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LGBTQ+ for Dummies -- Part 1

Welcome to LGBTQ+ for Dummies

-- Part 1 -- What does LGBTQ+ mean and why was it created?

It's PRIDE month and we're celebrating and learning more about the LGBTQ+ community. And as a straight white male, I thought it fitting that I'd ask the uncomfortable questions many of us are afraid to ask. To answer these questions we have special guest expert Michelle Raymond from myGwork, a LinkedIn-like platform for the LGBTQ+ community, who will be droppin' the knowledge.

Listen and Learn!


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Chad (1m 3s):

Welcome to LGBTQ for Dummies Part One. It's Pride month and we're celebrating and learning more about the LGBTQ community. And as a straight white male, I thought it'd be fitting that I'd ask the uncomfortable questions many of us are afraid to ask. What does LGBTQ plus even mean? And why was it created? What's with all of these pronouns? And a much more. I'll be asking the hard and uncomfortable questions and our special expert guest, Michelle Raymond from My G Work, a LinkedIn like platform for the LGBT community will be dropping the knowledge. Let's do this.

Chad (1m 50s):

Thanks for joining us, Michelle, let's jump into question number one. This one comes from Frank in DeMoines, Iowa. Frank writes, what does LGBTQ plus mean?

Michelle (2m 2s):

It's a great question and I'm glad we're starting there. So essentially this has been termed the alphabet, the gay alphabet, if you will. But I think, I think it's probably best to start with a little history lesson, which is LGBTQIA+ wasn't used until very recently. The first use of the word homosexual wasn't even created until the late 1800s, we're talking 1889.

Chad (2m 25s):


Michelle (2m 26s):

And that was because up until, yeah, I know, up until that point, basically the way that people were referring to the LGBT community was with really derogative terms, like bugger, Molly, sodomites, abominable. Okay? So this term was actually created by an ally to the community to take away the negative connotation when expressing, you know you're speaking about someone from the LGBT community. Flash forward, many years later, we're talking 1900s, at this point, gay was replaced, you know, replaces homosexual. In 1970s that became gay and lesbian. That's with the feminist movement and the eighties LGB came to replace the terms to reference the broader community.

Michelle (3m 8s):

And then the '90s similar criticisms were brought forth by the trans community. So that's how we arrived to LGBT. But I'm just going to answer your question now and break it down one by one. And I hope this helps give a little bit of explanation. So essentially lesbian is L, G gay, B bisexual, trans, which can also be an umbrella term for different trans communities, Intersex is for I, Q can be queer and/or questioning and A can be asexual and/or ally, depending on who you ask. And there's this plus sign, which is very helpful and which is meant to cover anyone who's not included in the acronym that I just laid out.

Chad (3m 51s):

Okay, so I am a straight white cis-gender male. Why so many labels for a specific person like myself? And what about non-binary and what is cis-gender anyway?

Michelle (4m 5s):

That's a really good question. So first let's break it down to language.

Chad (4m 8s):


Michelle (4m 9s):

So language can have very important social functions.

Chad (4m 12s):


Michelle (4m 12s):

It fosters feelings of group identity, even personal identity. It can be extremely powerful. It can be an aid that tools and building new relationships, expressing value systems or even experiences. So, first of all, the reason why someone may choose to label themselves as lesbian or queer or CIS or non-binary, it has a lot of meaning behind it. And so basically when we're talking about biological sex versus sexual orientation versus gender expression, the easiest way to explain it is like this. So cisgender is anyone who feels this personal sense of identity to the gender that corresponds with what they were assigned at birth. So if on your birth certificate, it says male, and you identify as male, you would be considered cis-gender because the way that you identify is the same as the assignment that you were given at the time of birth.

Michelle (5m 2s):

Gender identity is internal, so if you want to really have a cheat sheet to understand the difference between gender identity and expression, think about it identity as inside. It's how you feel deeply about your sense of gender. It doesn't necessarily mean you need to express yourself physically or outwardly. It doesn't mean that you have to identify with male or female. You know, maybe the way that you identify doesn't fit neatly into one of those two choices. And so with expression, that's how you express yourself through your name, through your pronouns, through your clothing, haircuts, you know, even characteristics. And so this is a little cheat sheet that can help you with understanding the three different things which are biological sex, gender identity, and gender expression.

Chad (5m 46s):

Excellent. Again, this is Michelle Raymond from My G Work. Michelle, thank you so much for joining us. And we have a whole series on this LGBTQ plus for Dummies, so this is just part one. Look for part two, three, and four, because they're coming. Thanks, Michelle.

Michelle (6m 3s):

Thank you.

Chad (6m 3s):

We out.

LGBQT OUTRO (6m 4s):

Thank you to Michelle and the crew over at My G Work for participating in LGBTQ plus for Dummies, a pride special podcast series from the Chad and Cheese, HR's most dangerous podcast.


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