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Being Knowledgeable About the LGBT Community Shows Respect

It is important to respect a person’s preferred self-identification. Don’t assume an older adult’s individuality is based on how they appear. In establishing a working relationship and when appropriate, inquire about how the older adult prefers to identify themselves and respect their wishes. Individuals in the LGBT community are often lumped together into acronyms such as LGBT, LGBTQ, TBLG and LGBTQA. Common terms include Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer or Questioning. It is important to remember that each senior has specific needs and concerns related to their individual identify.

Terms and Definitions:
  • Sexual orientation is the type of sexual, romantic and/or physical attraction someone feels towards others. Labeling is often based on the gender identity/expression of the person who they are attracted to.
  • Gender Expression: The ways in which each of us exhibit masculinity or femininity and may be an extension of one’s gender identity.
  • Gender identity is the sense of “being male, female, genderqueer, agender, etc. For some people, gender identity is in concurrence with their physical anatomy.
  • Gay is a person who is attracted primarily to members of the same sex. Lesbian may be the preferred term for women who are attracted to women. Bisexual is a person attracted to both people of their own gender and another gender. Transgender has many definitions, often used as an umbrella term to refer to all people who do not identify with their gender at birth or the duel gender system. Transsexual is a person whose gender is different from their biological sex. They may have medical treatments to change their biological sex, often to align with their gender identity. They may also live their lives as another sex. To access more extensive list of LGBT terms and definitions log on www.internationalspectrum.umich
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