What LGBT Means To Me

I had a conversation recently with a friend and the phrase came up – “LGBT”. My grey matter seemed to have heard the phrase or acronym before, and eventually with a Gollum’esk strain I remembered … “EGGSES !”

Check this out :

And the full scene :

Just goes to show how dumb I can be or how bad my memory is 🙂

LGBT is short for “Lesbian Gay Bi and Trans”. Please don’t ask me to explain “trans”, couple of people have tried and still doesn’t make complete sense – I get the gist though. Sorry trans people, it’s complicated, I even looked it up on Wikipedia 🙂


Since I was a kid I’ve been straight, I always liked women and don’t think that will ever change. I just don’t imagine myself in any other way. I dig chics and they rock ! And dudes don’t err have curvy bits and welcome mats.

Where I grew up it, there were quite a lot of bigots, sadly minorities didn’t exactly get an easy time. I expect it’s fairly similar in most places. I was brought up to believe in accepting other people as they are, to attempt not to judge too much and to try and understand others I don’t understand.

Fast forward to spreading my wings and moving to a big city. Minorities often congregate in big cities, because they tend to be more metropolitan, and easier to meet other people of the same minority. I met a lot of gay people in London (LGBT doesn’t work for me, sorry guys & gals). In general my experience with gay people has been they are often a lot more open about themselves and their sexuallity. They also tend to be less bigoted and more accepting of others.

I had a good job in a city bank. It was at the firm’s Christmas party that I first met who was to become one of my best friends. I’d spoken to her on the telephone quite a lot. Never met in person. We’ll call her Angela, although that’s not her real name. For me it wasn’t “love at first sight”, I wasn’t all that “attracted” to her. Don’t get me wrong she’s a very good looking woman, stunning blonde, bambi eyes, fit and part Dutch. We were brought together through work, but I just enjoyed hanging out with her, she’s cool, down to earth, fun and very intelligent. If prudish then prudish in a funny positive way, not in an anti negative way. Nothing ever happened between us, and never will, we like each other but no “chemistry”.

Looking back writing this I must have been out of my mind not to have hooked up with her, she’s the catch of the millenium ! Anyway …

I’ve known her more than 10 years now. After a while it became obvious that she was/is bi, and I asked her about it. I’m quite a curious person. People who are different, often I’m wary of, but not scared to the point of needing to push them away, well the friendly ones at least. No, what interests me more is an empathic understanding of why they’ve decided to be who they are.


It was quite a long time later that I asked her about it in more detail. Her theory is that men are more fixed in one direction or the other, we’re gay or straight and that’s it. But for women her theory is a sliding scale between straight, bi and lesbian. Now I’m not saying this is “the truth” or even that I agree. But what I am saying is that it deepened my understanding of her and allowed me to relate to her better. It also helped me relate better to lesbian, gay, bi and trans people.

I think humans are basically scared of things (include ideas and people) that they don’t understand. People who are “different” or from a “minority”, then mainstream people usually don’t understand. It seems easier for people to reject than accept what they don’t understand, and sometimes this occurs in very unpleasant ways. Untold suffering, hate, aggression, tension and bad feeling. Bigotry through ignorance perhaps.

But why ? My experience is that gay people have always treated me with respect, often far more respect than straight people. Most of them don’t try to force their ideas on me, and for me, have been more open and honest than straight people. So why indeed. It makes little sense to me. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but actually it doesn’t take that much effort to reach an empathic understanding of others. It’s the way forward, for me.


In summary, I’m not pro-LGBT or anti-LGBT, I’m somewhat agnostic, that is I keep on open mind. I’m happy for people to be themselves, do what they want, provided it doesn’t hurt me or my loved ones. I don’t see that LGBT people do hurt anyone, they are just people who made different choices from me. Others people’s opinions don’t need to be agreed with but they can be accepted, and let those people live their lives the way that they want to. For instance I don’t eat anything that walks or flies, but I don’t have a problem with people who do, up to them if they want to eat cows and pigs and chickens.

So what does LGBT mean to me? Well I don’t like the acronym, I don’t think it does any favours, but I’ll do my best to use it and get used to it. LGBT “El Gee Bee Tee” isn’t exactly a roll-off-the-tongue thing to say. THAT ASIDE – Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Trans people are my friends, just the same as any other people. With the caveat that I expect to be treated with respect, and this is the same for how I expect to be treated by straight people. Give respect and you’ll get it back, lack respect and you’ll find little from me.

Anyway, enough said.


Don Charisma

Resources & Sources

Sexy Woman Photo – morgueFile
“Love” Double Necked T-Shirt – hotlinked to flickr

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Warm regards, Don Charisma

82 thoughts on “What LGBT Means To Me

  1. I’m glad to hear you had a learning experience. Many people are unaware of the plethora of sexual orientations.

    1. Life is a continual learning, so yes I had one and many more to come hopefully 🙂 … trans still confuses me … and yes it’s a lot of different ways for different folks !

  2. I never understood the need to label people beyond you are a man and I am a woman. The rest goes to who you are. I feel sometimes we need to learn a lesson form young children who don’t judge a person on labels. They just want to love and be loved. Who amongst us has the right to judge others based on the labels society places on people? Where do you draw the line? We are people. You man, me woman! May be simplistic, but it works for me.

    1. Agree with you hun and makes sense. Only thing I would add is that labeling is a mental tool. It can be used like any other tool for good or bad. It can save time in a conversation for instance. And also indeed aren’t the words we use all labels ?

      It’s easier for me to say E=MC2 than “The thoery of relativity” … Shortcuts are useful and necessary

      I think the problem is when labels are used negatively and for destructive purposes …

      Warm regards


  3. This one kind of got lost in my reader but I am glad I scrolled down and found it.

    As I have grown older, I have tried to stop putting people in boxes. People are a mixture of many things. Many are decent with a few bad eggs sprinkled in the mix. You can be a cool black guy that loves heavy metal and are straight or the rich college professor who preys on his female students. So a person’s sexuality is a part of who they are and not their defining being.

    I am a Christian and I saw pictures of a happy Jesus in my church smiling at groups of children. I don’t recall any stories of Jesus decapitating the prostitutes he spent time with or killing the sinners. To me, the anger towards gays kind of contradicts the former messages. Would he like the children then as they grow up; curse them as they discover they are attracted to the same sex?

    You have to think for yourself and to me that equates to discovering and learning from others who are different from me.

    1. Very much Steve, and something I’ve often thought but not been able to express is this BAD in the name of GOOD, WTF is that about. Cruelty and evil and still cruelty and evil, having a “just” cause doesn’t give anyone the right to harm people, bar self-defence. Two wrongs don’t make a right I think …

      1. I think of myself as a religious person but I am probably the kind of person that is despised in the church. Why? Because I have the ability to read and comprehend and the power of observance.

        Remember the Raiders of the Lost Ark? Remember the Ark of the Covenant and how it melted people that messed with it? I really don’t believe there is a master bible in a case that is ready to melt people who tamper with the wording. Don’t get me wrong. I think the bible is the greatest book ever written but how can word of mouth stories not be tweaked a bit here or there or not translated correctly?

        So the main message is the stories. Stories of humanity and doing what is just. We are all on this sphere together with a fragile ecosystem. So it is about elevating yourself to be the best human you can be. If you do this…I think Jesus, or whatever religion you prescribe to, will be happy. As a non-believer…your fellow man will be thankful.

      2. Very much agree with you Steve, so I’m not the only one who figured that out. The book and the words are a guidebook to enlightenment. To me doesn’t matter which religion, they where all written for the same purpose. It’s the meaning that lyes behind the story that’s the learning, and the enlightenment, not the story itself.

        Same with movies, I get most from what lyes beyond the surface … I took another look at “Million Dollar Baby” in the context of my own life and saw so much I could relate to in the underying meaning. No I’m not a boxer, I’m not a woman, but I understand the family problems and the striving to succeed through having a good strong spirit. And the getting broken by someone with no decency.

        So yes Steve, very much on the same page, thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. I agree with you, Don. Whatever name we call them — LGBT or any other — it’s just another way to be, and I don’t see how it bothers anyone as long as these ‘different’ people don’t harm them in any way. I live in India, and I have come across so many people (usually men) who think that gay men are the most lowly, evil creatures to have walked the earth. Having been traditional myself until a decade ago, this homophobia now pains me. I now attempt to ‘enlighten’ such homophobes, so I deliberately wrote about my experiences with gay people in my own blog, at http://riffrantrave.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/about-my-377-friends/.

    1. Love you post, very thoughtful and well constructed … I’ve left a comment there for you … I think travel and seeing other people and places broadens out horizons 🙂

      Warm regards


    1. If you like that sort of thing !

      He’s funny, but I personally don’t find him attractive in any other way shape or form 🙂

      He used to live just round the corner from me in London, I’d see him returning from shopping etc …

      1. I was just being funny. I do like his humor thou and just happened to see him on Youtube and figured you would know who he was… many here don’t know of him.

        My understanding of LGBT is we (our soul and ethereal self) are required to experience both male and female lifetimes in order to get a well rounded education here in earth school. Sometimes when we are switching between genders we have difficulty accepting the change. Anyway my 2 cents on the topic. ^_^ Good post!

      2. It’s an interesting way to view it, mine is similar … I think we’re capable of thinking and feeling, and men can do almost everything a woman can as well … different situations call for different approaches, from a basic perspective – masculine more suited to protecting the home and chasing lunch, and feminine more suited to making the home into somewhere nice to live and preparing the lunch … for me that’s symbiotic … when I’m sick, my girlfriend would have to do the protecting the home and chasing lunch, when she’s sick I have to do the preparing lunch and making home a nice place … that’s my two cents !



      3. My testosterone levels seem to go all over the place, sometimes I’m a killer alpha-male, other times all I want to do is sleep … how to keep it regular, I don’t think you can, just have to go with the flow … as for ladies hormones, not studied it too much, but know you girls suffer with it as much as us boys … life’s life, and I guess the thing is to make the most of it 🙂

  5. Well, more current research indicates that who we’re attracted to is not a conscious “choice”, despite the fact that here in the US at least, the anti-LGBTQ bigots scream and yell that being gay is by choice. (Some of them even try sending theirs kids to these “conversion camps” to change them to straight! smh)
    But yeah, we don’t need to have different sets of rights for people. In that way, I’d define myself as pro-LGBTQ in that I support the legal rights. On a person to person basis, I have friends who are gay, lesbian, bi, transgendered because they’re cool people and we get along. I’ve met others who were not so nice. Whatever, I’ve met straight people who were cool and straight people who were jerks too.

    1. Hey Jenny, just found this message after you FB’ed me.

      I think that attraction is a choice, just not that much of a conscious choice. An adult individual could probably change, but most wouldn’t have the strength. Childhood is probably where we form the unconscious part of the choice.

      There are morons, imbeciles, bigots etc anywhere and everywhere – that’s just how it is. In some places this forms the majority. These people are just as entitled to hold their opinions same as anyone else. What they are not entitled to do is cause harm to others.

      For me it’s more about someone behaving decently, politely, respectfully as indicated in my “Being Ignored” post. That’s the difference for me between jerks and cool people. Cool people you can generally trust, because they are generally down to earth, alright sort of people, good hearted etc. Jerks tend to be negatively-narcissistic, self-interested, destructive, cruel and in some cases evil.

      1. Hi Don, glad to know the comment thing is working out again! Not sure where things stand where you are, but over here I guess this is a very loaded topic because the folks who think that way certainly feel entitled to cause harm to others, whether through direct violence or legislation. The U.S. state of Arizona (where I had the displeasure of living as a kid) has recently been in the news for passing a bill saying businesses can refuse to serve gay people. Don’t ask me how they think they know every time who is or isn’t!

        I agree with you the difference between jerks and cool people.

      2. OK Jenny, it’s a glitch, let me know if your comments aren’t coming through. I enjoy people polite opinions and they get seem by my visitors, so it’s a win-win. It’s also nice when I’ve influenced someone in a positive way 🙂

        Doesn’t sound good that people are discriminated against like this, the USA I thought was about freedom and liberty, not suppression and oppression.

        I also think that even for straight people there are problems and judgements, we don’t necessarily get a smooth time either.

        Jerks I cut ’em loose at the first possible opportunity, friends can stay as long as they like 🙂

        Warm regards


      3. Well, it’s not as bad in the USA as countries where I’ve read that people can be jailed or executed for their sexuality. But it’s not completely free and equal and all that here…yet. It also depends what part of it you’re in.

        Jerks…well I suppose every human being has their jerky moments. But when someone is consistently having them again and again and again? Might mean it’s time to look at what you’re getting out of being around them. 🙂

      4. I’d heard that too, which is partly why I wrote on the topic. In small town I grew up EVERY minority had a hard time. Not my way, I’m pretty accepting of decent people, who treat me the same.

        And yes sure, everyone’s a jerk from time to time. It’s how we handle the afterwards that makes a difference. Trolls I’ve found on my blog here are argumentative and defensive, non-trolls usually work towards resolution quickly.

        I like to mix things up from time to time, offend a few people, keeps my audience fresh and weeds out the dead weight. So don’t read me too seriously, most of the time just letting of steam or having fun … the rest of the time I do my best to be about Charisma 🙂



  6. Good for you Don. I grew up in the Bay Area here in California and since my mom was in the music industry, I was exposed at a very early age to all walks of life. Gay, straight, black, asian, white, blah blah…I’ve seen it all. I once knew a young man that went through a sex change. I could care less what religion, race or whatever. Just be a kind, good person that cares about others and respects others. That’s all I ask for.

  7. That’s a very interesting opinion from your friend Angela, that men tend to be more fixed, whereas women tend to be more the sliding scale between straight, bi and lesbian. This would be more in line with the view I share that women tend to be more emotionally aware and driven.

    A great post I enjoyed. Thank you for this, not just because I’m gay, for this post encouraging mutual respect for everyone.

    1. Thanks Halim, I know I have a few gay readers, I do try to cater for different parts of my audience.

      I think you’re right women tend to be more emotionally aware. Although I think this may be more nurture than nature. I’ve met plenty of, and forgive my ignorance if I’m getting this wrong, camp-gay men who are just as emotionally as women. Also I’ve learnt to work with my emotions extensively, so no longer see this as a gender issue.

      Warm regards


      1. Yes, good point you raised there.

        As for the ‘camp-gay men’ term, I don’t quite know the ‘accepted’ term myself either haha! I normally just say ‘feminine gay men’ or ‘masculine gay men’, even though who knows some gay men may still take offense at this, and also there are so many shades or degrees between feminine and masculine. On the subject of labels, even that LGBT acronym which you indicated in the post you find awkward, I do too. Actually I think it’s mostly activists who use that. Most of us, or rather most of the gay people I know (who are not involved in gay activism work) use just the word ‘gay’ in our everyday conversation.

      2. Hey Halim, that’s useful info, will help with my social-savy’ness 🙂 … I think gay is quite a nice word anyway, especially since it’s a word that means happy 🙂 …

  8. Great post, Don.

    People come in different shapes, sizes, colours, genders, sexual persuasions etc. and I think that none of that makes a difference to the type of person you are. I have known all sorts of folks, some straight, some gay, and some something in between. Some of the nicest people I have known have been any of these persuasions and by the same token some of the vilest people have also been straight/gay/other. I guess what I am trying to say is that sexual orientation is not a deciding factor in whether you’re a decent person or not: you either are or you’re not. Simple as.

    Heather xxx

    1. Totally agree heather … all I would add is that sexuality is a key part of who we are, and I reckon less shame and more acceptance would lead to happier lives for most people 🙂



      1. A very good point,Don, and very well made. This world of ours sure could do with a whole lot more love and acceptance.

        Who knows, maybe one day?

        Heather xxx

      2. Sometimes I play devil’s advocate, separation and non-acceptance have their place. I personally do very much enjoy my “me time” there’s separation in that. And I don’t accept cruelty and evil, so there’s non-acceptance in that …

        Within that yes it’s nice when we come across people that are cool and like us and we can relax and just be ourselves. Also the rarity makes it that much more special, again something that’s not possible with the negatives.

        So the negatives have a positive purpose too, was what I wanted to say 🙂



  9. An extremely balanced and fair point of view which I definitely comply to. Sexual polarization is only an often negligible trait of human beings. Great, great Don 🙂

  10. Why people get in a snit about how people have sex is beyond me. The only thing that matters in a relationship is love and respect. What’s in a person’s heart is the most important thing.

  11. It is really nice to get to know you a bit more through sharing of your views and something of yourself. I have a very simple philosophy in this matter. I like nice, kind,interesting people. I couldn’t care one bit less about their sexual preferences or identity. I’d love to live in a world where labels weren’t necessary, but I don’t think they’re going to disappear in my lifetime. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Nice discussion.

    1. Hey yes, very sounds ethos … although I think labels do have positive uses, there is a time and place for them … mental abstractions do enrich my life, save me time and make conversations flow better … however any tool can be used for negative purposes, and this is the real problem 🙂 … I like to share a bit of myself, I often get back lots of positive stuff from readers and I think people probably like to know me a little 🙂

    1. Well it’s a key part of being a human being as far as I’m concerned. Negative shame causes untold suffering, isn’t it about time we started accepting ourselves, loving ourselves and being ourselves ?

  12. Great post! I don’t really know anyone from the LGBT community here. Or maybe I do, but it’s never come up. I tend to accept people as they are when they’re with me. You can tell when people are a little hesitant, without knowing the cause (anxiety? sexuality? faith? etc), and I just do my best to make them feel at ease. We all just want to feel safe and accepted for who we are. And really, sexuality rarely comes up because at the end of the day we’re just a couple of people enjoying each other’s company. The rest isn’t all that important (at least I don’t think it is) 🙂

  13. Great post Don, people should be allowed to make their own choices and not be persecuted for it. I agree that when people don’t understand they tend to lash out in sometimes nasty ways, and that isn’t right. I have plenty of gay friends and my life is a better place for it 😉 Not because they are gay, because they are my friends 😉

    1. Very much agree hun … friends are friends, doesn’t matter who they are or what their preferences are … well within reason, there are some things that aren’t acceptable … loving another human being mutually consentually is acceptable for me 🙂

  14. I have relatives and friends who are gay. The “holy” claim this to be a sin, but I do not. (It’s not one of the seven deadly… so how can it be?) Not to my knowledge has anyone tried to poison our water systems to change everyone’s preference either. I’ve been joked with by my gay male friends, “Oh, why can’t you be gay?” and “You’re pretty cute for a straight guy” and I’ve even gone to a party where I was the only straight man there.

    I was the relative and friend of these people before I knew their preference. Their personalities have not changed. They haven’t done me harm. There is nothing but respect out of their mouths. They are the same person who I’ve always known. The same humanly respect is displayed by their friends as well.

    How can I judge them? I can’t. In fact, I’d take a bullet for them.

    Great post, Don.

    1. Great commenting Christopher 🙂 I live and let live … have had gay friends come onto me, one strategy I use is just give them the approval they want and usually the come ons subside … I’m straight and always will be, I like women too much to change !

      I don’t judge too much, other than judge what’s for me and what’s not, but I think I said that already …



  15. Dc, Ponder Anew has no intention of living with her head in the sand, I merely squirm around attempts to label or categorize people. This is the major reason why I majored in philosophy, a field that ventures bravely into any subject. Not that inquiries about my ‘qualifications’ as such don’t come around, I am just much more at ease and free to respond with reason this way, much more so if I was boxed into a category or pigeon holed by a professional title. Anyway, that’s my story.

    So, what does this have to do with what lgbt means to me? I’m glad you asked, my friend!

    As you can already probably tell, perusers who stop by my blog, whatever their sexual orientation will likely not find references to or comments about LGBT people. No offense intended! What one will find, however, is I hope, a celebration of the dignity of the human person, whatever one’s sexual orientation, by virtue of our image in the likeness of God, and our collective need to ask the big questions in life, ones like, “why am I here?”

    So, Lgbt friend, I hope DC does not mind me using his invitation to invite you as well to Ponder Anew. Let us all ask the big questions! Have a great day and a great weekend to everyone.

    1. I’ve no problem Kassey, I would recommend that everyone read your blog 🙂 … Personally I think labels do have their place and use, can save time and mental resources, keep flow of a conversation going etc etc … but can also be abused, like any tool !

  16. I love this one. I have to say to start, that I am totally pro LGBT, in all the possible ways, though I am straight, but It doesn’t mean a thing for me. The first time I heard about the name “LGBT” I didn’t liked it because I thought that haters would use it against them. But somehow, thought that was true, I think that I understand how they need to unite forces someway, you know, because the situation is not good at all, and it is so sad. I really like your post, but I have noticed this phrase;
    “No, what interests me more is an empathic understanding of why they’ve decided to be who they are.”
    I think it is perfect except that maybe if you want you can think about it not that much about “Who They’ve decided to be” but more as -Who they really are-. At list I see it that way, because for what I know about it, as everybody, they just learn to see and accept and deal with what they really are, and that’s why this is so sad for me and why I fight so hard for them, because they are just like me or anybody, people living in this big world, trying to find something good, some satisfaction in it. They don’t deserve any punishment just because they want different things, they deserve to be able to have it, with respect, and as you say very well, they are the most respectful people.


    1. Thanks hun, very thoughtful comment.

      What I’m trying to say, which maybe isn’t as clear as it could be, is that sexuality is a choice. A choice isn’t “who you really are” it’s who you’ve decided to be. I’ve decided to be straight, that’s who I’ve decided to be, not “who I really am”.

      Hopefully there will be some change for people who are persecuted for their sexuality. And straight people don’t have it easy either, we shouldn’t forget that either.



  17. Very thoughtful and thought-provoking at the same time, Don. I don’t have any LGBT friends, but I worked with a few gay men in the past. They were some of my favorite people to work with – and it had nothing to do with their sexuality. They were genuinely good people, funny, and easy to get along with.

  18. I think this reaction with fear are usual, when we meet something unknown. An old instinct about surriving.
    If we are open-minded, we will have much more experiences in our lives. I know many kind of people too and I try to be open-minded best possible.

    1. Yes, that’s a good way to explain it Irene, I hadn’t thought of the survival instinct, I’ll “borrow” that 🙂

      And yes there’s a balance between saying yes to everything and saying no to what’s not right for us.



  19. All throughout history people have found reasons to hate each other based on some sort of label. Today is no different. Wait a few years and there will be new hot button labels on people. I have been discriminated against because of some of the labels put on me too.

      1. I hope so too! I just brought up the discrimination thing because people often look at me and think there’s no way that could be true (I’m white with light brown hair and blue eyes). It’s horrible, but I’m convinced that it happens to everyone.

      1. Perfect for that special look you sport. I won’t ask you how you do that (since it’s your look an all) but I am gonna ask my kids.
        It might come in handy if I have to get serious ’bout sometin’. 🙂

    1. I like to push the boundaries whilst staying within my “non-mature” status … and thanks Teela, I’ve been honest, not sure how others would feel about the topic, so it’s experiment 472 in the Don Charisma R&D labs LOL

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