Let Me Make It a Little Easier | Opinion

Photo by Carlos de Toro, via Unsplash.

Let’s start at the very beginning. When we read, we begin with ABC. When you’re gay, you begin with LGB.

The “L” is for “Lesbian,” females who are attracted emotionally and/or sexually to other females. 

The “G” is for “Gay,” males who are emotionally and/or sexually attracted to other males. It can also be used by some to mean all homosexuals, male and female.

The “B” is for "Bisexuals," who have the capacity to be attracted to both males and females, but rarely equally. Many bisexuals embrace the terms “gay” or “lesbian,” because of the desire to affirm that part of themselves that is homosexual.

Here, let me make it easier. LGBTQIA+

The “T” is for "Transgender," an umbrella term that covers transsexuals, cross-dressers, and anyone else who feel that their gender, “man” or “woman” doesn’t fit their biological sex, “male” or “female.” 

The “Q” is for “Queer,” an umbrella term for anything other than the norm. It can mean “gay,” “lesbian,” “bisexual,” “transsexual,” “gender queer,” “sexually queer,” “intersex,” and “non-binary.”

The “I” is for “Intersex,” individuals whose sex is unclear based on exterior genital features, and interior chromosomes and levels of estrogen and testosterone hormones.

The “A” is for “Asexual,” people without sexual interest or drive. 

Letters are sometimes added to the acronym, such as another “Q” for people who are “Questioning.” You’ll also see an extra “A” for “Allies.” 

At the end of the acronym, you may see a “+” sign. That is any group not yet identified with a letter, such as people who identify themselves as “Non-Binary.” People who are non-binary reject the social construct of male and female. They usually prefer the use of the pronoun “they.” 

There’s a lot going on in our Rainbow Community, such as changing the Rainbow Flag to have it incorporate colors for races, except Asians, and triangles for people who are transgender. Transgender people have their own flag, and it doesn’t have a rainbow, nor does a Black Lives Matter flag have a rainbow. 

But, I’m 75 and I’m not in charge. I never have been. I’ve spent 50 years helping audiences in colleges and corporations build their confidence in what all these letters and words mean. When you’re well educated, the fear disappears. The people who have taken my place on stage may be telling their audiences very different things than I did.

I’ve always made the distinction between “homosexual” and “gay” that a person who tolerates their same sex attractions are homosexual and people who celebrate their same sex attractions are gay. 

My hope is that everyone is happy with what they name themselves and how they live their lives. I don’t use the word “queer” to identify myself, nor do I put preferred pronouns under my name. The rainbow stickers on our car are the traditional colors that were usually used. That’s just me. 

And that brings us back to doe.

Brian McNaught has been an author and educator on LGBTQ issues since 1974. Former Congressman Barney Frank said of Brian, “No one has done a better job of chronicling what it’s like to grow up gay." http://www.brian-mcnaught.com/


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