🏳️🌈 LGBT+ rights globally
LGBT rights by United Nations states (2011)
51% do not support or are indifferent
Same-sex marriage by country/territory (2019)
89% illegal, partially legal, or do not recognise
2022 - August
Singapore to end ban on gay sex - BBC
2020 - July
Northern Ireland legalises same-sex marriage - Pink News
2020 - June
US rules firing people for being LGBT+ is discrimination - Pink News
2020 - May
Brazil permits gay and bisexual men to donate blood - Pink News
2020 - April
Tunisia recognises same-sex marriage - Pink News
2020 - March
Canada presents bill banning conversion therapy - BBC
2019 - June
Ecuador legalises same-sex marriage - BBC
2019 - June
Botswana decriminalised homosexuality - Independent
Show more news... See the legal status changes, timeline and more key events at Wikipedia. See more news at Stonewall and Amnesty International.
2019 - May
Hong Kong legalises homosexuality - Attitude
2019 - May
Taiwan legalises same-sex marriage - BBC
2019 - April
2019 - April
Brunei criminalises homosexuality - CNN
2019 - January
Angola decriminalised homosexuality - HRW
2019 - January
Austria legalises same-sex marriage - Independent
2018 - November
Costa Rica agrees to legalise same-sex marriage - Washington Blade
2018 - September
India decriminalised homosexuality - Times of India
2018 - April
Trinidad and Tobago decriminalised homosexuality - Gay Star News
- LGBT+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (transgender, transexual), but typically also refers to other types of sexualities (hence the +) such as pansexual, asexual, queer, questioning, unlabelled, two-spirit, genderqueer, and others. Some places use terms like LGBT+, LGBTQ, QUILTBAG, or even LGBTQQIAAP2S. LGBT is currently the most recognised term.
- Demographics vary significantly, ranging from 1% to 20%, however, there's no guarantee that all respondents have been truthful, in order to hide their sexuality. More modern surveys show an increase to about 8% in most places. In the UK, ONS reports 2% are LGB and 4.7% unknown, but other surveys say 13%. Some cities such as San Francisco or Brighton have higher populations of LGBT people, each about 15%.
- Sexual orientation is not a choice. However, it can change through time and is dependent on various genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences. There is no single gay gene.
- Gender and sex are different things and don't always align. Sex refers to the genotype of a person, such as male (XY), female (XX) or intersex (a mix of sexes). Sex determination is a spectrum. Gender is a perceived identity (composing various characteristics), such as boy/man/masculine, girl/woman/feminine, or non-binary. There is a lot of terminology.
- Over 450 (recent reports suggest over 1,500) other species demonstrate homosexual behaviours such as bonobos, penguins, and dolphins. Some other species can change their sex at will, such as Asian sheepshead wrasse and clownfish.
- Romantic orientation is a separate aspect apart from sexual attraction and gender - it doesn't have to align.
- There are some stereotypes in the LGBT community: Camp is a style and set of mannerisms and behaviours. Drag and transvestism involve cross-dressing as another gender. There are many other stereotypes, and as with all stereotypes, some of them are negative.
- There are specific laws in some countries that protect LGBT+ people. The UK has the Equality Act 2010, Human Rights Act 1998, and the Gender Recognition Act 2004 which overrule an old law banning promotion of homosexuality called Section 28.
- There are different flags to represent different sexualities, genders, and communities within the LGBT community as a whole. The following is an incomplete list, but is here to encourage representation of subcultures and communities by focusing on the most recognised ones.
❗ Issues faced by LGBT+ people
- Homophobia, biphobia, transphobia
- Feeling like you don't belong or aren't welcome
- Erasure and lack of visibility - Bi-erasure on Wikipedia, my blog about Bi Visibility Day, Cosmopolitan
- Heteronormativity - Media portrayal on Wikipedia
- Stigma of sexual relationships - British Social Attitudes
- Classifciation as mental disorder - BBC
- Protests and demonstrations - Pink News, BBC
- Prejudice - Big Perspectives
- Lower quality of life
- Familial and social rejection, harassment, violence, harsh prison sentences - Ask Wonder, Equality Act, Gay Times, Independent, DW
- Poorer mental health and satisfaction with life - Science Daily, Pink News, Talk Space, Mental Health
- Bullying, hate crime, rejection, depression, suicide - Stonewall
- Emancipation, castration, gay conversion therapy, riots - Pink News, Wikipedia
- Death sentence - Stonewall
- Lack of compassion - BBC
- UK National LGBT Survey: Research report (largest worldwide survey) (2018)
- Life satisfaction is 65% compared to 77% of non-LGBT people
- 66% avoid holding hands with a same-sex partner for fear of a negative reaction
- 90% of the most serious incidents went unreported, because 'it happens all the time'
- See the LGBT Portal and an outline of LGBT topics at Wikipedia
- Learn how to be an LGBT+ ally, and read more of my thoughts at my blog
- Stonewall have many resources: coming out guide, glossary & terminology, historical key dates, how to tackle homophobia, free posters, top employers list
- More advice: LGBT Switchboard, Childline, BBC Bitesize, Healthline, YoungMinds, and homophobic words/phrases to avoid
- Learn about sexual health from the Terrence Higgins Trust, my blog about HIV/AIDS and get free HIV tests from the NHS
- Reporting discrimination: UK Gov, Citizen's Advice
- Read some quotes from activists and celebrities on QueerCultureChats
- See a list of celebrities who identify as LGBT on IMDb, Pink News, Independent
- Books: The Queeriodic Table, The ABC's of LGBT+, Featured books on Amazon
- Films: Call Me By Your Name, Prayers for Bobby, Moonlight, Pride, Love Simon, Brokeback Mountain, Beautiful Thing, My Own Private Idaho, North Sea Texas, Rotten Tomatoes list, List of transgender characters, Netflix films
- TV Shows: Heartstopper, It's A Sin, Love Victor, Queer As Folk, Pose, Sex Education, Will & Grace, Queer Eye, Skins, Torchwood, Class (Doctor Who), Vicious, Cucumber, Sense8, Orange Is The New Black, Star Trek Discovery S3, Wikipedia list, Netflix TV shows
Show more videos...
Coming out stories
See more at Stonewall's YouTube Channel
Interviews and reactions
🆘 How to help
- Tell your family and friends, or share on social media:
- Take part in and enjoy yourself at one of many summer pride parades
- Write to your government representative (e.g. UK MP or US Senator)
- Support LGBT organisations such as:
- Global: Amnesty International, Stonewall, All Out, Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights Watch, Rainbow Riots, Peter Tatchell Foundation
- Mental Health: LGBT Switchboard, The Trevor Project, Young Minds, Samaritans, MindOut, Papyrus
- Local: AKT, Mermaids UK, SupportU UK, Terrence Higgins Trust UK, Minus18 AU, GLAAD US, PFLAG