Definitions by Ponoka Pride Society in response to letter

Written by ECA Review

Dear Editor,
I’m writing in reply to the letter to the editor in your newspaper on July 5.

On June 28 a man entered a classroom on the Waterloo campus and stabbed a professor and two students in a Gender Studies class. A targeted, specific attack related to gender expression and gender identity, police say.

There is a clear association between violence and anti-2S LGBTQIA+ content. Yes, even a letter to the editor printed in a rural newspaper. WORDS MATTER: speaking negatively about 2S LGBTQIA+ folks dehumanizes them and makes people think it’s okay to harm them.

No one is trying to recruit you or your children into our community. Just because we learn about math it doesn’t make us numbers! Math is a tool to help us understand the world around us. Kindness and acceptance benefit all of us.

We all benefit from conversations about sexuality and gender because they help us understand ourselves, people we love and even people we don’t know.

Sexual orientations and gender identities that aren’t heterosexual or cisgender are often described by the acronym 2SLGBTQ+ (or a variation of this acronym). 2SLGBTQ+ stands for:

2S – Two-Spirit (or 2 Spirit or 2S): an important term within some Indigenous cultures and for some Indigenous people, meaning a person with both a feminine and a masculine spirit living in the same body. This is often used to describe sexual orientation, gender identity and / or spiritual identity.

L – Lesbian: a person who identifies as a woman who is physically, sexually, romantically and / or emotionally attracted to other women and who identifies as lesbian.

G – Gay: a person who identifies as a man who is physically, sexually, romantically and / or emotionally attracted to other men and who identifies as gay. Gay is also used as a broad term to describe people attracted to someone of the same gender.

B – Bisexual / Bi: a person who is physically, sexually, romantically and / or emotionally attracted to people of their own and other genders and who identifies as bisexual (bi). Some people may prefer bi+ to honour their attraction to more than one gender.

T – Transgender / Trans: a term often used by people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. People whose gender identity falls outside of the gender binary (the idea that there are only two genders — man and woman) may also call themselves trans. It’s up to each individual to choose how they want to identify (in other words, no one else can decide if / when a person is or isn’t trans).
Other terms to describe gender identity that may be used by some people include genderqueer, gender fluid, gender non-conforming, non-binary and androgynous.
Trans is not a sexual orientation — it’s a gender identity. “T” (for transgender / trans) is grouped with the sexual orientations in the 2SLGBTQ+ acronym for many reasons, including shared civil and human rights activism and similar experiences of discrimination.

Q – Queer: a broad term that includes all sexual orientations and gender identities within the 2SLGBTQ+ community, including those who don’t identify with any other identity in the 2SLGBTQ+ acronym.
The term queer can be both positive and negative. Historically, queer was used as an insult, but it has been reclaimed by some folks in the 2SLGBTQ+ community to self-identify in a more positive and empowering way.

Q – Questioning: some people may feel unsure about their sexual orientation and / or gender identity and describe themselves as questioning. They may be questioning for a period of time, or continue to be questioning throughout their lives.

I – Intersex: intersex describes when a person is born with both male and female sex organs or other sexual characteristics. Some intersex individuals are assigned a sex at birth that they’re raised as, which may or may not fit with how they view their gender identity.

A -Aromantic or asexual(aro): aromantic is a romantic orientation (who a person is emotionally and / or romantically attracted to). Aromantic describes a person who doesn’t experience or rarely experiences emotional attraction (feelings such as love, connection, etc.) to others. An asexual person is someone who may not experience sexual attraction to anyone or has a low or absent interest in sexual activity.

+ (Plus): a way to include additional sexual orientations and gender identities under the 2SLGBTQ+ umbrella, including the terms listed below. For some, the plus stands for love and acceptance.

NOTE: We are vehemently against bestiality and pedophilia, do not condone this, and the comparisons by the writer attempts to scare readers and cast persons of the LGBTQIA2S+ in the same light. This is fear-mongering, misinformation, and blatant inaccuracies made to horrify people.

Tanya Heyden-Kaye
On behalf of:
Ponoka Pride Society

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ECA Review