PHOTO: Brian Kyed
Text: Nicoleta Casangiu and Alejandra Misiolek
Let’s start by defining the concepts, which we will talk about in this post.
Sexual orientation is defined as the direction of erotic and affective interests, it is the preference or attraction that an individual has for another, whether heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.
What is homosexuality?
Homosexuality is the sexual orientation by which an individual feels physical, affective, sentimental, sexual and emotional attraction to individuals of the same sex. This orientation is linked to both men and women.
Homosexuality until recently was considered a mental illness according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM II) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). People with this sexual orientation did not identify with their homosexual identity in adolescence but in adulthood because it was seen as a “taboo”.
Today, people who identify as homosexual are more likely to disclose their sexual orientation at an early age. In recent years, important social changes have taken place thanks to the visibility of affective-sexual, bodily and gender diversity. Nevertheless, homosexuality and social stigmatization, even with the pass of time, continue to be a problem today.
Acceptance of homosexuality throughout history has changed depending on the type of society and time.
Social movements, organized around the acceptance and rights of people who today identify as LGBT or queer, emerged as a response to centuries of persecution by the Church, the state and medical authorities.
The International Gay Pride Day, celebrated on June 28, beyond reconfirming pride in any kind of identity, gender or sexual orientation, wants to commemorate the riots that took place in Stonewall, New York, in 1969.
In that year, acts of homosexuality were considered illegal in almost every state in the country and police raids were commonplace. However, on that night of June 28, members of the LGBTQ community decided to fight back to defend their rights.
From that day on, June 28 is celebrated as gay pride day, a day to defend the rights of the LGBTQ community.
Since the marches began to take place every year, the use of the rainbow flag as a symbol of the LGBTQ community also became popular. It was Gilbert Baker, an artist from San Francisco, who created the flag representing the community.
The colors of the flag have been chosen for their special meaning. Red stands for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for serenity, and violet for spirit.
During the last decades more and more people are taking a stand in favor of freedom of sexual expression and the condemnation of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Thanks to the celebration of this day, social and political demands that help to identify the participating groups are made visible and given value. Nowadays, in the most developed countries, not only the decriminalization of homosexual practices is demanded worldwide, but it is also a sign of struggle against discrimination of the collective and other issues, such as:
- legalization of same-sex marriage.
- establishment of same-sex families.
- respect for sexual identity, the right to change sex and name legally.
- denouncing transphobia, homophobia and lesbophobia.
We continue to fight for equal rights, regardless of our sexual orientation, under the law and above all as persons.