A community focused on improving the rights and protection within the law for people on both the sexuality scale and/or gender spectrum, with exceptional and brave advocates and pioneers fighting for centuries for equality. Though equality has been improving around the world, there is still a long way to go. With over 20 countries still criminalising same-sex relationships, over 160 still not allowing same-sex marriages or unions and worse, 12 countries still impose the death penalty for same-sex prosecutions, the fight goes on.
LGBTQIA+ stands for inclusivity, including everyone and excluding no one. To educate, not indoctrinate, and ensure that everyone, everywhere globally, is treated the same, with equal rights and protection under the law, without persecution due to a person’s gender or sexual identity.
from emperors to actors, the community has existed for
thousands of years
In the 11th century, attitudes began to change. In the 12th century AD, the Italian inquisition, under instruction from the pope, began to target same-sex relationships as sinful and immoral. Those prosecuted would be banished, with parts amputated for first offences and death for repeat offenders. The 15th century saw the beginning of the Spanish inquisition, a horrific period of history in which any individuals convicted of being involved in same-sex relationships were castrated and banished from society. It was not just western religions; there are many examples of castrations, death by stoning and other gruesome deaths throughout the histories of all known religions, from Islam to Judaism, all teaching that the act is a sin, as immoral and prescribing extreme measures to stop it. The community’s persecution was deeply rooted in many religions for centuries; however, most have evolved to be more tolerant and inclusive of the community in more modern times.
The LGBTQIA+ community never went away or was stamped out, no matter how hard governments, religions and countries tried. Even with the constant fear of persecution and personal threat to their lives, the community just became better at hiding and concealing who they were. They were so good at it that many have held important positions and lived-in plain sight. We only know that the community survived due to the records for those unfortunate and who became discovered and persecuted. Not all countries or cultures treated or persecuted the community in the same way, ranging from generally leaving them alone as long as they were discreet to being targeted and prosecuted if found guilty; however, the level of treatment came from the beliefs and views held by the people and wider communities. Though some may not have been directly targeted or left alone, they still had no legal rights or protection compared to their heterosexual counterparts.
It was not until the late 18th century that the LGBTQIA+ movement began to gain momentum, with prominent people advocating for equality and a movement that continues today. The fight to gain and hold on to equality is fragile; take the example of what happened over 76 years ago. During the second world war, gay and lesbian individuals were rounded up with people that followed Judaism. The Nazis categorised people, as Jewish individuals, who were identified by the yellow patch on their prison uniforms. Black triangles were used to identify those regarded as asozial (anti-social), including lesbians and pink triangles were used to identify gay, bisexual men and transgender women. The exact numbers of those persecuted are unknown; however, it is believed that over 100 thousand LGBTQIA+ men and women lost their lives through being used as target practice for soldiers, medical experimentation, starvation and execution. Even today, many of the LGBTQIA+ community are targeted and persecuted in some parts of the world, the brutality masked by antiquated morality laws, poorly educated societies and the majorities within many countries around the world fearful that giving the community equal treatment diminishes their rights and protection.
From emperors to actors, the LGBTQIA+ community has a long and rich history. Often a tale of people facing adversity, just for accepting who they are, even when the risk to their personal safety is so high. Many within the community face a challenge every day, in every country, region and continent around the world.
TAKING PRIDE IN YOU
the global community is far from receiving the same
rights and legal protection
The LGBTQIA+ community faced hundreds of years of persecution, targeted campaigns and gruesome convictions when prosecuted. It was not until the late 18th century that in England, the philosopher, jurist and social reformer Jeremy Bentham argued to decriminalise same-sex relationships, which did not happen until 1967, 182 years after Mr Bentham’s campaign. Following the French Revolution, France became the first western country to decriminalise same-sex relationships in 1791. The French nobleman, lawyer and statesman, Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès was a key player in decriminalising homosexuality as he was one of the authors of the Napoleonic Code, which even today, underpins the French civil law and the laws in many other countries. After France decriminalised same-sex relationships, other neighbouring countries began to change their laws.
Throughout the centuries, most countries have removed their antiquated laws; however, in 2023 there are still 23.4% or 49.6 million individuals living in countries that still criminalise homosexuality. Even though Poland and Vietnam never outlawed same-sex relationships throughout their histories, it does not mean that the people living in those countries were accepted or even that they had it easy. Often, in the past, laws were only put in place concerning matters where the treatment and prosecutions varied by region. Most countries typically did not actively police the laws; instead, it was left to smaller communities to manage and implement mob rule regarding moral and ethical behaviour at that time.
It was not until the 1960s, just over 60 years ago, that rights and protections for the LGBTQIA+ community began to improve. The Stonewall riots in 1969 started due to a police raid on a gay bar (the Stonewall Inn) but quickly escalated to become a catalyst for a global movement. The LGBTQIA+ community living in New York was tired of the constant harassment and abuse they received from the city’s police department. When they raided the bar, it became the final straw for the community. The riots lasted only five days; however, they attracted international media attention. The protests inspired other LGBTQIA+ to take a stand in solidarity and ensure that their voices, too, were heard. The Stonewall riots did not start the gay movement but instead kick-started change that continues to this day.Equality for the community has significantly improved around the world, and in 2023:
- 30% of all countries are classified as high or very high
- 45.5% of all countries are classified as medium-high or medium-low
- 24.5% of all countries are classified as low or very low
DISCOVER HOW WELL THE COMMUNITY ARE TREATED..
the size of the community varies as only
Nearly all countries around the world keep records relating to births, deaths and marriages. Many countries go further by carrying out surveys and censuses to understand better the size, behaviours and changes in the broader population. Censuses are typically carried out every five years; however, gender identity and sexual identifiers are not part of the question set, which means that there are no official statistics or numbers relating to the size or scale of the LGBTQIA+ community worldwide. Even if questions were included, there would likely be reluctance, especially among older generations, to share personal and intimate information with the government.
With no statics relating to the size, independent bodies and research units have carried out studies based on sample size or a small section of society, in which they were able to draw conclusions. Though only estimates, the LGBTQIA+ community is stated in ranges, from as low as 1% of any given country’s population to as high as 20%. Though some countries may wish to deny it; the reality is that we know that statistically, there are LGBTQIA+ individuals in every country around the world, including those that are hostile towards the community
Based on conservative estimates, Gayther built the LGBTQIA+ Worldwide Population and Dollar indexes based on:
- Lesbian & Gay – 1.3444%
- Bisexual – 1.2889%
- Transgender – 0.0060%
- Total – 2.6393%
LGBTQIA+ COUNTRY & REGION GUIDES
the global community annually contributes
trillions of dollars
- 6% of the United States of America’s economy, which was 23.3 trillion
- 33% of Germany’s economy, which was 4.3 trillion
- 45% of the United Kingdom’s economy, which was 3.1 trillion
- 70.7% of Canada’s economy, which was 2 trillion
- 8% of China’s economy, which was 17.7 trillion
DISCOVER WHICH COUNTRIES LEGALLY RECOGNISE GENDER IDENTITIES...
Gender and body dysmorphia affects many people each year. Many will feel trapped in the wrong body and look to transform their outer appearance to reflect their inner self. For those going through their transition, it is often a challenge and lengthy process. Discover how each country around the world legally acknowledges and treats gender identities
turning negativity into
SAME-SEX MARRIAGES AND UNIONS WORLDWIDE
WHAT ARE GENDER OR SEXUAL IDENTIFIERS?
The terms gender or sexual identifier are more around how a person identifies themselves and that these identifiers are only part of who they are, not the only defining factor.
WHAT ARE PERSONAL PRONOUNS?
Not only are gender pronouns old fashioned and antiquated, but they are also used to create a distinction between genders, so if we live in an equal society, should there be a distinction between his and hers? The reality is that some individuals like the use of traditional gender pronouns, whereas others feel that those pronouns do not represent them. Ultimately it is around choice, the choice around how you like to be addressed or referred to and the responsibility for society to respect your wishes to use your preferred personal pronouns.
WHY ARE IDENTIFIERS AND PRONOUNS IMPORTANT?
The LGBTQIA+ community has been around for thousands of years, and it is the only group that represents every country, race, and religion and speaks every language across the globe. The community is made up of a diverse group of individuals united by the desire to be their true selves and to avoid persecution for being something that they cannot change. Though the community has been around for a long time, many have had no choice but to suppress and hide their true self for fear of rejection or persecution.
Countless brave individuals have advocated and fought for rights and the laws in many countries to be changed for the better of the LGBTQIA+ community, where many within the LGBTQIA+ community now have legal rights equal to those enjoyed by heterosexual individuals.
Ultimately, we are all the same; we have the exact desires and wishes. Our sexual identities are a part of who we are and not the only defining factor that makes us who we are. No one should live in fear of being their true self.
Gayther...your community resources
Three dedicated websites offer various tools, services, guides, and much more. Free tools and services tailored toward all groups within the global LGBTQIA+ community
There are thousands of events taking place, it is not always easy to know what is going on and when, Gayther can help