Perceptions, knowledge and observation of rights by campus students on the LGBTQ community in a rural-based university in South Africa
In societies where ignorance and misinformation abound, sexuality and identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) individuals are frowned upon by the heterosexual community. The current paper probed the perceptions and knowledge of rights by heterosexual students regarding the LGBTQI community at an institution of higher learning. The paper used a quantitative approach to assess perceptions and knowledge of students about LGBTQI community rights on campus and understanding of legislation protecting LGBTQI community. The study’s respondents were drawn from the School of Human and Social Sciences, and the response rate was 60% (n= 60). The paper revealed that many respondents’ perceptions were significantly negative to LGBTQI community. A significant relationship between anti-homosexual attitude and religion was found. The study also found that, instead of respondents having the right knowledge, many held misconceptions and misinformation about the LGBTQI community. The findings contributed to the existing negative experiences and daily stressors facing the LGBTQI community about their status and identity.
Keywords: Bisexual, Gay, Homophobia, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender, Sexual orientation, Social discrimination, Stigma