LGBTQIA Community

This post is going to be a more genereal introduction to the LGBTQIA community (Yes, that is the current length of the acronym, according to some people at least).

Before we start with all that though, I want to discuss some more basic terminology. Please note, as usual, these are my opinions/views, they are up for debate and conversation always.

  • Sexual Orientation – Who/what you are attracted to. Though it is often considererd a binary, there is a range of sexualities from straight to gay, and it is possible to have no sexual orientation.
  • Gender Identity – How one feels, internally, about their gender, whether it is female, male, somewhere inbetween, or somewhere totally off the scales.
  • Gender Expression – How someone outwardly expresses their internal gender identity.

I will first tackle the acronym LGBTQIA. Let’s start by explaining the basic four letters that are almost always agreed upon

  • Lesbian – A woman(not necessarily female sexed) who is sexually and/or romantically attracted primarily to woman
  • Gay – A man (again, not always male sexed) who is sexually and/or romantically attracted primarily to men.
  • Bisexual – Someone who feels romantic and/or sexual attraction to both genders.
  • Transgender –Someone whose internal gender identity is not aligned with the sex they were born into. Transgender is an umbrella term incorporating a wide variety of identitites including transsexual, crossdressers, and genderqueer people.

This makes up the LGBT root of the acronym. The rest of the acronym is much more up for debate. I personally always use “LGBTQIA” as I have found this to be the most accepted and inclusive term, but others add a p, or remove a few letters.  It is important to note that, though we only say one q and one a, the entire acronym I am trying to convey is LGBTQQIAAA, we just condense the like letters for simplicity.

  • Queer – Queer is something of a catch-all phrase, used to describe someone who is anything but a completely cisgendered, straight person. The use of this word is controversial, but many people have taken queer to be a banner the LGBTQIA community can stand under
  • Questioning – An identity that many take when they are uncertain of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This allows people to identify as part of the LGBTQIA community without having to commit to saying they are gay, straight, or bi.
  • Intersexed –  Someone who is born with ambiguous genetalia. Cruely, doctors are often the ones who decide what sex to make an intersexed child, sometimes without consolting the parents (Though I believe this behavior is in decline). An intersexed individual may feel similar to a transgender individual, the sex they are ascribed does not always match their internal gender identity.
  • Asexual – Someone who lacks a sexual orientation. They may still be romantically attracted to people, male or female, but they have little to no interest in sex.
  • Androgynous – A term that I often put under the transgender umbrella, Androgynous is a label someone who feels they are between, or beyond genders, can take.
  • Allies – One of the most important parts I like to stress in my presentations. Allies are a HUGE part of the movement. An ally is someone who identifies as straight and cisgender, but is understanding and compassionate to the LGBTQIA community. Allies -are- part of the movement.

Some individuals leave off certain letters, leaving it the LGBT community, LGBTQ community, or LGBTA community. Sometimes, a p is added to the end of the acronym.

  • Pansexual – Someone who believes they are attracted to people, not sexes or genders. These individuals do not  limit themselves to loving any one group.

This brings us to the entire acronym that is commonly used (There are several other, less popular identities that are not usually included in the acronym). Welcome to the LGBTQIAP community!

 

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