LGBTQ is an abbreviation used to refer to all sexual minorities: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (or questioning).
The abbreviation has been used since the 90s of the XX century to unite all representatives of non-traditional orientation in order to tell the world about its different sides.
The goal of the movement under this name is to fight for the rights of sexual minorities, and the motto “My life – my rules” encourages others to view gay people as full members of society.
Combating discrimination based on sexual orientation
Deep-rooted homophobic and transphobic attitudes expose LGBTQ people of all ages and in all regions of the world to flagrant human rights violations. They face discrimination in the labor market, schools and hospitals. They are not understood by families, who often abandon them. They become victims of assault, domestic violence, sexual abuse, torture and murder. In about 76 countries, discriminatory laws criminalize intimate same-sex relationships with arrest, prosecution and imprisonment. At least in five countries introduced the death penalty for this.
Since the early 1990s, various UN human rights mechanisms have repeatedly expressed their concerns about this and related human rights violations. These mechanisms include treaty bodies established to monitor States’ compliance with international human rights treaties, as well as special procedures and other independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to investigate and report on pressing human rights issues.
Protecting LGBTQ people from violence and discrimination does not mean creating a new set of LGBTQ rights or new international human rights standards. The legal obligations of states to ensure the human rights of LGBTQ people are enshrined in international human rights law based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent international human rights treaties. All people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, have the right to protection under international human rights law, including with respect to the right to life, personal safety and privacy, and the right to be free from assault, domestic violence, sexual abuse and torture; arbitrary arrest and detention; the right to be free from discrimination; and the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
The main legal obligations of states in relation to the protection of the rights of LGBTQ persons include:
- Protection of individuals from homophobic and transphobic violence;
- Prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment;
- Abolition of laws criminalizing homosexuality;
- Prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity;
- Guaranteeing freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly for all LGBTQ people.
What are the most dangerous countries for LGBTQ?
The study found that Nigeria became the most dangerous country for LGBTQ. Other non-friendly countries are Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Iran, Sudan, Barbados, Malaysia and Malawi.
The safest country on the list is Sweden. It is preceded in descending order by Canada, Norway, the USA, Portugal, Belgium, Great Britain, Finland, France, Iceland and Spain. In these countries, any discrimination against people is prohibited at the legislative level. In Portugal, by the way, it is also easy to get married.
LGBTQ activists and the fight for equal rights
The leaders of this movement are seeking recognition of the rights of sexual minorities in each specific country at the legislative level.
In order to popularize their views, activists organize gay prides, demonstrations, and other flash mobs.
In addition to stories about LGBTQ people, they are trying to draw attention to the problems of modern sexual minorities in society.
Priority goals of the movement’s activists:
- Opportunity for representatives of non-traditional orientation to social adaptation;
- Reducing the level of hostility, attacks and insults towards LGBT people;
- Provision of timely medical assistance to transgender people, homosexuals, lesbians;
- The opportunity to enter into official same-sex marriages, have children;
- Equality in all spheres of activity, including when applying for a job or studying at a higher educational institution.
In the countries of the European Union and the United States, LGBTQ activists have achieved their goals. Gay parades are periodically held in China, Venezuela and even Turkey, where the majority of the population is Muslim.
How does an LGBTQ psychologist differ from an ordinary psychologist?
Professionals working with LGBTQ clients are aware of the specifics of the experience such clients go through, they know their vocabulary and typical difficulties. Many are specially trained in order to dive deeper into the topic. LGBTQ psychologists also have extensive experience of interacting with vulnerable groups and understand what specific difficulties are faced by LGBTQ people living in different regions.
It is important to note that the therapy is built according to the same rules and laws for any client. It is a deep, intimate and complex process in which the therapist accompanies you and helps you find resources to relive your own experience.
There are stages in therapy: for example, at the beginning, it is necessary to get to know the client in order to understand his or her individual situation. Then comes the work with the client’s request, with the topics that excite and disturb him or her. The psychologist does not give advice and does not tell what is right and what is not. The professional helps the client get out of the current life situation. The psychologist can give homework or techniques. A consultant and a client are more likely colleagues than a boss and a subordinate.
When is it high time to visit an LGBTQ psychologist? The answer is quite simple – if you feel you need psychological help:
- Loneliness and finding a partner;
- Conflicts in relationships;
- Cheating and parting;
- Difficulties in self-determination;
- Problems with self-esteem;
- Coming out and possible difficulties associated with it;
- Experiencing outing;
- How to deal with discrimination;
- Professional difficulties;
- Experiencing grief and loss;
- Anxiety, fears, panic attacks;
- Relationships with others;
- Relationship with parents and/or children;
- Apathy and depression;
If you do not have a formulated request, but you feel “something is not right,” this is also the topic with which you can turn to an LGBT psychologist. The main thing is that acceptance and understanding in relation to your identity and sexuality is important to you. And this is a criterion why a psychologist needs to be LGBTQ-friendly.
Domestic Violence Support for LGBTQ Community
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
- call 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)
- text “START” to 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)
Galop – the national LGBT domestic violence helpline:
- call 0800 999 5428
The Network/La Red Hotline:
- Voice: 617-742-4911
- Toll-Free: 800-832-1901
Respects Men’s Advice Line:
- Call 0808 801 0327