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Trans View: Is LGBT transforming into "Alphabet Soup"?

LGBT. LGBTQ. LGBTQI. LGBTQIA … even in our own community we are not clear on all the acronyms that represent us.  

As a person in the LGBT community, if I am having a hard time understanding and knowing all the acronyms sprouting up every other month, how can we honestly expect mainstream America to understand?

Our message is supposed to be about unity to obtain equality, although we cannot even communicate a clear and consistent message.  

I believe we are doing ourselves a disservice by expanding our acronym for every micro-group instead of projecting a simple and understandable message of equality for all.

A large percentage of "Main Street America" currently does not even understand the differences between sex, gender and sexual orientation, so the expansion of additional letters to the acronym only helps to dilute our unity and message.  

I experienced this lack of knowledge first-hand during my own coming out.  

Just two years ago, while opening up to my mom after 40 years of living as her all-American football star and bodybuilding son -- she was quite shocked -- although she took it in the same motherly, loving, way she has always been to me.  

A few weeks later and after many hours of talking about when, where, how, etc. about being transgender, she made a comment I will never forget:

“So you consider yourself more female than male, but you do not like men and still date women?  I do not understand.”  

My 60-something, educated, open minded and loving mother, like many others, really did not understand the difference between sex, gender & sexual orientation.

A common misperception is that gender and sex are the same -- WRONG.  

Sex is the reproductive organ supplied at birth, gender is the mental perception you have of yourself, and then there is sexual orientation or your sexual preference (heterosexual, homosexual or bi-sexual).  

Therefore, your sex is between your legs, gender is between your ears, and sexual orientation is between your sheets.  

I produced this video to help explain the differences between sex, gender and sexual orientation for my family and friends.

The large majority of our population's gender and sex are congruent and heterosexual.

Example: Johnny is born with male "sex" organs, his "gender" (the way he perceives himself) is also male and his "sexual orientation" is heterosexual.  

However, I consider myself "giftedly gendered:" I was born with male "sex" organs, but my "gender" is more female than male and my sexual preference has always been toward females.  

So then am I a trans-lesbian?

Do we now add another letter to our ever-expanding alphabet soup?  I say no.  

I prefer to win the war of equality and will sacrifice a few small battles, as the movement is about all of us, not just me.  

So lets keep the LGBT acronym a clear, united and simple message of equality for all.  

More about Chris Tina Bruce

Chris Tina Bruce is a male-to-female transgender bodybuilder, spokesperson and fitness talent.

She is the founder of Be Bold Be Proud, a grassroots non-profit transgender equality organization. She is also the founder of Discover Health and Fitness, a freelance writer and the proud parent of two amazing children.

She obtained her bachelor of science degree from Georgia State University, and is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer.

Chris Tina lives by some very simple rules and affirmations: All of life is a transition; where you are does not have to define who you will be and together we can cultivate change. Be Bold, Be Proud, Be Yourself.

For more information about Chris, her Fitness Fun Camps, private sessions, nutrition programs or next bodybuilding show, check out her website, check out the Hillcrest Fitness website, follow her Facebook page, on Twitter, or call (972) 989-6076.