Homosexual Relationships

Homosexuality means being emotionally and sexually attracted to people of the same sex. Men feel attracted to men and women to women. Homosexual men are also referred to or refer to themselves as gay. Homosexual women are also referred to or refer to themselves as lesbian. Some people are attracted to both men and women. These people are referred to or refer to themselves as bisexual.

Homosexuality can vary greatly between people and at specific times in their lives. Some people know very early in childhood or adolescence that they are homosexual. Some people only have homosexual feelings in one phase of their lives. Some people are attracted to people of the same sex and do not live out these feelings.

2 men being intimate
Lesbian women with their children

Why people are homosexual

We do not know why people are heterosexual or homosexual. But one thing is certain:

  • being homosexual or heterosexual is not a conscious decision.
  • Homosexuality is not hereditary, like eye or hair color. 
  • Homosexuality occurs in all countries and cultures. However, homosexual relationships are less frequent than heterosexual relationships.

The right to sexual self-determination is officially recognized by many countries. Nevertheless homosexual people are not accepted in many countries. Sometimes they are also discriminated against and even persecuted. In Germany and in many other European countries discrimination against homosexual people is forbidden by law. According to the law, no one is permitted to treat people differently, to exclude or to discriminate against them because of their homosexuality.

Telling other people you are homosexual

If you are homosexual, it is your decision whether to tell, when to tell and whom you tell.

  • To tell another person that you are homosexual is often not easy and requires courage.
  • It can be a great relief. You do not have to hide anymore. First, talk to people who you trust and who you know will accept you as you are.
  • People can react differently when you tell them that you are homosexual. Many react positively or neutrally. Some people can also react negatively because they do not accept homosexual people. Nevertheless, no one in Germany has the right to treat you badly or discriminate against you because of it.
  • If someone treats you badly or discriminates against you because you are homosexual, you can get help from the German Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency.

Same-sex marriage

In Germany and some other European countries, people in a homosexual relationship can marry or enter a civil partnership.

2 men getting married in a town hall

Dictionary and translations

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