General Article LGBT rights

Topic Selected: Sexuality and Gender
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Frequently asked questions.


What does ‘LGBT’ mean?

LGBT stands for ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender’. While these terms have increasing global resonance, in different cultures other terms may be used to describe people who form same-sex relationships and those who exhibit non-binary gender identities (such as hijra, meti, lala, skesana, motsoalle, mithli, kuchu, kawein, travesty, muxé, fa’afafine, fakaleiti, hamjensgara and Two-Spirit). In a human rights context, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face both common and distinct challenges. Intersex people (those born with atypical sex characteristics) suffer many of the same kinds of human rights violations as LGBT people, as indicated below.


What is ‘sexual orientation’?

Sexual orientation refers to a person’s physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction towards other people. Everyone has a sexual

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