A sexual minority is a group whose sexual identity, orientation or practices differ from the majority of the surrounding society. Primarily used to refer to LGB individuals, it can also refer to transgender, genderqueer (including third gender) or intersex individuals.
The term sexual minority was coined most likely in the late 1960s under the influence of Lars Ullerstam's ground breaking book "The Erotic Minorities: A Swedish View" which came strongly in favor of tolerance and empathy to uncommon varieties of sexuality, such as paedophilia and "sex criminals".The term was used as analogous to ethnic minority.
Scientists such as Ritch Savin-Williams support using the term in order to accurately describe adolescent youths who may not identify as any common culturally-defined sexual identity label (lesbian, gay, bisexual, et cetera) but who still have attractions towards those of the same anatomical sex as themselves.
In 1991, the International Lesbian and Gay Association claimed that more than 50,000 people around the world are imprisoned because of their sexual preferences, and are unable to receive assistance from most human rights organizations.