COLUMN: Misunderstandings from inside and out are big obstacle to LGBTQA
A queer eye
Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 13:10
I have found that one of the most frustrating issues facing the LGBTQA community is the total lack of knowledge and understanding about the community.
And I'm not just talking about your average ignorant straight person either. As much as some try, misunderstandings are far too common within the community as well.
But then, that's going to happen within any diverse group. Stereotypes and ignorant assumptions are so easy to fall back on.
Everyone must try to remember that we're talking about individuals, not a group of like-minded people who have come together with some grand agenda. This is a group of people who are just trying to be true to themselves in spite of a world often perceived to be hostile and dangerous. Although we come together to find some semblance of acceptance and security, we are still individuals looking at the world from our own biased point of view.
All lesbians don't like wearing men’s clothes and play sports. They're not all great with tools, driving trucks and spiking their hair.
All gay men aren't feminine, super-great at fashion and musical theater and talk with a lisp.
All bisexuals aren't equally into men and women. In fact, some bisexuals don't even stop at just being attracted to just two genders.
All those who identify as trans aren't wanting surgery and/or hormone therapy.
Queer isn't just a word describing gay. Many choose to the term queer because it feels more correct than other terms, or want a more ambiguous identifier.
Allies aren't just straight or liberal. A gay man can be an ally for LBTQ and A. Many allies are conservative, and even Republican and Mormon.
And there are even more identifiers not represented by the acronym we use at USU, there are actually 32 letters in the complete acronym.
Pansexuals are often compared to bisexuals looking beyond gender in many ways. Asexuals are still capable of love and relationships but don't feel sexual attraction. Trans is an umbrella term covering a vast range of gender expression and identities. For every one of these identifiers, every person who is put in that box has their own definition for what it means for them.
Going beyond just the LGBTQA community, we are all individuals. Even as we identify ourselves to help others know who we are, each label, each box only fits us to a certain degree. Behind every label is a real person with real feelings who deserves the same respect, consideration and love that you do.