In the 1980s, the initialism of LGBT surfaced abbreviated for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. This was a movement for acceptance of the minor community who perceived their sexuality differently. With time, the term LGBT was extended to LGBTQ to include the younger generations that embrace Queer as a self-description. Lately, LGBTQ has been used in a positive light. Yet, the path is just paved, and we have a long road ahead for acceptance of the LGBTQ community.
To show our support as LGBTQ ally, the least we could do from our end is educate ourselves and spread the word of knowledge.
Let’s check how many of the given below terms you are familiar with and the new words you will be learning today.
Difference between sex and gender
Many people interchangeably use the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ unknowingly. Gender and sex are two different things.
Sex is the biological attributes you are born with. You are distinctly male or female, depending on your genetic makeup.
Gender is the societal perception of what you are. Unlike sex, it isn’t a binary system and is fluid in terms of recognition. It is socially constructed and labeled role in a spectrum, continually evolving over generations. It is diverse in terms of how people identify their gender depending on their interactions, experiences, expectations of people on them.
Let’s cover the abbreviated terms of LGBTQ
Having understood the distinction between sex and gender, let’s know what LGBTQ stands for
A woman who is romantically, physically, and emotionally involved with another woman.
This term is used as the counterpart for lesbian. A gay person is a man who is romantically, physically, and emotionally attracted to another man.
A bisexual person is attracted to both genders, and it need not happen simultaneously. Depending on the individual, he/she may be drawn a little more to one of the genders or equally like both.
This is more of an umbrella term denoting people who don’t recognize their identity and gender with their birth sex. They are gender-nonconforming individuals who don’t fit into the stereotypical gender norms.
The standard definition for the queer in a traditional manner would be differing in some way from the usual norm.’ Concerning LGBTQ community queer is widely labeled term for people who are not cisgender or heterosexual. These do not want to confine to one box and regard themselves as gender-fluid people.
Queer people who are attracted to multiple genders often face erasure of their sexuality when they begin a monogamous relationship or a marriage. But your sexuality is about your identity—not your partner’s gender.— Erika W. Smith
LGBTQ is a broader and familiar term. But beyond this, abbreviation lies many words that explain and define individuals across the spectrum. Let’s honor each individual of this community by learning a bit more about them.
Romantic orientation defines your emotional connection to another person. It may or may not be parallel to your sexual orientation.
Sexual orientation depicts your physical attraction to your partner. The labels that illustrate your sexual orientation could be as gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.:
Pansexual is easily confused for being bisexual. A pansexual person doesn’t confine his/her attraction to just two genders: male or female. They are attracted to people beyond these two genders. They find beauty in every human and are attracted to it.
Straight or heterosexual
A straight or heterosexual person is one who is attracted to the opposite gender. Men are attracted to women, and women are attracted to men. This norm has been in history forever; any relationship out of this type was considered taboo until people took the courage to step out of their closet.
Demisexual people prioritize emotional connection to people. When they have a deep-set bond with their partner, sexual attraction unfurls between them.
These people are still contemplating their gender identity and sexual orientation. Until they conclude, they identify themselves under this label.
People don’t experience sexual attraction in levels of what is considered to be healthy. Some may feel in pulses after a very long time, and some may never be inclined to have sex in their lifetime. There may be a couple of individuals who are engaged in the act despite having no interest whatsoever.
The gender you identify yourself with is the same as that you were known at birth.
Gender conflict arises within an individual with which they want to express themselves and how society has gender labeled them. This conflict is different across the individuals, and the way they deal with it could be via their behavior, dress, self-image, or seeking a medical professional’s help.
Individuals do not want to bind themselves to one gender. They are against conforming to just one label. Depending on their will, they can dress and express as either of their genders or utterly different from what is expected of either of their genders.
Gender-neutral or gender-nonconforming people wish to be addressed as they /them/ theirs. This way, they aren’t discussed as a particular gender person.
Transition is the process by which a trans person conforms to the opposite gender, i.e., born male to female or vice-versa. The transition process is entirely different for each trans person. It may start with coming-out as a new gender to undergo medical procedures such as hormone replacement therapy or sex replacement surgery [SRS].
It is a life-changing decision for a person of the LGBTQ community. It is time when you reveal your real sense of identity to the world. You are no longer afraid of the stigma and taboo associated with society anymore.
You are carrying on with your life in real and authentic sense, not caring for the judgment of society. Your behavior, expression, and every aspect of your life speaks only for yourself.
Without the person’s consent, another individual is disclosing their gender identity or sexuality.
Pride month with events and parades in June is a celebration in itself on how far the LGBTQ community has come. They aren’t afraid of oppression and ostracization. They are just fighting for their fundamental human rights, and it’s a matter of pride.
Allies are people who aren’t part of the LGBTQ community yet support the rights of them. They take actions and support in whatever they can to showcase camaraderie.