LGBT Glossary

Homosexual

It is a type of sexual orientation. Man or woman whose physical and emotional attraction is directed towards people of the same gender. The term appears, at the same time than heterosexual term, in the late 19th century from the pen of a Hungarian poet and writer named Karl-Maria Kertbeny in a public letter urging the authorities to decriminalize homosexual behavior. Before that date there was no heterosexual or homosexual, there were normal people on the one hand, and sinners – criminals on the other. Although the term was created with good intentions, in the end it was very successful in the world of medicine and psychiatry and thus began the stage of pathologizing, where homosexuality ceased to be a crime, to become a mental illness. That is why the LGBT collective replaced it by the word gay, to remove the smell of electro-convulsive hospital. Today it is used normally without the negative charge.

Field: Sexual orientation
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