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Learning About LGBT+

Alex McLaren, Staff Writer

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LGBT+ is an entire minority category that seems to either be overlooked every time it comes up in conversation, or spark intense debates. Many who have never identified in this community may not understand what it’s like to be LBGT+.

There is a long history of hatred to the community built upon misunderstanding, bias, and lack of the ability to accept those who are different from “normal.” This hate has built up for centuries, but is slowly melting away. Even today many people don’t even know what the acronym LGBT+ means, and what each separate group identifies with.

LGBT+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and plus. In the plus are asexual, aromantic, and pansexual. Here we are going to explain in depth the definition of LGBT+, and tell about some of the things that these people have experienced in their life in the LGBT+ community.

Two of the most recognized sexualities in the LGBT+ community are gay and lesbian people.

I’m not any different from anyone else. I’m just a girl who likes girls, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

— Caitlyn Puhse

 

When we asked a student, Dylan, he said, “I can tell you why a female is physically attractive. I can give you all the credentials like she’s slim, she’s got a nice body, she actually has makeup on, etc. But, it’s not the fact that I’m repulsed by a female, but it’s the fact that I don’t find them attractive and I don’t think that should be undermined, I think it’s just more of a preference. I’m not saying that being gay is a choice, I’m pretty sure I was born like this, I’m saying love who you love, love who you want to love, and don’t let anyone else tell you who you can’t love.” 

Another two sexualities people seem to overlook is Bisexuality and Pansexuality. Bisexuality is a person attracted to both male and female. It doesn’t mean both at the same time (as that would be polyamory), but simply that someone is attracted to someone from either gender. Pansexuality is close, but someone who is pansexual feels attraction to all genders. Pansexuals don’t really care how a person identifies, as long as their partner is happy.

Some students have to face hearing things like, “It’s just a phase,” and “You’re dating a guy/girl? That means you’re straight/gay, not bi or pan!” Which is understandably frustrating to hear for some people. Just because you’re dating one gender doesn’t mean you don’t feel attraction to other genders. This also doesn’t mean that bi and pan people are more likely to cheat.

GHW interviewed Oliver Nelson over his struggles, as he identifies as transgender. “People think that your genitals describe who you are. Either you have boy parts and you are a boy, or you have girl parts and you’re a girl. The majority of people identify as cisgender, cisgender meaning that they are comfortable with the gender they were born with. People think you absolutely have to stick with what you got, but they don’t understand that sometimes your brain identifies differently. People constantly say, ‘Oh, if you’re a girl then you transition to being a guy, and if you’re a guy, then you transition to being a girl. I am a guy. I’ve always been a guy. I just have the anatomy of a female. I have always felt this way and thought this way my whole life.” 

 

There’s a whole spectrum of sexualities left to explore, but the last on our list is asexuality, or the lack of sexual attraction. There’s a whole spectrum for people who identify as asexual. A GCHS grad dealing with his feelings on being asexual told GHW, “I just don’t have time to force my mind to be attracted to things my body isn’t.” When we talked to Dominik Topal, a student that identifies as asexual, he told GHW, “When one of my friends will look at a guy or girl and be like, ‘Oh my gosh! They’re so hot!’ I just do this thing, where I look at them, and I’m like, ‘I like their shoes?’”

The LGBT+ spectrum is wide, complex, and often confusing. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t accept those who identify within it. These people are already having a hard time trying to find out who they are, especially teenagers facing these thoughts, and they don’t need any more confusion.

Instead of rejecting a friend, an acquaintance, or even a celebrity for how they are choosing to identify, we, as a whole society, should simply accept them for who they are, and not question if they try to change later. Even if you don’t understand why, you don’t have to, because it’s not yours to understand. Just let people be who they want to be.

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Learning About LGBT+