Table of contents
Most people have a very specific idea of what a family should look like: Father, mother-child. Long ago, it was common that only the man in the family went to work, while the woman took care of the household and the family. Today, this is rarely the case. Because today everything is different. In many households, both parents work. Sometimes these parents are a woman and a man. Sometimes children have two moms or two dads.
Because now many people openly admit that they love someone of the same sex. If you are in a love relationship with someone of the same sex, then it is also called homosexuality. So it can be that a woman is with a woman. Conversely, it happens that a man has a love relationship with a man.
Just like the traditional family image (“father, mother, child”), the homosexual family also has its justification in our society. Unfortunately, there are many people who see it differently. We do not agree with them. Why we think differently, we explain to you today.
What Exactly Does Homosexuality Mean?
The word homosexuality means a sexual orientation. Young people, as well as old people, can be homosexual.
Homosexuality is neither a disease nor a mental disability. Whether people can consciously decide which sex they prefer has not yet been clarified. Actually, this does not matter either. Because everyone is allowed to decide for himself whom he loves. The gender of this person should not really be the main issue. Because basically we are all human beings, regardless of gender.
Some homosexual people realize very early that they are “gay” or “lesbian”. They are afraid to talk about it openly with others. The fear of being labeled a “freak” is too great. Some fear arguments with their parents if the truth should come to light. Not without reason: because not everyone sees homosexuality as something normal.
Nevertheless, gays and lesbians have the same right to live as straight people. By the way, hetero describes the “usual” sexual orientation (man loves woman and woman loves man).
Gay couples can have a family just as heterosexual couples can. Of course, two women or two men cannot father a child together. However, by way of adoption or with the help of a surrogate mother, one can still take in and raise a child. Such families are no more or less loving than others. Just as in heterosexual families, the happiness of the clan depends on everyone taking good care of each other.
Just like other people, homosexuals also live out their love physically. This is also something very beautiful for them. Just like hetero couples, homosexuals also have changing partners and long-term, fixed relationships. How one lives out love is up to each person and has nothing to do with a person’s sexual orientation.
Is It Okay To Be Homosexual?
As mentioned earlier, it is perfectly fine to be attracted to your own gender. It may be that one just wants to “try it out” a little. It may be that one makes a different decision afterwards. On the other hand, it may be that one enjoys these experiences and continues to be homosexual.
Both cases are okay. No one has to justify who they love. In reality, it is true that parents, peers and family members will inquire curiously. In fact, however, it is nobody’s business as long as you don’t feel like talking about it on your own.
By the way, homosexuality is no reason to feel inferior. Sure: you are different from most people. That is not always easy for young people. Because somehow you want to belong. Nevertheless, stay true to yourself and be aware that this difficult time will also pass. In the course of puberty, you usually meet like-minded people or make friends who understand. At the latest in adulthood, such topics are seen more relaxed in the circle of acquaintances. By then, parents have usually learned to get used to the fact that their child is homosexual.
What Is A Coming Out And How Does It Work?
The time until one publicly stands by one’s sexual orientation is difficult. You face the dilemma: How can you meet like-minded people if you don’t talk about your homosexuality in public?
Loneliness, fear and shame are not uncommon companions of homosexual young people. Some do not want to admit it and try to compensate for their homosexuality. Boys deliberately let the macho hang out and act quite casual. Under no circumstances do they want to appear to be gay, although in reality they are. Because they don’t want to expose themselves to the criticism of their peers and fall into a victim role.
Girls have it a little easier. While gay guys are often criticized, it’s okay for girls to hold hands or kiss each other. Lesbian girls are not infrequently allowed to live out their inclinations more undisturbed than gay boys.
As soon as you have overcome yourself inwardly to tell everyone, the biggest step has already been taken. Because this overcoming really costs a lot of strength. As soon as the decision is made, one is relieved. When a homosexual person decides to admit his or her sexual orientation, this is called “coming out. This is English and means something like “coming out”. This term describes quite well what happens. You come out of hiding and no longer try to hide your homosexuality.
The reactions of the environment can be very different. You should be aware that some people can’t deal with the fact that someone is homosexual. They then react dismissively or even scold. Parents may be concerned if the child tells them that they like kids of the same sex. They want their own child to start a family someday and lead a happy life. Many people cannot imagine that this is also possible as a homosexual couple.
If you intend to stand by your own homosexuality, you have to expect negative reactions. Some people may not want to talk to you anymore. Others will try to talk you out of it. Especially older people sometimes have no understanding for homosexuality.
There is no point in discussing with them the sense and nonsense of your coming out. Let them have their opinion and still live your life as you see fit.
But there are also people who don’t mind if someone is lesbian or gay. They will remain your friends whether you love a girl or a boy. You can count on such friends.
Are Gay Couples Allowed To Marry?
In some countries it is allowed for same-sex couples to marry. At the same time, there are still many countries where this is not possible. There, homosexual couples have to renounce marriage. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, same-sex couples are not allowed to marry. However, there is the possibility of a registered partnership. Registered partners also have some rights that are known from marriage.
Why Are Homosexuals Sometimes Called Names?
Do you know what tolerance means? Tolerance means letting other people have their beliefs without trying to talk them out of anything. It also means accepting everyone as he or she is. Tolerance lets people live their lives the way they want to, no matter what their skin color, sexual orientation, age, or profession.
In our society, tolerance should be at the top of the list. We must stick together and not exclude anyone. Excluding someone because of the above characteristics is neither allowed nor okay. That is why we must not insult or exclude homosexuals either.
You will experience that people still treat these people differently than others. Unfortunately, they still feel the rejection of many people. This is also because some people are afraid of things they cannot understand. They feel threatened when someone is different or ticks differently than they do. That’s because everything unknown makes people afraid.
That is why there is always discrimination against adults and young people alike, even though it is not allowed.
What Is The Difference Between Transgender, Transsexual And Homosexual?
In this area, there are now very many terms that are very similar. To help you get an overview, we have defined and contrasted the most important terms.
This refers to all people who cross gender boundaries in some way. It is therefore a general umbrella term that is also used by people who do not want to or cannot clearly assign themselves to another category.
This term describes an art form in which the opposite sex is portrayed (usually in a funny way). Men slip into the role of women by dressing like them, wearing wigs and heavy make-up. So behind this is nothing more and nothing less than a kind of show. Performers in travesty shows are not always homosexual. It is different with the so-called drag queens. These are mostly gay men who dress up as very extremely overdrawn women.
This refers to people who like to dress in the types of clothes common to the opposite sex. Not every transvestite wants to have their gender changed. Many transvestites do not leave their homes in these clothes because they are afraid of the prejudices of their fellow men. This is very difficult for them because this kind of clothing belongs to their personality.
People who feel that they are in the wrong body are called transsexual. They often have an operation to become a man or a woman.
In public hardly anyone talks about it. But it is so that again and again babies come into the world, which one can assign only with difficulty to a sex. Because they have sex characteristics of both girls and boys, they are intersexual. This is due to the genetics of the child.
Because we are so used to everyone having a definite gender, parents usually decide whether the child should be a boy or a girl. He or she is then dressed accordingly and perhaps even undergoes surgery.
It’s not until such children get a little older that the question not infrequently arises, “Who am I really?” Some kids then feel they belong more to the opposite sex and are dissatisfied with themselves. For many, it is a lifelong identity struggle for which there is often no long-term solution.
None of the terms mentioned so far are necessarily related to homosexuality. Because even if you feel as if you are in the wrong body, you do not have to be homosexual. The terms mentioned so far are more about one’s own gender and the feelings associated with it.
Homosexuality, on the other hand, has to do with which partner one chooses. So this is not about one’s own sex, but the sex of one’s partner. Therefore, homosexuality must be clearly distinguished from the other yet similar terms.
Worksheet For The Text
1) Explain the difficult words from the text.
2) Is it allowed in your country for two same-sex partners to marry each other? What is the alternative?
3) Have you had any experiences dealing with homosexual people or people who are transgender? In a seating circle, talk about what you have seen and experienced. Discuss the following points:
How did you experience this person? What do you think of him or her?
Why is this person different than most?
What do you think: Are people worse if they are gay or transgender?
Is it okay to be gay or transgender?
4) Why are some people afraid of homosexuality? What is the reasoning behind it? Write down your own opinion, but also bring in something you learned from the text.
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