There has never been a more important time to be discussing LGBT issues. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of LGBT rights across the globe. We will also discuss some of the most pressing issues that the LGBT community is facing right now. We hope that by reading this post, you will have a better understanding of what it means to be LGBT in today’s world.
Issues Faced By LGBT Community
Although there has been gradual yet steady progress in the way we function socially, there are still many issues faced by particularly suppressed sections of society. The LGBT community is no exception to these struggles. Some
Statistics say that LGBT-identifying individuals are four times more likely to face violent victimization than their cis-het counterparts. These take the form of threatening actions such as robbery, rape, and aggravated assault, among other things. They are also more likely to be victims of bullying. There have also been instances of mass killings and attacks on queer groups.
Unequal Access To Facilities
LGBT individuals face inequality when it comes to accessing day-to-day amenities and facilities like healthcare, real estate, college admissions, government-funded aid, public reimbursements, and even public transport and restrooms. These cause feelings of exclusion, involuntarily coming out, and a decreased sense of belongingness.
Many caregivers tend to kick out, threaten, and abandon young kids after coming out. They are either forced to leave the house, sent to foster homes, or emotionally manipulated to hide their identities in the name of upholding the family reputation.
Due to a lack of employment and healthcare, LGBT individuals are unable to retain themselves economically. The lack of stable income leads to poor quality of life, food insecurity, increased debt, and mismanaged finances.
There is a huge gap in the employment rates of LGBT individuals. The hiring managers may be prejudiced and not offer roles to queer/trans candidates. Lack of workplace safety rules, unfriendly work environment, non-inclusive peers, and other similar factors may contribute to individuals changing jobs too frequently. They may also drop out of work because of these reasons.
Lack Of Representation
Due to a huge lack of well-informed representation of LGBT identities in the mainstream media, people are unaware of the lesser-known sections of society, leading to further stereotypes and ignorance.
Conversion therapy refers to the process of using therapeutic interventions to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity back to “normal”. Although it is an unethical and non-scientific approach, people still indulge in this practice to reinforce their idea of normalcy among people who are different. While many countries forbid it by law, many parts of the world still have no legal obligation to stop this from happening.
Out of the 195 countries in the entire world, only 25 legally recognize same-sex marriages. This gap creates a huge divide in social equality, freedom to practice individualistic fundamental rights, feeling safe and respectful, and further planning a family, a difficult and problematic process.
Lack Of Legal Protection
Another major issue faced by the LGBT community is the evident lack of legal recognition and protection. To this day, homosexuality is punishable by death in many countries. There is no legal action that can be taken against targeted hate towards the queer community. Non-cisgender people are still not given constitutional recognition in many laws.
Ultimately, the lack of social acceptance remains the biggest obstacle to LGBT individuals leading a safe and inclusive life. Fear of facing rejection, bullying, assault, and degradation makes people live in constant fear and cloak their identities in front of others. The subtle presence of homophobia/transphobia in our language, a way of addressing these issues, and an overall lack of guidance and education make it difficult for the community to blend in and feel equal.
Impact Of LGBT Issues
Just like any other problematic social behavior, LGBT focused discrimination also has various kinds of effects on the victims.
On Mental Health
LGBT issues have a profound impact on the mental health of individuals. The constant feeling of not belonging, being different, and not being accepted by society can lead to increased levels of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, PTSD, stress, isolation, and suicidal thoughts.
On Physical Health
The challenges faced by the LGBT community can also hurt physical health. Individuals often face violence and abuse because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This can result in long-term physical damage like bruises, cuts, broken bones, etc. Studies have shown that LGBT people are more likely to smoke cigarettes and use other tobacco products. They are also more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, which can lead to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Additionally, LGBT people are more likely to suffer from obesity and other chronic health conditions due to increased stress.
How To Deal With These Issues?
There is very little that can lead to completely erasing the existence of these issues. However, there are some things that we as a society can do to ensure inclusion and safe practice to provide
- Source a support system. Find people who understand and support you and empathize with your life struggles.
- Remember that your identity and what you label it is YOUR decision. Manipulation in the name of family honor, God, compromise, or society’s opinions should not be your concern.
- Read about the history and politics of your community. This provides a sense of familiarity and strength.
- Be well-read about the existing laws, rules, and ongoing campaigns regarding the community happening around the world.
- Be realistic. As individuals, there is little to nothing we can do to eradicate long continuing social systems of homophobia and systematic exclusion. As allies, it is important to set achievable expectations about the type of help you can offer.
- Spreading awareness among local groups, peers, and family is a key step for ensuring inclusion and participation.
- Read, learn and expand your awareness through books, podcasts, social media, and further interactions with people who have experiences of the same.
- Be mindful of the language and behavior you use while initiating conversations.
- Being empathetic is more important than being sorry or pitiful.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges faced by the LGBT community. However, these are a few steps that everyone can take to support members of the community.
The LGBT community has made great strides in recent years, but there is still a long way to go before full equality is achieved. Many pressing issues need to be addressed, and it is up to all of us to continue fighting for our rights. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the current state of LGBT rights. Together, we can make a difference.
A Word From Therapy Mantra
Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At TherapyMantra, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.