British Columbia i/ /, also commonly referred to by its initials BC or B.C., (French: Colombie-Britannique, C.-B.) is the westernmost province of Canada. In 1871, it became the sixth province of Canada. British Columbia is also a component of the Pacific Northwest, along with the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington. The province's name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858, reflecting its origins as the British remainder of the Columbia District of the Hudson's Bay Company. Its Latin motto is Splendor sine occasu ("Splendour without Diminishment").
The capital of British Columbia is Victoria, the 15th largest metropolitan region in Canada, named for the Queen that created the Colony of British Columbia. The largest city is Vancouver, the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada, the largest in Western Canada, and the second largest in the Pacific Northwest. In 2012, British Columbia had an estimated population of 4,622,573 (about two and a half million of whom were in Greater Vancouver). The province is currently governed by the BC Liberal Party, led by Premier Christy Clark, who became leader as a result of the party election on February 26, 2011 and who led her party to an election victory on May 14, 2013.
LGBTQI culture is shared by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual or transgendered, queer/questioning and intersexual (LGBTQI) people and sometimes referred to as queer culture. The term gay culture may be used to mean "LGBTQI culture" or to refer specifically to homosexual male culture.
LGBTQI culture varies widely by geography and the identity of the participants. Elements common to cultures of gay, lesbian, bisexual transexual/transgendered and intersexual people include:
Sexual orientation is an enduring personal quality that inclines people to feel romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender. These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, while asexuality (the lack of romantic or sexual attraction to others) is sometimes identified as the fourth category. These categories are aspects of the more nuanced nature of sexual identity. For example, people may use other labels, such as pansexual or polysexual, or none at all. According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation "also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions".
The term sexual preference largely overlaps with sexual orientation, but is generally distinguished in psychological research. A person who identifies as bisexual, for example, may sexually prefer one sex over the other. Sexual preference may also suggest a degree of voluntary choice, whereas the scientific consensus is that sexual orientation is not a choice. There is no consensus among scientists about why a person develops a particular sexual orientation; however, biologically-based theories for the cause of sexual orientation are favored by experts, which point to genetic factors, the early uterine environment, or both combinations. Moreover, there is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting or early childhood experiences play a role when it comes to sexual orientation; when it comes to same-sex sexual behavior, shared or familial environment plays no role for men and minor role for women. Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the opposite sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex.
The history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) peoples and cultures around the world dates back to the first recorded instances of same-sex love and sexuality of ancient civilizations. What survives of many centuries' persecution—resulting in shame, suppression, and secrecy—has only recently been pursued and interwoven into historical narrative. In 1994 the annual observance of LGBT History Month began in the US, and it has since been picked up in other countries. They cover the history of the people, LGBT rights and related civil rights movements. It is observed during October in the United States, to include National Coming Out Day on October 11. In the United Kingdom, it is observed during February, to coincide with a major celebration of the 2005 abolition of Section 28, which had prohibited schools from discussing LGBT issues or counseling LGBT or questioning youth.
The LGBT community, sometimes known as the gay community, is a loosely defined grouping of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) and LGBT-supportive people, organizations, and subcultures, united by a common culture and civil rights movements. These communities generally celebrate pride, diversity, individuality, and sexuality. LGBT activists and sociologists see LGBT community-building as an antidote to heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, sexualism, and conformist pressures thought to exist in the larger society. The term gay pride is used to express the LGBT community's identity and collective strength; gay pride parades provide both a prime example of the use and a demonstration of the general meaning of the term. The LGBT community is diverse in political affiliation. Not all LGBT individuals consider themselves part of an LGBT community.
Groups that may be considered part of the LGBT community include gay villages, LGBT rights organizations, LGBT employee groups at companies, LGBT student groups in schools and universities, and LGBT-affirming religious groups.
The Gay Games is the world's largest sporting and cultural event organized by, and specifically for, LGBT athletes, artists and musicians.]citation needed[ Participants of every sexual orientation and skill level compete. Originally called the Gay Olympics, it was started in the United States in San Francisco, California, in 1982, as the brainchild of Tom Waddell, whose goals were to promote the spirit of inclusion and participation, as well as to promote the pursuit of personal growth in a sporting event. It retains similarities with the Olympics, including the Gay Games flame which is lit at the opening ceremony.
The games are open to all who wish to participate, without regard to sexual orientation and there are no qualifying standards. Competitors from many counties, including those where homosexuality remains illegal and hidden.
Human sexuality is the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. A person's sexual orientation may influence their sexual interest and attraction for another person. Sexuality can have biological, emotional/physical or spiritual aspects. The biological aspect of sexuality refers to the reproductive mechanism as well as the basic biological drive that exists in all species, which is hormonally controlled. The emotional or physical aspect of sexuality refers to the bond that exists between individuals, and is expressed through profound feelings or physical manifestations of emotions of love, trust, and caring. There is also a spiritual aspect of sexuality of an individual or as a connection with others. Sexuality impacts and is impacted by cultural, political, legal, and philosophical aspects of life. It can refer to issues of morality, ethics, theology, spirituality, or religion. Some cultures have been described as sexually repressive.
Interest in sexual activity typically increases when an individual reaches puberty. Some researchers assume that sexual behavior is determined by genetics, and others assert that it is molded by the environment. This is the nature versus nurture debate, in which one can define nature as those behavioral traits that are due to innate characteristics, such as instincts and drives. The concept of nurture can be defined as the environmental factors or external stimuli that influence behavior, emotions, and thinking. Biological and physical differences include the human sexual response cycle among men and women.