Using the correct terminology isn’t just about being “woke.” It is about creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels respected. And getting it wrong, or not paying close enough attention to those in the workplace who get it wrong, can be evidence in employment discrimination claims.
My partner, Brian McGinnis, prepared this superb glossary of LGBTQIA+ terms and explained the context as follows:
The current cultural landscape leans toward a broad inclusiveness of gender and sexual identity, resulting in a greater emphasis on understanding the terminology that individuals use to define and express themselves in the way that feels most authentic to them.
We have created this glossary as a resource to help companies and individuals gain fluency in the ever-evolving language relevant to the LGBTQIA+ community.
The terms in this glossary reflect our understanding as of January 2022. Our understanding of the terms and concepts presented here are not set in stone; it continues to evolve over time and to be guided by ongoing experience.
The definitions of these terms do not reflect or correspond to any legal definitions of these terms as used in any local, state or federal legislation. They are presented here solely in an educational context and in the spirit of encouraging an ongoing commitment to educating others toward a more respectful and inclusive future.
This document is not intended to be comprehensive but rather to serve as a resource to readers to aid in understanding and furthering the conversation on evolving ideas surrounding identity and self-expression.
LGBTQIA+ is an acronym that stands for the “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and allies, plus” community.
Use this glossary to train your managers. Circulate it. Post it on your Intranet. Have someone (maybe even Brian!) train your team on it. And if you get a claim suggesting you didn’t take this issue seriously, now you will have evidence that you did!