29 votes

Queer 101 - Ask your questions here

We're Here, We're Queer, Ask Your Questions Without Fear

I noticed that there was a lot of QUILTBAG/LGBT related education being requested in threads where it wasn't really on topic. Clearly there's a lot of curiosity. So I thought: why not make a thread specifically for that? Whee!

Please note that it's a lot of labor to ask of someone in a minority to explain themselves, as it's often the case that they feel like they have to justify existing on a daily basis anyway. Hopefully this provides more of an opt-in experience where curious folks can learn about queer issues in a respectful manner. ** Also: No one is required to answer your questions or engage with questions they don't feel comfortable with. **

I am decidedly not an authority on the subject (I don't think anyone really is) but I do fall under the umbrella- NB (nonbinary) and bi. This means that I am attracted to either gender and I do not identify as having a binary gender myself. I actually would more precisely be described as pansexual as I would date a nonbinary person BUT for identity politic reasons I prefer the term bi. As for the acronyms above, LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans. I prefer QUILTBAG: Queer, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual, Asexual, and Gay. It's more fun to say and it expands the acronym to include concepts that folks might not have heard of.

A brief list of definitions:

  • Queer: To my understanding this is sort of a catchall term for anyone that is not straight up cisgender/heterosexual. Once considered a pejorative term, queer has been reclaimed by some QUILTBAG people to describe themselves; however, it is not a universally accepted term even within the QUILTBAG community.

  • Undecided: Folks who just don't know what they identify with.

  • Intersex: Folks born with anatomy that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies. This can be a wide range of natural bodily variations.

  • Lesbian: A woman who is attracted to women exclusively.

  • Transgender: A term to describe folks who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.

  • Bisexual: Folks who are attracted to both binary genders.

  • Asexual: Also known as "ace". An adjective to describe folks who do not experience sexual attraction.

  • Gay: A term to describe people who are attracted to the gender they identify as. This is often used to refer specifically to men who are attracted to men but can be used to refer to women who are attracted to women too.

This list is by no means exhaustive! Here's a (more) comprehensive list of terms and labels: http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/sexinfo/article/glossary-sexual-orientationgender-terminology

There are many terms and labels out there! I encourage you to research to your heart's content.

Also just to give some perspective, cisgender is an adjective for folks who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.

So, what nagging questions do you have about being queer? Have you been questioning your own identity and would like to hear the thoughts of people who have been in the same situation? Post here and let's see if we can't find some answers.

75 comments

  1. [3]
    elf Link
    To expand on the queer thing: It's best to avoid calling someone queer unless you know they identify as such. People can be hurt or offended by the term, especially if they've had it used against...

    To expand on the queer thing: It's best to avoid calling someone queer unless you know they identify as such. People can be hurt or offended by the term, especially if they've had it used against them as a slur.

    Here's some more terminology:

    • heteroromantic: romantically attracted to people of the opposite gender
    • homoromantic: romantically attracted to people of the same gender
    • biromantic: romantically attracted to all genders

    Someone else can probably give a better explanation of this than I can...

    9 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro Link Parent
      IIRC doesn't biromantic generally mean equal attraction to people who identify as either "traditional" binary gender whereas panromantic means attraction regardless of if people identify as binary...

      IIRC doesn't biromantic generally mean equal attraction to people who identify as either "traditional" binary gender whereas panromantic means attraction regardless of if people identify as binary or not?

      1 vote
      1. elf Link Parent
        Some people define biromantic that way (and do the equivalent thing for bisexual) but, (and this is coming from a cishet person so don't take my word as gospel) I think in terms of real world...

        Some people define biromantic that way (and do the equivalent thing for bisexual) but, (and this is coming from a cishet person so don't take my word as gospel) I think in terms of real world usage, most people who call themselves bi don't exclude nonbinary people. Things would probably be more sensible if the pan* terms had come into use earlier, but as it is now there's not really a way to unambiguously label someone has attracted to men and women but not anything in between (besides just writing it out like I just did of course.)

        3 votes
  2. Algernon_Asimov Link
    Your list left out a couple of definitions: GSM: gender and sexual minorities. A catch-all term for all non-heterosexual non-cisgendered people. MSM: Men who have sex with men. This includes gay...

    Your list left out a couple of definitions:

    • GSM: gender and sexual minorities. A catch-all term for all non-heterosexual non-cisgendered people.

    • MSM: Men who have sex with men. This includes gay men, bisexual men, and men who identify as straight but have sex with other men. It's used mostly in clinical and scientific contexts, where it's more important to focus on sexual behaviour, rather than orientation (such as disease studies).

    9 votes
  3. [6]
    Puppersaregood Link
    How does one know they are transgender and when do they first know?

    How does one know they are transgender and when do they first know?

    8 votes
    1. Ten Link Parent
      I knew when I was four years old and wishing every single night I'd wake up as a girl. Of course I didn't know, you know? Heck I didn't even know "transgender" or "transexual" was a word until I...

      I knew when I was four years old and wishing every single night I'd wake up as a girl. Of course I didn't know, you know? Heck I didn't even know "transgender" or "transexual" was a word until I was 11 or so and saw something about a trans singer from Israel featured on an entertainment show and even more so at 13 when we got the Internet. Self discovery can go a long way and the best advice I can recommend: if you think you might be trans, then you might be... but research and such are always encouraged. I wish there was a definitive switch I could tell you that was instant from not knowing to just knowing.

      7 votes
    2. TheyThemDawn Link Parent
      Look at trans spaces (like subreddits, message me if you’d like some specific ones!) and see if you can relate? You may go back and forth and identify as something before realizing it doesn’t fit...

      Look at trans spaces (like subreddits, message me if you’d like some specific ones!) and see if you can relate? You may go back and forth and identify as something before realizing it doesn’t fit and something else does. And definitely don’t forget many trans people don’t come out to themself/relaize till they’re adults (I’ve seen 20s-40s).
      Gender dysphoria is also almost universally a shared experience, though myself and others don’t notice it as much until we’be come out and can move beyond general negativity/image problems. However, we aren’t defined by dysphoria, so don’t worry if you don’t want “the surgery.”
      Oh another thing before you run off into the rainbow: nonbinary is a thing too!

      4 votes
    3. seila Link Parent
      That's a good question. It varies from person to person. Some folks know pretty much as soon as they're aware it's possible - some folks don't know until late in life. I finally put a name to...

      That's a good question. It varies from person to person. Some folks know pretty much as soon as they're aware it's possible - some folks don't know until late in life. I finally put a name to being NB in my mid twenties, but I had known something was up since a young age.

      Very basically there are two hallmarks, but these are by no means definitive and some trans folks don't experience either of them:

      • Gender dysphoria: When one feels uncomfortable being assigned or identified as a gender. This can be an intense feeling of shame, or it can be as simple as just feeling something is off.

      • Gender euphoria: The flip side! Has someone gendered you and you got a rush of excitement? Imagine being on the phone and someone Sir-ing or Ma'am-ing you. If one of those makes you smile, that's probably the one you feel gender euphoria for.

      A person may be uncomfortable with the pronouns people call them. Or maybe their name. Or even their physical body. It's important to remember that gender is a spectrum. So if you feel uncomfortable with what you're assigned as, it doesn't mean you're necessarily the binary opposite. Sometimes people are a bit over in between the binaries, sometimes they're completely unrelated to them. So you could be uncomfortable with your current pronouns but completely okay with your anatomy. You could be fine with the pronouns but maybe want to change your name. Maybe you're fine with your body over all but would prefer voice training. There's a whole lot of variation and this is by no means an exhaustive or authoritative post on the matter.

      If you are questioning (you or anyone else reading this) it's a good idea to do some research on the subject and read other people's experiences. There might be stuff there to connect to.

      4 votes
    4. lesalecop Link Parent
      It wasn't so much a matter of knowing as it was assessing what I thought would result in me living the happier life. For me it became increasingly clear that I was unhappy living as a man as time...

      It wasn't so much a matter of knowing as it was assessing what I thought would result in me living the happier life.

      For me it became increasingly clear that I was unhappy living as a man as time went on. For whatever reason, it just wasn't something I could live with. Positive experiences with experimentation identifying different ways online led me to suspect I'd be happier as a woman. I approached it all tentatively and tried my best to feel things out and see what worked best for me.

      Dysphoria started for me around 12, when puberty started. It got progressively worse until I realized what was going on at around 18. When people realize these things vary greatly though. It's something very difficult to peace together by one's self because it can encapsulate and surround the entirety of someone's experiences.

      3 votes
    5. Awoo Link Parent
      When they say "I'm transgender". I don't think it's an on/off thing. People have a feeling and they explore it and then they come to a conclusion over time and personal self exploration. The...

      When they say "I'm transgender".

      I don't think it's an on/off thing. People have a feeling and they explore it and then they come to a conclusion over time and personal self exploration.

      The starting one tends to be "Do you often want to be a man/woman?" or "Does the thought of waking up tomorrow as the opposite sex sound good?"

      If the answer to either question is "Yes" then self exploration is probably worth doing.

      3 votes
  4. [5]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [2]
      BuckeyeSundae Link Parent
      I feel you. For me, I've pretty consistently rejected labels people would assign me even since I was a wee lad. I don't like it when people hear one thing about me and then apply all sorts of...

      I feel you.

      For me, I've pretty consistently rejected labels people would assign me even since I was a wee lad. I don't like it when people hear one thing about me and then apply all sorts of other assumptions that may or may not be true onto me. That's pretty generally true, but is amplified when it comes to this particular cultural crossroad. So I openly admit a lot of my own reluctance to engage the broader community had for the most part largely been out of a desire to continue to let my identity be primarily focused on other aspects of my being (of which there should be plenty to focus on).

      I'm sure there's also a deep dark spot that grew up watching Ellen DeGeneres announce that she was gay in the 1990s only to instantly see her career crumble beneath her largely out of the withdrawal of advertising and support from the network. A lot of why I took the 2016 election so hard personally was because I saw that election as a referendum on that sort of cultural progress, and the nation decided by technicality against that sort of cultural progress. It hurt because deep down the cynic in me was gleeful and announcing how right he was about the world, just as I was starting to let myself get optimistic.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. BuckeyeSundae Link Parent
          One of the things I keep hearing from people when I’d ask them what they gained from the broader community is that it is easier to find people open to romance if it’s obvious how you identify....

          One of the things I keep hearing from people when I’d ask them what they gained from the broader community is that it is easier to find people open to romance if it’s obvious how you identify. Because we are minorities, there can be a lot of stress in romancing people who simply aren’t even aligned enough to be interested. I think various dating apps make this particular pain point easier to work around, but often people meet people who become future loved ones through going to the same event (that is, through engaging the broader community).

          I don’t think there is any one path to finding love, and just about everyone is more than the identity/ies they portray themselves (there are a few vapid people anywhere, and they’re usually just insecure and trying to figure themselves out too). There are plenty of people engaged and not in the broader lgbt+ community who feel the same way as we do at some level. It’s why you see people telling others not to make assumptions and to remember no minority group is a monolith (as @seila pointed out). The importance of the community foremost is affirmation that you’re not alone, even if we might see things differently on—I don’t know—ideal economic policy focused on preventing another crisis like 2008-9.

          2 votes
    2. [2]
      seila Link Parent
      I tend not to attend LGBT* social gatherings. I've never felt terribly welcome by the cis LG section of it and since there's a lot of gate-keeping in queer spaces I just sort of do my own thing. I...

      I tend not to attend LGBT* social gatherings. I've never felt terribly welcome by the cis LG section of it and since there's a lot of gate-keeping in queer spaces I just sort of do my own thing. I understand the importance of political action and I do engage in discussion and awareness stuff; there's just a lot of problems with how the community as a whole handles things- especially with prescriptivist categorizing of people, telling them how they should identify, etc. It's hard to participate when that's the case.

      But that's okay! You don't have to participate in the community to be valid in your identity. You don't have to restructure the framework of your personal experience to "count". Existing as a queer person in this society is inherently a political act unfortunately but the amount that you engage with those identity politics is your choice.

      All that being said, the queer community is not a monolith. Some places are super welcoming, validating, and just nice to be in. It's nice to have spaces where you're just accepted for who you are and can see people like yourself just existing. I try to cultivate that kind of experience whenever I get a chance.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. seila Link Parent
          That's kinda my point. You do you, basically. Anyone in the queer community who tries to tell you how to be is not really a positive part of the community.

          That's kinda my point. You do you, basically. Anyone in the queer community who tries to tell you how to be is not really a positive part of the community.

          6 votes
  5. [6]
    Boudicasfolly Link
    I’m seeing a lot of people identifying as pan. I didn’t even know it was commonly used until a couple days ago. Is the term bisexual becoming outdated? Do trans/intersex people feel the term...

    I’m seeing a lot of people identifying as pan. I didn’t even know it was commonly used until a couple days ago.

    Is the term bisexual becoming outdated? Do trans/intersex people feel the term bisexual marginalizes them?

    5 votes
    1. CALICO Link Parent
      I use pan mostly because a persons sex isn't a factor to me, and gender is something I still have trouble believing exists (but it obviously does to a lot of people). Whether or not a person is...

      I use pan mostly because a persons sex isn't a factor to me, and gender is something I still have trouble believing exists (but it obviously does to a lot of people). Whether or not a person is cis or trans or fem or masc or andro is of zero concern to me. I'm interested if they're cute and have a fun personality.
      One of my friends is classically bisexual, identifies as such, and will fight you with a stick if you call her a lesbian just because she's dating a woman.

      6 votes
    2. [3]
      seila Link Parent
      Bisexuality is often erased by Gay/Lesbian folks. Pansexuality is a term that is sort of obscure and also gets used (from my experience) by people trying to sound sexually progressive and...

      Bisexuality is often erased by Gay/Lesbian folks. Pansexuality is a term that is sort of obscure and also gets used (from my experience) by people trying to sound sexually progressive and enlightened.

      I use Bi because we're still in a situation where people can't or won't believe bisexuality exists.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        glass_table_girl Link Parent
        For reasons like what you said as well as it kind of being a little better understood by more people, I usually use "bi" in conversation if I'm talking about it at all. But for clarity's sake in...

        For reasons like what you said as well as it kind of being a little better understood by more people, I usually use "bi" in conversation if I'm talking about it at all. But for clarity's sake in things like @Kat's survey, I'll use "pan" just because it is more true to how I feel and more accurate for reporting information, if it's an option.

        2 votes
        1. cheese Link Parent
          All the bi-identified people I've known well have used the term to mean "not exclusively attracted to men or women"; the word has its roots in 'both/either of two' but bi people who specifically...

          All the bi-identified people I've known well have used the term to mean "not exclusively attracted to men or women"; the word has its roots in 'both/either of two' but bi people who specifically avoid non-binary people (or trans folks in general) are certainly in the minority.

          3 votes
    3. lesalecop Link Parent
      It's a bit of a multi-faceted topic. Some trans people may find it marginalizing or exclusionary, others not. The debate isn't exclusively trans people, many cis people out there consider...

      It's a bit of a multi-faceted topic. Some trans people may find it marginalizing or exclusionary, others not. The debate isn't exclusively trans people, many cis people out there consider themselves bisexual but do not include non-binary trans people, or even binary trans people in that description. So to some degree "bisexual" carries a lot of ambiguity whereas "pansexual" more explicitly clarifies that someone is including trans people.

      4 votes
  6. TheyThemDawn Link
    Thanks for this! It was tiring to see so many questions (but also nice to see such thoughtful responses and understanding) in those threads.

    Thanks for this! It was tiring to see so many questions (but also nice to see such thoughtful responses and understanding) in those threads.

    4 votes
  7. [3]
    Tang_Un Link
    Whoever came up with QUILTBAG is a genius.

    Whoever came up with QUILTBAG is a genius.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      cheese Link Parent
      I personally can't stand it. Partly it's the word, which just sounds silly to me - but also if you try to be 'more inclusive' by using a longer acronym you're going to run into all the same...

      I personally can't stand it. Partly it's the word, which just sounds silly to me - but also if you try to be 'more inclusive' by using a longer acronym you're going to run into all the same problems you had with whatever your prevous acronym was sooner or later.

      There are an infinite number of unique ways that people will describe their personal senses of identity and attraction, and you absolutely can't include everyone in one simple list. If folks want to move away from 'LGBT' because they feel it doesn't sufficiently include them, the solution is to be more general, with something like GSM (gender & sexual minorities).

      But yeah also there's no way in hell I could ever refer to myself as 'a quiltbag' in any serious conversation.

      4 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        I've heard a politician/ally say she uses "the rainbow communities" so that she's inclusive without having to memorise all the various letters in the acronym. I kind of like it.

        If folks want to move away from 'LGBT' because they feel it doesn't sufficiently include them, the solution is to be more general, with something like GSM (gender & sexual minorities).

        I've heard a politician/ally say she uses "the rainbow communities" so that she's inclusive without having to memorise all the various letters in the acronym. I kind of like it.

        4 votes
  8. [12]
    crius Link
    Ok so I'm going to throw out a question that really bothered me since quite some time. Isn't this plethora of labels and categorization hurting the lgbt community more than helping? I have plenty...

    Ok so I'm going to throw out a question that really bothered me since quite some time.

    Isn't this plethora of labels and categorization hurting the lgbt community more than helping?
    I have plenty of gay friends, both male and female, and probably I never had to worry of which specialised label they identify with because when we talk about "that girl" or "that boy" it's just a normal conversation without needs to clarify things.
    I see instead lots of people on internet really becoming quite offended or even infuriated if you just use the wrong pronouns.

    What I mean is that even for a person like me, that really don't have issue with people with different gender id and romantic/sexual orientation, it's hard to understand all the possible combinations. How is it possible that people that have maybe some prejudice can be "brought in" when everything is a big mess of acronym and combination of adjectives?

    As this field (lgbt) is quite a sensible topic I want to just ask everyone that will reply to remember that I'm not posting this question to argue but to understand your opinion and, more importantly, the "why" :)

    4 votes
    1. [4]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. crius Link Parent
        Thank you so much for your reply. My example with nouns was to bring forth sine extreme response but I should remember that online is easier to find "extremist" than reasonable people like you so...

        Thank you so much for your reply.

        My example with nouns was to bring forth sine extreme response but I should remember that online is easier to find "extremist" than reasonable people like you so maybe the feeling is flawed by this.

        3 votes
      2. [2]
        AlastrionaCatskill Link Parent
        Also trans here but I have the complete opposite opinion. I, like most cishet people, don't want to learn a hundred genders, sexualities, and pronouns. Not that I fundamentally disagree with the...

        Also trans here but I have the complete opposite opinion. I, like most cishet people, don't want to learn a hundred genders, sexualities, and pronouns. Not that I fundamentally disagree with the first two, but some of the ones on master lists seem more like personality traits to me.

        Pronouns though, run me over on the Perscriptivist Train because he, she, and singular them really should be enough to cover all bases.

        Edit: Yes, I get people can strongly identify with certain genders and pronouns, but it makes life very much harder for the literal 99.99% rest of us.

        2 votes
        1. TheyThemDawn Link Parent
          How does it make it harder for anyone...?

          How does it make it harder for anyone...?

          2 votes
    2. [4]
      eladnarra Link Parent
      Disclaimer: I'm cishet (cisgender and basically heterosexual). Labels are helpful for the people who claim them. Finding an identity that fits your experience helps you to feel less alone and find...

      Disclaimer: I'm cishet (cisgender and basically heterosexual).

      Isn't this plethora of labels and categorization hurting the lgbt community more than helping?
      I have plenty of gay friends, both male and female, and probably I never had to worry of which specialised label they identify with

      Labels are helpful for the people who claim them. Finding an identity that fits your experience helps you to feel less alone and find similar people to connect with, especially if that identity is marginalized. It's also an easier way to explain your experience to other people who don't have that identity.

      (Some people don't feel a need for labels, and that's fine, too.)

      I see instead lots of people on internet really becoming quite offended or even infuriated if you just use the wrong pronouns.

      Considering that misgendering can be deliberate to hurt people and attack their identity, it doesn't surprise me that people act as if they've been hurt (not offended-- hurt). I think it's also helpful to realize that trans/nonbinary folks are very familiar with what deliberate misgendering looks and feels like. You may not see the signs of a "bad faith" interaction, whereas they might be able to from experience, so their reactions may seem harsh to you but actually be proportionate to the situation.

      In my experience, folks are usually understanding of genuine mistakes with pronouns.

      How is it possible that people that have maybe some prejudice can be "brought in" when everything is a big mess of acronym and combination of adjectives?

      Honestly, I don't think it's as big a mess as you seem to think. I'm surrounded by the terminology because of some of my friends, my partner, and the online communities I'm in, which does give me an advantage compared to some cishet people. But as more people come into contact with these (not that new) ways of describing gender and sexuality and get to know people who use these labels, it will seems less of a mess and more just... a cool way to further describe the human experience.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        TheyThemDawn Link Parent
        So much this^ As a trans person, labels give me language to understand what I experience. When people say LGBTQ+ is toovlargw and messy, it feels like they don’t want to accept people...

        So much this^
        As a trans person, labels give me language to understand what I experience. When people say LGBTQ+ is toovlargw and messy, it feels like they don’t want to accept people exploringnthose identities for themselves. And like the end of your comment mentions, it can seem like a big mess - I don’t have the entire 13 or 14 letter acronym memorized. That’s not the point though, and people latch on to the messiness and contradictions that are present in all poeple to say the movement for LGBT rights and identities is false.

        4 votes
        1. eladnarra Link Parent
          Yeah, and I think @Kat's point about labels often being used within communities was good. Hell, some labels are just used personally. I don't go around saying "I'm (probably) demisexual,"* but it...

          Yeah, and I think @Kat's point about labels often being used within communities was good.

          Hell, some labels are just used personally. I don't go around saying "I'm (probably) demisexual,"* but it was still helpful to find a label that might describe me. It's nice to have a name for taking a long time to feel comfortable being sexual with someone. I know not to rush that connection now, and I definitely don't feel bad that I've only wanted to have sex with 2 people ever.

          *Other people do publicly identify as demisexual! Which is also totally fine, obviously :)

          3 votes
      2. crius Link Parent
        Thank you for your reply. I didn't consider this: And feel quite idiot right now. I suppose my friends are the kind that don't feel like needing "label" or maybe as someone else pointed out, they...

        Thank you for your reply. I didn't consider this:

        Finding an identity that fits your experience helps you to feel less alone and find similar people to connect with, especially if that identity is marginalized.

        And feel quite idiot right now.

        I suppose my friends are the kind that don't feel like needing "label" or maybe as someone else pointed out, they use them within some more close circle of people that bring to the LGBT community.

        Again, thanks for your points :)

        2 votes
    3. [4]
      TheyThemDawn Link Parent
      As others mention, you conflate label with pronouns. I’m trans and nb, my pronouns could be many things though (they/them, he/she, she/her, zhe/zhir, et al.). It would annoy cis poeple if you used...

      As others mention, you conflate label with pronouns. I’m trans and nb, my pronouns could be many things though (they/them, he/she, she/her, zhe/zhir, et al.). It would annoy cis poeple if you used the wrong pronouns to make them feel shitty, so doing it on purpose to trans and nb people is just hateful.
      Labels aren’t very useful for cis, straight, white, able bodied people - that is to say, people with privilege don’t have any reason to see the use of labels. Marginalized poeple, however, can use labels to find community and understand their experiences, like how my feelings could be described as nb instead of some amorphous disconnect from the rest of men.
      But when poeple with priviledge tell people that LGBTQ+ is too messy and fear people may “fall for the gay agenda”, they deny an oppressed minority the language to form a community. So, as a white, able-bodied person, I self identify those parts of my identity (which are often more salient than my minority identities) because they have given me the most privledge throughout my life and have others.

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        crius Link Parent
        As I replied already to others, I was using that example to show the different end of a spectrum. While I have "offline" interaction with people that belong into the LGBT community with quite some...

        As I replied already to others, I was using that example to show the different end of a spectrum.

        While I have "offline" interaction with people that belong into the LGBT community with quite some ease and I've yet to have a bad experience with anyone, online is often a mine field and you get called "white privileged" in quite the aggressive and socially racist way even when you had no idea of the right pronoun to use.

        Having said that, you also made a point about a language used by the community, meant for the people "inside".

        I understand that the particular period call for trying and group together due to discrimination but my point is, when a group of people create its own language and culture, it also risk alienating its members from the community they lives in.
        Foster an "us versus them" mentality that is exactly what I see online that, I'm sorry to say, despite starting in a position of victims, don't make the people that don't "hate LGBT" into distancing themselves due to the reciprocating hate that begin to emerge.

        It's late and I'm probably explaining myself like shit, I hope the message comes across anyway.

        It probably can help knowing that I had gone trough a bad experience with a fake religious sect (fake in the way that the religion was just an excuse to bring people in) in my youth and the methodology was exactly to create this sense of community in which "the others" couldn't understand us and we should have just tried to stay together until better days would comes. This is quite simplified but it's the gist of it.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          TheyThemDawn Link Parent
          It sounds like you’re suggesting a problem that doesn’t exist. Any resentment trans people hold against cis people (which, like when someone says “white people,” is talking specifically about...

          It sounds like you’re suggesting a problem that doesn’t exist. Any resentment trans people hold against cis people (which, like when someone says “white people,” is talking specifically about harmful people) is from lived experience, not the language of “trans” and “cis”. Saying that being able to identify yourself can lead to an us vs. them attitude just sounds like a platitude when you’re talking to people that face threats to their existence. In many cases, it’s already us vs them because we’re being discriminated against. Why limit our language then?

          2 votes
          1. crius Link Parent
            I see my point is not coming across. Maybe on my part there is some projection due to my personal history. Thanks for the exchange anyway :)

            I see my point is not coming across.

            Maybe on my part there is some projection due to my personal history.

            Thanks for the exchange anyway :)

            1 vote
  9. [9]
    lesalecop Link
    I'm a woman attracted to men and nonbinary folks, but not women. Is there a term for this? Pan with exceptions? I just consider myself straight right now. I know that sexuality itself is very...

    I'm a woman attracted to men and nonbinary folks, but not women. Is there a term for this? Pan with exceptions? I just consider myself straight right now. I know that sexuality itself is very fluid and labels tend to break down upon close examination, but I guess I'm just curious to see if there's a label out there that more accurately describes my preferences.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      seila Link Parent
      If you feel comfortable with heteroflexible, that's an option. Polysexual is another term I've seen used, as it can mean "Attracted to more than one gender expression but not all". I would avoid...

      If you feel comfortable with heteroflexible, that's an option. Polysexual is another term I've seen used, as it can mean "Attracted to more than one gender expression but not all". I would avoid appending hetero to skoliosexual or ceterosexual as those terms are questionable- folks are kinda uncertain about specifying that one is attracted to nonbinary genders since chasers are a thing.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        nailkitty Link Parent
        Chasers?

        Chasers?

        1. seila Link Parent
          People who fetishize trans or nonbinary invididuals.

          People who fetishize trans or nonbinary invididuals.

          2 votes
    2. Awoo Link Parent
      The phrase that is gaining traction for unusual cases like this is "diamoric".

      The phrase that is gaining traction for unusual cases like this is "diamoric".

      3 votes
    3. [3]
      AlastrionaCatskill (edited ) Link Parent
      I can't give a definitive answer, but i'm odd too. Im 90% sexually attracted to *cis men and trans women (that particular body part drives me wild), but 9/10 times i'd prefer to date a woman (any...

      I can't give a definitive answer, but i'm odd too. Im 90% sexually attracted to *cis men and trans women (that particular body part drives me wild), but 9/10 times i'd prefer to date a woman (any kind) over a man or nonbinary.

      I guess i'd be straight homoromantic but I just say i'm bi.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        elf Link Parent
        It's interesting to me that you're attracted to men and trans women. I'm attracted to women and trans women, but trans men are pretty unappealing to me.

        It's interesting to me that you're attracted to men and trans women. I'm attracted to women and trans women, but trans men are pretty unappealing to me.

        1. AlastrionaCatskill Link Parent
          Ah, interesting ^^ I should really have specified cis* men and trans women >.>

          Ah, interesting ^^ I should really have specified cis* men and trans women >.>

          2 votes
    4. elf Link Parent
      That's a good question. You could consider calling yourself "straightish" (or maybe "straight+" :P ) but that'd probably just confuse people. I'm in kind of a similar situation to you, sexuality...

      That's a good question. You could consider calling yourself "straightish" (or maybe "straight+" :P ) but that'd probably just confuse people. I'm in kind of a similar situation to you, sexuality wise, but I identify as just straight. I think most straight people aren't going to categorically reject nb folks (of course that's me assuming most straight people aren't bigoted -_- ).

  10. [3]
    yan Link
    Does the term trans apply only to those who are transitioning, or intend to transition, or also to those who aren't, and don't; who only identify with the sex they weren't born with, but have no...

    Does the term trans apply only to those who are transitioning, or intend to transition, or also to those who aren't, and don't; who only identify with the sex they weren't born with, but have no intentions of "transitioning"?

    3 votes
    1. Cleb Link Parent
      It applies to anyone who identifies as a gender other than the one assigned at birth/their biological sex. Like, for instance, I'm not currently transitioning hormonally because I am unable to,...

      It applies to anyone who identifies as a gender other than the one assigned at birth/their biological sex. Like, for instance, I'm not currently transitioning hormonally because I am unable to, but I am still trans because I identify as another gender and would like that to be respected. It would still apply even if I had no plans to transition with hormones or get SRS, some people are fine with their bodies and would not mind keeping most of what they have.
      Hope I put that in a clear way.

      6 votes
    2. Awoo Link Parent
      They have always and will always be trans, they were trans at birth.

      They have always and will always be trans, they were trans at birth.

      5 votes
  11. [3]
    acr Link
    What do I need to know to better understand the mindset of LGBT people? Meaning, what do I need to know so I can be more accommodating. I'm always worried that I'll say something that doesn't mean...

    What do I need to know to better understand the mindset of LGBT people? Meaning, what do I need to know so I can be more accommodating. I'm always worried that I'll say something that doesn't mean anything to me but it comes across as derogatory or inconsiderate. What can I do to make myself seem approachable to LGBT people and what things should I be conscious of when interacting with LGBT people so I don't offend anyone?

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      lesalecop Link Parent
      Short answer: Avoid making unnecessary assumptions about someone. Be open, be understanding, be patient. Longer answer: People will vary incredibly, that means their experiences and needs vary...

      Short answer: Avoid making unnecessary assumptions about someone. Be open, be understanding, be patient.

      Longer answer: People will vary incredibly, that means their experiences and needs vary incredibly too. Because of this, it's best to be ready to adapt and treat people as individuals. Usually the person best suited to figure out how one identifies, who they like, etc is themself. So we should trust them on how they identify.

      We can't know everyone's situation, but we don't need to know everyone's situation. For example, we might not know what genitals someone has, but we really don't need to know that for any reason if we just treat people fairly regardless of their genitals. If we really want to, maybe we can ask, but we shouldn't really take surprise if someone doesn't feel comfortable talking about that.

      And sometimes, we wind up offending someone, that's not something exclusive to cis and heterosexual people. I've offended people on occasion. It's okay to apologize and reflect on what actions led to people's feelings being hurt. It can be a learning experience for our biases. Sometimes people can have disproportionately vengeful responses, it's important to be able to recognize that LGBTQ+ are people too, and can make mistakes also. Accommodation does not mean we must infantilize or patronize.

      I guess what I'm saying is loosen up whilst remaining empathetic.


      Also is your name a Risk of Rain reference?

      4 votes
      1. acr Link Parent
        Thanks. I think someone asked me that once before somewhere else I had this name. I don't know what risk of rain is. It's just a silly name. It kind of means something for me I guess. Reminds me...

        Thanks. I think someone asked me that once before somewhere else I had this name. I don't know what risk of rain is. It's just a silly name. It kind of means something for me I guess. Reminds me to be positive and cheery. It's meant to kind of be ironic I guess.

        Edit - thanks not thaks.

        3 votes
  12. [21]
    Mumberthrax (edited ) Link
    In the past I've seen some people bristle at the mention of Ray Blanchard's 'autogynephilia' theories regarding some males who transition to female. Is there generally a negative stigma associated...

    In the past I've seen some people bristle at the mention of Ray Blanchard's 'autogynephilia' theories regarding some males who transition to female. Is there generally a negative stigma associated with his ideas? I've only really encountered them through one youtube channel and they sounded reasonable to me as a layman.

    edit: actually i take that back about only hearing about it through that channel, i recall a conversation now when i first heard the phrase from a trans acquaintance i had years ago. She was very... opinionated on the matter (pro AGP theory).

    1 vote
    1. [5]
      lesalecop (edited ) Link Parent
      It raises the defenses because historically, and very frequently still, trans people's identities are dismissed as a form of sexual gratification or deviance, essentially reduced to a...

      It raises the defenses because historically, and very frequently still, trans people's identities are dismissed as a form of sexual gratification or deviance, essentially reduced to a self-gratifying fetish. From there people often work to deny trans people proper rights, treatment, and respect.

      This association between deviant perversion and trans people has been reinforced in society for quite some time. For many people, Buffalo Bill is the image conjured to mind when they think of "man who wants to be a woman". People are extremely quick to jump to this conclusion when presented with a questioning or coming out trans person in order to discourage them. My own mother asked me if it was just a cross-dressing fetish when I came out to her.

      Often trans people have to actively omit specific details of their sexuality when seeking treatment. There seems to be a pattern of people interpreting any positive sexual thoughts a trans woman has as being AGP fetishism. Like if a trans woman says something like "I can only enjoy sexual fantasies when I think of myself as a woman", suddenly the idea of a woman enjoying sex is "fetishistic" or "attraction to one's self". Which seems rather silly. Imagine a cis man who lost his penis in an accident, if he made the statement "I can only enjoy sexual fantasies if I imagine myself still having a penis", is he suddenly fetishizing the idea of having a penis? It's not the requirements that are what is sexualized, the requirements are what is necessary for one to properly enjoy and experience their sexuality.

      Also Blanchard makes some questionable distinctions in terms of "gendered behavior traits" which he sometimes uses to distinguish what he considers to be the two distinct groups of trans women. His models also seem completely incompetent for dealing with the existence of trans men who aren't straight, even so far as to question whether gay trans men even exist. Which is quite the red flag, when something can't be properly explained by your model the answer is not to say "perhaps reality is just wrong", it is to question if your model is fundamentally flawed.

      15 votes
      1. [4]
        Mumberthrax Link Parent
        Do I understand correctly that the main issues are 1) theories about AGP and HSTS are used to dismiss trans people's emotions and preferences/feelings, and 2) it does not address gay trans men,...

        Do I understand correctly that the main issues are 1) theories about AGP and HSTS are used to dismiss trans people's emotions and preferences/feelings, and 2) it does not address gay trans men, and 3) the theories are questionable regarding "gendered behavior traits" ?

        I guess that it seemed intuitive to me as a layman because there are people who are aroused by the thought of being women due to the prevalence of TG hentai online.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          TheyThemDawn Link Parent
          It may make sense to a “layman” because it was written by one. Blanchard basically had about your level of knowledge when he came up with his ideas, then found case studies that could support him...

          It may make sense to a “layman” because it was written by one. Blanchard basically had about your level of knowledge when he came up with his ideas, then found case studies that could support him and morphed them into evidence. It excludes the pov of trans people. It doesn’t make sense to us. (Sorry if this is harsh, I feel myself getting defensive over it)

          7 votes
          1. Mumberthrax Link Parent
            Your comment did not come across as harsh, no worries. :) Certainly arguing your point/expressing your perspective, but I didn't feel personally attacked or offended by it. I appreciate you...

            Your comment did not come across as harsh, no worries. :) Certainly arguing your point/expressing your perspective, but I didn't feel personally attacked or offended by it. I appreciate you sharing this. I didn't realize how touchy/taboo the subject was.

            5 votes
        2. lesalecop Link Parent
          Point 1: yes. Point 2: a bit of a tangent on my part. That subject isn't directly relevant to AGP, but it's illustrative of some of the problems in Blanchard's methodology. Point 3: Yes. Some of...

          Point 1: yes.

          Point 2: a bit of a tangent on my part. That subject isn't directly relevant to AGP, but it's illustrative of some of the problems in Blanchard's methodology.

          Point 3: Yes. Some of the distinctions of what is considered "feminine" or "masculine" behavior are vague or poorly defined or justified.

          I was not trying to say that AGP is not a thing that exists. It does, but the associations between it and being trans are unsound and unnecessary.

          4 votes
    2. [8]
      Awoo Link Parent
      It is a theory that is rejected by medical professionals and generally considered deeply offensive to bring into any lgbt places because it is used by transphobes to try and invalidate transwomen...

      It is a theory that is rejected by medical professionals and generally considered deeply offensive to bring into any lgbt places because it is used by transphobes to try and invalidate transwomen as not being "real" women. Something that has led some countries such as Canada to make it illegal to incorrectly gender an individual.

      "Negative stigma" is putting it incredibly lightly. It is the goto source of bad-faith participants seeking to stir.

      9 votes
      1. [7]
        Mumberthrax Link Parent
        I guess this is a bit confusing for me... I had a friend, more an acquaintance i guess, that I met on help.com years ago (back when it was a site sort of like /r/suicidewatch, but a bit more...

        I guess this is a bit confusing for me... I had a friend, more an acquaintance i guess, that I met on help.com years ago (back when it was a site sort of like /r/suicidewatch, but a bit more general purpose) who was suicidal. We started messaging and I learned she was trans and had gender dysphoria and borderline personality disorder. I struggled for months messaging with her, trying to find ways to convince her not to kill herself. It was emotionally draining. She started getting into all sorts of trouble and at one point I couldn't handle it and decided the responsible thing to do for my health was to cut off contact (I felt horrible about it). Anyway, i hadn't thought of her in a long time until just a few minutes ago when i remembered SHE was where i heard about autogynephilia to begin with. She was XXY, so born appearing mostly male but decided to transition prior to our interaction. Her parents were insisting she wait to begin hormones until she was some age, might have been 18, but she was already doing everything she could short of that to help her dysphoria... including some very unhealthy eating habits. :/

        Anyway, she was telling me that a lot of trans people are autogynephilic, rather than experiencing genuine dysphoria. So i guess this has me wondering, is my acquaintance a fluke, or is there a minority within the minority that feels the same way she did about her identity and dysphoria?

        edit: I know you are skeptical, you've implied here and elsewhere that I'm posting in bad faith etc., but i can pull up the AIM/Messenger chat logs if you want. I'll need to scrub out any personally identifying information to protect her though.

        2 votes
        1. [5]
          Awoo Link Parent
          A section of trans people are self hating and full of internalised transphobia. These leads them to say things like this. You see the same in some gay men and women too that will say incredibly...

          A section of trans people are self hating and full of internalised transphobia. These leads them to say things like this.

          You see the same in some gay men and women too that will say incredibly homophobic and nasty things about other gay men and women.

          You also see the same occur in racial groups.

          It's not a new or different phenomena, and not surprising in someone you yourself recognise as being exceptionally unbalanced, suicidal, problematic.

          I don't think it should be difficult to understand when you start to recognise the same pattern of self-hate occurs in a particularly unwell fringe of all groups.

          I'm very sorry that your friend (or ex-friend) is/was going through that and I hope she comes out the other end of it ok. Unfortunately that's not always the case. It is the lack of acceptance and existence of such hate that put you through this emotional rollercoaster and may eventually kill her.

          I think that given you've had this experience you should be a clear ally if you are not, as all evidence points to the fact that everything the medical community recommends greatly improves the lives, health and happiness of trans people. Your friend needs a world without this hate and lack of acceptance in order to not have these internalised hateful feelings. This goes for the same occurrences of the same thing in other groups also. Same issue, same solution. No other thing has any evidence for improvements. Only social change and acceptance.

          And that's really what matters - improving their lives, so they don't end up dead.

          4 votes
          1. [4]
            Mumberthrax Link Parent
            The bold text means that's important, so I'll spend a bit responding: I don't really know what being an "ally" means, but I certainly don't consider lgbt folks to be my enemy. I've had two long...

            The bold text means that's important, so I'll spend a bit responding: I don't really know what being an "ally" means, but I certainly don't consider lgbt folks to be my enemy. I've had two long term relationships with partners who were bi, one of whom was heavily involved in gay-straight-alliance groups, the other may or may not be trans now... genderfluid maybe, we haven't spoken about it in depth. And there are gay and trans people in media (mostly internet) that I like (one of my favorite youtubers is xxy, i think).

            I hope this doesn't have to be said, but just in case: that doesn't mean I don't think there are gay people who are jerks, or people who use their gender/sexual identity as a weapon, or people who try to manipulate lgbt folks for political purposes, nor that i condone some of the explicit stuff I've seen at pride parades while children are nearby (which i would disavow if it were straight partners just the same).

            and thanks - I hope she's doing okay as well. I did email her a few months after i cut off contact, and she seemed okay in her response, which was reassuring.

            1 vote
            1. [3]
              Awoo Link Parent
              Being an ally typically means having the foresight not to put political hate in the same sentence as the same handful of videos of bad parenting that you've seen repeatedly posted online over and...

              I don't really know what being an "ally"

              Being an ally typically means having the foresight not to put political hate in the same sentence as the same handful of videos of bad parenting that you've seen repeatedly posted online over and over and over again by agenda driven individuals as if they are of equal merit.

              Being an ally typically means having the ability to recognise that using an example of bad parenting in a discussion of lgbt people as if it is a reflection on all lgbt people is disgusting. Nobody is online using every example of bad parenting by straight people to attack straight people as horrible disgusting perverted human beings, because it's an absurd thing to mention or bring up, because it is just what it is - bad parenting - regardless of orientation.

              So when you fail to be self-aware enough to recognise these things, you're going to get assumed to not be an "ally" - a person who is supportive of lgbt people as opposed to unsupportive, inflammatory and damaging.

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                Mumberthrax Link Parent
                I'm not sure i understand what you're referring to about bad parenting, or political hate... o_O

                I'm not sure i understand what you're referring to about bad parenting, or political hate... o_O

                1. Awoo Link Parent
                  I do not believe that you are as oblivious as you pretend to be. Comrade.

                  I do not believe that you are as oblivious as you pretend to be. Comrade.

        2. seila Link Parent
          I don't think the anecdotal opinion of one person has much merit for this conversation.

          I don't think the anecdotal opinion of one person has much merit for this conversation.

          3 votes
    3. [5]
      michelle Link Parent
      the idea of transitioning as part of a fetish thing just sounds crazy to me. anyone who did that and wasn't trans and stuck out their brand new dysphoria would be very disappointed by how...

      the idea of transitioning as part of a fetish thing just sounds crazy to me. anyone who did that and wasn't trans and stuck out their brand new dysphoria would be very disappointed by how transitioning affects sex.

      4 votes
      1. [4]
        Mumberthrax Link Parent
        It seems like the fact that some people do detransition would indicate that at least some of the time there is some disappointment or regret (though what the cause of that is is hard to say for me...

        It seems like the fact that some people do detransition would indicate that at least some of the time there is some disappointment or regret (though what the cause of that is is hard to say for me as a layman). :/

        1. eladnarra (edited ) Link Parent
          Not trans myself, but from what I gather, many of the very few folks who "detransition" do because of lack of acceptance from the people around them, difficulty "passing," and/or lack of medical...

          Not trans myself, but from what I gather, many of the very few folks who "detransition" do because of lack of acceptance from the people around them, difficulty "passing," and/or lack of medical support. From a Vice article on the subject, "Dispelling the Myths About Trans People 'Detransitioning'":

          A trans woman named Charlie sympathizes with Chelsea's struggle. Since she has transitioned, she said, "The rest of the world hates me more and I get a lot more abuse and face a lot more hurdles in every sense—relationships, jobs, everyday life. But despite this, I've never loved myself more and been happier in myself which is all that really matters." Charlie presented it almost as a lose-lose situation: internal happiness and no social acceptance, or social acceptance and internal strife. Why should anyone have to choose?
          "I think people automatically put all the ownership on the person who is detransitioning, saying, 'You were clearly not trans then' if that's what they decide to do," Charlie continued. "But maybe they are trans but they just can't hack it because society is horrible and it's fucking hard."

          7 votes
        2. TheyThemDawn Link Parent
          That is so extremely rare it’s not really relevant to most discussion around trans people. Often that number is exaggerated to prevent people from starting to transition.

          That is so extremely rare it’s not really relevant to most discussion around trans people. Often that number is exaggerated to prevent people from starting to transition.

          6 votes
        3. michelle Link Parent
          the other two hit the primary points but a third one is sometimes cis people do try HRT but they'll usually develop dysphoria right away and drop it. which is kind of my point.

          the other two hit the primary points but a third one is sometimes cis people do try HRT but they'll usually develop dysphoria right away and drop it. which is kind of my point.

          3 votes
    4. [2]
      TheyThemDawn Link Parent
      Autogynephilia is deeply offensive and pathological. Others have explained it, but this trans Youtuber breaks it apart really well: https://youtu.be/6czRFLs5JQo (ContrPoints’ other videos on trans...

      Autogynephilia is deeply offensive and pathological. Others have explained it, but this trans Youtuber breaks it apart really well: https://youtu.be/6czRFLs5JQo
      (ContrPoints’ other videos on trans issues may be educational to you too)

      4 votes
      1. Mumberthrax Link Parent
        Thank you for the video, i will check it out. I just remembered I had a conversation with a trans woman years ago who actually was where i heard about autogynephilia from initially. She was of the...

        Thank you for the video, i will check it out. I just remembered I had a conversation with a trans woman years ago who actually was where i heard about autogynephilia from initially. She was of the opinion that most trans women were AGPs, but that people like her (she happened to be xxy/klinefelter) were not. I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, but it just occurred to me and seems to clash a little with what people are saying here. :/

  13. [3]
    apoctr Link
    If someone identifies as both transgender (MtF) and gay, does that mean they're attracted to men or women? Does it depend on whether they're pre/post-op?

    If someone identifies as both transgender (MtF) and gay, does that mean they're attracted to men or women? Does it depend on whether they're pre/post-op?

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      deing Link Parent
      If someone identifies as woman and gay/lesbian it's safe to assume she's into ladies. Same applies for trans men. Also, while I'm not trans, IIRC the majority opinion is that as soon you identify...

      If someone identifies as woman and gay/lesbian it's safe to assume she's into ladies. Same applies for trans men.

      Also, while I'm not trans, IIRC the majority opinion is that as soon you identify as being a certain gender, you're a woman, man or something in between, respectively, regardless of whether you have medically transitioned or not.

      1 vote
      1. apoctr Link Parent
        Alright, I'll keep that in mind, thanks.

        Alright, I'll keep that in mind, thanks.

        1 vote