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Even though the efforts to create favorable living conditions for gay and lesbian people have had a positive result, many important tasks in the area remain unresolved. In order to completely remove the stigma associated with same-sex relationships and families, additional cultural reforms will probably be needed. It is also crucial to take into consideration the fact that the issue cannot be solved separately and requires global cooperation between different countries. The problem undoubtedly remains relevant because, at the moment, there are still many gay and lesbian adolescents and young adults who refuse to acknowledge their same-gender attractions because of legal restrictions and social problems.
In the modern world, being a homosexual person openly may still entail numerous consequences that adversely affect his or her access to medical, educational, and other services. According to Byne (2014), “Even today, the LGBT community experiences multiple health disparities and barriers to health care, including discrimination and stigmatization in the healthcare setting itself” (p. 2). In other words, people who have acknowledged their same-gender attraction and do not have an intention to hide this fact from society have a disadvantage over those who have not. It means that the stigmatization associated with same-sex relationships still exists and that there is a situation where it is simpler for gay and lesbian adolescents not to accept their sexual orientation. If a person understands that life will become much more problematic just because of his or her same-sex attraction, it is possible that he or she will refuse to acknowledge it.
The situation is even worse in certain countries where an individual may be imprisoned because of his or her sexual orientation. According to the above source, “In some regions of the world … human rights continue to be denied. Many countries maintain legal sanctions against same-sex relations, including … imprisonment or death” (Byne, 2014, p. 2). This fact confirms the thesis from the beginning of the paper that lesbian and gay people’s discrimination cannot be solved separately and requires global cooperation between different countries. Moreover, it means that for certain homosexual adolescents and young adults, acknowledging their sexual orientation may entail not only restricting access to various services but also a threat to life and health.
Social factors also have a significant impact. For instance, in Turkey, gay and lesbian individuals are subject to moral pressure even from their relatives, and this state of affairs affects their acceptance of themselves (Biçmen & Bekiroğulları, 2014). A person can try to hide from the law, but it will be much more difficult to cope with his or her conviction that there is a right and wrong sexual orientation. This point of view may arise under the influence of upbringing and social stereotypes. Therefore, if a person’s personality has been formed in an environment unfavorable to gay and lesbian people, then it will probably be problematic for him or her to acknowledge the same-gender attraction.
To solve the problem, they can change their place of residence to a more favorable region. According to the source above, “LGBT individuals … who left their cities and moved to another place don’t desire to move back to their hometowns” (Biçmen & Bekiroğulları, 2014, 232). However, not every person has this option. Consequently, some people cannot allow themselves to accept their homosexuality since they are either influenced by public opinion and believe that it is wrong, or do not desire to lose valuable social connections.
The above arguments suggest that there are still many gay and lesbian adolescents and young adults who refuse to acknowledge their same-gender attractions because of legal restrictions and social problems. Moreover, it is confirmed that the problem remains relevant and requires additional resources if people have an intention to change the current situation for the better. To find the solution, global cooperation between various countries is essential.
Biçmen, Z., & Bekiroğulları, Z. (2014). Social problems of LGBT people in Turkey. Procedia-social and Behavioral Sciences, 113(1), 224-233.
Byne, W. (2014). A New Era for LGBT Health. LGBT Health, 1(1), 1–2.