L G B T C a m p u s O r g a n i z i n g
working towards eliminating homopho
on his/her identity or group affiliation; to
bia and heterosexism on many levels.
show partiality or prejudice.
People for whom gender is not the essen
A derogatory term used for lesbians.
tial factor determining who they can love.
Some lesbians have reclaimed this word,
They are people who can form primary
using it as a symbol of pride when with
loving and sexual relationships with a
person of either gender. Bisexuals do not
have two parts to their sexuality. Bisexu
al identity is one single and integral part
A pejorative for gay men. This term
of that individual as a whole.
came into use in times of witch burnings
because male homosexuals, who were
thought to be the assistants of witches,
The irrational fear that members of the
were used, along with twigs and branch
gay and straight communities feel toward
es, as fuel for the fires that burned (les
bisexual people. Some gay men and les
bians believe that bisexuals are gay peo
ple who have not "come out," while some
heterosexual people may consider bisex
Institutionalized beliefs and attitudes that
uals to be a greater threat than homosex
suggest or state that heterosexuals are
uals because they are less detectable and
normal and that all others, by contrast,
have been represented as vectors of infec
are deviant and unnatural. The built in
tion in the AIDS epidemic.
assumption that everyone is heterosexual.
One result of heterosexism is that most of
our institutions and organizations are
The process of a gay man, lesbian, bisex
geared toward heterosexuals.
ual or transgender person becoming
aware of his or her sexual orientation and
of letting other people know. Level of
People who form primary loving and sex
"outness" can be seen as being on a con
ual relationships with people of the oppo
tinuum. Some people are out only to
site gender. The term "straight" some
themselves, while others are out to
times refers to these people.
friends and family, and others are out to
everyone. Level of outness is widely
viewed as a matter of personal choice,
though many in the lgbt community
advocate outness for the sake of advanc
ing gay rights as well as for individual
personal mental and spiritual health.
The denial of equal treatment to a partic
ular class of people simply because of
who they are; not judging an individual
on his/her merits or behavior, but rather
1 3 4
B u i l d i n g a H e a l t h y O r g a n i z a t i o n