Homosexuality and sexual identity
In recent years, homosexuality and non-binary gender identities have gained visibility in the media. There are more and more LGBTQI+ associations. Despite this, many people are still too often excluded, despised, mocked and even condemned in some countries.
Is sexual orientation a choice?
Just as you do not choose to fall in love with someone, feeling sexual attraction to someone of the same biological sex as you is not a choice.
It should also be noted that homosexuality is not genetic. Being gay has not been shown to be related to a particular gene. In twins, for example, one twin may be gay and the other may not. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, it is not related to a hormone problem either. In fact, homosexuals have the same hormone levels as other people.
Is sexual and gender identity linked to our birth sex?
It is possible to feel out of step with the gender identity assigned at birth. Today, society assigns it according to the genitals at birth. However, this does not always correspond to one's personal feelings. Thus, there are several gender identities:
- Male or female;
- Non-binary: neither male nor female;
- Gender fluid: varying between feeling like a man and feeling like a woman;
- Transgender: having a gender identity different from one's anatomy;
Homosexuality is still rejected by society
Even today, homosexuality is illegal in many nations. Indeed, more than 70 countries do not accept it. Countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Qatar even sentence people who identify as homosexual to death. However, in recent years there have been many demonstrations to stop this discrimination.
Exclusion very often has a negative effect on the minds of LGBTQI+ people. In addition, it can also have an impact on the communities in which they live.
In Canada, everyone is free to choose their sexual identity
In Canada, many steps have been taken over the years to fight for the acceptance of LGBTQI+ people. A number of laws have been created to stop discrimination against LGBTQI+ people.
In 1996, it became officially illegal to single out someone because of their sexual orientation. It was even mentioned in the constitution in 1998. Thus, sexual discrimination is penalised throughout Canada. All these measures have led to the right for same-sex people to marry throughout the country since 2005. In terms of sexual identity, there is now a law condemning hateful behaviour relating to gender.
As a parent, it is important to support and listen to your child to help them feel accepted and included. If you need help to know how to support your child, you can contact the appropriate NPOs.
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