LGBTQ: What Letter Are You?
Girls who are boys // who like boys to be girls.
Always should be someone you really love.
—Blur, “Girls & Boys”
For most folks the month of June signals a year’s halfway point, but for an ever-growing part of our community, it also marks a time to measure progress in gender equality. Affectionately referred to as Pride Month, the weeks ahead are a tribute to gender diversity and bringing awareness to the various advocacies and concerns within its population.
If you are not lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, or queer, and don’t have friends in your immediate circles that keep you in the loop of all things LGBTQ, do not fret. Here’s a quick starter sheet for you to get a warp speed catch up session on some basic news and tips in gender progression.
Call Me By My Name
The terms associated with gender identity are constantly evolving. Here are a few defined by the Human Rights Campaign, that are good for everyone to know:
A person who is not LGBTQ but shows support for LGBTQ people and promotes equality in a variety of ways.
A term used to describe a person whose gender identity aligns with those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a person who does not identify with a single fixed gender; of or relating to a person having or expressing a fluid or unfixed gender identity.
Genderqueer people typically reject notions of static categories of gender and embrace a fluidity of gender identity and often, though not always, sexual orientation. People who identify as "genderqueer" may see themselves as being both male and female, neither male nor female or as falling completely outside these categories.
Reering to someone born with biological sex characteristics that are not traditionally associated with male or female bodies
An acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.”
Exposing someone’s lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identity to others without their permission. Outing someone can have serious repercussions on employment, economic stability, personal safety or religious or family situations.
Describes someone who has the potential for emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to people of any gender though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree.
A term people often use to express fluid identities and orientations. Often used interchangeably with “LGBTQ.”
What’s in a pronoun? For a cisgender male or female, being referred to as “he" or “she” is pretty straightforward business. For someone who is questioning or transitioning, being spoken to or about with the wrong pronoun could be painful. Did you know that some people would prefer to be called “them/they”? In my circles here in New York, it is not uncommon for someone to have their pronoun as part of their e-mail signature, on their calling card, or on the nameplate on their office door.
Also, Them is the name of a new Conde Nast platform dedicated to the LGBTQ voice. It’s one of the better resources on social media to keep you in the loop and promote a better understanding of the nuances of queer living.
Who Came Out As What
Last year, performing artists Janelle Monae and Kehlani came out as queer, stirring up some much needed conversation about the intricacies of gender and sexual identity.
Monae says that while she initially considered herself bi-sexual, after educating herself, she feels the term pansexual is the more appropriate definition.
Kehlani similarly says, “I love love, and that love lies in every gender there is.”
Other famous people who have publicly asserted their queerness are Angelina Jolie, Demi Lovato, and Miley Cyrus.
As communities all over the world celebrate Pride Month, I encourage you to look into your local events and immerse yourself in the beauty and splendor of the gender rainbow!
In the Philippines, the Metro Manila Pride March and Festival is slated for June 29, 2019 at the Marikina Sports Center. For more information, visit Metro Manila Pride Facebook page.