Here is an LBGTIQ interview about the situation for transgender people in South Africa that I enjoyed.
LBGTIQ in Africa have much more serious problems, than in the USA or Europe.
The LBGTIQ community is a very small percentage of any population. In much of Africa, the culture is one of no acceptance, punishment and death.
I was interested to hear how things stand in South Africa. Their problems are not one of being accepted legally in their country, but how the majority of (straight) people treat them.
Toilets always come up. Why on earth cant we just have toilets that simply say “Toilet” on the door? “Ladies” and “Gents”, to me, seem an artefact of Victorian prudery.
The topic of pronouns always come up. Well the gay community have done that to themselves. It is daunting for straight people to employ them, and have to walk on eggs, careful not to offend. Straight people are the majority of the population, I point out. The majority. So the majority of people find themselves in an awkward place, put there, by a small minority.
It is vital that we do not minimize or downplay how complex LGBTQ+ issues are, or imply that navigating them is simple in any way. They aren’t: most of our population has never been questioned or judged based on their sexualities or the fact that their physical and personal traits do not abide by traditional male or female stereotypes. Most people have not had to lie to themselves and others around them about who they are in regards to their gender, anatomy, and sexuality. These are tragic experiences that no one should have to cope with, and we are actively working to decrease the stigma surrounding the wonderfully diverse LGBTQ+ community. It is everyone’s responsibility to normalize being gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual, questioning, and anyone who falls on the spectrum of not identifying with traditional male and female roles, genders, and sexual preferences.
- Ally: those who consider themselves supportive friends to the LGBTQ+ community.
- Lesbian: a female who is romantically or sexually attracted to other females.
- Gay: a male who is romantically or sexually attracted to other males. Often used as an umbrella term to describe all homosexuals (individuals who are attracted to those of their same gender).
- Bisexual: individuals who are romantically or sexually attracted to both male and female genders.
- Transgender: a general term that refers to individuals who self-identify as a different gender than the one they were medically assigned at birth.
- Cisgender: an individual whose biological sex at birth corresponds with their gender identity
- Gender non-binary: umbrella term that encompasses all gender identities that do not correspond to traditional male or female profiles.
- Transsexual: these are transgender individuals who desire to medically transition from one sex to another (or already have).
- Two-spirit: general term typically utilized by Indigenous populations to denote someone who embodies aspects of both traditional male and female genders; they are said to have two spirits within them.
- Queer: general term for non-majority, non-heterosexual, or non-cisgendered individuals. This used to be considered a derogatory term, however the LGBTQ+ community has recently been re-introducing it in a more positive light.
- Questioning: any individual who is currently unsure about the applicability of specific societal labels regarding their sexual orientation, gender or sexual identity.
- Intersex: an individual whose sexual anatomy is not entirely male or female.
- Asexual: individuals who identify as having little to zero sexual attraction to anyone, of any gender or combination thereof.
- Pansexual: individuals who are sexually, romantically, or emotionally attracted to individuals regardless of their gender or sexual identity. Sometimes pansexual individuals will refer to themselves to as gender-blind, and assert that gender or sexual characteristics do not influence their attraction to another person.
- Agender: individuals who do not self-identify with a particular gender.
- Gender Queer: general term for individuals whose gender identities are not exclusively male or female.
- Bigender: individuals who self-identify as having aspects and characteristics both genders, either at the same or different time points. They may express that they are both masculine and feminine at the same time, or that they alternate between the two.
- Gender Variant: gender expression that defies stereotypical male and female gender norms.
- Pangender: those who self-identify as embodying all genders.
Recently I have read there are suggestions S should be added to the list of gender types.
S, for the majority of people. There is a Straight Pride march in Boston this year, in this month of Pride. I don’t know how I feel about that. My intuition tells me it’s more about taunting the Pride movement than celebrating “Straightness”.
I think the LBGTQI +++ community have a lot of troubles within their own communities and are tearing themselves apart already. That’s a real pity. I think us Straight people should butt out until they get themselves sorted.
We complain they are always in our faces, but WE, the system of the majority, are continually in theirs. The quicker we can get over the hump of toilets, pronouns, driver’s licences, passports, birth certificates, education in schools, quotas, labels and minisculi, the quicker we all will simply become just a bunch of people getting on with living our lives.
Its time we found a better system. Until then, it’s growing pains all round.
I feel sorry for us all.