Accept yourself as LGBTQ

LGBTQ: Did you know that ... 15 facts you should know

LGBTQ is the abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, queer, intersexual and asexual people. About 7.5 percent of Germans identify as LGBTQ, that's around six million people. We'll show you 15 interesting things you may not have known about LGBTQ.

Men love women and women prefer men? Many people cannot identify with this heterosexual norm. This is not new, because homosexual acts have been handed down in pictures, stories and poems from ancient Rome and ancient Greece. Whether gay or lesbian, inter- or transsexual: If the sexual orientation or gender identity deviates from the classic norm in society, one speaks today of LGBTQ affiliation (previously only LGTB). The term is open to all people who do not identify with the classic concept of sexual orientation and gender.

1. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

… LGBTQ live normally, like you and me? Really true! They get up in the morning, have breakfast, go to work and watch the crime scene on TV on Sunday evening. Because LGBTQ are not different, but just as normal as any other person. Like you and I, they want to be accepted for who they are. LGBTQ draw attention to this at the annual Christopher Street Day (CSD), for example, when they march through the streets with loud music and colorful flags. Just like other people, they like to make out on the couch and roam the city's clubs on weekends. Pretty normal, right?

2. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... discrimination against people from the LGBTQ community still exists in Germany - and that almost everyone knows this? This is the result of a study by the anti-discrimination agency. Over 80 percent of those surveyed stated that homosexuals and bisexuals are discriminated against in Germany. A representative cross-section of the population was asked - the problem is well known to the general public. Nevertheless, there are always headlines that people from the LGBTQ community are insulted and hostile or are victims of violence. The Berlin anti-violence project Maneo counted over 500 attacks in 2019. The number of unreported cases is likely to be significantly higher ...

3. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... there are a lot of LGBTQ songs? "Vincent" by Sarah Connor has been particularly successful lately. She sings about Vincens first great love, it's a guy he can't get out of his head. Vincent later has two children "and a strong man". The song caused a boycott of several radio stations because the first line of text is not entirely suitable for young people ...

Katy Perry also brought an LGBTQ song to the charts with “I Kissed a Girl”. Christina Aguilera took up the subject of LGBTQ not quite as obviously as with the song title by Katy Perry and Sarah Connor: The song “Beautiful” is about a gay couple who want to live out their love openly and a trans woman who now looks like her also feels and can look proudly in the mirror. Again and again, everything revolves around LGTBQ with Lady Gaga: “Born This Way” is a statement that you don't have to bend. "You are good the way you are, because you were born that way", so the German translation of the lyrics. But there are also critical songs: In “Take Me To Church” Hozier thematize the discrimination of LGBTQ on the part of the church, but also on the part of the personal environment. “They say we are sick” and there is no “forgiveness” for them, criticize Hozier. In the very moving music video you see how a homophobic mob attacks the two lovers.

4. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... IKEA contributed to the UN Code of Conduct for Businesses on Dealing with Discrimination against LGBTQ People? It says, for example, that companies should specifically prevent discrimination and train employees with regard to discrimination and diversity. LGBTQ employees receive support, and companies should also campaign for more equality and against discrimination in public. In addition to Ikea, over 200 other international companies have signed the code of conduct, for example Lufthansa, Deutsche Bank, DHL, Netflix, Adidas, Nike and Zara.

5. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... gays and life are allowed to marry? Since October 2017 there has also been a “marriage for everyone” in Germany. The politicians have specially adapted the law for this. Now same-sex weddings are just as possible as the joint adoption of a child. Same-sex marriages are also allowed in over 20 other countries around the world, such as the US, France and the UK. However, gay and lesbian couples in Germany can often only say yes at the registry office, not in front of the altar. Because same-sex weddings are not possible in the Catholic Church and in many Protestant churches. But the couples can have their bond blessed for life. But something is slowly happening here too: In more than half of the Protestant regional churches in Germany, the blessing of couples is meanwhile on an equal footing with marriage. And some Protestant churches also offer proper weddings.

6. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... according to the WHO, homosexuality was still considered a disease until 1992? Today there are still self-proclaimed “healers” who seek to “heal” LGBTQ people because of their love or identity. The World Medical Association warned early on that such pseudotherapies can drive people into depression, drug use or even suicide and are therefore a violation of human rights. In Germany, such conversion therapies will no longer be allowed from mid-2021, but in other countries they will.

7. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... many top athletes have come out? Former soccer star Thomas Hitzlsperger had publicly announced his outing after retiring. With that he started a big debate about homosexuality in professional football, a taboo subject. Hitzlsperger was in the national team and won the German championship in 2007 with VfB Stuttgart. As an active athlete, the British high diver Tom Daley came out publicly at the age of 19 - at the height of his career in 2013. He won bronze at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, and even gold at the 2015 and 2017 World Championships. There are also professional athletes who came out in the USA: NBA player Jason Collins came out in 2013 and American football player Michael Sam in 2014.

8. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... young people mainly experience rejection when they come out? Almost 64 percent of LGBTQ adolescents and young adults report in a large study that parents and siblings do not take their gender identity or sexual orientation seriously or even deliberately ignore it (47 percent). Almost one in five young people reported insults and insults in close family circles.

This is particularly frightening because coming out is a big challenge for young people anyway. The reactions at school, university or at work are often not much better: more than half of those questioned have been "insulted, insulted or ridiculed" in the past. LGBTQ people have to come out again and again throughout their lives when they deal with new people and don't want to hide. For many, this takes a lot of effort every time and means uncertainty every time as to how you or the other person will react. Keep that in mind when someone comes out to you.

9. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... Netflix has its own category for LGBTQ series and films? There you will find, for example, successful TV formats such as the widely acclaimed series “Queer Eye”, in which five queer people do something good for others: renovate the house, give it a new look and, incidentally, restore self-confidence. True to the motto: "You are great and have endured so much, that's why we want to help you now". The series shows what diversity can look like in a society in which people meet each other with great respect. The series “Pose” offers exciting insights into the subculture of trans people and homosexuals in the 1980s. The focus here is on the legendary ballroom parties and the question of one's own identity. Netflix has a huge selection of LGBTQ films and series in which LGBTQ appear as a matter of course, but also do not gloss over anything.

10. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... homosexuality is punishable by death in many countries? Fifteen countries still have the death penalty for homosexuals, and many more have reports of an unusually high number of murders of LGBTQ people. The Spartacus Gay Travel Index lists particularly homophobic countries every year. In popular holiday destinations such as Egypt and Tanzania, there is not only an anti-LGBTQ atmosphere, there is also a threat of prison. The Foreign Office has even put together extra travel information for LGBTQ people and advises: "If in doubt, behave discreetly".

11. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... the rainbow flag sometimes has six and sometimes eight colors? The flag was designed by US artist Gilbert Bake in 1987. Until then, there was only the pink triangle as a symbol, but it has a dark past: Adolf Hitler used a pink triangle to mark homosexuals in the concentration camp. The sign served as an instrument of oppression, similar to the Star of David for Jews. The rainbow should be a new, positive symbol. At a demonstration following the murder of an activist, the rainbow flags were supposed to be distributed, but the color pink was no longer available in sufficient quantities. So that the number of stripes was still even, the organizers decided not to use the color turquoise. Today the flag is back with all eight colors and each color has its own meaning. For example, green stands for nature, orange for health and red for life.

12. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... the Gay Games have their own version of the Olympic Games? The aim of the Gay Games: a sporting competition without homophobia. Every four years, more than 10,000 queer athletes take part in the LGBTQ Olympics. A few years ago the Gay Games were also in Germany: Cologne was the venue for the Games in 2010, the next Gay Games will take place in Hong Kong in 2022. Of course, the Gay Games are not a substitute for the big Olympic Games. There, too, many LGBTQ athletes take part if they have successfully qualified. For example, there were around 50 queer athletes in 2016.

13. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... homosexual and bisexual men are (almost) not allowed to donate blood? The so-called "MSM" men who have sex with men are initially excluded from donating blood. However, this discrimination is based solely on prejudice: LGBTQ men are assumed to have unreflective “sexual behavior”, which would lead to a higher risk for the recipient of the blood (Robert Koch Institute). What is quite new is that men are now allowed to donate blood at least if they have not had sex with other men in the last 12 months. Men who have been in a committed relationship with another man for decades are also excluded. Other countries are already further along: In Italy and Portugal, each donor is asked about risk behavior and not about sexual orientation.

14. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... the term "fishy" in connection with a drag queen means that she looks very feminine? A good example is Courtney Act, made famous by the talent show RuPaul’s Drag Race. If you don't know the TV show, the LGBTQ series on Netflix can also find it. RuPaul is considered to be the most famous drag queen in the world. She even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

15. LGBTQ: Did you know that ...

... more homosexual people are now coming out at work? The social acceptance in Germany is apparently so good that more gays and lesbians dare to come out. From 2007 to 2017, the proportion of people who openly talk to everyone in the workplace about their homosexuality doubled. However, the statistics also show: Outing at work is significantly less common for transgender employees.