Frequently Asked Questions about the Queer community

These are some of the frequently asked questions about the Queer community answered


Sarahbeth George

What does “LGBT” mean?

LGBT stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender”

What is sexual orientation?

Sexual orientation refers to a person’s physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction towards other people. Gay men and lesbian women are attracted to individuals of the same sex as themselves. Heterosexual people are attracted to individuals of a different sex from themselves. Bisexual people may be attracted to individuals of the same or different sex.

What is “gender identity”?

Gender identity reflects a deeply felt and experienced sense of one’s own gender. A person’s gender identity is typically consistent with the sex assigned to them at birth. For transgender people, there is an inconsistency between their sense of their own gender and the sex they were assigned at birth.

What does Transgender mean?

Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of identities —including transsexual people, cross-dressers (sometimes referred to as “transvestites”), people who identify as third gender, and others whose appearance and characteristics are perceived as gender atypical.

What is Intersex?

An Intersex person is born with sexual anatomy, reproductive organs, and/or chromosome patterns that do not fit the typical definition of male or female. This may be apparent at birth or become so later in life.

What is asexuality?

Asexuality refers to those individuals who lack sexual attraction.

What are homophobia and transphobia?

Homophobia is an irrational fear of, hatred or aversion towards lesbian, gay or bisexual people; transphobia denotes an irrational fear, hatred or aversion towards transgender people.

When did homosexuality get decriminalised in India?

The Supreme Court in India decriminalised homosexuality on September 6, 2018.

What is the NALSA judgement?

The Supreme Court of India passed a landmark judgement on April 15, 2014 which recognised the fundamental and civil rights of transgender people. It has expanded into legislations and multiple level state policies.

In which countries is homosexuality punishable by death?

Some of the countries are Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Brunei, parts of Somalia and northern parts of Nigeria among a few others.

(With inputs from UN: Free and Equal)

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