Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Questioning
Citizens for Choice embraces all sexual orientations and gender identities. Whether you are Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, or Questioning, you can count on us to treat you with respect and dignity.
Your care at The Clinic! will always be compassionate and confidential. We are here to help you, as a human being.
Do you have questions about your sexuality?
Sexual Orientation Our sexual orientation is defined by who we find attractive sexually. The factors which cause sexual attraction are complex and may include biology, genetic predisposition, and early formative life experiences. Many people report knowing with certainty their orientation from a very young age. Others may struggle with their sexual orientation and reach a conclusion much later in life. In any case, whoever you are is perfectly normal.
Sometimes talking with a trusted adult, such as a counselor, can be very helpful to assist you in clarifying your feelings. We all want to fit in, and need to know where and how we may do just that.
At The Clinic!, we want you to feel comfortable talking with us about your sexual orientation. It is very helpful for your health care provider to know your medical history, sexual orientation, and your concerns about your sexual health. Our goal is to provide the very best reproductive and sexual health care for you. In order to serve you best, the more honest you can be with your provider, the better your care will be. Our services are always strictly confidential.
Gender: Most people identify with a particular gender, as a portion of their overall identity. Our gender identity is how we express ourselves, our behavior, how we act, dress, and interact with others. Although our society maintains expectations about how we ‘should’ act, feel or look as women and men, not all people want to be labeled.
- Ally | A person who is not LGBTQ but shows support for LGBTQ people and promotes equality in a variety of ways.
- Androgynous | Identifying and/or presenting as neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine.
- Asexual | The lack of a sexual attraction or desire for other people.
- Biphobia | Prejudice, fear or hatred directed toward bisexual people.
- Bisexual | A person emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to more than one sex, gender or gender identity though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree.
- Cisgender | A term used to describe a person whose gender identity aligns with those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth.
- Closeted | Describes an LGBTQ person who has not disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Coming out | The process in which a person first acknowledges, accepts and appreciates their sexual orientation or gender identity and begins to share that with others.
- Gay | A person who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to members of the same gender.
- Gender dysphoria | Clinically significant distress caused when a person’s assigned birth gender is not the same as the one with which they identify. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the term – which replaces Gender Identity Disorder – “is intended to better characterize the experiences of affected children, adolescents, and adults.”
- Gender-expansive | Conveys a wider, more flexible range of gender identity and/or expression than typically associated with the binary gender system.
- Gender expression | External appearance of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.
- Gender-fluid | According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a person who does not identify with a single fixed gender; of or relating to a person having or expressing a fluid or unfixed gender identity.
- Gender identity | One’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.
- Gender non-conforming | A broad term referring to people who do not behave in a way that conforms to the traditional expectations of their gender, or whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category.
- Genderqueer | Genderqueer people typically reject notions of static categories of gender and embrace a fluidity of gender identity and often, though not always, sexual orientation. People who identify as “genderqueer” may see themselves as being both male and female, neither male nor female or as falling completely outside these categories.
- Gender transition | The process by which some people strive to more closely align their internal knowledge of gender with its outward appearance. Some people socially transition, whereby they might begin dressing, using names and pronouns and/or be socially recognized as another gender. Others undergo physical transitions in which they modify their bodies through medical interventions.
- Homophobia | The fear and hatred of or discomfort with people who are attracted to members of the same sex.
- Lesbian | A woman who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to other women.
- LGBTQ | An acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.”
- Living openly | A state in which LGBTQ people are comfortably out about their sexual orientation or gender identity – where and when it feels appropriate to them.
- Outing | Exposing someone’s lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identity to others without their permission. Outing someone can have serious repercussions on employment, economic stability, personal safety or religious or family situations.
- Pansexual | Describes someone who has the potential for emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to people of any gender though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree.
- Queer | A term people often use to express fluid identities and orientations. Often used interchangeably with “LGBTQ.”
- Questioning | A term used to describe people who are in the process of exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Same-gender loving | A term some prefer to use instead of lesbian, gay or bisexual to express attraction to and love of people of the same gender.
- Sexual orientation | An inherent or immutable enduring emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to other people.
- Transgender | An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.
- Transphobia | The fear and hatred of, or discomfort with, transgender people.
Whatever your sexual identity, you deserve to have a full and satisfying life – and that includes your sexual life. If you don’t like ‘labels’, that’s perfectly okay. You should not feel pressured to label yourself, or decide on your sexual orientation or gender identity before you are ready.
Links to Support Groups:
Stanford School of Medicine LGBT Medical Education Research Group Resources
*Due to an overwhelming amount of solicitation from financial lenders, Citizens for Choice will no longer share links to sites which feature LGBTQ financial aid or related support links. We instead encourage college students to directly contact admissions departments and ask about their programs for LGBTQ support and financial aid.