We often call ourselves “GLBTQQA” or “LGBTQQA” and those letters stand for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and straight Allies, etc.… We are a very inclusive Community that tends to include more people than we would exclude. In fact, the only thing we tend to allow as an excluding factor is one’s attitude toward our Community. If one thinks that people within our Community are “Going to Hell,” then we don’t want to hang around with that person very much.
Another acronym we often use for our Community is LGBTQI. That stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Intersex. We often say all those letters at once, but maybe we shouldn’t.
The first three letters, standing for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual, are talking about who a person loves or is attracted to. The final three letters, standing for Transgender (someone was assigned the wrong gender marker at birth), Questioning (feeling as if something isn’t as it appears or should be), and Intersex (having physical characteristics of more than one gender), are talking about who a person is.
It isn’t the purpose of this class to help people understand the Transgender, Questioning, or Intersex experience – what psychologists call “Gender Non-Conforming” people. There are great classes that explain the psychology and science of all of this, such as Trans 101, 102, and 103, that help with that, and we encourage you to take those classes.
Some of the verses we will examine in our sessions will have more to do with who we love and are attracted to. For the most part, those sections were a part of the original Bible Study, Freed from Guilt – Freed from Shame. You’ll see this symbol for those sections.
In contrast, some of the verses will deal more with who we are as individuals. Those sections are brand new. We’ll use this symbol to identify those sections.
And some, of course, deal with all of us … Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and straight Allies. This symbol identifies those sections.
Having said that, all of the sections have to do with Our Community, so we think it is important for everyone to understand them. People ask all of us questions, so we need to be able to respond appropriately. By dispelling the fear that people have regarding Our Community, we believe that we can quell the hatred that surrounds us. That is a good thing.