FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — The Frederick Center is an LGBTQ+ supportive organization, that strives to create awareness and equality.
Members of the organization Clare Madrigal and Johanna Dolan hosted an LGBTQ+ 101 educational segment to explain the different variations in the LGBTQ+ community.
They broke down various terms such as SOGIE, and explained the different aspects.
“SOGIE means sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. It’s important to know when you’re talking about SOGI that gender identity does not equal sexual orientation, sex, or gender expression,” said Dolan.
Sexual orientation is someone’s romantic, sexual, and or emotional attraction towards another human or humans.
Examples of sexual orientations are gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, and heterosexual.
“It’s important to note that if someone uses a term about their identity that you don’t understand, it’s appropriate to ask them, What does that mean to you?” said Madrigal.
The two went on to discuss additional terms. One being cisgender, which means that your biological sex aligns with your gender identity. Another term discussed is transgender, which means that your biological sex does not align with your gender identity.
They also explained that there are different terms used such as, Two-Spirit, agender, genderless, genderqueer, gender fluid, or enby, which means non-binary.
It’s important to understand that there are many gender identities, not just male and female.
Gender expression is how you present yourself to the world, and you can do this by using your clothing, your hair, your makeup, or any sort of outward appearance, and this is not set in stone. Everyone has a gender expression that is not necessarily aligned with your gender identity.
Showing support is a crucial element and it can go a very long way.
“We need allies from every corner. You can wear a button, you can wear a button with a rainbow on it or a trans flag, and that really shows that you are a safe person that we can trust you,” said Madrigal.
Additional resources in Maryland include: