Posted by ONE Community on 04/04/2017

A look at how the LGBTQ community has evolved and adopted new definitions

Elvia Diaz, an editorial columnist for The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com wrote a piece about how the LGBTQ community and the acronym itself has evolved over the last two decades and has adopted new terms and definitions to include the identities of more people.

Diaz said that her ties to the LGBT community were through a gay man who “held her hand” through her first years in America.

“He kept me safe,” she said.

She looked up to him because she got to see the struggles and obstacles he went through as a gay man from a conservative, Catholic family. Diaz admits that the LGBT community is different than when he was alive and that she finds herself always learning new things about how the community has evolved.

One example she uses to describe this change is the use of the words “queer” and “intersex.” Queer used to be a derogatory term but Ashton Skinner, transgender and millennial outreach coordinator for ONE Community is quoted in the article saying that “people started calling themselves queer to take power away from the insult.”

“It’s liberating,” Skinner said.

Diaz said that “intersex” is defined by the Intersex Society of America as a person “born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definition of female or male.”

Another term added to the “alphabet soup” – as Diaz calls it, is A: asexual, which identifies people who don’t experience any sexual attraction.

Diaz goes on to describe words no longer acceptable to use and stated that GLAAD has lists which say which terms are offensive and which are not. “Gay,” “LGBTQ people” and “same-sex couples” are among the acceptable terms.

Millennials or people between the ages of 18 and 34 are more open to identifying as LGBTQIA than previous generations, according to a survey conducted by GLAAD. Diaz finishes her piece by saying that when new terms come to surface we just need to educate ourselves in order to understand and appreciate the LGBTQIA community even more.

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