LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQIA…..In the past, I have used several of these acronyms, however, I want to use this opportunity to clarify what they all mean. I know sometimes the alphabet soup can be a bit confusing, but hopefully, this will break it down for you. Let’s go!
LGBTQIA+: This acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual (the “+” symbolizes other identities within the community). It is an inclusive term that encompasses various sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.
Lesbian: A term used to describe women who are attracted romantically, sexually, or emotionally to other women.
Gay: Originally used to describe men who are attracted to other men, but it is now used more broadly to refer to individuals of any gender who are attracted to the same gender.
Bisexual: Individuals who are attracted to both men and women or to more than one gender.
Transgender: People whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned to them at birth. They may undergo social, medical, or legal transitions to align their physical appearance and gender identity.
Queer: An umbrella term that represents diverse sexual orientations and gender identities within the LGBTQIA+ community. It can be used as an alternative to more specific labels and recognizes the fluidity and complexity of identities.
Intersex: Individuals born with variations in their sexual characteristics that do not fit typical definitions of male or female. Intersex people may have biological attributes of both sexes or have atypical chromosomal patterns.
Asexual: People who do not experience sexual attraction to others. Asexuality is a valid sexual orientation, and asexual individuals may still have romantic, emotional, or platonic relationships.
Ally: A person who supports and advocates for the rights and well-being of LGBTQIA+ individuals, despite not identifying as a member of the community themselves.
It is important to note that language and terminology can evolve, and individuals may have their own unique ways of identifying and expressing their gender and sexuality. Respecting self-identifications and using preferred pronouns are crucial in fostering inclusivity and understanding.
In my previous article ENDA, I spoke briefly about the differences between sexual orientation and gender. I find the Ginger Bread Person to be a very useful tool to provide interventions and education to both clients and individuals in the community. The following link is an additional resource that will help clarify any additional questions you may have regarding gender and sexuality.
If you would like to explore more resources and gain a deeper understanding of gender and sexuality, I recommend checking out the link provided below. It can provide further clarification and help answer any additional questions you may have.
Love the Genderbread Person? Then you’re going to love the book I wrote. It’s called The Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook: A Guide to Gender, and it’s a couple hundred pages of awesome – Sam Killermann