Sexuality

Homosexuality doesn’t only indicate the erotic and romantic desire of the same gender and the resultant sexual acts, but also the identities that are established: for instance to define yourself as lesbian or gay. This is similar to bisexuality. Moreover, it is vital to differentiate: a transsexual isn’t necessarily homosexual. And also vice versa – a homosexual person is not necessarily a transsexual. Transsexual is the expression of what gender you identify yourself with. Homo and heterosexuality refers to what gender you feel attracted too.

 Homosexuality then und today – The term homosexuality emerged in 1868 – before, gender was often insignificant for sex and relationships, same-gender partnerships and affairs were not addressed. After that, homosexuality was a taboo for a long time. In many countries, homosexuality is punished even today: Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates belong to those countries where you can be executed for being homosexual. In Germany and many other Western countries, variances of “hetero” are long since accepted and the tolerance towards same-sex love is increasing. But even here there are still many who have to fight for a life of individual identity and acceptance.

 The development of “otherness“ – But what kind of differences are there between a heterosexual and a homosexual man, that lead to the diverse treatment of so many? The cause lies in the social formed “norm” which differentiates between sexualities and was especially characterised from religious views: for example in Germany it originates through the Christian perception that love relationships exclusively serve reproductive purposes. Therefore, a relationship between man and woman is the only one which can be justified before God (this is also called “genderism”). For this reason, the view that homosexuality may be “wrong” has been established, something that has characterised society and people until today. Due to education and social environment, this view has been passed on and spread and now social thought patterns have been formed. This means: the condemnation of homosexuality has been entrenched in the public, although many people are no longer religious and know why.

 When did you decide to be hetero? –  The campaign “Wann hast du entschieden hetero zu sein?” (“When did you decide to be hetero?” (http://www.wann-hast-du-entschieden.de)) addresses this social problem well: We do not choose our sexual orientation ourselves, it is not an illness or a peculiar symptom but instead these people are equally healthy with a healthy sexuality.

Tips
If you self-doubt your own sexuality, you shouldn’t suppress these feelings because of fear or shame: It’s all about self-exploration when deciding on your sexual orientation. It is also crucial to know, that you are not alone: There are self-help groups and societies that deal with this topic and can support you. In the homosexual world there is the “coming-out” which:
“May refer to the process by which one accepts one’s own sexuality, gender identity, or status as an intersexed person (to “come out” to oneself). May also refer to the process by which one shares one’s sexuality, gender identity, or intersexed status with others (to “come out” to friends, etc.). Page 3 This can be a continual, life-long process for homosexual, bisexual, transgendered, and intersexed individuals.” (LGBT at UCLA)
This process is different for every person. It often helps to have someone you can share the development with: Friends, family or your partner. Don’t feel forced to have someone label you. Everyone has to explore their own sexuality, when they feel the time is right.

Conclusion
Just as there are beings of different form and size in biology, people have diverse sexual preferences: You love, who you choose to love. There is no right and wrong in a relationship or in sex, as long as no one gets hurt. You and your partner decide what you like. You alone decide, who you love. If the condemnation is not questioned it then provides a foundation for discrimination and stigmatisation of homosexuality. An example here is the legal regulation for marriages that still doesn’t equate same-sex couples. The exclusion of homosexuals can be shown with another example: Contraception with the pill and condoms was equally condemned by the Catholic Church but today it is widely accepted and intended. The question is, why contraception was more easily accepted? It could be that contraception benefitted individuals and wasn’t about the acceptance of the identities of others.