LGBT Crash Course

Are you trying to become more educated about all things LGBTQ+? Here’s a good place to start.

Terms to Know 

Sexual orientation: refers to an individual’s attraction  Homosexual: this term is now considered offensive  Gay: refers to someone attracted to members of the same sex. Can be specifically men attracted to men or an umbrella term. Lesbian: refers to women attracted to other women. Bisexual, bi: refers to someone who is attracted to both the opposite gender and their own Queer: can be used as an umbrella term describing something or someone as LGBTQ+, although some people do find it offensive. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t use “queer” unless you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Sex: one’s biological classification as male or female Gender Identity: an individual’s internal sense of gender (not limited to male or female) Gender Expression: the external manifestations of gender 

 

Etiquette

Keep in mind what an ally is and isn’t

Being an ally is great and we thank you for your support! But you have to remember that you’re a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, not part of it. The best thing allies can do is listen, educate themselves, stand up to ignorance, and not take the spotlight.

Be open to constructive criticism

We’re all human and we all make mistakes, and that’s wonderful! Just remember if you do make a mistake and an LGBTQ+ individual corrects you that you should listen and remain open. Often times we really do want to help you learn, mistakes aren’t the end of the world, just try to make changes in the future.

Never out someone or guilt someone

Coming out is very personal and everyone deserves the chance to come out to who they want, when they want, and how they want, which means you should never be the one to out them. That includes family, mutual friends, non-mutual friends, strangers, and anyone else. It also includes the individual. Whether you found out through someone else or you just have a hunch, wait for them to approach you.

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Junior at St. Catherine University, majoring in psychology.

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