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JlMC 477 LGBT Definitions and Privilege
Transcript of JlMC 477 LGBT Definitions and Privilege
The Heterosexual Invisible Knapsack
by Elizabeth Hansen and based upon the writing of Peggy McIntosh:
"White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack"
The concept behind the Invisible Knapsack was introduced in an article about the privileges that many white individuals enjoy written by Peggy McIntosh. The idea is that some members of society carry with them a "knapsack" of rights and privileges that they benefit from without even realizing that they have this position of power. This idea is translated to outline a heterosexual invisible knapsack of rights and privileges that may not be readily apparent and may not be available to non-heterosexual individuals.
1. I can walk down the street holding hands with my boy/girlfriend or spouse with a reasonable absence of fear of retaliation.
2. I can introduce my boy/girlfriend or spouse to parents and friends without fearing that they will object to or be disgusted by his/her gender.
3. I can look forward to finding a person with whom I share a life long love and have the option of having that bond legally recognized in marriage in both law and in the eyes of others.
4. I can benefit from hundreds of legal and financial benefits that are offered only to a married couple.
5. I do not fear losing a job, a child, a friend, a family member or my life due to my sexual orientation.
6. I do not expect to hear my sexual orientation used as an insult.
7. I do not expect to see my sexual orientation ridiculed on TV or in the movies.
8. I do not live in fear of someone finding out who or what gender I desire.
9. People do not fear being called or being accused of having my sexual orientation.
10. I do not speak for all those of my sexual orientation.
11. I do not expect to have my actions, beliefs, mistakes, etc. attributed to my sexual orientation.
12. My sexual orientation is not a subject of gossip.
13. I do not feel obligated to tell others of my sexual orientation.
14. I do not fear or am not discouraged from telling others my sexual orientation.
15. I am never told that I am loved, accepted, or tolerated "in spite of" my sexual orientation.
16. I can go to a school dance or function with my boy/girlfriend or spouse without special permission or fear of rejection due to his/her gender identity.
17. I can expect to see cards and gifts for couples that cater to my sexual orientation.
18. I do not expect my sexual orientation to be of any special significance.
19. People do not assume that I am trying to "convert" them to my sexuality.
20. People do not question my parenting ability due to my sexual orientation.
21. People do not assume that I am more likely to commit child abuse because of my sexual orientation.
22. People do not consider my sexual orientation to be "contagious."
23. I am statistically less likely to commit, attempt, or consider suicide and less likely to experience depression in my lifetime.
24. I can open a magazine and take a relationship quiz and expect to see the gender of myself and my boy/girlfriend or spouse.
25. I can watch a television show, watch a movie or read a mainstream novel and see a relationship like mine.
Getting the definitions right
Bisexual: Bisexuality refers to sexual behavior with or physical attraction to people of both genders (male and female) or a bisexual orientation. People who have a bisexual orientation "can experience sexual, emotional, and affectational attraction to both their own sex and the opposite sex."
Transgender is the state of one's "gender identity" (self-identification as woman, man or neither) not matching one's "assigned sex" (identification by others as male or female based on physical/genetic sex). "Transgender" does not imply any specific form of sexual orientation; transgendered people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual (all), polysexual (many) or asexual.
Gender is a social construction of what it means to be a man or woman in a particular society. Generally we refer to this as masculine or feminine.
Genderqueer and intergender are catchall terms for gender identities other than man and woman. People who identify as genderqueer may think of themselves as being both male and female, as being neither male nor female, or as falling completely outside the gender binary. Some wish to have certain features of the opposite sex and not all characteristics; others want it all.
Genderqueer people are united by their rejection of the notion that there are only two genders. NOTE: revisit your understanding of the difference between sex and gender if necessary.
Some genderqueer people view gender as a continuum between men and women, with the two traditional genders at the two poles and their own genderqueer place as somewhere within the continuum. Others believe there are as many genders as there are people. Still others believe that binary gender is a social construct, and choose not to adhere to that construct.
QUEER: In contemporary usage, some use queer as an inclusive, unifying sociopolitical umbrella term for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersexual, genderqueer, or of any other non-heterosexual sexuality, sexual anatomy, or gender identity. It can also include asexual and autosexual people, as well as gender normative heterosexuals whose sexual orientations or activities place them outside the heterosexual-defined mainstream (e.g. BDSM practitioners, or polyamorous persons). Queer in this sense (depending on how broadly it is defined) is commonly used as a synonym for such terms as LGBT.
However, because of the context in which it was reclaimed, queer has sociopolitical connotations, and is often preferred by those who are activists, by those who strongly reject traditional gender identities, by those who reject distinct sexual identities such as gay, lesbian, bisexual and straight, and by those who see themselves as oppressed by the heteronormativity of the larger culture. In this usage it retains the historical connotation of "outside the bounds of normal society" and can be construed as "breaking the rules for sex and gender."
Transsexual people identify as, or desire to live and be accepted as, a member of the sex opposite to that assigned at birth.
Many transsexual people have a wish to alter their bodies. These physical changes are collectively known as "sex reassignment therapy" and often include hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery. References to "pre-operative," "post-operative" and "non-operative" transsexual people indicate whether they have had or are planning to have sex reassignment surgery.
The updated Associated Press Stylebook (for journalists) reads:
Gay: Used to describe men and women attracted to the same sex, though lesbian is the more common term for women. Preferred over homosexual except in clinical contexts or references to sexual activity.
Include sexual orientation only when it is pertinent to a (news) story, and avoid references to "sexual preference" or to a gay or alternative "lifestyle."
Gender identity and transgender identity are fundamentally different concepts to that of sexual orientation. Transgender people have more or less the same variety of sexual orientations. In the past, the terms "homosexual" and "heterosexual" were used for transgender peopled based on their birth sex.
Professional literature now uses terms such as attracted to men (androsexual), attracted to women (gynosexual), attracted to both or attracted to neither to describe a person's sexual orientation without reference to their gender identity.
Androsexual and Gynosexual
The updated Associated Press Stylebook entry reads:
Transgender: Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.
If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.
In the News...Privacy Issues
Does the public have a right or need to know the gender or sexual preferences of the person being interviewed by a journalist?
Where does one draw the line between the individual’s right to privacy and the public’s right to know?
Case Study: Steven (Susan) Stanton
Largo, Fla. and
St. Petersburg Times
Do you think
The St. Petersburg Times
should have followed the anonymous tip to get the story about Steve Stanton pursuing hormone treatment and intending to become a woman?
Do you think this was an unnecessary story or invasion of privacy?
Or, perhaps you don't have an opinion?
(This section is for our Face to Face Classes.) OK…those of you with no opinion….you can go out to the other room for a few minutes.
The other two groups are going to create a “case” for their side and argue it to the “jury”….
You will be able to cross examine but not cross dress the opposition!
Out In The Silence
Out in the Silence
is a documentary film by Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer. It chronicles the chain of events that occur when the severe bullying of a gay teen draws Wilson and his partner back to the conservative rural community of Oil City, Pennsylvania where their own same-sex wedding announcement had previously ignited a controversy. The film focuses on the widely varying, emotional reactions of the town's residents including the teen and his mother, the head of the local chapter of the American Family Association and an evangelical pastor and his wife.
One couple made news when the
husband had their baby.
A cross-dresser is a person who has an apparent gender identification with one sex, and who has been designated by birth as belonging to one sex, but who wears the clothing of the opposite sex
it is the clothing of the opposite sex. Most would identify as heterosexual.
A transvestite is somebody who cross-dresses. The term "transvestite" is used as a synonym for the term "cross-dresser,” although generally "cross-dresser" is the preferred term.
Isis and Laverne Cox
The story begins with a gay marriage announcement in the local paper. There are no laws governing the running of marriage announcements. It is
strictly an individual newspaper's editorial decision.
The issue of transgender has also come up
in the arena of beauty pageants when a 2012
winner gave this answer...
While I admire her courage while being"on the spot" a more accurate answer might have been:
"These ARE women who are simply having surgery to make their bodies match their gender....so of course they should also represent women in this country!"
Miss USA contestant
Olivia Culpo was asked if
transgender women should
be allowed to enter beauty
contests. Culpo responded,
"I do think it would be fair
because there are so many
people who have a need to
change for a happier life. I do accept that because I believe it's a free country."