Volunteer programs that are LGBTQ+ or LGBTQIA+ friendly
Since the end of the 1980s, the acronym LGBT has been used to refer to the so-called gay community. Over the years, however, this acronym has been extended and today the acronym LGBTQIA+ refers not only to the gay world but to the even larger community of people who do not identify with ‘traditional’ sexual orientations and gender identities.
What is meant by sexual orientation and gender identity?
Sexual orientation and gender identity are two very different things! Sexual orientation defines the gender of the people we are sexually attracted to.
Gender identity, on the other hand, refers to the gender we feel we belong to, which may or may not correspond to the biological sex we are born with.
We must be careful to distinguish between orientation and identity!
LGBTQIA+ meaning – What each letter of the acronym LGBTQIA+ means
- “L” stands for LESBIC, i.e. a woman who likes women.
- “G” stands for GAY, i.e. a man who likes men. More generally, lesbians and gays are said to be HOMOSEXUAL, i.e. individuals who like people of their own gender.
- “B” stands for Bisexual, i.e. a person who likes both men and women.
- “T” stands for Transgender. Transgenders feel that they are of a different gender to the one they were given at birth.
- “Q” stands for Queer, which in English means ‘bizarre, strange’.
A person defines him/herself as ‘queer’ when he/she does not want to fit into categories of identity and sexual orientation that he/she feels are too ‘narrow’, usually because he/she believes that people have ‘fluid’ identities and tastes, i.e. that they change over time and are difficult to crystallise into a definition.
The letter Q also stands for QUESTIONING, i.e. people who are still searching for who they are and what they like.
- “I” stands for INTERsexual.
An intersex person is a person who has sexual characteristics that are different from what is usually considered male or female, whether at the level of chromosomes, hormones, apparatus, genitals and more.
Intersexuality is still a poorly understood condition, even among doctors. Intersex babies often undergo operations that do not serve their survival but only make them look more like a woman or a man. But this may cause them serious physical and psychological damage. That is why the professional associations recommend waiting until the intersex person grows up before carrying out interventions and therapies so that they can choose to “leave” their body or have surgery and take drugs to look like a woman or a man.
- “A” stands for Asexual.
An asexual person has no sexual attraction to any gender. Put very simply, he or she is a person who does not feel the desire to have sex. Warning, asexuality is NOT chastity. A chaste person feels sexual attraction but resists that desire, whereas an asexual person is simply not attracted to sex.
Some people also understand the letter A as ALLY, ‘ally’, i.e. a cisgender heterosexual person who actively promotes the rights of the rest of the community.
And what about the “+” at the end of the acronym?
The + indicates all other possible gender identities and sexual orientations.
Polyamorous, demisexual, agender, genderfluid… The more we think about sex and gender, the longer the list gets!
The important thing to remember is that these ‘labels’ are not compulsory! The only rule is to respect the choices and experiences of others, even when we don’t understand them!
LGBTQIA+ friendly volunteer programs 🌈
Volunteer programs that are LGBTQIA+ friendly. Help us expand this section by adding more volunteering opportunities LGBTQIA+ related. Do you need volunteers? Feel free to add your listing. 📧 ✍️😊