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LGB Alliance USA

definitions

We base all communication on the following definitions.
For more information on any claims made below, please visit our Sources page.

sex

The female and male division of a sexually dimorphic species, differentiated by primary physical characteristics (reproductive organs) as well as secondary (muscle/bone density, hair growth, vocal pitch, skeletal structure, hormone levels, etc.).

gender

Often used synonymously and interchangeably with “sex,” we distinguish the two by defining “gender” as the social customs, norms, and expectations assigned to all individuals based on their sex (e.g., women are expected to be submissive / men are expected to be dominant). While these norms may vary across cultures, gender functions globally as a hierarchical system that upholds male dominance over the female class.

gender ideology

Gender ideology is the belief system that “gender” is an innate quality that takes precedence over biological sex in determining one’s true sense of being male or female (or neither). Gender ideology relies on the sexist notion that gender (defined above as expectations and norms imposed upon both sexes) is inherently linked to biological sex rather than socially prescribed, resulting in the belief that individuals who feel disconnected from gender roles can also mentally disconnect from their sex by adopting a “trans” identity and/or pursuing medical intervention.

woman

Adult human female. In other species, words for females include doe (deer), hen (chickens), etc.

man

Adult human male. In other species, words for males include buck (deer), rooster (chickens), etc.

sexual orientation

Describes whether a person experiences sexual and romantic attraction to men, women, or both, based on biological sex. The three orientations are commonly referenced as straight or heterosexual (exclusively opposite-sex attracted), gay/lesbian or homosexual (exclusively same-sex attracted), and bisexual (attracted to both sexes). Asexuality is a lack of sexual orientation.

lesbian

Colloquial term for a woman who is sexually attracted exclusively to other women.

gay

Colloquial term often used as a blanket description for both homosexual men and women, but primarily referring to a man who is sexually attracted exclusively to other men.

bisexual

Attraction to both sexes, which may manifest as 50/50 (equally attracted to both), 99/1 (primarily attracted to one sex over the other), or anywhere in between. Bisexuals may also choose to pursue intimate relationships only with members of one sex.

transgender

Over time, transgender has been defined in many ways. Until recent years, it primarily referred to individuals who experienced sex dysphoria, an extreme discomfort or hatred of one’s sexed body, generally coupled with a strong aversion to the gender norms assigned to their sex (interests, appearance, personality traits, etc.). Dysphoria is an understandable reaction to society’s oppressive sex roles, given the power that these roles still hold on a global scale. Some individuals choose to alleviate their distress by taking measures to appear or live as the opposite sex, altering their appearance through dress, grooming, artificial hormones, and/or surgery to more closely match what society expects to see in members of that sex. This is commonly referred to as “transition.”

Today, many who identify as transgender do not necessarily experience bodily dysphoria but still wish to escape gender norms or otherwise differentiate themselves from others by means of an identity that they feel embodies the traits with which they identify—traits not culturally associated with their sex. Not merely synonymous with gender nonconfomity (i.e. many gender-nonconforming people do not identify as trans), a “trans” identity is most commonly defined by purely ideological beliefs not based in science—for example, as being “born in the wrong body” or “assigned” the wrong sex at birth (except in extremely rare cases of intersex conditions, sex is not assigned but clearly observable at or before birth); or having a “male brain in a female body” or vice versa (brains, like all other organs, contain the same sex chromosomes as the rest of our bodies). Given that humans are not capable of changing sex, all definitions of “transgender” rely on the sexist notion that gender norms are innately linked to sex rather than socially prescribed.
While we support bodily autonomy and the right of informed, consenting adults to undergo any form of “transition” they desire, we oppose the transitioning of children, who are not mature enough to consent to such life-altering decisions. We also remain highly critical of the medical industry that is profiting off the dysphoria of vulnerable individuals, many of whom are frequently denied the truth about risks and repercussions of medical transition, and are thus unable to provide fully informed consent to these procedures.

non-binary

Often abbreviated NB, non-binary is one of the most common identities adopted under the trans umbrella and generally means that one does not “identify” as either male or female but views oneself as somewhere in between, neither, or something else entirely. This label is often adopted by individuals who are uncomfortable with their sex or assigned gender roles, but are not pursuing medical transition.

gender-nonconformity

Divergence from the expected gender roles assigned to one’s sex. For women, this could mean anything from not wearing makeup to pursuing a career in construction; for men, it could mean wearing a dress or working as a stay-at-home parent. Many cultures have become more accepting of certain forms of gender-nonconformity over the past century, but many are still considered extremely taboo even in the most progressive cultures (for instance, a woman choosing not to shave her body hair). Everyone exhibits some form of gender-nonconformity, as it is impossible to fully conform at all times to every norm imposed upon our sex.

Since LGB people are automatically non-conforming by means of their sexual orientation and commonly deviate from other gender norms as well, gender-nonconformity (often abbreviated GNC) is generally associated or equated with homosexuality, even though straight people can also be GNC. Gender-nonconformity does not require a “gender identity” or any other label, and is unrelated to sexual orientation.

gender identity

Like “transgender,” gender identity is defined many different ways by its proponents. It typically describes one’s personal sense of being male or female or neither, regardless of one’s actual sex. Since male and female are material reality and not feelings, “gender identity” is based on gender stereotypes. Since these vary across time and cultures, it is difficult to provide a concrete definition of the term, especially as new “genders” are regularly invented that seem to have nothing to do with sex or even necessarily gender roles, but rather serve as labels to express one’s personal interests or characteristics. We prefer to call this “personality.”

queer

“Queer” has been primarily used as a longtime slur against same-sex oriented people. In recent decades, it has been reclaimed by some in the LGB community to describe themselves, but has also been co-opted by some straight people to describe any form of non-standard sexual behavior or presentation of gender-nonconformity.

asexuality

A complete lack of sexual attraction to either sex.

detransition and desistance

Detransition refers to individuals (detransitioners) who have undergone some form of medical “transition” (hormones, surgery, or both) and have since decided to cease further treatment and/or attempt to reverse their transition. Desisters are those who did not necessarily pursue medical transition but who, at one point, identified as transgender, and no longer do.

intersex

Intersex conditions are defined by atypical genetic traits in sexual development, most of which occur either only in males or only in females. They are not indication of a “third sex” nor do they challenge the reality of human sexual dimorphism; rather, they are the exception that proves the rule.

sex/gender dysphoria

Generally referred to as “gender dysphoria” but is typically integrated with feelings about one’s sex, this is a psychological condition describing an extreme hatred or discomfort of one’s sex and/or the gender roles assigned to their sex. Because gender roles are so intertwined with biological sex on a global scale, many people are unable to view the two as separate, which leads to the misconception that hatred of the gender roles assigned to one’s sex indicates that one is a different sex.

biological essentialism

Commonly misconstrued by gender ideologists as “the insistence that women are female and men are male,” in actuality this term describes the belief that one’s personality and behavioral traits are inherently linked to their biology; for instance, the idea that anyone who embodies traits labeled “feminine” is a woman. This sexist and regressive concept is promoted through gender ideology.

intersectionality

A term coined by black feminist Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 to describe the dual oppression of racism and misogyny faced by black women in both a white- and male-dominated society.

ROGD

Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria is a term recently coined to refer to the epidemic of young and adolescent women, many of whom are lesbian or bisexual, who seemingly suddenly decide to pursue “gender transition.” Distinct from children who showed marked gender-nonconformity and/or dysphoria from a very young age, ROGD generally describes the cases of teen and pre-teen girls who did not previously exhibit signs of dysphoria, but who began suddenly embracing gender ideology through social and media influences.

conversion therapy

Conversion therapy describes the attempt to change an individual’s homosexual or bisexual orientation to heterosexual through psychological, physical, medical, and/or spiritual means. Primarily used by homophobic doctors and religious fundamentalists, conversion therapy remains one of the most horrific forms of oppression against same-sex oriented people. LGB Alliance USA adamantly opposes all forms of conversion therapy, including the encouragement of gender non-conforming and LGB youth to “transition” into an opposite-sex role. Homophobia amongst transition-affirming parents is well documented, as most parents would rather have a straight “trans” child than a gay one, which many have openly admitted.

cotton ceiling / boxer ceiling

The term “cotton ceiling” was coined by trans activist and porn star Drew DeVeaux as a play on “glass ceiling,” which describes the challenges in workforce advancement that women face due to misogyny. The “cotton” in cotton ceiling is a reference to lesbians’ underwear; thus, the term refers to the challenge that trans-identifying males face when attempting to coerce lesbians into accepting them as sexual partners. Similarly, the “boxer ceiling” later arose in reference to trans-identified females attempting to coerce gay men into sex. Both concepts are deeply lesbophobic and homophobic, promoting rape rhetoric and conversion therapy.

human rights

Per Dictionary.com: fundamental rights, especially those believed to belong to an individual and in whose exercise a government may not interfere, as the rights to speak, associate, work, etc. Human rights refer to the right of all individuals to pursue equal opportunities in employment, education, housing, medical care, etc. without discrimination or disadvantage on the basis of sex, race, nationality, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, disability, or any other immutable trait. Human rights should also include the right to deviate from gender norms, but should not include self-identification into marginalized classes or the requirement that others perceive you the way you want to be perceived, especially when such a demand requires the denial of reality.

feminism

A movement dedicated to liberating women and girls from all sociopolitical structures of male dominance (patriarchy).