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Prejudices and clichés about lesbians and gays

There are many clichés and prejudices about lesbians and gays.

How do clichés come about? Usually an observation is generalized and interpreted as a fact. A particular picture is confirmed and reinforced by each new piece of information that corresponds to the picture. On the other hand, contradicting observations are often not noticed. Therefore, clichés are usually quite persistent and can lead to prejudice and discrimination.


Examples

  • Gay men are particularly sensitive.
    There are also insensitive men who are gay and very sensitive men who are straight.
  • Lesbian women are hostile to men.
    Some lesbians live separatistically; that means that they orient and relate their life exclusively to women. Other lesbians make close friendships with men.
  • Gay men are unmanly and behave feminine or humbly.
    There are some gays who deliberately behave very feminine - whatever you mean by that - and who stage themselves as "queens". They stand out due to their exalted behavior. Others are emphatically masculine. Most of them are somewhere in between and none and no one can tell that they are gay.
  • Lesbian women are man-women and behave manly.
    There are some lesbians who consciously behave masculine - whatever you mean by that - and pose as "butch" masculine. Others are emphatically feminine. Most of them are somewhere in between and none and no one can tell that they are lesbian.
  • Sex is especially important for gays.
    In our society boys and girls are - still - brought up very differently. There are big differences, especially in sex and role education. Among other things, this means that male sexuality is assessed differently than female. Since gay men are men, their sexual behavior is masculine. It differs from the sexual behavior of heterosexual men only in the choice of partner. There are people for whom sexuality is very important and others for whom sexuality is less important. And there are all intermediate levels. Whether a person is heterosexual or homosexual does not matter here.
  • In a gay relationship one is the woman and in a lesbian relationship one is the man.
    People who cannot imagine a relationship without a man-woman constellation succumb to this cliché. Two women or two men who live in same-sex partnerships cannot fall back on traditional roles. You have to negotiate individually who is responsible for what. This is an opportunity and at the same time a challenge for any relationship.
  • Lesbians and gays do not have children
    This cliché is a big problem for many lesbians and gays who want to have children, as well as for many parents of same-sex loving people. Many people are sad about not being able to become a mother, father or grandparent. In fact, more and more lesbians and gays are living their desire to have children in a variety of ways. Rainbow families have long been part of our society today. Children with two mothers or two dads can be found in every kindergarten and school.

Additional information

Responsible for this page:
City of Vienna | Vienna anti-discrimination agency for same-sex and transgender lifestyles
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