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Showing posts with label LGBT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LGBT. Show all posts

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

 Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Just Different: Some people take comfort in labeling their sexuality: gay or straight, dominant or submissive, and so on. Having that label allows people to feel part of a group and to get support from others. But what if you're unable or unwilling to pin down your sexuality in this way?

 Perhaps you've been attracted to both guys and girls. Perhaps you're turned on by the thought of being the "doer" or the "done to," sexually speaking. Perhaps you've experimented with cross-dressing or even "passing" as the opposite gender, but don't wish to take a permanent step in that direction. You may identify with the Aboriginal concept of a "two-spirit" person: someone who has both male and female identities.

If you can't put your sexual identity in a box, you face unique challenges and opportunities.In a black-and-white world. Grey people tend to be misunderstood. Even if you feel no need to label your own sexuality, others may want to label you anyway. Not fitting into any obvious group could make it harder for you to get the emotional and practical support you may need. On the other hand, many of today's sexual-diversity groups - particularly those who cater to GLBT (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered) youth - welcome just about anybody who stands outside the big box of heterosexuality.

Your free-spirited sexuality will give you the opportunity to form relationships with a diverse group of people. And you're also in a unique position to help other people understand sexual diversity. Just remember that being different doesn't mean you can exploit or harm people, sexually or otherwise. If you handle your sexuality responsibly, there's every chance you'll find a safe place in today's diverse sexual world.

At some point you'll probably want to disclose your sexual identity to the important people in your life, such as parents or close friends. You may find it helpful to use some of the principles outlined in the coming out section for homosexuals, bearing in mind that your own coming-out process may be even more challenging. Even after you've explained why the usual labels don't apply to you, people may want to label you as something you're not.

You may want to launch the discussion by touching on this problem. For example:

 "It seems there's a lot of pressure for people to label themselves as straight, gay, or whatever. I'm having a hard time with that idea. I'd like to talk to you about how I've been experiencing my sexuality, which doesn't seem to fit into any of these categories."
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Loving and respecting GLBT for who they are…

  GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender)
You might argue rather convincingly say that such things are best left unsaid, that it's personal, that we should keep quiet about it, out of respect for the sensibilities of others.
Such a course of action, however, is really a denial of whom and what we are, and yet one more form of condemnation. It is a message that says our homosexuality is so shameful and disgraceful that not speaking about it is the best course of action. That silence is the only appropriate response.
This is the human affect of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. We have the drive, the skills, the passion and determination to serve our country. Yet we have been denied that opportunity because we are homosexuals. In order to serve, we have been told, we must violate the very principles of the armed forces: You must lie. Our military stands to defend all that is great about America: diversity, equality, and freedom. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is an affront to these core American values. DADT seeks to silence diversity, it chokes out the principle of equality, and it violates the freedoms of thousands of LGBT Americans who want to serve their country, but are not allowed to do so.
How can our needs be met when we are not even free to say what they are?
It's a bit of a spiritual cruelty to demand that homosexuals be dishonest, to praise honesty in others but condemn homosexuals for it. Why should anyone be so shamed of what they are that they would even consider trying to cover it up and pretend to be something different?
Our rights, which include the right to equality, freedom, to freedom of opinion, the rights to political freedom, and the right to remove oneself from trouble and oppression. The right to marriage, to protect one's honor, the right for privacy and security of private life.
I wonder, if it meant to include or exclude homosexuals. Do homosexuals, have the right to "dignity, and not to be abused or ridiculed"? Do we have the right to remove ourselves from "trouble and oppression"?
Or are these rights the exclusive property of heterosexuals?
By speaking the truth in these matters we can reach some conclusions, perhaps even go forward.
In speaking the truth, we can reveal who we are, and what we are, and what our needs are. What our hopes and dreams are. The world can begin to see that we as homosexuals want to be accepted and understood and be part of the community. We want to attend our local place of faith - we don't want to stay home due to fear or shame or indifference- we don't want to be left to fend for ourselves in the spiritual wilderness. We want the ability to get married and carry on committed loving, lifetime relationships in full view of the community - we don't want to be trivialized and marginalized and forced to find fleeting solace in discos and Western-style bars.
For homosexuals to be dishonest carries a heavy pricetag. We spend an enormous amount of time and energy maintaining a double life. Our feelings become split: in some situations, we are free to be ourselves; in other situation, we must put on our "straight" face and pretend to be heterosexual.
We complicate our lives needlessly. Parents continually ask when we will "get married" - we long to tell them the truth and put such questions to rest, but know, we cannot.
On and on it goes. We are continually pretending to be something we are not, trying to remember "who knows" and "who doesn't" and who is it safe to talk to and who is not. We are constantly juggling the truth with the lie depending on the situation and the place. One's entire life begins to revolve around the "dirty secret".
It goes deeper.
To live one's life with the knowledge or belief that we are unworthy, that we should be condemned, that there is something wrong with us, creates any number of emotions from sadness and shame to fear and rage, and can result in depression, suicide, despair, hopelessness, spiritual conflict and turmoil.
Because these feelings are never shared with loved ones especially parents, it cause all sorts of damage. Fear is what keeps us in silence.
But it's not just the fear of physical violence; it's also the fear of emotional and psychological violence.
What about young man or woman just entering adulthood? How do they, in the turmoil of adolescence, dare approach their parents, or even their friends, with such a secret that makes us feel dirty and a shame of who we are?
The truth will set us free. "The truth will set you free".
It is this facing facts and honesty that we need in the debate on homosexuality. As homosexuals, we need to be honest about who we are; and be able to address our concerns to our community; we need to be heard, and understood; we need compassion and love.
For its part, the world needs to be more educated about homosexuality. It needs to be aware of the consequences it carries in the lives of people like us when we are treated with disrespect. Policies of hatred and discrimination are directed at relatives, friends, and co-workers. These policies reduce the quality of life and happiness of all those involved. They weaken the community, and sometimes destroying relationships, friendships and families.
People you less expect are homosexuals… it can be a friend, your sister, your brother, your son, your daughter, your mother, or even your father and you will not know it.
 They are treated with love until you find out, then suddenly they’re different to you. Where is the love and respect we have for one another?…This world would be a better place if we love people for who and what they are, not what we want them to be!
By: ABodyMindSpirit
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