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Being An Ally to the LGBT Community

Princeton University: March 28, 2013

Amit Taneja

on 23 October 2014

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Transcript of Being An Ally to the LGBT Community

Being an Ally to the LGBTQIA Community
Safe Space for All
Media Messages
Brainstorm list of LGBTQIA characters in mass media
Scenarios/ Life @ Princeton
Princeton University
Amit Taneja
Hamilton College

Your Name
Your Affiliation/Office/Department
How Long You've Been At Princeton

Optional: Preferred Pronouns
E.g. "He", "She", "Ze", ____
Ground Rules
Respect Each Other

Seek to Understand Others -
Dialogue not Debate

Agree to Disagree


Share Airtime With Others

Other Ground Rules?
First Learnings
On Page three in your packets, please write down a list of words, phrases, or comments you hear growing up associated with each of the four groups.

These are not things that you believe now, but might be messages that you received in your schools, family, religious institutions, media, etc.

Please write down all words, including ones that you might consider to be inappropriate, or uncomfortable

Please spend 30-45 seconds on each group.
First Learnings
Share our words (please don't repeat ones already shared)

How do these words make you feel?

What do they remind you of?

What do they make you think?
Media Representations
What themes emerge?

What are the messages being sent about LGBT people?

What impact do these images have on LGBT people?

What impact do these images have on heterosexual and/or cis-gender people?
Sex /
Biological Sex/
Assigned Sex
A term used historically and within the medical field to identify genetic/biological/hormonal/physical characteristics, including genitalia, which are used to classify an individual as female, male, or intersex.
A social identity usually conflated with biological sex in a binary system that presumes one has either male and masculine characteristics and behavior, or female and feminine characteristics and behavior. In addition to being a major social status experienced by individuals, this is also “a social institution” that helps humans organize their lives.
Gender Identity
A person’s own understanding of themselves in terms of gendered categories like man and woman, boy and girl, transgender, genderqueer, and many others. How they feel inside or what they believe themselves to be.
Gender Expression
People’s behaviors that convey something about their gender identity, or that others interpret as meaning something about their gender identity, including clothing, hairstyle, mannerisms, communication patterns, social roles, etc.
A group of medical diagnoses describing a person whose anatomy or physiology differs from cultural ideals of male and female, in terms of external genitalia, internal genitalia, and/or hormone production levels. Intersex individuals are typically assigned as “male” or “female” at birth, and often undergo surgery on their genitals in infancy to force a more culturally acceptable gendered appearance.

About 2–4% of all births are intersex to some degree.
This is sometimes not evident until puberty.

For more information, please contact the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA), via their website: www.isna.org
Transgender /

An umbrella term for people whose gender identity, expression or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth. Transgender is a broad term and is good for non-transgender people to use.

At times, an asterisk is used to recognize the many different transgender experiences.

Refers to an individual who identifies with the gender/sex they were assigned at birth. Use of this term calls attention to the unmarked norm, against which transgender experiences are identified.

This can be used in place of “non-trans people” or “gender-normative people.”
A person whose sexual orientation or gender identity/expression differs from societal norms. Originally a derogatory slur, this term has recently been reclaimed by some to be an inclusive word for all of those within the LGBTQIA community.

Because of the original derogatory nature of the term, it is not necessarily accepted by all

It is okay to use this term for others, if that is how they identify themselves.
A term that is used by some people who identify their gender to be outside of the binary gender system, or culturally proscribed gender roles.

They may or may not fit on the spectrum of trans, or be labeled as trans.
Gender Confirmation Surgery
Surgeries to change the sex characteristics of one’s body, including genitals and/or secondary sex characteristics. Often misunderstood as being a single surgery that makes all body modifications, but the reality is that there is no “ONE” surgery or procedure.

*Formerly also known as
"Sex Reassignment Surgery"
The process or journey of changing sex or gender, including socially (e.g. changing one’s name, clothing, etc.) as well as medically (e.g. hormones and/or surgery).

Transitioning is a complex process that occurs over a long period of time; it is not a single event.
Pre-op, Post-op, or Non-Op
Terms used to describe a transgender or transsexual person’s intentions or status regarding gender confirmation surgeries.
Terms used to indicate the direction of a trans person’s transition and/or identification, as in Female-to-Male, Female-toward-Male, trans person.
Terms used to indicate the direction of a trans person’s transition and/or identification, as in Male-to-Female, or Male-toward-Female, trans person
Successfully (convincingly) presenting one’s preferred gender category. May be intentional or unintentional. Passing is a contentious term in transgender communities, and has different meanings for different people.

Some trans people do not desire to “pass” as non-trans, but rather to be respected for their identity and expression, even though people know that their identity or expression is different from the one typically associated with their sex.
Two Spirit
Describes any of the many mixed gender roles found traditionally among many American Indian, Native American, and Canadian First Nations indigenous groups.

The term usually implies a masculine spirit and a feminine spirit living in the same body and was coined by contemporary LGBT Native Americans to describe themselves and the traditional roles they are reclaiming.
These are gender neutral pronouns (used instead of gender specific pronouns such as he, she, him, her, his and hers).

Lived Experiences of LGBT People
Incomes & Jobs
Families & Community
Public & Military Service

Issues related to other
intersecting identities

Additional Concerns faced by
Transgender Individuals
•Employment/Housing discrimination
•Health care
•Identity Development
•Insurance benefits
•Legal documentation/Identification
•Stigma & Isolation
•Financing a transition
•Traveling abroad (documentation)
•Daily lived experiences - Microagressions
•Lack of understanding/support from the LGB community
•Lack of family support
•Diagnosing of mental health disorder
•Social transition
Lived Experiences at Princeton?
What are your thoughts and understanding of the lived experiences of LGBT students, faculty, staff and alumni at Princeton?

How are these experiences mediated/impacted by other intersecting identities, such as race, class, nationality, (dis)ability, religious affiliation, age, etc.?
Each Table will work on one scenario collectively.

There are no right or wrong answers.

Please identify the key players & issues.

What resources or other people might be able to help?

You have 5-7 minutes to discuss, and then we will come back collectively and present each scenario to the large group (if time permits)

I can act as an Ally by ...
Act as an Ally by ....
•Speak out against anti-LGBT statements and jokes.

•Do not assume the sexual orientation or gender-identity of another person.

•Use inclusive language.

•Use non-gender specific language.

•Validate people’s gender expression.

•Educate yourself about LGBTQIA history, culture, and concerns.

•Support and involve yourself in LGBTQIA organizations and causes.

•Give visibility to LGBTQIA issues, concerns, and experiences.
Key Strategies to Increase
Ally Behavior
Correct people’s misperception that their peers are less accepting of LGBTQIA people and more homophobic/transphobic than they actually are.

Reduce the shame and guilt that keep people “stuck” and unable to act effectively as allies.

Increase people’s awareness and understanding of how homophobia/transphobia affects everyone including heterosexual and/or cis-gender people.

Provide people with specific information on concrete ways in which to be an ally to the LGBTQIA community.
On Campus


National / Online Resources
Any burning questions, thoughts, or comments?

What was your main take away from the session today?

Please complete the HR evaluations for this session

... And THANK-YOU for coming!
Gender Binary Gender Neutral
He/She Ze (zee)
Him/Her Hir (hear)
His/Her Hir (hear)
Himself/Herself Hirself (hear-self)

Romantic Orientation
Describes the form of a person’s romantic attraction. Romantic orientation can be toward a person’s same gender, a different gender, many genders, or no genders.

Commonly, prefixes such as hetero-, homo-, bi-, pan-, and a- are added to the word “romantic” to reflect romantic orientation.
Sexual Orientation
The deep-down, inner feeling of which type(s) of person one is attracted to or “oriented” toward sexually and erotically.

Although sexual orientation is often conflated with romantic orientation, they are not the same and do not line up for some people.

Asexuality / Ace
An asexual or ace, is a person who experiences little or no sexual attraction. While some asexual people desire emotionally intimate relationships, they are not drawn to sex as a way to express that intimacy.

Asexuality serves as an umbrella term for a variety of identities and behaviors. Asexuality is one end of a spectrum of sexuality, wherein some people may identify as strongly sexual, some may identify as strongly asexual, and some may identify somewhere in between.
What do we think?
Full transcript