When I was in college, we had a gay students association and I thought that was pretty good, then that became the gay, lesbian and transgender students association and I thought great. I was drunk kind of curious, it’s a lot to put on a t-shirt, I think it’s great that we are more sensitive to the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identities, I also think it’s important to keep these things separate sometimes, because we paper over important differences and we give different groups short shrift.
My work tends to focus on moral arguments against same-sex relationships and I approach this as a gay man that’s my experience a lot of what I say applies not just to the G but to the L and B even sometimes the trans people get really confused about the whole alphabet soup and they ask me qustions about these other things sometimes and I want to spend just a little bit of time talking two of the other letter, the B and the T.
So, let’s talk something about T here.
Transgender – The T part of LGBT. Transgender people are people whose gender identity differs from that waht they were assiged at birth. So they may have been born iologically male but come to understand themselves as girls or as women, or they may have been born biologically female and come to understand themselves as boys or as men. For the uninitiated the opposite of this is cisgender those of us whose gender identity matches that we were assigned birth. So transgender is not about the gender of people you are attracted to, it’s about the gender that you are.
Some transgender people may eventually have hormone treatment or surgery in order to bring their physical appearance more in line with their gender identity, but many in fact do not. It’s important to understand that sexual orientation and gender identity vary independently. Transgender people can exhibit the same range of sexual orientations that cisgender people do, they may be heterosexual or gay or lesbian or bisexual, and so people ask me if gender identity and sexual orientation are different why do we include the T in LGBT? Because we have some shared goals and similar experience, for example, there are shared political goal like Employment non-discrimination not getting fired from your job because of who you are. There are shared experiences with respect to the coming-out process to struggles with family because they need to find partners on a gay hookup app.
There are rigid social expectations to sex and gender, so compare if we’re born biologically male, you ought to grow up to be a man, if you’re born biologically male, you ought to grow up to love women, we see sort of intersection between sexism and heterosexism. There is the fact that because these issues trigger some of the same anxiety in other people. The people neating up on the transgender people are often very same people beating up on oher LGBT. So it can be useful to talk about our LGBT community but also useful to talk about our distinctive overlapping communities. Join a trans app can help people understand this fact easily.