What is GLBTQ?
GLBTQ is the short form acronym for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Two-Spirited, Intersex, Queer, and Questionning. Many of these terms can be associated with other terms and can have different meanings to individuals who identify themselves as a general sexual orientation.
GAY: The term is generally used to describe men who are sexually, and/or emotionally, spiritually and intellectually attracted to other men. However, this is not always the case. The term is also used to describe the general GLBTQ community.
LESBIAN: The term is generally used to describe women who are sexually, and/or emotionally, spiritually and intellectually attracted to other women. This term can also be used in other contexts.
BISEXUAL: The term is generally used to describe people who are sexually, and/or emotionally, spiritually and intellectually attracted to both male and female.
TRANSGENDER: The term is used to describe a person whose gender identity or self-expression differs from conventional expectations of masculinity or femininity. "Transgender", "trans-identified" and simply "trans" are often used as umbrella terms for gender variant people. Transgender people may or may not take hormones or have surgery to change their bodies. They may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or queer.
TRANSSEXUAL: The term used to describe a person who was born as one gender, but feels like and wishes to function as a person of the opposite gender. Some transsexuals choose to undergo sex reassignment surgery to change their bodies to match the sex that they feel they are. Transsexual men (sometimes called FTMs - female-to-male) and women (MTFs - male-to-female) cross the boundaries of the gender they were assigned at birth. They may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or queer.
TWO-SPIRITED: The term is used by Aboriginal/First Nation/Native American people and reflects spiritual, physical, and emotional aspects of a person. It is usually used to describe a person whose body simultaneously houses a masculine spirit and a feminine spirit (i.e. a Warrior and a Clan Mother). This term is used by many GLBT Aboriginal/ First Nations people and can have different meanings.
INTERSEX: The term is generally used to describe a person born with genitalia that is "unclear" or shows characteristics of both genders. Many intersex people undergo surgery in infancy. Sometimes during adolescence or even in early childhood, the individual may feel that they were given the wrong gender. This may lead some people to have gender reassignment surgery. The word "Hermaphrodite" is also used to describe intersex people but is often considered an offensive term.
QUEER: The term is often used in a political context referring to all GLBTQ people (i.e. if the Conservative and Liberal parties were discussing GLBTQ issues, instead of using the GLBTQ acronym, they would use the term queer). Although this can be a common term, some individuals find it an offensive term.
QUESTIONING: The term is used for any person who is unsure about their sexual orientation or gender identity. Many people go through a period in their life where they are unsure of there gender or who they are sexually, and/or emotionally, spiritually and intellectually attracted to.
Ally: An ally is an individual, heterosexual or not, that supports GLBTQ issues.
Sexual Orientation: This term refers to who an individual is attracted to sexually, and/or emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. Some people believe that it is a personal choice while others believe that it is an instinctive attraction. It is typically considered a more inclusive term than sexual preference.
Gender Identity: This term refers to how an individual identifies their internal and psychological gender. For example, a person can be physically male but can feel that they are psychologically a female.
Straight/ Heterosexual: This term typically refers to the sexual, and/or emotional, spiritual and intellectual attraction to the opposite gender.If you have any questions regarding the terms or would like to add/alter any of the terms please contact Laura Black, Student Life Programmer