Gender and sexuality are complex, personal topics, and asking questions about them can often feel invasive or even offensive. Discussions about them can be tough to navigate, especially online, where people's guards are often up and hostility and harassment are common.
In order to help clear the air and provide a safe space for honest and genuine dialogue, we have assembled a cross-section of Tildes' LGBT community to whom you can ask questions. These volunteers have agreed to open up about their experiences, identities, and knowledge.
In this thread, you will be able to ask our panelists questions regarding anything you've ever wanted to know about being LGBT. Our goal is to provide you with meaningful answers, not judge you for your questions! For the purposes of this thread, LGBT refers to the umbrella term under which all minority gender and sexual identities fall.
Guidelines for Participation
- Questions will be afforded the principle of charity. Ask any questions you've ever wanted to know, especially those you might feel are "not okay" to ask elsewhere.
- Feel free to ask informational questions (e.g. "What does 'pansexual' mean?"), experiential questions (e.g. "Are you out to your family? If so, how did they respond to you coming out?"), and opinion questions (e.g. "What are your thoughts on the various LGBT acronyms?").
- You can ask questions to the whole panel or to specific members. If asking specific members, please ping them using an
@usernamemention in your comment.
- Follow-up questions are allowed and encouraged.
- Not all questions have to be serious! It's totally okay to ask fun, non-serious stuff too.
- Panelists have the right to pass on any question they do not want to answer. While they might give a reason for passing, they are not required to do so.
- Similarly, not all questions will receive answers from all panelists. We have a large group and don't want to overwhelm everyone with 10+ responses to every question.
- Each panelist is speaking from their own experience and perspective, so you might find conflicting information in responses to a question, and that's okay! We're a diverse group of different people, not a unified monoculture!
- The panel's make-up is based entirely on who volunteered and is not meant to be representative of all identities under the LGBT umbrella.
- Similarly, any one panelist's voice should not be taken as representative of the opinion of all those who share their identity.
- Please remember that these panelists are choosing to share intimate and often difficult personal information. Please respect their disclosure in your responses -- they are putting themselves out there for you!
- If you do not wish to see or participate in this thread for whatever reason, use Tildes' ignore topic feature to hide it from your feed.
Here are the users who will be answering your questions:
You can get more information on each in their bios below:
Full Panelist Bios
|@Algernon_Asimov||Gay man||I'm "Algernon". I'm a middle-aged gay man living in Australia. I came of age during the 1980s, when "gay" meant "Got AIDS Yet?".|
|@CALICO||Pan & Poly, Male-shaped, Agender, Non-transitioning Trans||None/No-preference||Late-20's, military brat, former military, current gov't contractor. Historically lived all over the US; in the past 18-months I've lived in three states and two non-US countries—currently Afghanistan. Out where it matters, closeted where it doesn't. Unmarried—probably forever—in a LT/LDR currently with just one person. Shameless hippie, hobbyist, & aspiring author.|
|@Cleb||Genderfluid (Agender & Femme, also fine with just Non-Binary)||They/Them, She/Her||Early 20s, American, white, closeted in real life. Grew up in very conservative & religious area, still live here. Can talk about growing up like that, my struggle with fluidity/internalized transphobia/gender as a whole, things relating to trans culture on the internet, and any of the other standard fare trans and gender-nonconforming person questions.|
|@emdash. If you wanted to find my real name and social media profiles, you probably could, but keep it to yourself and don't be a dick, okay?||Gay cis-male||He/him||Early 20s (wow there's a theme emerging) guy living in New Zealand. Software engineering degree, but I hate the industry, so working on my own business and studying to be a pilot instead (aka the backup plan). I also fly a paraglider for fun. I've always lived in New Zealand, but would love to live overseas. Have the Tinder/Taimi profile tuned to a fine fucking art (IMHO). Out to friends, family aren't informed since I'm not particularly close to them anyway.|
|@Gaywallet||pan, poly, enby (nonbinary)||they/them||Early 30s, lived in California my whole life. Currently have 5 partners and feeling quite polysaturated. Big into raving, psychedelics, and general hippy stuff but with a queer focus. Out to friends and family, but not fully flying my flag at work (work in progress to happen this year).|
|@kfwyre||gay cis male||he/him/they/them||Teacher. Happily married. Living in the US, and grew up in a very conservative Christian area. Came out in my 20s and dealt with severe depression and fallout with family.|
|@patience_limited||Queer; intersex non-binary||they/them/she/her||Mainly in the sidebar. US, 50's, raised near a university town, married. White(ish).|
|@reifyresonance||transfemme, queer, poly||she/they||19, living in the southern US. Studied in China for a year and did a field research project on marginalized queer identities in Shanghai nightlife (talked to people in gay bars), so if anyone wants to hear my (white, American) thoughts on that, I'm game :). I also got to help start an LGBT organization at my school there! Spent the last six months or so doing computer programming, and was part of the workplace LGBT affinity group. (Also, general transgender questions.)|
|@ShilohMizook (Shiloh)||Bisexual, lean mostly towards guys. Cis male.||He, Him.||17, I go to a Catholic school in Florida, but the people there are pretty accepting, so I'm out to everyone. My parents try to avoid the subject. I've never actually met another non-straight guy in real life, which has kind of frustrated me, but it's okay.|
|@Silbern||Gay male||He/him||I'm an early 20's white guy with Asperger's Syndrome studying Computer Science. I come from a military family, so I've traveled a lot and lived in many places that were across the spectrum in gay friendliness. I currently live in Hawaii, which might be relevant both for my answers as well as possible time zone limitations.|
|@tindall||bisexual transgender female||she/her||Software engineer just getting out of college and into my first long-term full-time gig, at a company making cancer screening software. Grew up all over the place (East Coast, then Texas, then California) and I'm now in the Midwest. I care a lot about making the world a gentler and more supportive place for everyone, and I try to apply my skills to do that.|
|@Whom (...and Scarlett)||Trans lesbian||She||Early 20s, raised in the rural US (Wisconsin) studying English Education. Oh, and white. That's the important bits for context. I'm very familiar with current youth trans culture on the internet (which is so pervasive within the community that it's necessary for understanding what it's like being young and trans), so I'm well-equipped to answer questions relating to that or, of course, the trans experience as I see it. I might also be a decent resource to ask about how mental illness (particularly depression, severe anxiety, and light dissociation) fits into the whole picture.|