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MAMTA Health Institute for Mother & Child | New Delhi

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)

‘LGBT’ is a collective term for non-heterosexual and transgendered people. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders are increasingly making their presence known in every area of social life. Gays and lesbians often live their lives as others and it’s not possible to differentiate them from heterosexuals.

The word Gay in English originally had the meaning ‘happy.’ In modern usage, the term is often applied interchangeably with homosexuals, though there are important differences between the terms. While "homosexual" relates specifically to sexuality, the term "gay" is a political or social marker. When people say they are gay, they are saying that they are open about their attraction to people of the same gender, not necessarily that they are sexually active with someone of the same gender, or with anyone at all for that matter.

A lesbian is a homosexual woman. Lesbians are sexually and romantically attracted to other women. The word "lesbian" originally referred to an inhabitant of the island of Lesbos, in ancient Greece. The term has come to have its current meaning due to the ancient Greek lyric poet Sappho, who lived on the island; some of her poems concerned love between women. Whether Sappho was herself a lesbian, or simply a poet who described lesbians, is not known. This association with Sappho led to the term 'sapphism' being used as another term for lesbianism.

Bisexual persons have the capacity to love people of either gender. This can include physical, sexual, and emotional attraction to and/or relationships with men and women. Over time in life, a bisexual person might feel equally attracted to men and women or to one gender in preference to the other. The strength of these attractions may change over time. Being bisexual does not define either one’s lifestyle or sexual behavior. Bisexual people may be monogamous or abstinent or may have multiple sexual partners, just like heterosexual, lesbian or gay people.

To learn about Transsexual and Transgender read more. Also read more about Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientaion to understand LGBT issues better. However, there is a lot of discrimination against LGBT. Click to learn more about it.

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Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation
Transsexual and Transgender
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