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Jun 21

LGBTQ- Understanding a Community

Posted By iamincontrol | June 21, 2016

LGBTQ: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer. What do these words mean? The LGBT community has many labels and to learn and understand them all may seem overwhelming. Before we can even begin to try to dive into more complicated labels (such as pansexual or intergender), we must first have a firm grasp on the basics.

A lesbian is a women who is sexually attracted to other women. Man and woman in arm wrestlin, rainbow flag patternThe word gay can cover other non-heterosexual lifestyles, but for the sake of simplicity, it describes a man sexually attracted to other men. A woman or man who identifies as bisexual is a person who is attracted to both women and men. Transgender refers to individuals who not completely identify with the gender given to them a birth. The term does not necessarily mean that they are altering their body, but it does mean that there is a disconnection with their biologically determined gender and their chosen gender. Queer is a term formally seen as derogatory but has since been converted into a term of empowerment that has come in encompass all forms of non-heterosexuality (heterosexuality meaning being attracted to the opposite sex). Because of it’s previous negative connotations, to use “queer” casually and out of context is not advised, but it is important to understand the word’s significance within the community.

There is another very important word not always reflected in the LGBTQ title. That word is ally. An ally is a person, of any sexuality, that defends and supports individuals who identify as LGBTQ.

Although the terminology can be complicated and slightly overwhelming, keep in mind everyone is different and uses these labels, or lack of labels, to identify their personal sexuality. Always be respectful. Curiosity is not an invitation to be rude or to invade someone’s privacy by asking overly personal questions. The overreaching goal is acceptance, respect and love for all human beings.

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