This is a great resource in that it breaks down identity, orientation, expression, and sex into some basic components.
Just like with any resource, there’s definitely room for improvement :]
Redefining Gender/Sexuality as a Constellation, Not a Spectrum
I feel like looking at gender and sexuality as a spectrum is a bit limited. First, it polarizes the elementary understandings: man and woman, gay and straight, feminine and masculine, etc. By polarizing these concepts, it encourages a black/white/grey understanding of things. You’re either this, that or somewhere in between.
The spectrum mechanic is a good starting point because it encourages understanding sexuality and gender as more expansive than black/white. However, it also places non-hetero, non-cis folks as in-betweens or as a gradation of the polar ends.
For me, understanding gender and sexuality is about finding the relativity between these identities and how they shape the concept itself. This is why I say sexuality and gender are constellation concepts. Within each constellation concept, you have major and significant points (aka stars). Each of these stars—-gay, lesbian, intersex, asexual, pansexual, trans—-all mean something individually and relative to one another.
For example, how does the definition of gay reshape itself when in conversation with intersex folks? Can it? What if it doesn’t? This itself encourages critical thinking.
In addition, when you look the constellation conceptualization of sexuality and gender, it allows us to talk about these individual stars as being part of the greater, much more beautiful image.
In other words, we all make a huge and fabulous starlight show in the sky.
This is kinda obvious, but there’s no mention of pansexuals, asexuals, and the like on the spectrums. For someone that identifies as such (for example, me!), I can’t seem to find the “right” place to put pansexual on the sexual orientation line. Am I more leaning towards hetero? Homo? Bisexual?
Maybe I’m so off-the-charts that I’m entirely different cookie. If so, totes down with that.
That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.
Again, great resource! I just like to see an expanded version that’s more inclusive of our star-folks :]