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LGBTQIA+: Exploring Our Understanding

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  • Create Date January 21, 2023
  • Last Updated February 5, 2024

LGBTQIA+: Exploring Our Understanding

What do you hope for from those with whom you disagree around these issues? What do you wish they knew about you and your views?

Over the years, we have seen increasing attention and understanding toward the LGBTQIA+ community. For many, this is cause for celebration while others may regard it with confusion or concern. Gender and sexuality exist on a spectrum, which can make it hard to define. Specific terminology and shifts in language used can create a barrier to people engaging in conversations around this topic. This conversation is designed to explore your understanding and interactions with the LGBTQIA+ community.

Useful definitions:

LGBTQIA+: Acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual. The Q generally stands for queer when LGBTQ organizations, leaders, and media use the acronym. In settings offering support for youth, it can also stand for questioning. LGBT and LGBTQ+ are also used, with the + added in recognition of all non-straight, non-cisgender identities.

Sexual Orientation: A person's physical, romantic and/ or emotional attraction to another person. Sexual orientations can include heterosexual (straight), lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, asexual, and other orientations.
Gender Identity: A person's understanding of their own gender. For most people their gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth (cis-gender). For transgender people, their gender identity does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth. Nonbinary describes any gender identity that does not fit within the male / female binary spectrum.


For additional terminology, please see this Glossary of terminology from GLAAD.

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