Abusers may say that disrespectful or violent behavior in a LGBTQ relationship is normal, but it’s not. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and queer (LGBTQ) youth have healthy relationships at similar rates and in much the same way as heterosexual couples.
LGBTQ: What the Letters Mean
- Lesbian: A woman who is physically, romantically and/or emotionally attracted to other women.
- Gay: A man who is physically, romantically and/or emotionally attracted to other men.
- Bisexual: An individual who is physically, romantically and/or emotionally attracted to men and women.
- Transgender: An inclusive term for people whose gender identity and/or expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. Transgender people may or may not decide to alter their bodies hormonally or surgically.
- Transsexual: A person who experiences a mismatch between the sex they were assigned at birth and the sex they identify as being. A transsexual person sometimes undergoes medical treatment to change their physical sex to match their gender identity. Not all transsexual people can or desire to alter their bodies.
- Queer: In the past, “queer” was a derogatory term, but now some LGBTQ people use it to describe themselves and their community. Others still find it offensive so it’s best to use this word only if the person you are referring to has already identified as queer.
- Questioning: People still in the process of exploring their sexual identity who are not ready to apply a label to themselves.
A Few More...
- Out: Being open about your sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
- Outing: Revealing a person’s sexual orientation without their permission.
- Sex: The “male” or “female” label assigned at birth.
- Sexual Orientation: Who you’re physically attracted to.
- Gender: The general public’s ideas about the differences in proper behavior and roles between men and women.
- Gender Identity: The set of behaviors or roles associated with the gender a person identifies with and presents to the public.
- Gender Expression: The way people express their gender identity to others through behavior and appearance. Transgender people may match their gender expression to the way they feel and not the sex label they were given at birth.
- Ze: Gender neutral pronoun that can be used instead of "he" or "she."
I Am LGBTQ. Is My Relationship Healthy?
You know your relationship is probably healthy if your partner:
- Respects your chosen gender pronouns or name.
- Respects your boundaries.
- Gives you space to hang out with friends and family without thinking you’re cheating.
- Doesn’t take your money or tell you what to buy.
- Never threatens to out you to people.
- Never tells you you’re not a real lesbian, gay man, trans person or whatever you identify as because you don’t have sex the way they want you to.
My Relationship is Unhealthy or Abusive
If you're in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, you have many options -- including obtaining a domestic violence restraining order. Laws vary from state to state so chat with a peer advocate to learn more.
Whether or not you’re ready to end the relationship, consider creating a safety plan.