2012

2012 Theme: Pride Links Us Together


Definitions

LBGT: Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender

Advocate: An ally who actively works to end intolerance, educates others, and supports LBGT issues, concerns, equal rights legislation, etc.

Ally: A heterosexual of LBGT person who supports LBGT people. Someone who confronts heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, heterosexual and genderstraight privilege in themselves and others; has a concern for the well-being of LBGT people; and a belief that heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are social justice issues.

Closeted/In the Closet: Refers to an LBGT person who will not or cannot disclose their sex, sexuality, sexual orientation or gender identity to their friends, family, co-workers, or society. It can also refer to one who has come out to only a few people. There are varying degrees of being “in the closet”; for example, a person can be out in their social life, but in the closet at work, or with their family.

Gay: Usually, but not always, refers to homosexual men. Also used as umbrella term for LBGT community.

Gender Identity/Expression: A person’s sense of being masculine, feminine, or other gendered. How people perceives/identifies themselves about what pronouns they use themselves. This may or may not agree with the traditional societal gender roles outlined for their sex. (It’s important to understand that everyone has a gender identity/expressions.)

Gender Roles: The societal and cultural expectations of people based upon their biological sex.


Commonly Asked Questions

Q: What do I do if one of my family members comes out to me as LBGT? 
A: Remember, first of all, that this person has probably spent a lot of time preparing to share this information with you and is likely to be very 
anxious about how you will respond. Try to be glad that your family member has trusted you enough to tell you. Although you may feel shock or surprise, do not immediately assume that this person needs to see a mental health professional. If your relative is having trouble sorting out the myths or accepting this identity, there are LGBT organizations that offer counseling services or referrals to counselors who can help them. These organizations can provide you with information as well. You may also want to look up the Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (P-FLAG) group that meets in your area. P-FLAG affiliates provide support, education, and advocacy to families and friends of LGBT people in their communities.

Q: How should I respond? 
A: You may want to "catch up" and ask how long your family member has been aware of his/her orientation or if there is someone special in his/her life. Be honest about any negative feelings you may have but remain open to the possibility that your feelings may change and say so. Don’t slam the door on your relationships. Finally, realize that many members experience their own “coming out” process as they integrate this new knowledge about their loved one. Do not hesitate to look for resources to help you deal with the changes in your family.

Q: How do people become LBGT? 
A: Researchers cannot yet definitely say. Most believe that childhood experiences, genetics, hormones, and environmental factors all combine to influence sexuality and gender.

Q: With all the prejudice and dis-crimination they face, how can LBGT people be happy? 
A: All members of non-majority groups face many pressures, but they also realize that acceptance of oneself brings about a sense of joy that outweighs any pain or difficulty that prejudice may cause. The most painful situation that a person is likely to face is rejection by family members or others to whom they are close because of sexual orientation or gender identity. 


Campus Resources

Student Health Center: offers counseling and psychological services
Lamar Allies: student organization striving for the equal treatment of all minority groups, specifically focusing on the issues of LBGT individuals