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You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
We are an open and affirming, multi-racial and multi-cultural, assessable to all, peace and justice oriented body of faith. We go into the community and God's disciples. Grounded by the teachings of Jesus the Christ, we uplift Christ's goodness, create spiritual community, and care for God's people and God's world. Dynamic hope, incredible compassion, extravagant hospitality, and radical love are our core values.
Daniel Pillai’s He/She Project Growing up in a traditional south Asian community in Canada, Daniel Pillai didn’t quite fit in. “There was an inherent non-acceptance to who I was and how I acted,” he says. “I stuck out like a sore thumb.” Pillai spent his childhood in what he calls a “conservative atmosphere,” surrounded by […]
Addiction Treatment and the Recovery Process By Matt Gonzales, writer and researcher for DrugRehab.com Drug addiction is a chronic disease that affects your physical and mental health, job status and relationships. Once you’re hooked on a drug, your whole life revolves around it. Substance use disorders are common in the United States. Heroin use in […]
Who pays after the devastating Orlando shooting? After a tragedy, who pays the bill? There has been a lot of talk lately about medical costs and medical debt, even as the Affordable Care Act helps more Americans get the treatment they need without taking on crippling debt. Even with more people covered, medical treatment is […]
Making a Legal Case for Bisexuality Bisexuality is widely misunderstood. Bisexuals are often dismissed or used as a punchline by the straight community and sidelined in conversations about LGBT rights and equality, often while experiencing many of the same struggles and setbacks as the rest of the queer community. And for some–like Ray Fuller, a […]
Olympic Coverage Criticized as Homophobic? One of the most memorable moments of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio didn’t occur during an event. Instead, just after the women’s rugby event on Monday night, Brazil’s Isadora Cerullo’s partner, Marjorie Enya, surprised her with a proposal. As reported by CNN, Enya said in her emotional speech “I […]
Reclaiming Queer: Language & The LGBT Community
Navigating terminology can be a tricky balance for anyone becoming active in the LGBT community: when should we use gender-neutral pronouns? Are “transvestite” and “transsexual” still acceptable terms? What’s the LGBT community’s stance on “queer”? As a wider array of identities and sexualities are brought into the LGBT community, it may be helpful to re-examine the language we use, making sure that terms are inclusive and reflect changing sensibilities.
Using Queer in The LGBT Community
One of the most widely-used and heard terms might also be one of the most controversial. “Queer” was used as a pejorative as early as the 19th century, and only started to be reclaimed by the LGBT community in the late 1980s, so it’s fair to say the term comes with a lot of historical baggage.
The reclamation of “queer” was spearheaded by radical gay-rights groups, but since then it’s moved toward the mainstream as an umbrella term for anyone who doesn’t identify as heterosexual and cisgender (a term for someone whose gender identity conforms to their biological sex). So, some folks that are bisexual, asexual, gender fluid, or choose not to specifically identify, embrace the term queer.
#Queer can be more inclusive for those who don't identify as heterosexual and cisgender. #LGBTQ Click To Tweet
Maybe it’s this flexibility that makes “queer” such a popular term, especially among younger members of the LGBT community. It’s a term that allows for a lot of fluidity, which can be helpful for someone who is becoming more aware of their sexuality and gender identity. While some members of the LGBT community still find the term offensive because of its history as a negative term, others support the term because of its inclusivity.
The Evolving Language of Trans People in the LGBT Community
Transgender terminology has had a long and shifting history. Did you know that even before Europeans came to the country, some Native American tribes recognized a third gender identity? In these tribes, this identity is currently referred to as “two-spirited,” and there are trans people through early American history who were known for “living as” a member of the opposite gender. Well into the 20th century, “transvestite” and “transsexual” were used to describe what we would now call transgendered people.
Some Native American tribes recognized a third gender identity. #LGBTQ Click To Tweet
Luckily, trans visibility has moved the conversation – and language – forward, with the wider culture beginning to understand and recognize transgendered people. Famous trans women like Laverne Cox and Caitlin Jenner have done a lot to bring trans issues into the spotlight and educate the public. There’s still a long way to go, with a troubling amount of violence against trans women still occurring every year, but public discussions on representing and protecting transgendered people in the LGBT community has started to yield some positive results.
Making a Place in the LGBT Community for Gender-Neutrality
Non-binary, genderqueer, gender-neutral – even if we’re finally learning how to talk about trans people, it’s going to take more time for society to learn how to refer to non-gender conforming people. A lot of the blame might fall on pronouns: most people grow up knowing “him” and “her” or “she” and “he.” But what about “ze,” or the using “they” as a singular pronoun? It’s less intuitive, but maybe that’s only because we’ve been conditioned to using gendered pronouns. Unfortunately, to a lot of people the idea is still completely foreign.
At their core, gender-neutral pronouns speak to deeply-rooted issues of identification, inclusivity, and gender dynamics. If someone prefers a gender-neutral pronoun and the person they’re talking to keeps using “him” or “her,” the gender-neutral person is going to feel like their personal preferences are being intentionally ignored in favor of gendered pronouns, and this can lead to feeling ostracized from the conversation.
The #LGBTQ Community should embrace sexual and gender fluidity to create safe, inclusive spaces. Click To Tweet
How The LGBT Community Can Watch Its Language
No one likes to feel like the words they use are being policed, but at the same time, it’s important for the LGBT community to embrace evolving ideas of sexual and gender fluidity to create safe, inclusive spaces for those who don’t fall completely into traditional definitions. It may sound like a lot of work, but the end result is wider acceptance and equality. Remember: it wasn’t long ago that the word “transgender” didn’t exist. A lot of progress has been made through open dialogue and sharing our knowledge, and talking about these issues will continue to enrich the LGBT community.