Resources of Students who are LGBTQIA
Your responsibilities are not to diagnose or provide therapy; it is the development of a compassionate and forthright conversation that ultimately helps a student in trouble find understanding, support, and the proper therapeutic resources.
LGBTQIA: is acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual.
Asexual: Someone who does not experience sexual attraction.
Lesbian: A woman who has significant emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions primarily to other women.
Gay: a man who has significant emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions primarily to other men. At times, "gay" is used to refer to all people, regardless of sex or gender, who are not heterosexual.
Gender expression: The external behaviors and characteristics (i.e. dress, mannerisms, social interactions, speech patterns, etc.) that a person displays.
Gender identity: A person's internal self-awareness of being male, female, or an identity that does not fit defined categories. Some individuals experience their gender identity as not conforming to their assigned physical sex and may identify as transgender.
Bisexual: A person who has significant emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attraction to people of one or more sexes and/or genders.
Intersex: Someone born either with undeterminable genitalia and/or reproductive organs, and/or chromosomal make-up other than XX or XY. Intersex people may or may not identify as members of the transgender community (formerly referred to as "hermaphrodite," an outdated and offensive term).
Pansexual: A person who is sexually or romantically attracted to people of all gender identities and biological sexes. ("Hearts not Parts")
Transgender: A term that refers to people who transgress gender in some way or whose gender identity or expression may not align with societal expectations of physical sex at birth. This includes a spectrum of gender variant people. When writing about or talking to a transgender person, use the name and personal pronouns that are consistent with the way the individual identifies.
Queer: Originally a derogatory slur, queer has been reclaimed by some as an inclusive word for all those marginalized by heterosexism and/or discriminated against based on gender norms. Queer is often used as a sexual, gender, and or political identity, meaning non-normative. It is not accepted by all.
Questioning: Someone who is questioning their sexual and/or gender orientation.
Common mental health issues in the LGBTQIA community:
- Depression and Anxiety
- Substance Abuse
- Problems with family
- Relationship issues
- Disordered eating
- Suicidal ideation
What you can do:
- Remember that coming out is a life-long process. The student has the right to choose when, where and to whom they come out. Do not "out" a student, as they may not be out to their families or peers. Doing so can put student safety at risk.
- Refer the student to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender(LGBT) Resource Center, Student Union, Building 5 East, Room 1111 or (904) 620-4720.
- Consider completing the UNF Safe Space Training and becoming a LGBTQIA Ally.
- Refer to the Counseling Center (904) 620-2602 for additional support.
- Encourage the student to seek out a Safe Space Ally if they are looking for support in their classroom or department.
- Be an active listener and empathize. Affirm the student's identity and thank them for sharing with you.
- Ask what you can do to empower them.
- Avoid ignoring or minimizing the situation or expecting the student to make changes regarding their sexual orientation