The State Government actively supports the dissemination of information and raising awareness among the public in order to promote respect and tolerance and to break down prejudices towards lesbians, gay men, bisexual people, trans* people, inter* people and queer people in everyday life. LGBTIQ* is an abbreviation of: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, inter* and queer people:
The Greek term “homo” means “the same” (in contrast to “hetero”, which means not the same or different). Homosexual women* love or are attracted to women*.
The Greek term “homo” means “the same” (in contrast to “hetero”, which means not the same or different). Homosexual men* love or are attracted to men*.
Bisexual people (after the Latin prefix bi-, meaning two) feel sexually and/or emotionally attracted to men* and women*.
The concept of transgender is used in different ways. Some people describe themselves as transgender when their social gender differs from the gender they were assigned at birth, but who have not made the full physical transition to their social gender. Other people use transgender as a superordinate term in a similar way or in the same way as trans*.
Transsexual people feel their biological gender to be wrong and that they belong to another gender.
Inter* describes people whose innate genetic, hormonal or physical characteristics are neither exclusively “male” nor exclusively “female”.
Originally a collective medical term, this emphasises that there are many intermediate stages between “female” and “male” in the development of human sexual characteristics.
Queer is an open term which includes everybody who does not correspond with hetero-normative preconceptions owing to their appearance and/or behaviour. “Queer” can be a theory and can be lived out practically. People or movements can describe themselves as “queer”.
Find help fast
Interested persons and people who have suffered discrimination can find information on the website of the Ministry for Family Affairs on topics such as
- Advice services
- Education and anti-discrimination work
- Anti-violence work
- LGBTIQ* and escape
- Rehabilitation under Section 175 of the German Criminal Code
The state funded ANDERS & GLEICH (DIFFERENT & EQUAL) project provides information and carries out anti-discrimination work on sexual and gender diversity in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition to a service location tool, the website offers further information materials.