The importance of centering the experiences, strengths and needs of people within our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, Two Spirit (LGBTQ2S+) communities is important to us at CSVANW while we work to address the unique and multiple victimizations and structural oppressions faced by our LGBTQ2S+ relatives. It is critical to work towards inclusive advocacy.
LGBTQ2S+ survivors of violence experience the same rates of violence as other intimate partner relationships- however, LGBT survivors sometimes face discrimination (whether intentional or not) when seeking help and protection. These discriminations can re-victimized and/or re-traumatize an individual. Although VAWA 2013 prohibits such discrimination to ensure that all victims of violence have access to the same services and protection to overcome trauma and find safety.
Terms & Definitions:
- Gay: a man who is attracted to men.
- Lesbian: a woman who is attracted to women.
- Straight: a man who is exclusively attracted to women or a woman who is exclusively attracted to men.
- Bi-sexual: individuals who are attracted to people of one’s own gender and people of other gender(s).
- Pansexual: individuals who are attracted to people regardless of gender.
- Queer: similar to pansexual, queer individuals can be an identity label meaning that a person is attracted to people of many genders.
- Asexual: individuals who are not sexually attracted to anyone and/or not acting on attraction to anyone. Does not necessarily mean sexless.
- Two Spirit: a term that was coined back in 1990 in Winnipeg, Canada as a way to join various gender identities and expressions of Native American/First Nations/Indigenous individuals. Two Spirit refers to a person who has both a masculine and a feminine spirit.
- Biological sex: attributes to the anatomy, chromosomes, and hormones that is usually assigned at birth and informs whether a person is biologically male, female, or intersex.
- Sexual orientation: is an inherent emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to another person- describes the pattern of a person’s sexual attractions based on gender.
- Gender identity: is one’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither. Gender identity is 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 expression: is the 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.
- Transgender: 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.
LGBTQ Relationship Violence:
Abusive partners in LGBTQ relationships use all the same tactics to gain power and control as abusive partners in heterosexual relationships — physical, sexual or emotional abuse, financial control, isolation and more.
But abusive partners in LGBTQ relationships also reinforce their tactics that maintain power and control with societal factors that compound the complexity a survivor faces in leaving or getting safe in an LGBTQ relationship.
(Source: The National Domestic Violence Hotline)