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    LGBTQIA+ Visibility/Chat Thread
    • LGBTQIA+ Visibility/Chat Thread

      So, we haven't had a thread like this in ages, if ever at all. There used to be threads asking what your sexual orientation has, or if you were trans or not, but never really a thread for general discussion and visibility surrounding what it is to be queer and/or trans. ZU has always been a more left leaning forum, with a long history of various members who have fit under the LGBTQ+ community, mods and admins included, so I know that there are plenty of people on here who are LGBT+. Perhaps there are members who are on here, but wish that they could get to know more of their own kin. There could be people who aren't out, or don't feel comfortable being visibly queer/trans in real life, who may want to connect with people who could understand them better. There could be people who have been there and done that, but still are down to meet new people who are queer and/or trans.

      That's the point of this thread. It isn't necessarily just for the purposes of stating whether you're queer or not, or if you're trans, but that's certainly welcome. This is more to shed visibility among members and to talk about what it is to be us. Whether you're new or experienced, this thread is about general intermingling and discussion about being LGBT+, and showing visibility. Obviously, out lives don't revolve around being queer and/or trans, but it's nice to connect.

      I'll start off by stating some things about myself. I am a 23-year-old transgender woman who is bisexual, but leans a little more towards men. I -kind of- for into the intersex category depending on how you look at things. Before I got on hormone therapy, I had developed hormone imbalances and nearly every sign of testosterone deficiencies. I developed things that the stereotypical boy shouldn't have developed during puberty, which makes me wonder if I am XX in chromosomes, but born with a penis, which is entirely possible, as I have a friend who is exactly that. I don't really feel compelled to get tested or whatever, though. I had gender dysphoria for all sorts of reasons, but I started my transition when I was nineteen. It probably helped that I have lived in California my while l life, but I've been through the process of getting on hormones and completely changing one's identity legally. I came from a rural upbringing, though, so that made things hella confusing until I used the internet to connect to people.

      Also worth noting, all allies are welcome!

      Because people asked, it shall be received. For those who may feel confused in their identity, or those who would like to freshen up, since there are quite a lot of terms.

      LGBTQIA+ Terms and Definitions:

      Display Spoiler

      An umbrella term which stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, plus more” and refers to the community of people that are either not straight or not cisgender. Sometimes shortened to just LGBTA+ or LGBT+.

      Gender and sexual minorities, another umbrella term for the community.

      An umbrella term which broadly refers to anyone in the LGBTA+ or GSM communities. Some LGBTA+/GSM people don’t like the word “queer” due to a history of pejorative connotations and therefore do not identify with the word, so make sure you check before using it. Some people use the word “queer” instead of choosing any more specific terms to refer to their gender or sexuality.

      Strictly speaking, “gay” refers to homosexual men. However, the term broadly refers to anyone who is attracted to the same gender, including lesbians and bisexual people.

      Attraction to more than one gender.

      A less common term that also refers to attraction to multiple genders.

      Often defined as attraction regardless of gender, or attraction to all genders. In practice, pansexuality is often not distinguishable from bisexuality or polysexuality.

      A lack of sexual attraction to any gender. Some asexual people might also be aromantic, having no romantic attractions either, while others might still be interested in romantic relationships. Often shortened to “ace”.

      When someone feels mild or limited sexual attraction to others. People who are greysexual can lean any way.

      When someone doesn’t feel romantic attraction to others.

      Included under the asexuality umbrella, this includes asexual people who experience sexual attraction only for those they share a close personal bond with.

      Anyone who identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth. Often shortened to “cis”.

      Simply, anyone who isn’t cisgender. In other words, anyone who does not identify with the gender that they were assigned at birth. Often shortened to “trans”, it’s important to remember that “transgender/trans” is an adjective and not a noun or verb. Do not say “a transgender” or “transgendered people”; instead say “a trans woman,” “a transgender person,” etc.

      An older term included under the trans umbrella. Not all transgender people identify as transsexual and some might be offended by the term. Some people use the word to refer specifically to trans people who seek or have had gender-affirming medical procedures.

      A term under the trans umbrella that includes people who do not strictly identify as either a man or a woman.

      A term under the trans and non-binary umbrellas, referring to people whose gender identity changes over time.

      When someone questions their identity, wondering if they aren’t who they thought they were, or who they were expected to be. This applies both to gender and sexual orientation.

      ZU LGBTQIA+ discord server specifically for those who are queer, trans, intersex, ace, and questioning. Contact myself or @Napstablook if you want to join.

      The post was edited 6 times, last by Serenity ().

    • Hey, all. I kind of facilitated the idea of there being an LGBT thread considering I couldn't find one here, after venting out some thoughts I had, so props to @Serenity for starting it.

      I'm a 20 (soon to be 21) year old bisexual guy. I grew up in a rural area and in a somewhat conservative household, so I struggled for a long time growing up and coming to terms with not being completely straight. I still struggle a bit to this day with being open about it, since I internalized being quiet about it for years due to my upbringing, along with the shame and stigma. I've tried integrating myself with the LGBT community more over time, despite feeling left out because I don't really fit the typical 'mold', I guess.

      I came out to my mom almost three years ago and she fortunately didn't make a big deal out of it, which I was really thankful for. We don't really talk about it though. My dad on the other hand is more conservative, and I haven't come out to him but I think he has an idea or at least knows. In recent years he's gotten less.. awful about it all. But I don't exactly feel comfortable talking about it with him.

      I have some friends who are aware but I don't make a big deal out of it either. In all, I would like to have a place to talk about it though considering I go through my day-to-day life being assumed as straight which can be a bit tiring, plus I don't think people know that I care and empathize with the struggles of not fitting into heteronormativity. I'm proud of myself for coming to terms with my sexuality, though I have some things to work through. Glad to get that out there.
    • I like this thread. I was actually noticing that there seemed to be a lot of LGBTQ+ folks on the forum, tbh. Anyways, I'm actually a lesbian and @Chel is my IRL wife. We don't really make a big secret out of it, since to us, it isn't a big deal.

      For me, it's nice to finally be myself. I grew up in an intensely religious household, and I was kinda right there in the thick of it. Everyone in my family was expected to have some role in church, so I sang on a choir, helped teach Sunday school for kids, taught a home group and many other things like that. The entire time, I knew full well that I was probably not what people thought I was at all. Hahaha.

      I felt terrified of being "found out", but at the same time, I did really enjoy the sense of community that existed there. I guess that's how it's like to be in a cult, since I think my degree of "religious immersion" was way more than what most people ever have to deal with. I was really good at navigating it, though, and found myself to be pretty trusted, etc.

      From the beginning, I did whatever I could to stand up for the LGBTQ+ members of the churchgoing community when they were in trouble. It felt kinda like a covert ops thing, since I tried to give cover and help folks find their way while at the same time trying really hard to not go tumbling out of the closet myself.

      Eventually, of course, I was caught, hahaha. After some very uncomfortable and kinda scary interactions, I was thrown out unceremoniously and declared to be a stewart of evil or somesuch. Whatever, I didn't particularly care about that, there were other things as well. My mom's initial reaction was kinda harsh but sorta accepting. My father disowned me and disinherited me, lol. The rest of my family disowned me.

      Ah well, never liked any of them anyway.

      I left my home and moved to a more accepting place, where Chel and I now live happily ever after (or somethn). Actually, my mom left and moved to the same area that I live in as well. She eventually not only came to fully accept me but also left the entire "semi-cult" thing that we'd been a part of. Oh, and my siblings always knew and accepted me, luv them all (Scarly Bro is the best).
    • I guess I'm pansexual, I feel like I'm awfully inconsistent with myself so I that's probably the most reliable descriptor. I prefer dating girls but I don't see myself being sexually compatible with vaginas, to be perfectly blunt. Sex doesn't have to be necessary in a relationship but I'd rather avoid any potential misunderstandings. I'm still young and confused so I'm not gonna pretend that I know for how my taste in people will be ten or so years from now, but meh, it doesn't really matter to me. I'll just do whatever comes natural and not think too hard about it.

      And uh, I write awful yaoi smut under other aliases but haha none of you are gonna see any of that garbage
    • I've said how funny it is that Din has had like the highest amount of trans people. I can think of five right off the bat including myself.

      Washington State is a nice place. I need to go there more often. I've kind of been in the process of getting my vagina surgery, but tbh at this point idk where it's headed due to the facility in San Francisco that I've gone to. Whenever this process ends, or if I decide to just halt it, then I think I'll try to head up to Washington again. Considering my history of getting shit done, it's probably still happening, though. Everything just kind of feels weird right now, and it's left me sort of forcibly abstinent of affection due to being so busy, but as far as sexuality goes, that's where I have felt kind of boring, but I do certainly find certain other women to be really attractive definitely in the aesthetic sense and in certain ways the sexual sense. And tbh while other trans people may go through changes in their sexual orientation after getting on hormones, my orientation... never really changed all that much. If I didn't have the physical issues that I had, and was a real guy, then I might have ended up being mostly gay, even though I'm still and have always been queer.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Serenity ().

    • Subbing, I’m straight but since I’m from NY I’ve always been supportive of LGBT rights, and was in the LGBT club to support my friends when I was in 10th grade. Which is apparently pretty progressive compared to the rest of the country? I just kind of assumed at least 1/4 of my friend group would be LGBT because that’s the way it always was.. until I moved down south and wondered where everyone disappeared to! Apparently we still have a ways to go.
    • i am too much a shut in to really try for relationships but i had something of a fling a few years back with a same sex friend. adding to that my crush on another friend since high school and i'm willing to classify myself as Not Straight at best. really still something i'm not certain on without experience. my dad doesn't really care but my mom claimed I was confused and that's probably still the source of my own ongoing doubts. i was taffin' 20 when this happened for the matter. i dont really want to know how extended family feels at this point but at least marriage equality has been a thing for over a decade here now.
    • I turned off subbing to threads but I always feel left out when everyone else is saying so I'm just going to say SUBBING!!! xxx

      And I'm bisexual! Don't really date girls anymore though; I'm sexually attracted to other women but I tend not to be romantically attracted to them. Like I think a woman's body is more pleasing to the eye than a guy's body (and we're much better kissers, sorry duuuudes! <3), but I'm much more romantically attracted to guys and have always chosen them as my partner. :3 I've only had a few girlfriends and it's never really worked out, whereas I've been in a couple of much longer term relationships with guys and I tend to do better in them and am happier.

      I think I had a different upbringing to many people since one of my brothers is gay and I remember my brother Craig just saying "We knew before you did." My family was very open and fine with any of that stuff so I've never had to "come out" to anyone. My mum met one of my girlfriends, my only longish term one Becca, and all she said she thought my type was more penisy and I'm like MUM!!!!!

      It's an environment I hope I replicate for my sons or daughters! As in, they should never feel worried or scared about 'coming out' to me. <3 I'd hate to think they thought like that!
      :: makes the :3 face a lot ::

      The post was edited 5 times, last by Mercedes ().

    • Haha yeah, I live in Mississippi so I don't have the biggest pool of people to choose from. I'm a very private person irl when it comes to my relationships so I don't really run into much flak, but I don't really associate with the gay community so I guess I wouldn't know too much. It feels like tolerance-type stuff is only mildly worse where I live compared to the rest of the country. Can't tell if that's me being optimistic about the south or pessimistic about the rest of the states.

      I'm never stepping foot in the delta though, which is further south in Mississippi. (I live in the northeast region of the state, close to Elvis Presley's birthplace) I have no idea how gay tolerance stuff is there, but race-wise it's basically the 50's. Segregation's obviously outlawed but it's basically in place informally if you go in the wrong establishment. I'm not missing out on much though, it's a mucky swampland that's infested with mosquitos. Apparently you can't even stay outside at night unprotected or they'll maul you to near-death.

      Other than areas like that, I think the south is nice. I'm more partial to Tennessee myself, though

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Mulberry ().

    • It is not usual for me to talk about this topic, so I suppose it is good for me to do so now.

      I’m actually gay, but it’s something I usually don’t mention to people unless they ask me about it. All of my friends and most of my family are well aware though.

      I used to struggle a lot with my sexual orientation. My family is not religious at all, but my father has always been the «typical military guy», so I always knew that he expected his only son to be straight. Realising that I wasn’t, and that I would disappoint him was difficult, and combined with some other very bad things that happened in my life at the time, it completely ruined my high school years. After moving away, I eventually came to accept the way I am as I grew older.

      The first time I ever told anyone in real life was to my best friend when we were 17. She knew I struggled with it, so she took herself the liberty of telling our mutual female friends some time later, which I thought was perfectly fine. Our mutual male friends were deeply religious, so they didn’t get to know until a few years later when I didn’t have much contact with them anyway. The few new friends I’ve made since then have all known about my sexuality from the start, usually because they have been online friends who already knew.

      These days at the age of 25, I don't struggle with my sexuality at all anymore, but dating can be difficult because of my shy nature and the limited amount of guys with similar interests.
    • You know, it's really weird for me to see all these mentions of people being religious and thus not being accepting of LGBT.... since I remember a priest talking to me about something like one out of every four people being gay.
      Then again, I guess it's not exactly normal for a priest to be a mother of four children either.

      Still, I think it's weird. It doesn't exactly seem right to use religion as a reason to discriminate.