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Frequently Asked Questions

About Pride Network

What is UMHS Pride Network?                                                                                  
An Employee Resource Group or affinity group for transgender, bisexual, lesbian, and gay faculty, staff and our allies, offering a forum for individuals to come together for relationship building and problem-solving.

Why is UMHS Pride Network here?
A workplace must be without harassment, without mistrust, and without disrespect. When an employee can arrive at work free of inhibitions or worries, then that person will contribute fully to their work and to the health system’s goals. And part of creating an inclusive workplace is to unite individuals with a common thread of diversity; united by common experience, those in the Pride Network can seek solutions to real or perceived barriers that interfere with them maximizing their potential.  

Why should the UMHS support a group for TBLG faculty and staff?                                                                                   
Companies that support employee resource groups are offering a forum for individuals to come together for relationship building and problem-solving.   Potential employees will use the presence of a TBLG employee resource group as an indicator of the company’s levels of acceptance of TBLG employees, and current employees will view a TBLG employee resource group as a demonstration of a company’s commitment to diversity in the workplace.  
  
Who can join the UMHS Pride Network?                                                             
Anyone who shares the vision of being an organization that recognizes, respects, fosters and fully maximizes the strengths and differences among its faculty, staff, students, patients and families.  You do not have to be transgender, bisexual, lesbian or gay.

What is involved in being a member?
You will have an opportunity to network with other TBLG health professionals; to impact the work environment and improve care for TBLG patients.
 
Are there UMHS Pride Network meetings? 
We meet every third Thursday from 4 to 5 p.m.  

Can I be a member without attending meetings?                                              
Yes. 

Is there an e-mail list?                                                                                         
Yes, there is an e-mail distribution list which sends to everyone whose address is included in the list; this list is set up to assure member confidentiality.  Individual names will not be displayed on communications.

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About TBLG

What does TBLG mean?
TBLG (or LGBT, GLBT) is an abbreviation used as a collective term to refer to Transgender, Bisexual, Lesbian and Gay people.  It is an inclusive term which refers to people who are sexual minorities in some way either because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity. 

I've heard of lesbian, gay and bisexual, but what does transgender mean?

Transgender is an encompassing term that includes a number of identities that all have to do with how one presents or expresses their gender.  In our society, there are certain expectations that if you are male you act/dress/look a certain way, and if you are female you act/dress/look another way.  However, the closer this is examined, the more you realize that there are numerous variations from the expectations.  People who are transgendered may dress or look differently from what's expected of them based on their birth gender.  Other people who are transgendered, may have undergone surgeries or used hormones, and you would never be able to tell they were born a different sex.  In any case, if you know someone is transgendered, respect the pronouns and name they prefer.

Why do I see variations of TBLG, LGBT, GLBT, etc.?                                                    

These terms may be considered controversial. For example, some transgender and transsexual people do not like the term because they do not believe their cause is the same as that of LGB people; they may also object when an organization adds a T to their acronym when the level of service they actually offer to trans people is questionable. There are some that are concerned that the acronym is getting too long.  However, the Pride network feels that all identities are important to specify and include.  Transphobia and homophobia are closely related issues and the Pride Network is committed to ending these forms of discrimination at UMHS.

* The Pride Network has made a conscious decision to use TBLG for our acronym as we feel that those groups that are most discriminated against, should be represented first.

What is meant by "TBLG Issues?"
This is a term referring to a wide variety of different circumstances, situations, and experiences which many TBLG people face or deal with in some way.  Some of these are positive (for example, gay pride) and others are negative (for example, dealing with homophobia).  In general, many people have very different beliefs, opinions, feelings, and thoughts about TBLG issues.  The Pride Network's current focus is on TBLG issues in UMHS employment and healthcare.

What is an Ally?                                                                                  
An ally to the TBLG community is any person who affirms the experiences and rights of TBLG People.  Allies make a conscious effort to fight heterosexism, transphobia, and homophobia. More information on Allies.

Why are same sex domestic partner's benefits taxed and our married colleagues' benefits are not?                                                                          
The Internal Revenue Service has ruled that domestic partners cannot be considered spouses for tax purposes. Thus, employers are obligated to report the fair market value of the domestic partner coverage as income to the employee. The employee must pay income tax on that money. Domestic partner benefits may be considered non-taxable only if the domestic partner meets the IRS definition of a "dependent." (Internal Revenue Code Section 152 defines a dependent as someone who resides in the employee's household and who receives at least half of his or her support from the employee.)

I'm more familiar with diversity pertaining to racial and ethnic groups, how does TBLG fit in?
Aside from having a racial/ethnic identity, everyone also has a sexual orientation and gender identity.  Some people are marginalized by their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and are open to discrimination and harassment due to being in a minority. (There are other aspects to diversity including religion, ability/disability, etc.).

What is coming out? 
"Coming out" refers to disclosing one's sexual orientation or gender identity to others.  Someone who is "out" or "out of the closet" is comfortable with most all people knowing their sexual orientation or gender identity.  It is not a single event but instead a life-long process, beginning when one first recognizes and accepts this aspect of themselves.

Why do TBLG people come out?                                                                           
People come out because it is a way of making a positive statement of self-acceptance and integrity to the world.  For the most part, people are assumed to be heterosexual (straight), and for TBLG people coming out is a way of correcting this false assumption.  Also, one's sexual orientation/gender is an important part of a person's identity, and coming out opens the door to share this with others.  Some transgender people may come out to address the array of assumptions made about them based on real or perceived gender. 

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Common Misconceptions

Homosexuality is unnatural
Same-gender sexual behavior has existed in all cultures across history. Many non-Western cultures consider homosexuality normal and acceptable. Similarly, transgenderism has existed in all cultures in every point in history, and is widely accepted in some cultures (of course, different cultures also have widely varying gender stereotypes).

Homosexuality is immoral.
Some texts of the Old Testament are used to condemn homosexuality. Taken literally and out of context, Biblical passages can be used to justify slavery, prohibit the wearing of red dresses and eating of shrimp and shellfish, and to reinforce the inferiority of women.

Homosexuality is mental illness.
The APA removed homosexuality from its list ofmental disorders in 1973. Psychiatrists believethat homosexuality can not be “cured” andreparative therapy is, in fact, very harmful tomental health.

Gay men molest children.
Crime statistics show that the majority of child molesters are heterosexual men targeting young girls. In addition, most child molesters who target boys identify their sexual orientation as heterosexual.

Lesbians hate men. Gay men are all promiscuous and talk with a lisp.

Like heterosexuals, there are many types of TBLG people. Some fit these stereotypes and many don’t. Making assumptions about someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity based on the way they look or act can be harmful to the individual. The TBLG community is as diverse as the heterosexual community.

If you are transgender, than you are gay, right?
Gender identity and sexual orientation are two different things. Remember: everyone has a sexual orientation, regardless of their gender, and everyone has a gender regardless of their sexual orientation.

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About Pride Network

About TBLG

Common Misconceptions

  Contact Us FAQ'S Allies

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