Definitions of Terms and Symbols of LGBTQ Community
|Double Man's Symbol: Representing the planet Mars, this symbol represents men loving men.|
|Double Women's Symbol: Representing the planet Venus, this symbol represents women loving women.|
|Freedom Rings: These six colored aluminum rings are linked together and reminiscent of the Rainbow Flag. Wearing them has come to symbolize independence and tolerance of others. The rings are often used in necklaces, bracelets, rings and key chains.|
|Lambda: This Greek letter was adopted by the Gay Activist Alliance in 1970 as a symbol of the gay movement. An ancient Greek regiment of warriors who carried a flag emblazoned with the lambda marched into battle with their male lovers. The groups was noted for their fierceness and willingness to fight until death.|
|Pink Triangle: An inverted pink triangle was a Nazi symbol used to identify homosexuals during the Holocaust. The symbol was adopted by gays and lesbian activists to remember those who were tortured and killed in Nazi concentration camps.|
|Rainbow Flag: The flag was originally designed by San Francisco artist, Gilbert Baker, in 1978 and was intended to be a symbol of gay and lesbian pride. It was inspired by the Flag of the Races which had five stripes, each one representing the colors of human kind. The six colors of the flag — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple — represent the diversity and unity within the LGBTQ movement. The widespread use of the flag is due less to any official recognition of it as a symbol and more to its adoption by members of the LGBTQ community.|
- Ally: Any non-lesbian, non-gay, non-bisexual or non-transgendered person whose attitudes and behavior are both anti-homophobic and anti-heterosexist and who works toward combating homophobia and heterosexism on a personal and professional level. See who we are!
- Bisexual: A person who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to both men and women.
- Coming Out: To publicly declare and affirm one's homosexuality to oneself or to others.
- Gay: A common and acceptable term for male homosexuals, but also used when referring to both men and women.
- Heterosexism: Evidenced by the assumption that everyone is heterosexual. The systematic oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons that is directly linked to sexism.
- Heterosexual: A person who is emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex.
- Homophobia: The irrational fear of homosexuals, homosexuality or any behavior, belief or attitude of self or others which does not conform to rigid sex and gender-role stereotypes. The extreme behavior of homophobia is violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender persons.
- Homosexual: A person who is emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted to a person of the same sex.
- In the Closet: To hide one's homosexuality in order to maintain one's job, housing situation, friends, family or in some other way to survive life in a heterosexist culture. Many LGBTQ persons are out in some circumstances, but closeted in others.
- Internalized Oppression: The process by which a member of an oppressed group comes to accept and live out the inaccurate myths and stereotypes applied to the group.
- Lesbian: A common and acceptable term for female homosexuals.
- Transgender: An umbrella term for individuals who blur the lines of traditional gender expression. It sometimes refers to cross dressers and transsexuals. It also reflects recent scholarship which suggests gender to be socially constructed. Transgendered individuals recognize the social construction of their genders and thus do not fit neatly within societal-prescribed gender roles determined by biological sex.
- Queer: In the past, this term was a derogatory word for gay men and lesbians. It has been reclaimed by more radical LGBTQ activists during the 1980s and used in the slogans of ACT UP and Queer Nation (We're here, we're queer, get used to it!). Considered a more inclusive term than gay, queer also sometimes refers to a more radical and confrontational type of activism.
* Definitions found on The Human Rights Campaign website.