General terminology

LESBIANS

Definition – the term lesbian refers to women whose sexual, emotional, affectionate attraction is focused on persons of the same sex. “Butch” is a derogatory term for lesbians with accentuated (gender-stereotype) male characteristics, gestures and behaviors.The meaning of this word expresses heterosexist stereotypes toward lesbians, but also stereotype ideas regarding gender.“Lipstick lesbians” or “femme” are terms used for lesbians with accentuated (gender-stereotype) female characteristics, gestures and behaviors.

Origin of the term – the word “lesbian” comes from the name of the Greek island of Lesbos, home of Sapho, a famous poet from the 6th century. Lesbos was the home of young girls, under the mentorship of Sapho, for their cultural enlightenment.The poetry of Sapho was dedicated to the girls living there, their everyday life, their relations and rituals.She mostly focused on their beauty and expressed her love for her girls.

There are also notions of usage of the term Lesbianism for describing erotic relationships between women in 1870. The term was a synonym for Saphism.

In 1890, the term was mentioned in a medical dictionary for the first time, as an adjective and explanation to the term tribadism as lesbian love: sexual act between two women via simulation of a relationship.

The LGBTI movement consists of certain moments in history which are important for all overturns in the cultural and social life of the LGBTI population.The lesbian history, especially Lesbian feminism are important movements, which have slowly lifted the shackles of the patriarchate.However, in documents, lesbian history and influence are less mentioned, due to the focus of experts on the movement of gay men.This does not mean that the lesbian history or influence do not exist or are unimportant, hence, the following link will show you the analysis of professor Esther Newton.

http://sitemaker.umich.edu/lesbian.history/home

GAY MEN

Definition – the term gay refers to men whose sexual, emotional, affectionate attraction is focused on persons of the same sex. “Queer” is a term usually used with derogatory, offensive meaning, used in homophobic constellations which attempt to humiliate and discriminate homosexual men.Lately, with the development of the “queer” concept and political movement, this term is deliberately used by gays themselves in relation to self, in order to give it a new meaning and value, to drain the derogatory meaning away, and take a new context for political/activist goals and express the pride for one’s own identity, as well as reject the shame which comes in relation with this term.

Origin of the term – the term ”gay” was originally used to describe a feeling of happiness and light-heartedness. The term was used negatively in 1673 when trying to describe something immoral.As a reference to homosexuality, the term “gay” is used in the 19th century, but the use increases in the 20th century.In modern times, “gay” is used both as an adjective and noun, referring to people (especially men), practices and culture related to homosexuality.Near the end of the 20th century, the term “gay” is used by most LGBT groups in order to describe persons attracted by the same sex.In the same period, the pejorative use of the term was being spread, in order to point out something stupid (“That is so gay”).In this context, “gay” is not used in terms of homosexuality, but to refer to an object or abstract concept which is not being approved.This use also refers to weakness and lack of masculinity.This use of the term has been debated on and strongly criticized.

BISEXUALS

Bisexuals – bisexuals are people who are sexually, emotionally and affectionately attracted by both sexes. Bisexuality is one of the three sexual orientations, according to the largest classification of sexual orientations: homosexuality, heterosexuality and bisexuality. The coin-phrase “bisexuality” originates from the 19th century and literally means being attracted to both sexes.

TRANSGENDER PERSONS

Transgender people – The transgender support group was established at the beginning of 2012.Between meetings, the organizers decided to independently create a small practical handbook with important information requested by the members of the group. The first version of the handbook was distributed between the participants of the next meetings.The handbook continues to be supplemented and developed alongside the growth of possibilities and capacities.

The group offers several different types of support: From immediate discussions and answers to concrete questions, to psychological support, referral to medical professionals, giving links to other relevant websites, movie projections and book discussions organized as educational workshops etc.

The Centre shall make efforts for even more frequent meetings of these groups, in order to give support to individuals in their own cases, and hence to more thoroughly infiltrate the matter, and create conditions for receiving all services which trans people should have as equal citizens.

INTERSEX PERSONS

An intersexual person is a person born with genitalia and reproductive organs which cannot be defined neither as typically male, nor as typically female. Most intersexuals are victims of unnecessary surgical interventions and hormonal therapies, often conducted without their consent. In the past, the term hermaphrodite was also used for intersexual people, and it is still used today. However, it is considered inadequate and offensive. Every year, thousands of children are born with ambiguous genitalia, which surgeons reshape without knowledge and consent of the parents. In most cases, the procedure results in creating primarily female sexual characteristics, which may result in emotional trauma, loss of sensitivity and inability to experience orgasm.

DEFINITIONS

Biological sex is a category which refers to physical characteristics of a person: the reproductive system, genetic structure etc.

Gender identity refers to the way a person identifies, which may or may not correspond to the person’s biological sex. If the sex and gender correspond, this is a cisgender person, and if they do not correspond, in any way, this is a transgender person. Hence, a transgender person’s gender identity varies from the established gender norms in society.

Transgender is an umbrella term for several groups of people, apart from the basic definition of lack of correspondence between sex and gender identity. This group covers transsexual people, who wish to make certain changes to their own body, in order to make it match their gender identity. Transsexual people can be FTM (female-to-male, or transmen, with a male or masculine gender identity) and MTF (male-to-female, or transwomen, with a female or feminine gender identity).

Furthermore, the transgender group also covers cross-dressers, who sometimes dress in clothing typical for the opposite sex. This behavior is not related to sexual orientation. Moreover, there are genderqueer persons, who do not identify with any of the other groups.

There are also bigender persons, who identify with both male and female gender, as well as genderless persons, who do not identify with any gender.

The sexual orientation of these persons is determined by their gender identity, not by their biological sex.

Gender expression covers any type of expression of gender identity: clothing, gestures, speech etc.