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Previous Words of the Month
- January 2018: Asexual
- Asexual people, as the name implies, do not experience sexual desire. Those who do are allosexual. However, like most gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations, sexuality itself is hardly a binary. Those who experience limited sexual desire may refer to themselves as graysexual, and those who require an emotional connection may refer to themselves as demisexual. It is important to note that desire in this context is affective, not cognitive or behavioral. Many asexual people may not want to have sex (affective) but they still do, for a variety of reasons (behavioral). They may even enjoy the feeling of having sex, but this does not imply that they desire it.
- November 2017: Trans
- Trans (short for transgender) people identify with a sex or gender different from what they were assigned at birth. For some this might be male, assigned female at birth (F2M or MAFAB) or female, assigned male at birth (M2F or FAMAB). For others this might be a gender not in the binary or multiple genders that coexist or fluctuate. Pervasive transphobia and gender dysphoria are not the faults of trans individuals, but byproducts of a society built on the gender binary (only acknowledging male and female in language, clothing, media, legislation, etc.), telling children what their gender is, and refusing to accept scientific evidence of trans identity. November contains Trans Day of Remembrance (November 20, 2017) and many communities expand this to a Trans Awareness Week.
- October 2017: Coming Out
- Coming out refers to the process of an LGBTQ+ person telling others about their gender identity/sexual orientation. This process repeats throughout an LGBTQ+ person's life, as we constantly meet new people and sometimes the topic of gender or sexuality becomes relevant to the conversation, such as when talking about dating. For some, coming out can be a very stressful experience, especially when telling friends and family who may not understand the many identities that the LGBTQ+ community holds. In these cases, the best response is education, but the worst is fear, anger, and even estrangement.
- September 2017: Bisexuality
- Bisexuality is defined by Robyn Ochs, a bisexual activist, as the potential to be attracted, romantically and/or sexually, to people of more than one sex, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree. A more antiquated definition is sexual attraction to men and women. This definition, despite being concise and clear, is not accurate to many bisexual people, especially those who are attracted to androgyny (gender neutral presentation). Regardless of the definition, bisexual people can sometimes be seen as straight by ignorant third parties solely based on their current partner, and therefore not counted as LGBTQ+ or welcome at LGBTQ+-themed events. This phenomenon is referred to as "bi erasure", since they are being excluded from a community which is meant to include them (LGBTQ+). September is Bisexuality Awareness Month.
- August 2017: QTPOC
- QTPOC (pronounced Q-T-Pock) is a common abbreviation for "Queer and Transgender People/Person of Color". This community encompasses all non-heterosexual ("queer") and non-cisgender ("transgender") people of color or non-white people. Despite being subjected to simultaneous queerphobia, transphobia, and racism, QTPOC have contributed substantially to the LGBTQ+ Rights Movement and in many ways continue to be its cornerstone.
- July 2017: Nonbinary/Genderqueer
- Nonbinary (or genderqueer) refers to any gender identity (or lack thereof) other than man or woman. These individuals might use they/them/theirs pronouns (as opposed to he/him/his or she/her/hers), express themselves androgynously (gender neutrally), or fluctuate between different expressions. Some common identities that fall into this category are: agender, genderfluid, and bigender. More info. July 15th is International Nonbinary People's Day.
- June 2017: Stonewall
- The term Stonewall refers to the June 1969 riots in response to police brutality against the LGBTQ+ population in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, NY at the Stonewall Inn, a mafia-run gay bar. These riots, led by trans women of color such as Marsha P. Johnson, are considered by many to be the beginning of the LGBTQ+ Rights Movement.