Coming Out

LGBT Students have the right to be out at school. Schools can’t punish students for being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity, and they can’t respond to anti-LGBT bullying by telling students that they have brought it on themselves by coming out. Also, schools can’t reveal students’ sexual orientation or gender identity to their parents without the students’ consent.

 

Sexual orientation and gender identity are often thought to be the same thing but they are distinct. Every person has both a sexual orientation and a gender identity. Sexual orientation is the scientifically accurate term for an individual’s enduring romantic, physical and/or spiritual attractions. Gender identity is a person’s internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman.

Lesbian and Gay are used to describe people whose enduring emotional, romantic, physical and/or spiritual attractions are to people of the same sex. Gya is more commonly used to describe men, while lesbian is usually the preferred term for women.

Bisexual is used to describe people whose enduring emotional, romantic, physical and/or spiritual attractions are to people of either sex.

Transgender describes people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differ from their birth-assigned sex. It does not mean only people who have chosen to alter their bodies hormonally or surgically.

Gender expression is the way people show their gender identity, for example, through behavior, clothing or voice characteristics.