What is Sexual Orientation?

Refers to a person’s emotional,romantic and attraction to people of opposite gender (heterosexual),the same gender (homosexual) or both genders(bisexual).

also refers to an individual’s feelings and self-concept. Sexual orientation basically refers to the part within each of us which determines whom we are drawn to and with whom we fall in love. It may also be defined as “an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual or affectionate attraction to individuals of a particular gender.”

Most people are heterosexual, which means that they feel attraction to individuals of the opposite gender. Some people are homosexual (that is, gay), which means that they feel attraction to individuals of the same gender. Bisexual people feel attraction to members of either gender. Transsexual a person who emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite sex. Questioning refer to people who are unsure of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Some people question whether they are lesbian or gay. Perhaps they might be bisexual.

Is sexual orientation a choice?

• No

• It is not the result of a decision or ongoing daily effort

Professional mental health organizations, including the American Psychological Association, have issued statements explaining that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed.

Most people discover (rather than choose) their sexual orientation before or during early adolescence, and before any sexual experience. Many people who realize they are gay attempt unsuccessfully to suppress or change their sexual orientation.

Most heterosexuals recognize that their own sexual orientation is not the result of a decision or an ongoing daily effort. The same is true for gay people.

Heterosexuals recognize that that their own sexual orientation is a core part of who they are. They know that they are heterosexual even if they are not involved in a relationship. They are heterosexual if they are virgins, if they choose to be celibate, if they are incapacitated, if their spouse is incapacitated, or if they lose their partners. Their heterosexual orientation does not go away. Heterosexual orientation is not defined by what you do; it makes up a part of who you are. This same concept is true for homosexual orientation.

What does LGBT mean?

LGBT is an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. Homosexual is another word commonly associated with LGBT. The Oxford English Dictionary defines these words as follows:

Lesbian: [noun] a female who is sexually attracted to females

Gay: [noun] of a homosexual person. Although most commonly used to described males, this can either include or exclude lesbians.

Bisexual: [noun] a hermaphrodite, or a person who is sexually attracted to both sexes

Transgender: [noun] a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender, but combines or moves between these

Homosexual: [adjective] involving or related to, or characterized by a sexual propensity for one’s own sex; of or involving sexual activity with a member of one’s own sex, or between individuals of the same sex

As A Member Of The LGBQ Community In Kenya, What Does The Constitution Say About My Human Rights?

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010, has a lot to say about your rights! According to Article 19 (3) (a), the constitution states that your rights belong to you because you are a human being and are not granted by the state. Although some rights can be limited in some situations (Article 24), some rights cannot be limited at all. The rights that cannot be limited are:

  • Freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
  • Freedom from slavery or servitude;
  • Right to a fair trial; and
  • Right to an order that a person be presented before a Court of law.

According to Article 27 of the constitution, every person is equal before the law. Article 27 (4) of the Constitution says that: The State shall not discriminate directly or indirectly against any person on any ground, including race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, health status, ethnic or social origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, dress, language or birth.

Although sexual orientation is not included in Article 27 (4) of the constitution, this does not mean it is okay to discriminate against a person because of his or her sexual orientation. In fact, the High Court has stated that it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her sexual orientation.

Can An Employer Fire Me Or Deny Me Employment Because Of My Sexual Orientation, Or Gender Identity Or Expression?

No. According to the Employment Act, it is the duty of the government and an employer to promote equality of opportunity between employees. Equality of opportunity means that all employees have the same chances to promotions, salaries, and work benefits. Equality of opportunity also means that all persons who apply for a job have the same chances of being employed and that the only thing that disqualifies an applicant from being hired is their qualifications.

The Employment Act also promotes equality in the work place. Equality is where all employees are treated equally without discrimination. The Employment Act outlaws an employer from discriminating directly or indirectly against an employee or potential employee.

Direct discrimination is where a person discriminates against another person on certain grounds. For example, refusing to hire someone because of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression is direct discrimination. Indirect discrimination is where a law discriminates against a certain group of people even though it does not mention this group. For example, when an employer creates a new workplace rule requiring that all employees be married by 30 years of age or be dismissed from employment, this is indirect discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation since persons in same-sex relationships cannot get married in Kenya even if they wanted to.

Although the Employment Act does not mention sexual orientation, the law protects all employees regardless of their sexual orientation. By outlawing discrimination on grounds of sex, the Employment Act protects transgender and intersex workers.

Where can I access legal aid in case of violation, abuse?

NYARWEK offers Legal Aid to LGBTIQ individuals. This includes, assisting in reporting of cases, collaborating with the state officers to ensure that perpetrators are arrested and action is taken.

What is SOGIE?

SOGIE is an acronym that stands for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression. EVERYBODY has one!

Heterosexism?

The assumption or belief that everyone is heterosexual or if not that they should be.

Closet?

Refers to undisclosed sexual orientation or gender identity,personally or publicly.

What is LGBT Pride Month?

Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBT rights movements throughout the world. Pride has lent its name to LGBT-themed organizations, institutes, foundations, book titles, periodicals and even a cable TV station and the Pride Library.

LGBT Pride Month

The month of June was chosen for LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. As a result, many pride events are held during this month to recognize the impact LGBT people have had in the world. Brenda Howard is known as the “Mother of Pride”, for her work in coordinating the first LGBT Pride march, and she also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the genesis of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June.Additionally, Howard along with fellow LGBT rights activists Robert A. Martin (aka Donny the Punk) and L. Craig Schoonmaker are credited with popularizing the word “Pride” to describe these festivities. As LGBT rights activist Tom Limoncelli put it, “The next time someone asks you why LGBT Pride marches exist or why [LGBT] Pride Month is June tell them ‘A bisexual woman named Brenda Howard thought it should be.'”

On several occasions, the President of the United States has officially declared a Pride Month. First, President Bill Clinton declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” on June 2, 2000. Then, in 2009, 2010, 2011,2012, 2013,2014,2015, and 2016 President Barack Obama declared June Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. Google marked any LGBT-related search results in June 2012 with a rainbow colored pattern underneath search results.

 

Nyarwek Network

I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists. – Proclamation by U.S President Barack Obama, May 31, 2011.