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LGBQ: Being Who You Are

Information on how to identify or think about your sexual orientation; how to get comfortable with, and celebrate, yourself; ideas for meeting others and dating; coming out advice/stories; messages of hope that it does get better; and resources

Jennifer Sanford

on 10 May 2016

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Transcript of LGBQ: Being Who You Are

LGBQ: Being Who You Are
How Do You Know?
You'll want to look at your emotional, sexual, and romantic attractions/desires. Are you attracted to men, women, both, neither? Who do you fantasize about?
Our behaviors also factor in. Have you dated/been sexual with people of one gender or both or neither? What do you see for your future, & long-term, partnership/s?

Getting Comfortable with "difference" and Celebrating Who You Are
As with many of our identities-- we can struggle with acceptance. This is especially true for those identities which have been historically associated with a "less than" status, personal/social alienation, discrimination, victimization, and rejection. When it comes to sexual orientation, we need to recognize that we live in a heteronormative culture with many legal and structural barriers for sexual minority individuals. This doesn't make it easy to live "out and proud."
Facing Fears about Coming Out
And How to Do It
Other Resources

Bisexual Resource Center: http://www.biresource.net/

LGBTQ Nation: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/tag/coming-out/

Humboldt Pride: http://humboldtpride.org/

Human Rights Campaign: http://www.hrc.org/

Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG): http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=194

Gay Lesbian Directory (LGBT Supportive Businesses): http://gaylesbiandirectory.com/directory/

The Trevor Project (crisis services for LGBTQ youth & young adults): http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

Vivian Cass, back in 1979, developed a foundational theory of gay/lesbian identity development that describes how we move from identity confusion, identity comparison, identity tolerance, identity acceptance, identity pride, and, ideally, to identity synthesis. Later theorists have also included the group membership components of sexual identity. For example, see Fassinger & Miller, 1996 or McCarn & Fassinger, 1996.
Of course, many factors come into play in our identity development and our ability to accept and celebrate (either privately or publicly) our sexual orientation. These factors include:
Family attitudes regarding sexuality/sexual orientation (which may be influenced by race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic class, nationality, politics, etc.)
Religious beliefs (your own and your family's)
Cultural context (e.g., degree of conservatism in one's "circles" of living)
Financial issues (e.g., the idea that one's parents could pull financial support or that one's job would be in jeopardy if one were to "come out")
Our "lived experience" -- for example, whether you've been exposed to positive models of diverse sexual orientations, whether you've had opportunities to date same-sex persons, etc.
Whether you've been exposed to (actual or perceived threats of) violence or victimization related to perceived difference, etc.
Our attitudes toward and privileges afforded to heterosexual and sexual-minority groups given our own set of life circumstances / context
Want to read more about the Cass model? If so, follow this link: http://multicultural.usf.edu/pdf/safezone/support_identity.pdf
Identity: a personal and socially meaningful sense of your goals, beliefs, values, and life roles. Consists of individual, relational, and collective identities and includes multiple identities or domains of identity that intersect and interact with each other (Vignoles et al, 2011)
Sexual Attraction
Romantic Preference
Emotional Preference
Social Preference
Sexual Identity:
What do I think?
What do I feel?
The American Psychological Association (2009) currently views sexual orientation as a physiological predisposition toward patterns of sexual and romantic thoughts, affiliations, affection, or desires with members of one's sex, the other sex, both sexes, or neither sex. The label we choose for ourselves often relates to our predisposition, but sexual orientation is not considered mutable because it is "tied to physiological drives and biological systems that are beyond conscious choice" (APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, 2009).
For those that choose to "come out" to others:
Explore your same-sex and other-sex attraction and behavior (To skip a video, hit button at bottom of screen)
Of course, some would take issue with this definition. There is a lot of research that shows orientation to be fluid and to change over time.
If you are struggling with coming to terms with your sexual orientation, for whatever reason (familial intolerance, religious beliefs, whatever...)-- it can help to speak with a therapist. Don't hesitate to come to CAPS to set up an appointment (2nd floor of the SHC; 826-3236)
Interesting Research: In a recent study of 243 heterosexual-identified college students, 84% of women and 51% of men indicated some same-sex attraction (Vrangalova and Savin-Williams, 2010).
Alfred Kinsey
(the famous sex researcher) primarily considered sexual desire. He thought of sexuality as a continuum (from 0 "exclusively heterosexual" to 6 "exclusively homosexual" with some people being off the scale altogether (X)-- those who had no socio-sexual contacts or reactions.)

In 1980,
Michael Storms
further defined sexuality-- paying particular focus on bisexuality and asexuality. He proposed a new sexuality scale using an x-y axis using degrees of homo- and hetero-eroticism to provide clues to identity. For example, bisexuals are said to have high degrees of both hetero- and homo-eroticism, while asexuals are said to be low on both axes.

Fritz Klein
refined our thinking about sexuality even further. He brought in the concept that sexuality can change throughout our lives (that it is fluid) and that many different factors can influence identity:
Sexual Attraction
Sexual Behavior
Sexual Fantasies
Emotional Preference
Social Preference
Klein looked at the past year, the current year, and your predictions for the future.

If you want to take an online quiz using Klein's grid, use this link: http://www.youngsouthampton.org/children-and-young-people/advice/relationships/sexuality/klein-sexual-orientation-grid-quiz.aspx
Sexual activities do not necessarily denote sexual orientation, and those of us that identify as having the same orientation (e.g., Gay or Straight) do not necessarily engage in the same sexual practices. Orientation is complex and multidimensional!

Identities are varied and unique to each of us: heterosexual, mostly straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, asexual, pansexual, omnisexual, homosexual... Of course, some of us prefer to avoid labels altogether and that's okay too. Because the younger generations, at least in more liberal areas, are increasingly accepting of sexual diversity, same-sex sexuality has become less remarkable and may render the use of labels rather obsolete or, at least, less compelling. (By the way... Resources in this particular prezi are geared to sexual orientation rather than gender identity. We will publish a separate prezi focused on gender soon!)
How to meet cute lesbians
How to Ask a Girl Out -- Lesbian Answers...
How to tell if a guy is gay?
How to Ask Someone Out
Asking Him Out (Also: How I Knew he was Gay)
How Do You Know If She's Into Girls?
How to Tell You Are a Lesbian
Messages of Hope
VIsit: http://www.itgetsbetter.org
Ted's Story
Paul's Story
Kim's Story
Liz's Story
Find thousands of stories from LGBTQI folks at the It Gets Better Project!
HSU Specific:
Counseling & Psychological Services: http://www2.humboldt.edu/counseling/index.html
Also see the Sexuality & Gender Identity Page: http://www2.humboldt.edu/counseling/sexual_identity.html
Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies: http://www2.humboldt.edu/crgs/
The Eric Rofes Multicultural Queer Resource Center: http://www2.humboldt.edu/erc/
Queer Student Union: http://www2.humboldt.edu/clubs/club_sites/qsu1
Queer Workplayce Exchange for Employee Retention & Student Success: http://www2.humboldt.edu/qweerss/calendar.html

watch only those that interest you... skip the others
Bisexual Identity
How to Tell if You Are Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual
If interested, take a look at any of the videos below! (To skip one, hit button at bottom of screen)
Full transcript