A recent AskReddit post posed the question:
“What question have you always wanted to ask LGBTQ+ people but didn’t because you don’t want to offend them?”
Contributors posted the questions geared toward LGBTQ+ folks and members of the community chimed in with honest, detailed, and emotional responses.
Here’s what they have to say…
1. What about the butterflies?
“Do asexual people not want sex/don’t feel horny, but still get butterflies in their stomach for a person they like? Or does that mean they don’t have crushes/attraction in any form?”
“Each person is different but a lot of asexual people still have crushes and can still be in love with people. Asexual people can be in happy and healthy relationships. Some asexual people might still find pleasure in sexual activities but they might not focus on sex in life. Not all asexuals are sex repulsed. But some are.
There is asexuality and people who are aromantic. Aromantic people don’t feel romantic attraction to people, but might feel sexual attraction. Some people are both asexual and aromantic.”
Not everyone gets butterflies like Kacey Musgraves, got it.
2. Do we like this representation???
“I wanna ask them every time an LGBTQ+ character appears in fiction, if they felt it was a good representation or not.”
No shame in asking!
“Honestly. I dont think that question is offensive at all. Asking “hey, do you think blank is good Lgbtq+ representation?” On a ask Lgbtq subreddit would be fun.”
Read the results of GLAAD’s 2021 Where We Are ON TV Report HERE.
3. Is Biphobia from others in the community a real thing?
“I’m curious if bisexuals have ever had any biphobia from homosexuals/lesbians.”
Ooooh, sweet summer child… Yes.
“Most of the biphobia comes from those two groups. Being bi isn’t any easier than being “fully gay.”
We get sexualized by straight partners but it’s gay/lesbian partners that mainly take issue with the fact that we merely have the ability to be attracted to more than one gender (or try to exclude us from gay spaces the moment we get into a relationship with someone of the opposite gender)
We’re not tainted or damaged goods. We’re merely ordinary people who just happen to experience attraction for more than one gender.”
According to analytics firm Gallup, “More than half of LGBT Americans, 57%, indicate they are bisexual. That percentage translates to 4.0% of all U.S. adults.”
4. Cast away?
“Trans people who want to turn their penis into a vagina. Before getting the operation, would you ever consider getting a cast made of your penis turn into a dildo, so you could use it on your new vagina? Theoretically it could be the perfect size.”
“No, but now I am.”
“I did that, but after years of being on estrogen it was too small to be a usable dildo. Honestly, I found that hilarious.”
5. What do I say to someone who comes out to me?
“What should I say to someone who comes out to me? Saying “um, OK” or “that’s nice” sounds like I’m dismissing them but trying to ask questions or engage in conversation about it seems intrusive.”
What’s one to do? Here are some appropriate responses!
“It depends, your response should match their excitement. People that casually weave it into conversation usually don’t want confetti and vice versa.”
“Proud of you. Happy you decided to confide in me about it. Thanks for trusting me. All those work.”
“Personally, I think asking respectful questions is a way to show support! If you don’t understand their identity, it’s okay to ask “What does that mean for you? I’d love to hear more so I can understand.”
They may not want to have that conversation right then, and that’s okay to. Just let them know you are there to support them.
Here’s some ideas for what to say!
“Thank you for trusting me, I support you.”
“That’s great! What pronouns would you like me to use for you?”
I’m so happy you are figuring out who you are. I’m here to support you however you need!”
“Thank you for trusting me with this. I support you! Do you mind if I ask you what that means?/Could you tell me more about that?”
6. Define “queer” please!
“I know I can look up the definition of it, but why is “queer” part of the acronym? Doesn’t it encompass “lesbian” and “gay”? Is there a nuance I’m missing?”
Here’s what you’re missing, no dictionary necessary!
“Queer is usually for the people who don’t put a specific label on their sexuality/are still questioning it.”
“I love the term queer for this reason, it’s a sign we’re finally collectively acknowledging that sexuality is not so cut and dried that people just know right away they’re attracted to x or y, and it can change over time, and honestly it’s not super important anyway that everyone has a strict definition of what they are.”
8. What do labels do for you?
“I’m curious why you or others feel the need to have a label?”
In the words of Hilary Duff, “Why not?”
“It’s a way to explain your experiences to others. imagine you’re having these confusing feelings that you don’t quite know how to put into words. and then you suddenly get presented with a word that describes all these feelings. you feel understood and are suddenly able to communicate your feelings better.”
9. This question is for those who pee standing up
“Is it ok to use adjacent urinals/ talk at the urinals if you two are dating/ married?”
Here’s the consensus:
“I talk to my husband at the urinal and use the one next to him all the time, only if it’s empty, if the bathroom isn’t empty we play by the “rules.””
10. Why the “I?”
“Why is intersex included when its a physiological/chromosomal variation and not a sexual/gender orientation? Sorry if I worded it wrong.”
“It’s worth noting that a lot of intersex people don’t want to be included in the acronym/community for the reasons you stated – they see it as a medical condition not an identity. Then again a lot of them do want to be included, because of society insisting on a binary that doesn’t include them, rainbow communities give them a space to belong.”
“Intersex people often have their gender chosen by their parents at birth and so tend to have experiences very similar to trans people. Often it even has to be corrected later in life with surgeries and hormones. It’s the variation from the normal binary gender/ presentation of that, which alligns them with the queer comunity in most cases.”
Read about the tragic case of David Reimer for some intersex history.
11. Over the top
“To trans women… Many cis women are modest or shy about their bodies. Like nips for example. While men can whip out their shirt and not be a whit embarrassed. Do your relationship to your body change after like transition or when you came to realisation that you are trans? Again I don’t mean to be offensive. Just curious.”
“It definitely did. I would say I was much less comfortable with my body prior to transitioning – didn’t care for it, didn’t have any interest in dressing nicely. I also didn’t like getting naked, and I didn’t like taking my shirt off in public, which is common. After changing my body my relationship with it is much healthier.”
“For me being topless outdoors is one of the things I miss, if I’m backpacking in the middle of nowhere and it’s sunny I take the opportunity to be topless and enjoy it. So I wouldn’t say it changed my relationship to my body in terms of modesty or desire to be covered like some folks here but obviously I had to conform to different societal norms once I had boobs.”
12. Let’s talk pronouns
“We’ve started putting pronouns in our email signatures at work and I’ve seen a few people put she/they or he/they and I’m curious why? I’m sure each person is different but I wonder why they are okay with a gendered pronoun but then also want to be called they? Anyone here use she/they or he/they and could give me some insight?”
“I always took the split pronouns like that to mean “I’m fine with either.” I know that many trans people who identify as men or women resent being called “they.” It can be seen as the person talking to them doesn’t view them as their preferred gender, and is just trying to be polite. I suspect the “/they” just signals that it doesn’t bother them if they/them pronouns are used.”
13. Pan vs Bi
“One that always confused me was, “Whats the difference between Pansexual and Bisexuality?”
Let’s break it down:
“Personally, I use bisexual instead of pan because I’m attracted to both genders equally but gender does play a role in whether I’m attracted to someone (for example, traits I find attractive in a woman might not be attractive in a man and vice versa), whereas for pan people they’re attracted to a person regardless of gender.”
“It’s like a squares rectangles thing. A square is rectangle but a rectangle isn’t always a square.
Bisexuality is like the umbrella term. Nonbinary is also an umbrella term. You can identify as nonbinary or bisexual, but there are terms below that with more specificities.
Pansexual means gender doesn’t affect your attraction to someone. You dont/can’t have a preference. You’re just attracted to the person, and their gender is just a part of them, not a part of your attraction to them.”
“I think the main difference between bisexuality and pansexuality is :
Pansexuality: Gender is not a « criteria » that matters when looking for a partner. They are attracted to people regardless of their gender.
Bisexuality: Gender can or can’t be a « criteria » when looking for a partner. For example, some bisexual can be attracted to females and non-binary people, but not to males. Some can be attracted to males, females and non-binary people. It’s all valid.”
14. Let’s discuss STDs
“Can lesbians get stds from having sex together?”
“Yes, and there are specific condoms (dental dams) and such for that purpose. Any time body fluids are being exchanged, there’s a risk of STDs/STIs.”
Never forget how important it is to get to know someone before engaging in sexual activity with them.
“Why is being a POC a part of the flag?”
This question is referring to the Progress Flag, released in 2018.
“There’s now two flags, used to mean different things! It’s important to remember the historical context for when the rainbow-flag came about in the first place to fully make it make sense, so it’s very understandable to not really get it. There’s still the classic rainbow-flag, for LGBTQIA+ folks united under one banner.
The flag you’re thinking of is the Progress Flag. It’s a flag for the championship of civil and universal Human rights. In the same era, the same season of change if that makes sense…around when the original rainbow flag was coined, both nonwhite and LGBTQIA+ minorities experienced very similar struggles. It was a very, very different world back then, esp in the USA and particular regions were especially bad…
POC folks have been at the forefront of Queer spaces since we’ve had them, but especially in the modern-day. Stonewall was famously started by a POC transwoman who just had fucking enough already.
That’s why as racial violence has become a hot topic, the Progress Flag has become popular as a reminder that the rainbow isn’t just for “”””the gays,””””” it’s for Human kind. It’s for Human rights, because we’re as diverse as a rainbow, and we all deserve fundamental rights and peace after all this unending rain.”
Marsha P. Johnson was outspoken about gay rights and advocated for AIDS research and treatment, and is best known for her involvement with the Stonewall riots of 1969. With fellow activist Sylvia Rivera, they founded STAR, advocating for homeless trans youth. Her body was discovered floating on the Hudson River in 1992 and is regarded as suspicious.