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What is Feminism and why is it important to the LGBT community?

Women leading a group of demonstrators on road. Group of female protesting for equality

Feminism is a movement and set of ideologies that advocates for the political, personal, and social equity of all genders.

Group of women marching on the road in protest. Young woman holding a protest sign about women equality.

While prior feminism ideologies often viewed gender as a binary of male and female with an emphasis on advocating for those identifying as female, modern feminism, also called third-wave feminism, recognizes that gender is a spectrum and advocates for people of all sexes and genders.

Feminism acknowledges that cis-gender men hold the most power in society and that those that are not cis-gender men face oppression and discrimination. Third-wave feminism also recognizes the intersections between feminism and race, class, religion, and other identities.

Group of women in dress code protesting outdoors. Smiling females protesting for women rights.

One way feminism intersects with the LGBT community is by recognizing that trans women are women. As an oppressed group, trans women need a group that is centered in the feminist movement.

Feminism also recognizes that women and people of all genders have the right to happily be in a relationship with others regardless of gender, including lesbian, gay, and other queer relationships.

That is inclusive to the LGBT community acknowledges that heterosexual relationships are not the norm, but simply one form of relationships. It also accepts the fact that gender is not stagnant and can change over time. 

Confident female activist protesting outdoors with group of women in background. Woman with word strong on her chest.

Feminism recognizes that women are not the only ones who experience sexism and feminist issues. For example, menstruation is not exclusively a female experience.

Transgender men and non-binary people may also experience menstruation and should be included in the movement to destigmatize menstruation and provide menstruation products to all.

Similarly, it is important to note that some women, for a variety of reasons including being transgender, may not menstruate and that does not define their womanhood.

Bald woman lauging outdoors during a protest. Brave woman with group of protesters in background.

Feminism and the LGBT liberation movement often advocate for similar or intersecting causes. For example, both may advocate for the right for all people to make decisions about their bodies, including having an abortion or getting gender confirmation surgery, regardless of sex or gender.

Addressing sexual assault and harassment that occurs towards people because of their sex or gender identity is another area where feminism and LGBT rights intersect.

LGBT movements and feminism intersect largely because they are the same root cause: the treatment of people that do not identify as male and the treatment of LGBT people are related to how society views sex and gender.

Group of women protesters march on road for women empowerment. Female activists in dress code demonstrating

By addressing both issues jointly, it helps to reduce the myth that gender is biological. Gender is a human construct and is unrelated to someone’s sex assigned at birth, or biological sex. Being part of the LGBT community does not automatically mean you are a feminist.

As part of the LGBT community, it is important to always be growing, learning about feminist issues, and understanding how you can promote gender equity.

Nearly every LGBT issue will have feminist implications and every feminist issue will have LGBT implications. You cannot have LGBT liberation without feminism and you cannot have feminism without LGBT liberation.

Protesters hold up signs of the future is female. Group of female protesting outdoors for women empowerment.

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