Culture & Religion

Some of the attitudes against homosexuality are rooted in cultural beliefs. In countries where same-sex relationships are not accepted, lesbians and gay men are more likely to hide their sexuality and may even marry a person of the opposite sex. Where this is the case, many people within that culture will assume that lesbian and gay people do not exist. In countries where homosexuality is hidden in this way, the only lesbian and gay people who are visible are those in western countries. This can lead to the mistaken assumption that homosexuality is a product of western values.

Lack of visibility of LGBT people is exacerbated in countries where homosexual acts are illegal and may lead to imprisonment or even the death penalty. In these countries, homophobic acts against LGBT people are often acceptable and may even be perpetrated by people in powerful positions within that country. Where people are hiding their sexuality, there are no positive role models and those lesbian and gay people who are identified are perceived as criminals.

The reality is that homosexuality exists within every human culture and is a natural part of human diversity.