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A Beginner's Guide to LGBTQ terms and history

Welcome to the beginner's guide to LGBTQ terms and history! If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the different letters and terms that come with this community, don't worry. This guide is here to help you understand the basics of what LGBTQ is all about.

Firstly, let's break down what the acronym LGBTQ and recently added IA+ ( LGBTQIA+) stands for:

The "L" represents lesbian

the "G" is for gay

the "B" is for bisexual

the "T" is for transgender

the "Q" is for queer or questioning

the “I” is for Intersex

the “A” is for Asexual/Ally

The plus sign + signifies other sexual and gender identities (such as non-binary or pansexual) and sexual orientations that fall under the LGBTQIA+.

Now, let's start with some terms you might hear in the LGBTQ community:

Lesbian: A woman who is emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to other women.

Gay: A term that generally refers to men who are emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to other men. It can also be used as an umbrella term for all individuals in the LGBTQ+ community.

Bisexual: A person who is emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to both men and women.

Transgender: A term used to describe individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.

Queer/Questioning: Queer is an inclusive term that encompasses a range of sexual orientations and gender identities that are not exclusively heterosexual or cisgender. Questioning refers to individuals who are exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Intersex: Intersex individuals are born with biological variations in sex characteristics that do not fit typical definitions of male or female.

Asexual: Asexual people experience little or no sexual attraction to others. They may still experience romantic or emotional attraction.

Pansexual: Pansexual individuals are emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to people regardless of their gender identity or biological sex.

Non-binary: Non-binary is an umbrella term for individuals whose gender identity does not exclusively align with the binary concepts of male or female.

Now, let’s dive into some of the most important dates of LGBTQ movement History:

LGBTQ Rights Movement: The LGBTQ rights movement has fought for equal rights, anti-discrimination laws, and social acceptance. Important milestones include the decriminalization of homosexuality, the removal of homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses, and the legalization of same-sex marriage in many countries.

Stonewall Riots: The Stonewall Riots took place in June 1969 in New York City, marking a pivotal moment in LGBTQ history. It was a series of protests against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in New York City. These riots inspired activists to fight for their rights and brought visibility to the LGBTQ community.

Harvey Milk: Harvey Milk was an openly gay politician and activist who became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States in 1977. He fought for LGBTQ+ rights and was assassinated in 1978.

In 1973, homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which had classified it as a mental disorder since the early 1900s.

AIDS Crisis: The AIDS crisis emerged in the 1980s, initially affecting the LGBTQ community disproportionately. It led to significant activism, advocacy, and medical advancements to address the epidemic.

Marriage Equality: The movement for marriage equality gained momentum in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It resulted in the legalisation of same-sex marriage in various countries, granting LGBTQ couples the right to marry and enjoy the legal benefits associated with marriage.

Remember, this is just a brief introduction to LGBTQ terms and history. The LGBTQ community is diverse and encompasses many identities and experiences. It's important to continue learning, listening, and respecting the lived experiences of LGBTQ individuals.

Hopefully, this beginner's guide has helped you understand some important terms and history in the LGBTQ(IA+) community.


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