LGBT community welcomes all

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 Illustration by Ansley Lewis

Illustration by Ansley Lewis

Open dialogue necessary for understanding sexual equality.

By Juan Anthony Rodriguez

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has always sought to bring public attention to issues involving sexual orientation, sexual identity and gender identity, an Esperanza Peace and Justice Center staff member named Sacred said Sept. 29.

Sexuality, once defined as simply gay or straight, has grown to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, Sacred said. Moreover, those definitions now go beyond sexual preference to include gender identity, or a person’s identification as man or woman, she said.

Queer, which was once used as a derogatory term, “has been reclaimed to empower and identify people who do not conform to gender-specific identities,” Sacred said.

The LGBT community has unofficially added the letters “IQQAA” – for intersex, questioning, queer, asexual and ally – to its acronym, according to

Intersex, previously known as “hermaphrodite,” is defined as someone whose chromosomes, hormonal profiles and anatomy do not conform to expected configurations of typical male or female bodies.

Questioning refers to a person’s uncertainty about his or her sexual orientation or gender identity, accompanied by a period of self-exploration, according to

Asexuality is the absence of desire and sexual interest in males or females, a lifelong void of sexual attraction.

An ally is anyone who supports and honors sexual and gender diversity, and acts to challenge homophobic, heterosexist and transphobic remarks or behaviors.

“Including all people and not excluding anyone is the focus of a GLBT activist,” Sacred said.


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