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LGBTQ is an umbrella acronym for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning. Additional populations included in this community are those who are intersex, asexual, pansexual, and any other sexual identity that differs from cisgender or heterosexual majority.

If your child identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, talk to them. Do not make assumptions. Use their preferred pronouns or name changes; understand that sex does NOT equal gender (this is particularly important for trans* children and adolescents). It is important for your child's health and wellbeing that they be allowed to express their gender or sexuality however it feels most natural to them.
As a parent, it is important that you educate yourself on topics you are unfamiliar with. Use the internet, talk to other parents with LGBT children, do not "out" your child without their permission (do not disclose their gender or sexual identity without their consent). PFLAG is a great resource for parents, and there is one conveniently located in Gainesville. Familiarize yourself with the terms below on this webpage.
Overall, meet your child's need for love, affection, and support. Teach others to respect and accept the community by providing educational tools and resources.

Our very own Dr. Jennifer Evans at CPANCF specializes in seeing LGBTQ+ clients, especially trans clients. If you are interested in making an appointment with her, please call 352-336-2888. She sees clients in both the Gainesville and Ocala locations.  
Click on the links below for more helpful information

Important Terms
Gender Identity- Your intuitive sense of who you are, in terms of gender. It can incorporate how you want other people to see you, how you relate to others, and how you see yourself.
Sexual Orientation- Based on gender. In other words, sexual orientation is about the gender of the people you tend to find sexually attractive.
  1. An umbrella term for the LGBTQ+ community (ex: the queer community). 
  2. A sexual orientation that is intentionally left vague. Many people identify as queer because they feel that no other sexuality term applies to them. People who identify as queer might also do so for political reasons: to specifically and publically reject society’s prevailing view of sexuality. Some people experience “queer” as a slur, so use this term with care.
Questioning- Being unsure of your gender identity, being unsure of your sexual orientation, or both. Many people go through a stage of questioning during their lives, sometimes several times. This can be because they learn new words that fit them better, or it can be that their actual feelings of gender or attraction change over time.
Coming Out- Letting someone know what your sexual orientation or gender identity is. Coming out can be a continuous process as you encounter new people and gain new understanding of your own identity. In mainstream American culture, people tend to assume that you are heterosexual and cisgender unless you tell them otherwise. This is why LGBTQ+ people tend to “come out” and heterosexual and/or cisgender people do not.
Intersex- A general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. (from Intersex Society of North America)
Two-Spirit- A term for LGBTQ members of the Native American community, first coined in 1990 by a Native American group in Winnipeg. The term references a tradition common to several tribes, where some individuals possessed and manifested a balance of both feminine and masculine energies, making them inherently sacred people. (Derived from Bay Area American Indian Two Spirits)
Gender Topics 
Gender Non-Conforming- Anyone who does not fit neatly into a gender role.
Transgender- Transgender people have a gender identity or expression different from the one they were assigned at birth or are expected to exhibit in adulthood.
Trans*- Is an umbrella term derived from a contraction of “transgender” or “transsexual”. The asterisk is a “wildcard” that stands for the multitude of ways that trans* people identify. The prefix “trans” can mean beyond, across, between, through, transcending, or changing. Many trans* people have a gender identity that is different from the one they were assigned at birth. Some people identify as trans* if their gender expression is different than what is expected for their gender.
Cisgender- Someone who identifies as the gender that society assigns to them; someone who is not transgender. “Cis” is a latin prefix meaning “on the same side”. You are cisgender if you do not feel conflict with the gender assigned to you at birth. Cis people can still be gender nonconforming.
  1. Any person with a “queer” gender identity or gender expression.
  2. The act of transgressing gender norms.
  3. A specific non-binary gender.
Non-Binary- A person whose gender identity does not fit the strict man/woman dichotomy. Some non-binary people feel that their gender identity is between man and woman, is simultaneously fully man and fully woman, changes from man to woman and back, is a separate entity without connection to man or woman, is similar to either man or woman but is not quite either, is entirely neutral, or does not exist at all.
Gender Role- A set of behaviors and expectations that society associates with a gender.
Gender Expression- The visual, interpersonal, and behavioral methods that people use to express their gender identity. This can include personal grooming, clothing, body language, vocabulary, intonation, vocal pitch, and other behaviors.
Sexuality Topics 
Lesbian- Typically, a woman who is romantically and sexually attracted to other women.
Gay- A person who is romantically and sexually attracted to other people of their own gender. “Gay” is usually used by men, but not always.
Bisexual- A person who is romantically and sexually attracted to two (or all) genders.
Pansexuality- Pansexuality is often confused with bisexuality. People who identify as pansexual define it in multiple ways. Some people identify as pansexual because they see “bisexual” as not including non-binary trans* people. Other pansexual people explain it as a sexual attraction to people irrespective of gender or sex.
Heterosexual- A person who is romantically and sexually attracted to people of the other binary gender; “straight”.
Asexual- A person who does not experience sexual attraction under most circumstances. An asexual person may or may not experience romantic attraction.
Gray-asexuality- The space between asexuality and other sexual orientations; experiencing sexual attraction only very rarely.
Demi-sexuality- Exists in the spectrum on gray-asexuality. It involves sexual attraction only to people one has developed a close emotional bond with.
Romantic Orientation- A person’s romantic orientation has to do with who they tend to form romantic bonds with, based on gender. For many people, romantic and sexual orientations overlap considerably. 
  • Biromantic- Being romantically attracted to two genders (or all genders)
  • Homoromatic- Being romantically attracted to people of your own gender
  • Heteroromantic- Being romantically attracted to people of a gender other than your own
  • Panromantic- Being romantically attracted to all genders
  • Aromantic- Not experiencing romantic attraction

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