LGBT Human Rights – Definitions and World Initiatives


People have become increasingly aware of LGBT, but how much do we really understand?

Human rights are universal and the LGBT community are of course, also entitled to them.

This article will delve into the LGBT concepts and its long history and evolution.



LGBT is an abbreviation of the following 4 words:

  • L… Lesbian (Female homosexuality)
  • G… Gay (Male sexuality))
  • B… Bisexual
  • T… Transgender (Gender of body and mind do not match )

Among those mentioned, the most commonly used and spread fast was ‘gay’.

The word ‘gay’ spread primarily in the United States in the 1970s.

The term LGBT came together following the widespread of the word ‘gay’.

In addition to the 4 that make up LGBT, the terms and language for the sexual minority is continuously diversifying.

Below are the added terms.


LGBTQIA incorporates an addition 3 terms to LGBT:

  • Q… Questioning/Queer (Not decided on gender or sexual orientation))
  • I… Intersex (A state in which they do not identify as male or female))
  • A… Asexual

Having familiarized ourselves with LGBT as a state where peoples sexual orientation was clear,QIA brings about a new and large difference in that sexual orientation is undecided or not pronounced.

History of LGBT

History of LGBT史
LGBT has a long and deep history.

As mentioned above, the word ‘gay’ was known and used on a large scale globally since the 1970s.

Let’s take a look into its history and how the term LGBT spread worldwide.

1970 Term ‘gay’ spreads in the United States
1988 Term ‘LGBT’ begins to be used in the United States
1990 Increased social interest in LGBT community

International LGBT Movements

The international movements regarding the LGBT community are as follows:

May 1990 WHO excludes homosexuality from treatment
March 2007 “Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Law to the Issue of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” Published
December 2008 “Statement on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Sexual Self-Identification” Submitted to United Nations General Assembly
June 2011 The United Nations Human Rights Council adopts its first resolution with a clear focus on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity

The LGBT community are now fully entitled to all rights; however, this was not the case in history where they were not accepted or understood by the rest of the world.

It was the speaking out of activists that changed the minds of many and allowed for the LGBT community to gain their rights.

Global LGBT Initiatives

Global LGBT Initiatives

In recent years, the understanding and acceptance of the LGBT community is deepening and spreading respectively, and there are international movements to protect their human rights.

The next section will focus on the predominant initiatives listed below:

  • ILGA
  • LGBT Foundation
  • SDGs


AMNESTY manages a sustainable campaign to protect the LGBT community and their human rights.
Its endeavors are also focused on decriminalizing homosexuality and is requesting the following from the governments:

  • Prompt and impartial investigation of all allegations and reports of human rights abuses based on sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Use legislative, administrative and any other necessary means to prohibit and eliminate harmful treatment based on sexual orientation or gender identity at any stage of the trial
  • Elimination of discrimination in marriage law based on sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Protection of activists engaged in activities for human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity

International Lesbian Gay Association (ILGA)

The International Lesbian Gay Association (ILGA) is an international LGBT organization and community.

It was established on August 8th, 1978.

ILGA operates with the participation of 1739 member organizations in 168 countries worldwide, campaigning for LGBT
The 6 regional branches of ILGA are as follows:

  • ILGA-Africa
  • ILGA-Asia)
  • ILGA-Europe
  • ILGA-North America

LGBT Foundation

The LGBT Foundation is a Manchester-based charity organization.

With the goal of a society in which LGBT people can live fairly and equally, this Foundation was established in 1975.

It provides services for more than 40,000 people annually, as well as online information to more than 600,000 people.

Throughout all of our work, we support LGBT people to increase their skills, knowledge and self-confidence to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing. We also work in partnership with others to build strong, cohesive and influential LGBT communities. Working together, we are changing LGBT lives for the better and securing a safe, equal and healthy future for all LGBT people.

Reference : “About us-LGBT Foundation”


The rights and the understanding of the LGBT community is also widespread in SDGs.

The 5th goal of SDGs reads “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

This has the following implications:

  • Create a society in which all women may maximize her abilities
  • Create a society where everyone is given equal rights and opportunities regardless of gender

This includes aspects of eliminating gender discrimination, as well as understanding the different identification of genders.

Frequently Asked Questions on LGBT

Frequently Asked Questions on LGBT

The following segment will answer frequently asked questions with respect to the LGBT community.

The 4 leading questions asked are:

  • Are there any violations of LGBT human rights?
  • Are there any LGBT events?
  • Is there an obligation to protect the LGBT community?
  • Why is the symbol of LGBT a rainbow?

Are there any violations of LGBT human rights?

There have been numerous cases internationally, of human rights violations due to being a member of the LGBT community.

Examples of violations committed are as listed below:

  • Loss of child support rights
  • Unjustified violence by police officers
  • Verbal abuse
  • Bullying at school
  • Refusal of employment, residence and medical services
  • Threats to human rights activities

In order to protect the LGBT community from such human rights violations, it is critical that we all have a better understanding of LGBT.

Are there any LGBT events?

One of the biggest and widely known events of the LGBT community is “pride”.

This is a celebratory event for those who have come out and clarified their gender identity and sexual orientation.

Filled with rainbow-colored flags, it is often held in New York and Los Angeles.

Is there an obligation to protect the LGBT community?

LGBT human rights are protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention of Human Rights.

Protecting LGBTI people from violence and discrimination does not require a new set of human rights laws or standards. States are legally required to safeguard the human rights of LGBTI people. This is well established in international human rights law. It is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights treaties.

Reference : “About LGBTI people and human rights-OHCHR”

The protection of LGBT human rights consist of the following 5 obligations:

  • Protect individuals from violence
  • Prevent treatment that damages dignity
  • Abolition of laws that criminalize LGBT people
  • Prohibition of discrimination
  • Protect the freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly of LGBT people

Why is the symbol of LGBT a rainbow?

Rainbows are often used to indicate and express LGBT activities.

Gilbert Baker of San Francisco was the first to design the rainbow flag that is now widely used in LGBT expressions.

The rainbow flag was first used at the “San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade” held on June 25th, 1978.

Each color is representative of a different value.

  • Pink… Sex
  • Red… Life
  • Orange… Healing
  • Yellow… Sun
  • Green… Nature
  • Turquoise… Art
  • Navy… Harmony
  • Purple… Spirit

It is currently composed of 6 colors instead of the original 8.

Why we should deepen our understanding of LGBT

Why we should deepen our understanding of LGBT

After taking a look at their history, it can be said that compared to the past, people have become increasingly understanding and accepting of the LGBT community.

Nevertheless, human rights violations and injustice against the LGBT community still exist today.

Spreading awareness and understanding of the LGBT community and their human rights is essential in protecting them from future violations.

We must continue to deepen our understanding of human rights for all to have equal rights.

Related post

Return Top