit of a controversial public figure and was arrested for “pretending” to be a man and was committed to the Willard Asylum for the mentally ill in 1880.
3. Mukhannathun is a term used in a traditional Arab history refers as transgender women. They were treated fairly well but where not allowed in certain places of worship. However, the prophet didn’t allow people to kill them as they were holy considering they prayed. Either way their conditions were much better than that of transgender people nowadays.
4. Two spirit individuals have been present in Native American history for ages however it is perceived as a new age movement because it went underground after white people came to America. Two spirits are gifted people who have both a male and female spirit within them and get to see life through both perspectives. It does NOT mean the person is gay through rather it means they are gender fluid. They were and still are an integral part of native American culture.
5. The ancient Romans and Greeks are sometimes classified as the holy grail of LGBT history and acceptance however that is FALSE. Neither had a concept of homosexuality nor heterosexuality. Men were attracted to both sexes and those attracted to only one were deemed eccentric. That doesn’t sound too bad? Well they also believed that Men cannot have male partners who are the same age as them, because dominance was characterized by age and status. So yeah pedophilia was kind of common there, but like consensual pedophilia, and also after the younger partner grew a beard he was expected to get a wife and get married and the older partner was supposed to be his mentor (But its fine Alexander the great is still a bisexual icon {I guess}). Lesbians also existed but most ancient Greeks and Romans tried really hard to pretend they didn’t. An example could be the lyric poet Sappho. Another example is the Emperor Hadrian who had a relationship with a Bythinian youth named Antinous, and it was pretty acceptable considering Antinous was a foreigner. After Antinous’ death Hadrian proclaimed him a god and built dozens of temples for him, and named a star and a city after him which was really cute wow. There were also 2 roman emperors who actually got married– Nero and Elagabalus.
6. Ancient Egyptians held their gods at very high accounts, and a lot of these gods were supposedly genderqueer. Atum, the first of the Egyptian gods was born both male and female and reproduced solely by himself.

Representation and why it’s important

Representation is detrimental; and sometimes it is the actual plot of the movie. Many film roles requiring POC or LGBT characters are given to non POC or straight actors based solely on the fact they are more popular or will look better. Then young children watch these movies with people who look nothing like them and develop this idea that they have to look like them and that really messes them up. Many LGBT youths don’t even realize they are LGBT because of the lack of representation. Representation could also help mitigate the stigma around LGBT people, like the recent film Love, Simon. “Love, Simon is a mainstream-styled teenage rom-com that uses every cliché in the book…. use of these clichés represents a huge first, because it is the story of a young closeted gay kid’s difficult and often humorous march towards coming out.” (Sheila O’Malley, 2018).

Conclusion

Ultimately, the LGBT community has come a long way, and it is still evolving and growing and becoming better but that’s fine the important thing is it’s there and it always will be. Legalization of same-sex marriage is already legal in most developed countries but it might take a while for others to embrace the idea. But the important thing is people are actively trying to change other’s views on the: LGBT community towards a positive light and that is what matters most, maybe one day nobody alive will recall a time where there was this much stigma against LGBT people.

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