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Growing up LGTB Around The World

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Alice564, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Alice564

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    Hi, I'm Alice and I'm a university student from the UK. I'm currently working on a project looking in to the experiences of LGTB people in different countries around the world, and I'm looking for people who would be happy to share a few words about their own experiences of growing up LGTB.

    There are 3 mains questions I'm looking to be answered; which country did you grow up in, what was your experience of living/coming out as an LGTB person in your country, and has your experiences differed in other countries you have lived in?

    Any answers I use in the finished project will be by default anonymous, but if you would like me to include your name/username please let me know.

    Any responses would be greatly appreciated, and thanks in advance for your help :slight_smile:!
     
  2. Secrets5

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    Very good, I was born in 1998 so always been able to marry who I would like. People at school thought I might be gay/bi but no bullying or being asked in a rude way (or at all really). I did talk about women (actress) I like and they didn't think anything. Although possible they just thought as actress. People don't really care, it's normal, only time they hate it when LGBT think they deserve preferencial treatment and I agree. I have never been oppressed. There might be some idiots who say their opinions but it can't affect me or the system. And if it was really bad I can report it and is taken seriously. There are gender neutral bathrooms at my uni too for anyone who needs it, though I know that's a rarity.

    Only bad thing and applies to straight/bi men too is since rape is by penetration only if a grown (18+) woman forces a grown (wo)man into sex then it isn't considered rape and she gets away with it. Lucky to get her prison time for sexual assult. And not taken seriously if it happens and someone talks about it. Seen as okay as it doesnt happen often but that's not the point. Makes me scared to date women.

    Yes my experience I can day differs from other countries you'd have to ask them. And my experience will differ in different areas of UK, ages, family/friends, age of coming out or being aware of attraction, and also the type of LGBT

    Sorry for terrible spelling, on my phone.
     
    #2 Secrets5, Oct 11, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  3. Secrets5

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    I'm at Uni too, good luck. :slight_smile:
     
  4. Loves books

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    I currently live in Ireland.
    Most people are cool about the lesbian thing and I was worried when I was in secondary school because Lesbian was the worst insult you could give someone, so I invented a fake boyfriend. I was in an all girls school of 200 students and no one ever came out. The average age of coming out in Ireland is 19. Mostly because most people have made it to college and had the opportunity to explore their sexuality. I knew before then though.
    I lived in the UK until I was nine but all I knew about being Gay then is that it was wrong. I did have a huge crush on a girl from an older class.
     
  5. Alice564

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    Aw, thank you you too :slight_smile:
     
  6. quebec

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    Alice564.... Sorry, this is probably not what you are looking for....but I felt the need to reply. I was born in the US in 1950. By 8-10 I knew I was different than the other boys. By 14-15 I knew just what it was. Growing up in the US LGBT at that time was bad. I wanted to use worse words, but I guess that will do. It took me 55 years to overcome that part of my childhood. I hope today's youth, in at least some countries don't go through what I did....David
     
  7. Elendil

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    I'm from the United States.
    I was born in the late 1980s and grew up in the rural interior of the Pacific Northwest. The community I grew up in was very religious and conservative (its essentially the bible belt of the Northwest), so LGBT people were generally looked down on. In middle school and high school kids would often bully me by throwing gay slurs at me. I didn't start coming out until I was in my early 20s, when I started going to community college and gained more confidence in myself.

    I've never lived in a different country, but I will talk about my experience moving from rural America to urban America. I moved to the big city for university a few years ago, and almost immediately I'd noticed how attitudes towards the LGBT community were different from my hometown. People were generally more open and accepting of gay people. I felt much more comfortable coming out and found a lot of support. The difference was almost like night and day.
     
  8. Linning

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    I was born in the 90's and was raised in rural France (though close to a big city). Growing up it wasn't uncommon for every school to have at least a gay kid, usually male who was greatly accepted by the female population of the school and quite well by boys as well. So I never remember finding out about the whole "being gay" or the LGBT community as we all knew a guy who was and saw it as pretty normal. On the other hand there was very little representation of female homosexuality at the time at least in real life and everything related to it in the media was often overly sexualized therefore female homosexuality was much less accepted in schools (especially amongst girls) and "lesbian" was often used as a slur. Ironically in my pre-teen years, most of the girls I knew from school went through a phase of experimenting with the same-sex so it wasn't as taboo as it seemed but nobody would have dared to admit that they liked it at the time, everyone who was experimenting (including myself) was to stricly deny enjoying it and was to act like it was only for 'scientific' purposes "not to die an idiot" (like we used to say).

    I started having doubts about my sexuality very early on as a child but because female homosexuality wasn't really representated in real life it nor accepted, I convinced myself I was straight for a while and even as a pre-teen when hormones were kicking in and doubts increased I knew that despite my friends "trying it out with girls or with me" I wasn't to talk about my feelings towards girls or I would probably be rejected. Apparences and reputation in France, especially at a young age is very important and while I think deep down my friends would have been totally fine with it, I think they would have felt the need to be very vocally against it at school to follow the trend.

    The judgmental mentality of the French population and knowing the possible consequences of a coming out made me want to be straight even more and I really managed to convince myself that I was straight, at least for a while.

    It wasn't until I moved abroad that I really started to embrace myself as a person and later my sexuality. I lived in many countries and coming out and living as an out (and proud) LGBT person in each country has been an interesting experience.

    I started really discovering my sexuality while living in the South of the US where I ended up meeting my trigger crush. Before it all happened I had this very negative vision of the US regarding homosexuality and just assumed that most americans were crazy religious folks who were all or mostly homophobic, but this is turned out to be so far from the truth. I got so much support from an incredible amount of people, a lot of them strangers who would just show their support to me and it was heart warming.

    I finally accepted my sexuality and came out while living in Oceania (New Zealand/Australia) coming out there and being out there was interesting. Australia is a lovely country but quite backward in a lot of things still ( a lot of racism still, quite a lot of homophobia). I lived in a big city and there it wasn't that bad but I clearly remember the government posting ads on TV on the day of "Mardi Gras" (gay pride) against gay people/gay marriage. Lots of my friends there were extremely accepting out of the bat and a few needed a bit of time but they all came around eventually.

    I then went back to Europe (my own country and then others but all in western Europe) and was very well accepted by all and found lots of support and networks not meet and get to know other LGBT people and/or date within the LGBT community.
    I then moved to a small island in a third world country and there it was much harder, I had been out for two years but there I quickly realized that being open about my sexuality could seriously compromised my safety. I did came out to a few people there but most didn't really get it/saw it as a choice and the few men who found out seemed to feel a bit threatened by it. Most talk show they had there was with topics such as "my son/daughter came out as gay, how to survive this awful news?" and as a very religious country homosexuality was just mostly seen as an abomination or an awful sin. Despite the taboo around homosexuality I was quite pleasantely surprised to find out that there still was some kind of "lesbian communities" (though secret) and even public gay bars/clubs right in the city center. Living there was extremely different than my usual european life though and I did have to get back in the closet (at least partially) for my own safety and peace of mind (though it was a bit of a torture, I am not going to lie).

    I currently live in an extremely progressist and queer friendly city in central Europe and I couldn't be happier. Here people fully embrace who they are, the gender they identify as, their sexuality, their kinky side and NOBODY would dare raise an eyebrow at it, I would even go as far as saying that here the odd people are the ones living an "hetero-normative" lifestyle as it just isn't the norm here.

    Needless to say I bloody love where I live! :slight_smile:

    So to resume my thoughts and opinion: Europe is by far the best place to be LGBT, being gay is mostly normalized, LGBT people are mostly accepted and have lots of resources and networks available to make the most of their sexuality safely. Growing up LGBT in France sucked but it definitely wasn't as bad or as repressing as it would have been in a lot of other countries. Oceania and the US come quite close to Europe BUT it very much depends where you live as the farther you go from bigger cities the least open-minded people happen to be and the more discrimination you face. Third world countries, well unfortunately most of them are still very religious and still quite sexist which mean that homosexuality is often badly accepted as it breaks the (archaic) rules of heteronormativity and gender roles so most people there live closeted and in fear of being found out.
     
  9. Spot

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    I live in Australia. I'm currently seventeen years old so this all took place in the 2000s. I've never lived in another country but I have traveled. I'd say my experience was pretty normal. Same-sex adoption was never legal in my state until recently and the age of consent laws weren't equal until recently either. Same sex marriage has never been legalized here but civil unions are. It always made me sad that we didn't have the same rights as heterosexual couples but it's something I just accepted as normal. Growing up I was homophobic because my family was and because I was taught to be a Christian at school ("it's wrong because the Bible says it's wrong"). I knew something was different about when I was nine years old but I never talked about it because it wasn't something anyone really talked about. I just pushed it away and tried to force myself to crush on boys. I also prayed to God and read the Bible a lot more around this time...I think I thought that if I focused on God enough, it'd go away. And I was utterly terrified of being attracted to girls because I'd always believed in heaven and hell and I was taught that homosexuals went to hell. When I became an atheist, I felt a lot more comfortable with questioning myself and it wasn't until I was fourteen years old that I admitted I wasn't straight.

    But I still felt isolated. I'd come home crying a lot because my high school taught that homosexuals supported beastiality and pedophilia. Of course, in Australia it is legal for religious institutions to discriminate against the LGBT community so I couldn't really do anything about it. I know that I cut myself and faked sick to get out of school a lot. I was sixteen years old when I first started coming out to my friends. It was terrifying and every time, I was prepared to lose them. What I found is, most of the time when I came out to my friends, they'd come out to me in response. Out of my closest friends, not a single one of them turned out to be straight. I know five bisexual girls, one gay boy, three bisexual boys and one non-binary person, haha. I only wish I'd come out sooner. I did lose some of my friends that I wasn't as close to and I used to be upset about it but I'm just proud of myself for being myself nowadays. I came out to my mom at the same age...she was pretty upset that I didn't tell her sooner but she was overall okay with it. Even though it's been hard, I'm glad that I grew up how and where I did because it only made me all the stronger.
     
  10. LittleStargazer

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    English isn't my first language.
    I was born in the 90's, Brazil, rural area, little town (middle-class family):
    little towns are even more complicated, this country has a f**ked up culture and mentality (that explains why "we" are about to elect a mix between Hitler and Trump next year) some parents force their children to be what they aren't (forced heterosexuality), others simply prefer to pretend they don't know that their daugther/son is gay, it's basically a taboo subject, nobody talks about and when somebody talks about it's always to insult the LGBT community, there's a lot of prejudice and discrimination going on, our own politicians mix religion with politics (when they never should be doing that) you can also find some "religious" (hypocrites) parents/people commiting emotional abuse to teenagers
    and so on, kids from school simple follow the steps of their parents using slurs as to refer to folks from the LGBT community... In big cities they are more open-minded but you can run into physical violence pretty quickly, you can get attacked just because you're holding hands with your partner or hugging them, it really depends of the city/region where you're living (poor, middle-class or rich, they're highly related to the violence rates, probably 'cause lack of education or misinformation). You basically can't be gay in a little town, you gotta work your way out of the place as soon as you can or else live a completely miserable life...
    So, little town? You can't come out here, you gotta live in the closet and/or pretend that your family doesn't know that you are gay till you got some financial independence and only then get the hell away from those toxic people that you must call "family" just because you are blood related, if you can't get away from these toxic little towns your family probably are going to force you to marry someone of the opposite gender and have kids, there it goes, now you have a completely miserable life OR you may end up commiting suicide, wouldn't be the first time something like that happens.
    I hate the fake advertising about Brazil being a secure/safe place to LGBT communnity, it isn't safe in any way to LGBT folks to come live here, we have the highest murder LGBT+ rates induced by discrimation/hate in the whole world. You may don't even find a job because of your sexuality or most likely will get fired because of it if somebody finds out, never mind if you were the best employee they had, they would make up an excuse for it, of course. Those gay pride parades that you see on TV? Heterosexuals go there just to party too, so yeah...
    If there are any laws remaining defending people against discrimination by now they're gone, the evangelical politicians are taking over the senate and the only way this could get worse is in 2018 when dumb people and other poorly informed citizens are going to vote in a OPENLY homophobic and drive-by-hate president. Oh, forgot to mention that I never see any country so sexist/misogynist as Brazil, as for instance, they don't even understand what feminism is about and already want all feminists dead, there's a hate thing about any women that identify themselves as such, there's so MUCH sh*t going on you would be surprised and repulsed. Lastly a part of the new generation aren't growing to be such douches, but we are far faaaaaaaar away from being an educated culture with a mentality of tolerance to diversity and to the neighbour, not respect, respect it's much more far, maybe in a thousand years you can get there. The incidence of gay fictional characters in our media are the same as the Halley's Comet.
    Can't speak about experiences in other countries as for I never have been out of Brazil (BUT OH MY HOW I WANT TO).