Vector Cares Course Spotlight: Understanding the Basics of LGBTQ+ Identities

Vector Cares Course Spotlight: Understanding the Basics of LGBTQ+ Identities

Everything we do at Vector Solutions is for the purpose of supporting our communities and empowering the everyday heroes in critical industries to make safer, smarter, and better decisions. We’ve seen firsthand that combining content and technology allows organizations to give the right information at the right time to those who need it most. In some cases, that’s providing critical information to first responders, like EMTs and law enforcement, in the case of an isolated incident or emergency, but not always. Sometimes, critical information takes the form of helping those within our communities better understand and relate with one another. 

At Vector Solutions, we celebrate and commit ourselves to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and have long supported education and learning opportunities impacting the LGBTQ+ community. We originally developed our complimentary Vector Cares course, Understanding the Basics of LGBTQ+ Identities, for educators, but this highly informative course can be beneficial for learners from all backgrounds and industries. Here’s more on what you can expect from this course.

Understanding the Basics of LGBTQ+ Identities

As with every Vector Solutions course, we ensure learners know upfront what they can hope to gain from the course and what skills or knowledge they can expect to walk away with. This complimentary Vector Cares video course provides important information to help learners better understand the basics of LBGTQ+ identities, including how to:

  • Describe and better understand human sexuality
  • Explain sexual orientation vs. sexual identity
  • Explain the differences between sexual identity and gender identity
  • Recognize and understand the language of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Comprehend the difficulties faced by LGBTQ+ youth
  • Recognize ways to make schools safer and more supportive for LGBTQ+ youth
  • Become an LGBTQ+ ally

Section 1: Human Sexuality

Human sexuality is a complex topic, which can take us to a variety of destinations, truths, and untruths about ourselves and society. In this section, we help explain some of the basic terms around human sexuality including:

  • Human sexuality
  • Sexual sensations
  • Related intimacy

Section 2: Orientation, Identity & Behavior

This section explores sexual orientation and identity, defining sexual orientation as the enduring pattern of attraction that people feel instinctively towards others. A person needs to recognize their sexual orientation in order to accept their sexual identity. The course continues with a sample scenario that helps illustrate the nuances in:

  • Sexual identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sexual behavior

Section 3: Types of Sexual Orientation and Identity

This section defines three types of sexuality and explains why language matters as well as the preferred terminology outside of clinical and scientific settings. The course defines “LGBT” as the most widely used acronym to describe the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community (nonstraight people or an individual member of the LGBTQ+ community). 

Here, the course also explains terms and language that are commonly misunderstood or controversial when used in a non “in-group” context.

Section 4: Coming Out Is Hard To Do

This section explores the coming out process and how stressful it can be for an individual who realizes that they are different from what society has defined as the norm. The fear of rejection by loved ones or being isolated can cause intense fear and anxiety for people of all ages and can cause them to attempt to mask their identity, internalizing stress and anxiety as a normal part of life. 

The material in this section covers:

  • Obstacles a newly “out person” faces
  • The importance of having the ability to share our true selves with those we love

Section 5: A Parent’s Hopes, Dreams & Expectations

In this section, we learn how parents’ natural hopes and dreams for their children can eventually become expectations, which can cause strife when they conflict with a child’s needs. Here, we learn how these expectations can cause unconscious confusion for a child who feels different. 

We also learn the importance of unconditional support for family members and some common areas of conflict including: 

  • Family’s ability to understand how a child’s coming out affects them
  • Faith and religious beliefs
  • LGBTQ+ politics
  • Dealing with judgment and misconceptions
  • Homophobia and bigotry

Section 6: LGBTQ+ Statistics

Here, we learn about a groundbreaking LGBTQ+ survey from Gallup, which gathered data from more than 120,000 US citizens. The study showed there are over 11 million Americans (3.4%) who identify as LGBTQ+, which is likely an underestimation. In addition, more women, non-white, and younger people are more likely to identify as LGBTQ+.

Section 7: The Trouble With Stereotypes

This section defines stereotypes, which are created as a result of patterns, and how, in applying stereotypes, the observer is reducing the individual into a caricature. Stereotypes of the LGTBQ+ community can be unreliable and unethical such as:

  • Hypersexuality
  • Feminine or masculinity stereotypes
  • The misconception that sexuality is a choice
  • Bisexual people are actually gay

Section 8: Gender with a “T”

This section explores the Transgender community. For more than 99% of people, our gender assigned at birth based on the physical appearance of sexual organs matches how we identify - the remaining 1% do not. The section also covers:

  • Defining terms including Cisgender, Transgender, Gender Queer, Intersex, Transphobia, Transsexual
  • Coming out as transgender 
  • How parents of transgender children recognized their children working through this disparity at a very young age
  • How we express gender through speech, appearance, behavior and other factors
  • Transphobia

Section 9: Bravery and Strength

This section covers the increased risk of bigotry, discrimination, and other negative behavior for transgender individuals including common questions asked of transgender people. 

Section 10: Why Pronouns Matter

This section explores how important using the correct gender pronouns is to a trans person and how painful this common oversight (or intentional misuse of terms) can be.

Section 11: LGBTQ+ Allies

This section defines LGBTQ+ allies and how critical they are, particularly in schools, when younger people are relying on the support of others to be their true selves. This section also covers the difference between a student who is challenging authority and one who is struggling with their sexual identity and some helpful tips to help faculty work together to create a supportive environment for all students.

This Understanding the Basics of LGBTQ+ Identities course is available in our Vector Cares library, an initiative that formalizes how Vector Solutions stands with our team members, clients, and their employees, families, and communities as they celebrate triumphs and overcome tragedies. Serving others has been, and will always be, a cornerstone of our organization.

Learn More About Vector Cares

Vector Cares combines our technology and capabilities to serve our communities with complementary resources. These selected initiatives promote social awareness and serve as a resource for individuals who want to learn more and make their organizations and communities a better place.

Contact us for more information