Happy Pride Month! What a beautiful thing to say in 2019. I wanted to kick off this new series for a number of reasons. First off, June is Pride month. So bust out those rainbows, slap on some ally stickers, and get out to your local Pridefest to support the LGBTQI+ community! Recently, Daddy and I went to our very first Pridefest in our local town. It was so much fun. Clad from head to toe in my Little attire, I marched into a sea of rainbows and flags of every sexual orientation. Immediately a sweet girl ran up to me complimenting me on my outfit. And then another person came up. Then another person took my picture! Gorgeous drag queens walked around giving people quick makeovers complete with glitter eye shadow. Our local police department turned up in numbers to ensure our safety. It was exciting, fun, and I’m so glad that I went.
But I wasn’t always so open and free spirited.
Growing up in the South, (Georgia to be exact), being gay was hardly spoken about. With a church on every corner and self-segregated towns, it was difficult enough to get past racial discrimination much less be open about being LGBTQI. One night when I was in middle school, I was talking on the phone to a close male friend. “Don’t tell anyone” he said softly, “But I’m gay”. I remember feeling puzzled. Gay? What does that mean? “Okay” I said gently and we hung up. Years rolled by and slowly I began to meet people from every sexual orientation. No one gave me a crash course of what each letter meant in the LGBTQI+ community. No one told me what cis meant, and certainly no one spoke about the violence that ensues against LGBTQI people each and every day.
Which brings me to this post.
I’m a simple heterosexual woman. But I’m a very proud ally of the LGBTQI+ community. So allow me to give you a crash course of what each group within the acronym stands for. That way, you too, can march with pride in support of the community.
Never forget: love is love is love is love.
LGBTQI+ 101 Guide
L = Lesbian: a homosexual woman, or a woman sexually attracted to other women.
G= Gay: a homosexual man, or a man sexually attracted to other men. This word can also be used loosely to refer to someone who is homosexual.
B= Bisexual: a person who is sexually attracted to both men and women.
T= Transgender: A person whose birth sex is different from the gender that they identify with.
Q= Queer: is also known as non-binary and refers to a spectrum of gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine. This term refers to people who transgress the normal conforms of “man” and “woman” and challenge gender binary social constructs.
Q= Questioning or Unsure: is an individual who is concerned, unsure, still exploring, or not yet able to identify with what their orientation is.
I= Intersex: is a general term used to describe a person who is born with a reproductive system or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definition of male or female.
A= Asexual: a person who experiences little to no sexual attraction towards others.
P= Pansexual: is a person who is sexually open to people of any biological sex, gender, or gender identity.
T= Two-Spirit: is a person, usually of Indigenous background, that identifies as having both a male and female spirit within them.
Cisgender: a person whose identity and gender corresponds to their birth sex.
Gender Fluid: a term used by people whose personal identity shifts fluidly on the masculine and feminine spectrum.