Sexuality has been a debated topic for decades, and everybody has an opinion. My aim in researching this is to decide whether more needs to be done in the effort for acceptance of LGBTQ individuals, if the protections that currently exist are enough and what can be done to help improve the lives of the individuals who currently live in fear.
For many years if a person was homosexual then they were considered to have a mental illness, and it used to be punishable by law and still is in many countries around the world.
It is only relatively recently that homosexuality has been decriminalized in most first world countries, however in some third world countries it still is punishable by law and in certain places the most extreme punishment can be the death penalty.
There are many polarizing opinions on the subject, even in the countries were homosexuality is accepted. An example of this is America, some people have a very accepting point of view and San Francisco (which is regarded by many as the gay capital of the world) is located on their west coast.
The worlds biggest Pride celebration is held in San Francisco with thousands of individuals traveling from all around the world, every year, specifically to attend this event. However, there is still individuals in America who refuse to accept homosexuality, and are actively working with other unaccepting individuals to change public opinion back to negative and unaccepting point to view. An example of this is the group the Westbro Baptist Church who are not only working against acceptance, but have their website GodHatesFags.
com. This website outlines future events they will be attending to protest and places which they will be making appearances (amongst other things), which is what has made the church so famous and well known. They attend these events and appearances to campaign and picket, often using signs displaying propaganda displaying hate speech towards many groups and minorities in society as well as shouting and often times chanting inflammatory, hateful comments, this often leads to arguments with members of the public and videos of these arguments have gone viral online on a number of occasions. One of the minorities they campaign against predominantly being the LGBTQ community, amongst other minorities. These completely polarizing views are present within the same country, one which is a first world country, so there is no surprise in the fact that these polarizing views can be observed throughout the globe.
I am going to be looking at multiple different points of interest so that I can form my own well informed opinion. Some of these points of research will be; conversion therapy, the history, the methods, places that still condone conversion therapy, places which have criminalized it, modern conversion therapy and places where conversion therapy is still practiced and if conversion therapy is actually an effective way of manipulating an individual and their sexuality. I am choosing to include this because it is a key part of the history and ongoing struggles in some counties for LGBTQ individuals. I am going to look at places which LGBTQ individuals are recommended to avoid visiting and for what reasons, I am including this because in many of these countries the majority of the population have a negative opinion and I would like to figure out why. The laws for LGBTQ individuals in a variety of countries for marriage, civil partnerships, and whether its illegal and if it is what the various punishments are such as prison sentences, whipping, death penalty etc. Im including this because I want to observe the varying views on homosexuality and I want to look into why these views exist. I am going to look at the protections LGBTQ people have in the work place and in society in general in a variety of countries and once again compare them in a further attempt to understand the discrepancies in acceptance. After I have completed all of my research and considered all of it I will come to my own conclusion based upon my own opinions about whether the current acceptance and protections for LGBTQ individuals are enough and what can be done to improve the lives of the individuals who live in fear.
I am including this because I feel you can get a real sense of a place from how they treat their tourists, because its likely that they treat their own citizens in a very similar way, if not worse.
After looking at a multitude of sources I now have what I feel is an extensive knowledge of which countries should be avoided and for what reasons. Some of these reasons include the lack of protections for LGBTQ individuals, this includes potential danger from civilians living in the countries or the laws in the countries themselves. For many people in most counties the threat of prosecution is enough for them to not want to travel but for some its the threat of their physical safety which convinces individuals not to travel. There are however some individuals who still do choose to travel to dangerous places, some of the reasoning behind travelling to places where they may be put in danger include volunteering. Some of the most impoverished countries are also some of the most homophobic countries and volunteers travelling to these countries often fear for their safety however often their dedication convinces them to make the trip. An example of this is Nigeria, Africa, which is home to some of the most impoverished people in the world, whilst also being home to some of the most homophobic and discriminatory behavior. This can cause many volunteers to fear for their safety or decide to hide their sexuality for the duration of their time there.
For individuals who do choose to travel to places which pose danger to them there are some things they are recommended to do or not to do in order to keep themselves safe from the various dangers which may be imposed by a place. For example, if a LGBTQ identifying individual were to travel to Russia they are recommended to remove pride paraphernalia from their person, this includes things such as any clothing promoting or supporting anything associated with LGBTQ and even goes as far as removing pride flag pin badges from things like canvas backpacks. They are recommended to do this to ensure they are safe during their visit, because there is significant threat not only from the government, who introduced the Gay Propaganda Law in June of 2013 which basically disallows any form of homosexual propaganda. The stated purpose of the law is said to be to protect children from being exposed to homonormative behaviors This law disallows and homosexual propaganda, as well as disallowing and homosexual interactions in public, this includes hand holding and kissing etc. because it is seen as promoting homonormative behaviors. However, this law isnt the only thing which can cause danger to homosexual travelers, the Russian public is also a major threat to travelers. Many gay Russians have been attacked or assaulted in public, with some people being murdered because they are gay. This is obviously one of the most extreme views held on anti-homosexuality, however there are many countries which express very similar views and take similar actions towards homosexuals. Some of these countries include: Nigeria, Jamaica, Qatar, The United Arab Emirates and Egypt to name just a few, and for these reasons LGBTQ travelers are recommended to avoid traveling to these countries.
Despite this mistreatment in other countries there are areas of the world were homosexual individuals can travel to without fear of conviction from the government and without much fear of physical harm from the general public. An example of a place like this is San Francisco in The United States of America. Even though there are still precautions which should be taken when travelling to other areas of the states San Francisco is viewed as the gay capital of the world by many, many homosexual individuals, with thousands of people travelling from all over the globe to participate in the areas annual Pride Celebrations which includes one of the largest Pride Parades in the world. There is an extensive and large LGBTQ community in San Francisco which has thrived there for many years and continues to do so. This open, excepting and inclusive city is viewed by many as a safe haven and many travelers visit here all year round. There are also many other safe and inclusive areas for homosexual travelers, some of these include: Madrid which has a specifically gay district, but the entire area is inclusive and safe for LGBTQ travelers, New Zealand has long been regarded for its inclusivity and it is a perfect destination for LGBTQ travelers, Copenhagen in Denmark is one of the most inclusive areas in the whole of Europe with it being the home to the worlds oldest openly gay bar and in 1989 became the first nation to recognize registered same sex partnerships.
There are many places around the world which are extremely dangerous for LGBTQ individuals to travel to, but there are also many more places they can travel to without fear however I dont think just because they have access to some countries doesnt mean that the non-accepting countries shouldnt be held accountable and made to answer for the discriminatory behaviors of their governments and their citizens.
Conversion therapy sometimes referred to as reparative therapy or sexual orientation therapy is therapy designed to change ones sexual orientation.
Conversion therapy has long been a controversial practice with many people who have been through conversion therapy denouncing the therapy saying that it doesnt work and that all it does is traumatise and cause mental harm to the people who go through it. However, some individuals who have been through the therapy say it does work and did change their sexual orientation to heterosexuality.
To begin to understand how conversion therapy works you first have to understand that the term Conversion Therapy is just an umbrella term for a wide selection of different methods designed to change an individuals sexual orientation or gender identity. One of the main problems many individuals who oppose conversion therapy have is that it isnt always administered to individuals by licensed mental health professionals, its sometimes administered by religious officials, self-taught advocates and people who claim to have had their own sexual orientation through conversion therapy. Because these types of practices exist and are still in operation there are people who go through conversion therapy who are mistreat and are attempted to be made to convert to heterosexuality in an often times illegal way. The other major issue individuals who oppose conversion therapy have is that they believe there is no reason for it to exist, because there is no problem with homosexuality and by administering conversion therapy all that happens to the individual undergoing it is they will develop mental health problems and it causes more harm than it causes good because individuals often leave conversion therapy in a worse situation than they entered it in.
However, on the other side of this there are some individuals which advocate for this type of therapy and they say it is effective. They will site the rare occasions the therapy works and does convert an individuals sexuality and they dont end up with detrimental mental health effects. These are rare cases and the people who use them to argue their point are often told that even with the rare cases there isnt enough evidence to support the practice as it often doesnt result in the desired ending.
Conversion therapy has been around for decades, there was many esteemed phycologists and psychiatrists during the 1960s which considered homosexuality an illness and treat it as such. In 1965 TIME magazine published an article called Homosexuals can be cured commending the triumphant work of psychiatrist Samuel Hadden, who was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania at the time, who had been leading long term (4-8 years) therapy sessions for homosexual men. . Homosexuality was recognised as a mental illness until 1973, it was in this year that it was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, however this didnt mean the conversion therapy stopped and it didnt really do anything in the way of helping to remove the stigmatism around homosexuality at the time.
However not everyone at this time believed this and use the link above. Look at sigmond frouid.