Tuesday, December 4, 2012


What is LGBT?

Let's take a moment and define our terms and whatnot, shall we? It's extremely important to educate yourself on at least the basics surrounding the gay community.

Of course, everyone is different and everyone identify's differently, so it's important to come up with some basic truths to base your relationships on, be they sexual, friendly or even hostile (it's hard to escalate a hostile situation when your stating facts). 


A gay man is one who is romantically, sexually and/or emotionally attracted to men. The word gay can be used to refer generally to lesbian, gay and bisexual people.


A lesbian woman is one who is romantically, sexually and/or emotionally attracted to women. Some lesbians prefer to be called lesbian rather than gay.


A bisexual person is someone who is romantically, sexually and/or emotionally attracted to people of both sexes.

Transgender or Trans

An umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity (internal feeling of being male, female or transgender) and/or gender expression, differs from that usually associated with their birth sex. 

Not everyone whose appearance or behavior is gender-atypical will identify as a transgender person. Many transgender people live part-time or full-time in another gender. Transgender people can identify as transsexual, transvestite or another gender identity.


A general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types—for example, a girl may be born with a noticeably large clitoris, or lacking a vaginal opening, or a boy may be born with a notably small penis, or with a scrotum that is divided so that it has formed more like labia. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.

You might think that the word hermaphrodite is more appropriate here, however, the mythological term “hermaphrodite” implies that a person is both fully male and fully female. This is a physiologic impossibility.

Gender Identity

One's gender identity refers to whether one feels male, female or transgender (regardless of one's biological sex). Gender expression refers to outwardly expressing one's gender identity.

Transsexual people live or wish to live full time as members of the gender other than that assigned at birth. Transsexual people can seek medical interventions, such as hormones and surgery, to make their bodies fit as much as possible with their preferred gender. The process of transitioning from one gender to another is called gender reassignment. Biological females who wish to live and be recognized as men are called female-to-male (FTM) transsexuals or trans men. Biological males who wish to live and be recognized as women are called male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals or trans women. 

Transvestite or cross-dressing individuals are thought to comprise the largest transgender sub-group. Cross-dressers sometimes wear clothes considered appropriate to a different gender. They vary in how completely they dress (from one article of clothing to fully cross-dressing) as well as in their motives for doing so. A small number can go on to identify as transsexual.

Gender Reassignment

Also called transitioning, is the process of changing the way someone's gender is lived publicly and can be a complex process. People who wish to transition often start by expressing their gender identity in situations where they feel safe. They typically work up to living full-time in a different gender, by making gradual changes to their gender expression. Connecting with other transgender people through peer support groups and transgender community organisations is also very helpful for people when they are going through the transition process. Transitioning typically involves changes in clothing and grooming, a name change, change of gender on identity documents, hormonal treatment, and surgery.

Coming Out

A term used by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to describe their experience of discovery, self-acceptance, openness and honesty about their LGBT identity and their decision to disclose, i.e. to share this with others when and how they choose.

Sexual Orientation

Sexual Orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors  and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. Three sexual orientations are commonly recognized - heterosexual, homosexual (gay and lesbian) and bisexual.

Mini History

In the 25th century b.c. a pair of royal servants were buried together. Their chosen names were Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum which, when combined, roughly translates to joined together in death and in life. Although they both had wives and children. However, they were not buried with their wives and the wives are barely mentioned in the tomb. In fact they are depicted together in most scenes  in a position that usually suggest husband and wife in Egypt. They are even shown nose to nose which is a very intimate position in ancient Egypt.

If what is speculated is correct this is the first homosexual couple to be memorialized and recognized publicly as a couple.

In ancient Greece it was common for men to form sexual partnerships that could even be life long and as shown in the poetry of Sappho women were also having relationships. 
It seems that sexuality was less defined in ancient times it was a very accepted grey scale. You didn’t have to choose sides. Roman emperors even public married men.
Somehow in a very short period of time this acceptance waned and sadly it became an offensive for such a relationship to exist.

It isn’t until the 1800’s that there is some progress towards the acceptance of homosexuality. Countries start to decriminalize homosexuality

Progress began in earnest after 1970 and although still a debated issue acceptance of love in all forms is starting take a hold all over the world.

A Step Forward 

This year the USA took an amazing step forward. Below, voters in four states cast ballots on marriage equality.

Question 1 on the ballot in Maine legalizes gay marriage, reversing a 2009 referendum that lost narrowly.
98% reporting
Maryland Question 6 allows voters to decide whether to approve a state law passed earlier this year legalizing same-sex marriages.
99% reporting
Minnesota voters decide whether to change their constitution to deny same-sex couples the right to marry with Amendment 1.
100% reporting
Evergreen State voters decide whether to approve a law passed earlier in 2012 allowing gay marriages.
89% reporting
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