What could I do for Pride Month? I could write a story, or a poem, or find an LGBT+ charity to which I could donate a lot of money. Or I could do all of those and answer people’s questions about the LGBT+ community! Luckily for you guys, I have recently had a bit of time on my hands and have been able to get around to all of the comments in my Tumblr inbox. You asked and I answered!
(Please bear in mind that I am by no means an expert and if I have made a blatant mistake then you are welcome to get in contact since Pride Month is all about learning and growing).
Now that’s out of the way, let’s move onto the questions!
How many letters are there in the LGBT+ acronym?
As many as you want! I use LGBT+ because it’s short and inclusive but the longest acronym I have seen is LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, aromantic, pansexual)! It really depends on what context you are using it in and your own personal place on the sexuality spectrum.
What is your definition of ‘woman’?
A classic question asked by people who are confused about non-binary genders, my answer to this is deceptively brief. A woman is an adult person who genuinely identifies as female. A man is an adult person who genuinely identifies as male. People who identify as neither fall somewhere in between and can choose for themselves what word best describes how they feel about their gender identity. Simple!
Is there a letter in the LGBT+ ‘alphabet soup’ that stands for paedophilia?
No. The ‘p’ in LGBTQIAP+ stands for pansexual. Being sexually attracted to minors is not accepted in gay communities any more than it is in straight communities.
My friend/sibling/child is trans+! What should I do?
I think the main thing to do is to be an ally. Whilst you shouldn’t make a huge deal out of it, there are many simple things that you can do to make your loved one feel that their gender identity is valid. These include:
- Using their preferred pronouns (in front of them and when talking about them).
- Using their preferred name (see above).
- If you are in a position of responsibility over them, allowing them age-appropriate transition tools. For example, whilst binders and hormone injections are not advisable for young people, there are many brands of sports bra that can flatten the growing breasts but not harm the tissue.
- Showing your support for other trans+ individuals in the media.
Is it abusive for a parent to deny their child’s gender identity or sexuality?
This is a difficult question and not one which I really feel that I can answer satisfactorily for every given situation. Denying someone’s beliefs is clearly a shitty thing to do when they are questioning who they are because it does not allow them to explore their own identity, a bit like someone in an improv scene ‘blocking’ the other characters. Yes, many young people are fluid in regards to how they identify since you change so much during puberty that it is difficult to know who you are, and there is no problem with a parent reasonably pointing that out. That said, when a parent allows no conversation about their child’s gender or sexuality and actively goes out of their way to disparage them, be it on the internet or in person, that is emotional abuse.
My advice to parents of trans+ kids is to be compassionate. Your child may not hold the same identity in ten years time but they will remember how you reacted to them confiding in you a deep and important part of who they are.
How did you come out of the closet?
On a domestic scale, I don’t think I ever have – it’s just always been kind of obvious. On a wider scale, I have always had a flair for the dramatic and so I came out of the closet in an article written about me in ‘The Times’.
Catch the full interview here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/meet-the-new-voice-of-gen-z-jgwgs7hnd
What do you think of the term TERF?
I think that the term TERF is perfectly fair to use when referring to a trans-exclusionary radical feminist as it is fair to use the term Nazi to refer to someone who subscribes to Hitler’s national socialist beliefs. However, this label cannot be used effectively when people simply use it to describe people with whom they disagree (as people on Tumblr sometimes do with the word Nazi). In short:
Is it hate speech to use it when the feminist in question does not consider transwomen women? No.
Is it rude to use it as an insult when speaking to someone who does not necessarily have your exact view on transgender rights? Yes.
Do you have any LGBT+ novels to recommend?
A lot of these of these are Classics-based because I am a slut for ancient gay people… So, in no particular order:
- ‘The Song of Achilles’ by Madeline Miller (Patroclus x Achilles)
- ‘The Persian Boy’ by Mary Renault (Alexander the Great x Bagoas)
- ‘Brideshead Revisited’ by Evelyn Waugh (Sebastian x Charles)
- ‘Fire from Heaven’ by Mary Renault (bisexual Alexander the Great)
- ‘Fun Home’ by Alison Bechdel (Alison x Joan)
- ‘His Frozen Fingertips’ by Charlotte Bowyer (Asa x Averett)
Come on, you can’t have expected me to write a list of LGBT+ novels and leave mine out; I happen to quite like it. Here’s the link if you want to buy it:
What type of vibrators do you use?
This is… this is why you don’t ask people to submit questions to you, and I think it is the perfect point upon which to end this Q and A. Happy Pride Month, y’all!
You’ll see me at Pride in London and at various LGBT+ positive spaces over the next few weeks (expect to see an article about LGBT+ London before the month is out).