Sexual Orientation Resources
What is LGBTQQIA?
LGBTQQIA stands for: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual (or Ally). LGBTQ is a term used to refer to the community formed by these diverse identities that are joined together because of their shared oppression under heterosexism, homophobia, cissexism, and sexism. LGBTQ people are represented in every socioeconomic class, education level, political affiliation, age group, religion, race and ethnicity.
How many people are LGBTQ?
A variety of studies have estimated anywhere from 3-13% of the population is exclusively homosexual. However, even the most reputable estimates are inaccurate due to the fact that many people are afraid or unwilling to be identified as gay or lesbian, even in anonymous surveys. Also, those estimates do not include people who identify as bisexual, transgender, queer, or have fluid sexualities.
What causes a person to be LGBTQ?
There are numerous theories about the origins of a person’s sexual orientation: most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors.
When do LGBTQ people first know?
There is no set age at which people become aware that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. Some LGBTQ people become aware of their orientation during adolescence. Some say that they have known for as long as they can remember. People can realize their sexual orientation at any point during their lives. Most people’s sexuality and sexual orientation shifts and changes throughout their lives.
Can LGBTQ people be good parents?
Yes. Studies comparing groups of children raised by homosexual and by heterosexual parents find no develop mental differences between the two groups of children in four critical areas: their intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment and popularity with friends. Some people assume that LGBTQ parents will make their children “gay,” but research has shown that their children are no more likely to become LGBTQ than children of heterosexual parents.
Do all GBTQ men have AIDS?
No. This is a commonly held myth. In reality, the risk of exposure to HIV/AIDS is related to a person’s behavior, not their sexual orientation. HIV/AIDS can be protected against by practicing safer sex and not sharing needles, and also preventing/limiting exposure to HIV/AIDS.
What is the difference between sexual orientation, gender identity and sex?
Sexual orientation refers to who you are attracted to and the category that you identify that desire as (some examples are lesbian, gay, heterosexual, bisexual, queer, etc.). Gender identity refers to one’s sense of one’s own gendered identity (some examples include woman, bi-gendered, man, two spirit, transgendered, etc.). Sex refers to one’s biology (some examples include female, intersex, male, etc.).
How can I be respectful of LGBTQ people?
• Educate yourself further about LGBTQ people and issues important to LGBTQ communities.
• It is important to avoid making assumptions about the sexual orientation or gender identity of others and to avoid asking questions about their sexual behavior.
• Seek awareness of your sexual orientation and the things you may have always taken for granted about it, particularly if you’ve always considered yours to be “the norm”.
• Respect the confidentiality of LGBTQ people. Seek the consent of an individual before revealing their sexual orientation or gender identity to others; you could be “outing” them to a person or community that does not know they are LGBTQ.
Why should people be informed about LGBTIQQ issues?
Becoming informed about LGBTIQQ issues helps reduce heterosexism, homophobia, sexism, genderism, and transphobia. This makes it easier for everyone to live a more open and productive life in their work and home communities. The culture as a whole is therefore enriched. For LGBTIQQ youth, who are more likely to experience depression and rejection by friends and/or family, acceptance and understanding could be a matter of life or death.
Where can I find more information?
• Most libraries have sections dedicated to LGBTQ communities, histories, and issues.
• Search out your local LGBTQ center and inquire about what they are working on regarding LGBTQ issues in your area, ask them questions, and use their resources.
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender
G301 Student Center
Bisexual Resource Center
Gender Education and Advocacy
GLBT Historical Society
Intersex Society of North America
National Center for Trans Equalitytransequality.org