Overview and Information on sexual orientation.
Here’s one way to think of sexual orientation: it is an enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction to members of the same and/or different sex and/or gender. How we are ‘oriented’ to this attraction is not a matter of choice. And despite what you may have heard, being LGBTQIA+ is NOT a mental illness. You’re not ill – you’re just different than some others. But being different can be hard, especially when that difference makes others uncomfortable.
The American Psychiatric Association says, “All major professional mental health organizations have affirmed that homosexuality is NOT a mental disorder. Being transgender or gender variant is NOT a mental illness and does not imply any impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities.”
So seriously – what’s the big deal? Why does it seem everyone is so against me as an LGBTQIA+ person? GREAT QUESTION!
We live in a culture defined by norms. (People work, we wear clothes in public, you know, stuff like that.) What is ‘normal’ in culture is defined by what the majority in the culture says is ‘normal’. Since the majority are heterosexual and appear gender binary (straight men or straight women) then that becomes ‘the norm’. When normal ideas are challenged, people get uncomfortable.
But the real question is – what is normal FOR YOU? If normal for you is being in an LGBTQIA+ space, then THAT’S NORMAL.
What makes people uncomfortable about LGBTQIA+ ideas can be traced to religion. (Please visit the page about ‘What the Bible Really Says About LGBTQIA+ Folks’) Religion, no matter which one you belong to, influences culture. In the United States, Christianity has been the dominant voice. To be clear – GOD LOVES LGBTQIA+ PEOPLE and ACCEPTS YOU JUST AS YOU ARE!
- YOU ARE NORMAL
- YOU ARE NOT SICK or ILL
- YOU ARE LOVED BY GOD JUST AS YOU ARE
- YOU ARE JUST DIFFERENT THAN OTHERS WHO MAKE THE RULES