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Queer-Community Alphabet Soup
Terminology: A Starting Point
"This glossary is offered as a starting point for discussion. Language is dynamic, continually growing and changing. This is particularly true with the language we use to identify ourselves. We should strive to ensure that our language does not demean, exclude, or offend, by respectfully allowing others to self-identify." — (2018)
Queer: An umbrella term for orientations, gender identities and/or gender expressions that do not conform to societal expectations. Some people view this as a reclaimed term of empowerment and some people (typically from older generations) strongly dislike this term.
Santa Clarita Valley (Abbr. SCV): Area located between the Golden State Freeway (Interstate 5) and the Antelope Valley Freeway (State Hwy 14). Its main population center is the city of Santa Clarita which includes the communities of Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, and Valencia. Santa Clarita is the third largest city in Los Angeles County, following Los Angeles and Long Beach in population.
Inclusive: Makes all subgroups within a community valued and important.
Intersectional: Acknowledges that each person has various social identities, such as race, gender, sexuality, class, etc., that interact and contribute to that person's experience of the world and specific oppression.
LGBTQ+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, plus so many more!
An inclusive acronym used to describe orientations, gender identities and/or gender expressions that do not conform to societal expectations.
Lesbian: A woman who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to other women.
Gay: While most often referring to men, in its broadest meaning this is a person who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to people of the same gender.
Bisexual (Abbr. Bi): A person who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to both people of the same gender and people not of the same gender.
Transgender (Abbr. Trans): In its broadest meaning, this umbrella term encompasses anyone whose gender identity does not correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth.
Queer: See definition above.
Plus +: An addendum to "LGBTQ" meant to include related identities while maintaining a concise acronym.
Two-Spirit: A Native American term for LGBTQ+ individuals with dual or multiple genders. It can mean having both a masculine and a feminine spirit. In different communities, it has different meanings.
Transgender (Abbr. Trans): See definition above.
Same-Gender Loving (Abbr. SGL): A term coined by African American activist, Cleo Manago, which is used in some communities of color as a culturally affirming description of same-sex attraction. The term may be preferred over lesbian, gay, or bisexual.
Questioning: A person who is unsure about or still exploring their orientation and/or gender identity.
Queer: See definition above.
Pansexual (Abbr. Pan): A person who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to people independently of their gender identity, gender expression, or biological sex.
Non-Binary (Abbr. NB, Enby): A person who does not identify as a man or a woman. They might identify as both, neither, somewhere inbetween, a different gender, or no gender at all. They may prefer other terms for themselves, like: genderqueer, gender-expansive, gender fluid, two-spirit, agender, etc.
Lesbian: See definition above.
Intersex: A person whose biological anatomy and/or genes vary from the expected male or female anatomy and/or genes.
Homosexual: A clinical term used to describe someone who is gay or lesbian. This term is dated and many prefer gay or lesbian.
Heterosexual: A clinical term used to describe someone who is attracted to people of the opposite sex.
Gender Expansive: A person whose gender expression and/or identity broadens or overflows binary cultural and societal expectations for men and women. Some people prefer this term to "gender non-conforming".
Gay: See definition above.
Drag King or Drag Queen: A person who uses gender expression as a means of performance or entertainment.
Crossdresser: A term used to describe cisgender people who dress in clothing that the society and culture they are in deems inappropriate for the gender assigned to them at birth. .
Cisgender: Someone who is comfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth and is not transgender.
Bisexual (Abbr. Bi): See definition above.
Asexual: In its broadest meaning, this umbrella term encompasses anyone who has a low or absent sexual attraction or interest in sexual activity. Intimate romantic/affectional relationships may be desired.
Aromantic: In its broadest meaning, this umbrella term encompasses anyone who has a low or absent romantic attraction or interest in romantic activity. Sexual relationships may be desired.
Ally: A person who does not identify with a group, and advocates for that group's rights.
More Key Terms
Gender Expression: The part of a person's identity that is about conveying masculinity, femininity, or androgyny as influenced by society, culture, and individual expectations.
Gender Identity: The part of a person's identity that is about their sense of self as man, woman, neither, or both.
MSM: An abbreviation for men who have sex with men. These individuals may or may not identify as gay, bisexual, or pansexual.
Romantic Orientation: The part of our identity related to whom we are romantically attracted; also known as affectional orientation.
Sexual Orientation: The part of our identity related to whom we are sexually attracted.
Sex (Biological): The combination of anatomy, genetics, and hormones that contributes to being categorized as male, female, or intersex.
Biphobia: Negative feelings, attitudes, actions, or behaviors against people who are, or are perceived to be, bisexual or pansexual. It may also be a fear of one's own bisexual or pansexual attractions.
Cissexism: The system of advantages bestowed on people who are cisgender. It can also be the assumption that all people are, or should be, cisgender.
Heterosexism: The system of advantages bestowed on people who are heterosexual. It can also be the assumption that all people are, or should be, heterosexual and gender-conforming.
Homophobia: Negative feelings, attitudes, actions, or behaviors against people who are, or are perceived to be, LGBTQ+. It may also be a fear of one's own same-sex attractions.
Transphobia: Negative feelings, attitudes, actions, or behaviors against people who are, or are perceived to be, transgender. It may also be a fear of one's own gender non-conformity.
Deadname (or Deadnaming): The name given at birth to a transgender or non-binary person that they no longer use. Using this name intentionally is an extremely disrespectful form of transphobia called "deadnaming". Sometimes when a friend or family member begins using a new name, slip-ups occur out of habit. That's ok, quickly correct to their chosen name and carry on. With practice, it will become natural and easy to use correct names and pronouns.
"These labels save lives. These labels create a powerful sense of understanding and self-acceptance. The fact that the acronym has become a target for mockery only indicates the amount of work that still needs to be done around LGBTQIA+ civil rights." — Alex Myers (2018)
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Queer SCV: About
Building LGBTQ+ Community in the Santa Clarita Valley
The purpose of Queer SCV is to reduce social isolation by stimulating community development through the creation of inclusive, intersectional events and spaces for the LGBTQ+ population in Santa Clarita Valley.
For more information join us at our next event or follow our accounts on social media @QueerSCV where we have updated news and event information.