Words are important, indeed fundamental if they are referred to the person, they define him in a certain way. And precisely for this reason it is important to know their meaning well, to know how to use them with care so as to recognize identity, include and create bridges. Develop a vocabulary of words that includes all the nuances of a single gender: the human one. Here is a short vocabulary of the words of the LGBTQIA + community created by Cathy La Torre, lawyer and activist for participation in the Festival of non-hostile communication.
Ally | Allies of the LGBTQIA + cause, who strive to create an appropriate and more inclusive environment, even using the right words.
LGBTQIA + | The acronym of Anglo-Saxon origin indicates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (umbrella term to indicate sexual and gender minorities) and intersex (people biologically born with both sexual organs or with physical characteristics of both biological sexes ). The plus indicates all the other identities that exist but are not included in the acronym.
The perfect way to refer to the community is therefore to use the acronym LGBTQIA +without ever forgetting the more, which serves to remind us of all the other existing identities.
Now that we know what that means LGBTQIA +, we need to clarify three terms: gender, sex and sexual orientation. What is the difference?
Sex | It is the biological sex assigned at birth based on the genital organs.
Genre | It is not related to biological sex, but it is an intimate sphere that has to do with how we feel about sex. There are people who feel they belong to their biological sex (cisgender people) and there are people who have a perception of themselves different from that of the gender assigned at birth, based on their biological sex.
Transgender | Indicate all the people whose identity does not match the sex assigned at birth Some of these people choose to go through a transition process. The correct term for those going through a gender transition is “trans person” or “trans person”. All terms with only the feminine or masculine article (e.g. trans, trans …) should not be used because they are offensive. Alternatively, I can always use “trans woman” for a man-to-woman transition and “trans man” for a woman-to-man transition.
Not binary | People who do not identify with the two male or female genders. Jennifer Lopez’s daughter, had from her marriage to Marc Anthony, Emme for example identifies as a non-binary person and her mother on stage appealed her with the neutral pronoun They / Them at the concert. The use of pronouns – and of gender-inclusive pronouns – is not a trivial matter if respect and equal opportunities pass through the language: “they / them” in English is the most common to indicate a person from non-binary identity, but other variants such as “xe / xem” or “ze / zim” or “sie / hir” are becoming popular. And it is also common to reject the pronoun and use one’s own name instead in all circumstances
Sexual orientation | It indicates who we are attracted to. We can be attracted to people of the opposite sex (heterosexuals), to people of our same sex (homosexuals), to both (bisexuals), or to none (asexuals).
Coming out | Act in which we publicly tell about our sexual orientation or our gender identity. It harks back to the English term “out of the closet” and is a metaphor to indicate that I am telling the outside world who I am.
Outing | It happens when someone reveals another person’s sexual orientation or identity without their consent. This practice, as well as being incorrect, violates numerous laws such as the GDPR and carries sanctions.
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