Language is extremely important and also very limited at the same time. The True Colors Fund and the National LGBTQ Task Force were very intentional about the language used throughout this report by incorporating terms that communities of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness may use to describe themselves and making sure that the terms that were chosen accurately convey how the community wants and should be represented. Here is a list of some of the terms that have been chosen to incorporate throughout the report.
Gender-Expansive - We are using this term in place of the phrases “gender non-conforming” or “gender non-binary”, which unintentionally places the person being described in opposition to individuals who are conforming or whose gender identity exists on the male/female binary. By using “gender-expansive” the aim is for the language to be inclusive of these individuals while retaining a positive connotation.
LGBTQ - We recognize that sexuality and gender identity exist on a broad and fluid spectrum, and hope that by using this acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning” in conjunction with “gender-expansive” that the language of this report is concise and inclusive.
Youth Experiencing Homelessness - Referring to people as “homeless” causes people to be defined and identified by their homelessness. Homelessness is an experience, rather than an identity.
Youth/Young Adults - Unless otherwise defined within the text, when we use the terms “youth” or “young adults”, we are specifically referring to young people between the ages of 12 and 24.
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