Language Matters

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Conference
2014 National LGBT Conference
Date
29 July 2014
Decision

Conference believes that inclusive language is important in ensuring that all people within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community feel welcome and valued. Conference also believes that language, and our understanding of language, is constantly evolving, and that as LGBT activists we should always be mindful of this.

Conference is aware that within the trans community language is often discussed, and new words and phrases are emerging as the trans community finds a voice within wider society. This includes, but is not limited to, the voices of people who identify as non-binary – that is, people who do not identify as either male or female, or who identify as both male and female.

Conference understands that it is easy to continue to use words and phrases without fully considering the effect that these may have on already marginalised groups of people within the LGBT community. For example, using the word “straight” as the opposite of “LGBT” ignores the fact that many trans people are also straight; the opposite of “LGBT” should be “straight and cisgender”, and phrases such as “same sex” and “opposite sex” may have little meaning for someone who is neither male nor female.

Conference calls on the National LGBT Committee to:

1. Look into the issues around language inclusivity in regard to the trans community, including people who identify as non-binary.

2. Work towards publishing guidance for regional LBGT groups, branches and individual activists on making sure that the language used is inclusive

3. Ensure that all future publications made by the National LGBT Committee are inclusive in the language that is used, and consider revising previous publications, where necessary, to make them inclusive also.