Pocket Queerpedia – an illustrated glossary terms of LGBTQIA+ terms
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education is an organisation dedicated to resourcing and supporting activists towards their goals of equality, freedom, dignity and better futures.
The idea for this glossary was sparked by a moment in one of our offerings 'Feminism and Freedom' a course we hosted for young activists in 2019. While grappling with discussions on gender, sexuality and freedom, we ran into a number of difficulties. As with most of our courses, the participants in the room were quite diverse. Drawn from different communities, geographic locations and organisations. What we considered basic and familiar terms in queerness we thought all would know, left many participants utterly lost.
What we thought were commonly accepted definitions proved otherwise. In that moment, we faced a big dilemma - how do we discuss the power and importance of queer politics, when so many terms are not commonly understood? This question led us to reflect deeply on some of the questions posed by our participants. Why are some terms used in different ways by different people? Where do I begin understanding the differences between biology and gender? What are these terms in my own home language? How would I explain all this in a way my mother can understand? Are there African examples and experiences we can draw on to better understand and make cultural links?
Words have power. They can offer recognition or erase experiences. We offer this glossary to activists who wish to broaden their understanding of the world and how gender and sexuality can shape it. Transgender and gay? What does the word queer mean, and why should I care if I do not share any of these experiences?
Words have power. They can offer recognition or erase experiences. We offer this glossary to activists who wish to broaden their understanding of the world and how gender and sexuality shape this world.
This glossary incorporates feedback from our partners. It is also available in isiXhosa and Afrikaans.
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Download EGLISH version: Pocket Queerpedia – an illustrated glossary terms of LGBTQIA+ terms
Download AFRIKAANS version: Pocket Queerpedia – ‘n Geillustreerde woordelys van LGBTQIA+ terme