In an effort to avoid the awkward question “what does gay mean?” I suggest making the answer as simple as possible. “Gay” means two people of the same sex who love each other. While this is a very basic definition, it can sometimes overwhelm a student who is only in elementary school. Listed below are some other ways to present the definition of gay to your child. If you don’t know what it means, you can use a cartoon from Punch magazine as an example.
The percentage of people who consider themselves gay or lesbian has risen. Millennials and Xers are more likely to have a gay relative or friend. Independents and Democrats are much more likely to be gay or lesbian than their Republican counterparts. In the past two years, more people in the Silent Generation said that they were born gay, and less of a minority, such as Hispanics, have a close gay friend or family member.
However, this notion has been disproved by scientific research. According to the American Psychological Association, “homosexuality is not a mental disorder.” The association sought the advice of experts before eliminating the word from its manual. Despite its disapproval, the word is still widely used, even among mainstream mental health organizations. However, it should be avoided in stories involving the LGBTQ community. If you must use words like “disordered” or “psychopathic,” be sure to quote the source directly.
Despite these results, scientists cannot state with certainty what causes homosexuality. The largest twin study of its kind in the world in 2008 concluded that “homosexuality” is largely determined by random environmental and genetic factors. Dr. Qazi Rahman, a prominent scientist in the field of human sexuality, concluded that the causes of sexual orientation are “complex,” ranging from genetics to environment. However, it’s important to note that these laws don’t mean that the gay community can’t exist.
While the majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage, attitudes towards homosexuality have changed over the last decade. According to one poll, 89% of people who view homosexuality as a lifestyle would be upset if their child came out as gay. That is despite the fact that racial, religious, and partisan differences are substantial on this measure. While the attitudes toward homosexuality have changed over the last decade, the idea of homophobia continues to linger among those opposed to it.
The process of coming out is not an overnight process. It is a life-long process where an individual comes to terms with their own sexual orientation and is ready to reveal it to others. It doesn’t have to be painful or embarrassing. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a public event. The process can be completely private. So don’t worry! There are resources and community groups that can help you navigate your journey to coming out.