The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) recognizes and supports people of all gender identities and sexual orientations. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two spirit, and all other variations in sexual orientation and gender health are very important to us. Inclusive, positive services are available at all health unit locations.
The Northwestern Health Unit uses the acronym LGBT2SQ+ to refer to people of all sexual orientations and gender variations. This acronym is used to recognize people who don’t easily fit into a heterosexual, binary-gendered world.
‘LGBT’ is a common abbreviation that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender/transsexual.
The ‘2S” in LGBT2SQ+ stands for two-spirited. This term is used by Indigenous cultures in an effort to honor people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/ transsexual or third gendered. It is used to capture the traditional beliefs about gender in many different Indigenous cultures and languages.
The ‘Q’ stands for queer, which is a formerly derogatory word that is being reclaimed and viewed as an umbrella term adopted by those who reject traditional gender identities and seek a broader, less conformist, and deliberately ambiguous alternative to the label LGBT.
It is important to note that people who identify as LGBT2SQ+ may still not be comfortable with some of the above terminology. Always ask people how they identify or like to be referred to as—this can include asking what pronouns to use.
Gender and sexual orientation
Gender is a difficult word for most people to define because the word is often misused. Gender identity, and how we express our gender make us uniquely who we are, but that is sometimes confused with biological sex, and sexual orientation or attraction.Biological Sex
Refers to the objectively measureable organs, hormones and chromosomes. This includes female, male and intersex.Gender Identity
A person’s internal and individual experience of gender. It is a person’s sense of being a female, a male, both, neither, or anywhere along the gender spectrum.Gender Expression
How a person demonstrates their gender through the ways they act, dress, behave and interact. Most people express traits of both genders, so we refer to this as the gender spectrum.Sexual Orientation
Sexual orientation or attraction differs from gender in that it is the direction of one's sexual interest or attraction. It covers the range of human sexuality from lesbian and gay, to bisexual and straight.
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