WHAT IS LGBTQIA+?
At TOSOS, we both recognize and celebrate all different kinds of gender expressions, identities, and sexual orientations. In recent years, more and more classifications of these orientations and identities are coming to light. For those who may be wondering exactly how they fit into the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, we wanted to take a moment and offer a little help and clarification. While new classifications and identities are being discovered, this is by no means a complete and comprehensive list, but we do hope that it helps to bring members of our community and our allies a bit more understanding.
WHAT EXACTLY IS "LGBTQIA+"?
"LGBTQIA+" is the more commonly used term in the community; possibly because it is the most "user-friendly." However, you may also hear the terms “Queer Community” or “Rainbow Community” used to describe LGBTQIA+ people.
People often use LGBTQIA+ to mean all of the communities included in the LGBTTTQQIAA with the "+" addressing the growing list of classifications:
+ Gender Variant
+ Gender Queer
We invite you to use the glossary to the right to better define and understand these terms. Please note that this initialism and the various terms are always evolving.
WHAT ABOUT PRONOUNS?
Pronouns may not seem like that big a deal, but they become a bigger deal when you try to live without them. And for some people, pronouns are a big deal because other folks don’t always use the correct pronouns to describe them. Some people use gender-neutral or gender-inclusive pronouns when talking to or about them.
Some commonly used pronouns are:
Please note that these are not the only pronouns. There is an infinite number of pronouns as new ones emerge in our language. The only surefire way to be sure that you are using the correct pronouns is by asking someone, "What are your pronouns?" Another way would be to introduce yourself and sharing your pronouns as well. For example: “My name is Jasmine, my pronouns are ‘she’ and ‘her’.”
However, just like sexual orientation, a person’s gender identity can be a very personal and private thing. No one should ever feel pressured to share how they identify. We should also remember that the idea of pronouns and gender-neutral or gender-inclusive language will be a new concept to a lot of folks and that mistakes will happen. If this should happen to you, apologize, correct your mistake, and make a sincere effort to remember next time.
The most important thing to remember with both sexual orientation and gender identity is to be respectful of the language you use when referring to people.