vocabulary that people might use (in case you’re unfamiliar with some of these terms):
- GLBT– Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender
- trans– usually stands for Transgender. We know a lot of trans people. Our trans friends are lovely. (Well, I mean, some of them are boring and stodgy, and some of them are silly and get drunk, and some of them are allergic to peanut butter, etc. People are people. I’d say that all trans people are nice, but maybe some of them aren’t. Not all cis people are nice either.)
- cis– “cis” is the opposite of “trans.” For instance, many of my friends identify as “cis-female,” because they were born female and are still female today. People started using this term because it’s rude to say “normal” in opposition to “trans.”
- genderqueer– some people are born female but don’t feel particularly feminine all the time–but don’t feel like they should be transgender either. Some people are born male but don’t feel very masculine. People in our community who don’t feel that their gender is this extremely essential thing about them often identify as genderqueer. Suzie identifies as genderqueer. In fact, I identify as genderqueer too.
- queer– In our community, this is not an insult. It has been reclaimed. No one really thinks anything of saying “yes, I’m queer.” “Queer” is a good flexible term often used instead of “gay,” or “bi,” because what if there’s a person who’s attracted to genderqueer people and butch women and trans men? It’s not really “bi,” but it’s not really “gay,” and it’s certainly not “straight”!
- ally– There are a lot of people who are NOT in fact GLBT in our community. They love and support GLBT people though, so instead of excluding them, we call them allies.
- “that’s so gay!”– People in our community have a sense of humor. While in other places this phrase is used in a cruel and often flippant way of insulting GLBT people, in our community, it’s more tongue in cheek. You made cupcakes with pink sprinkles that perfectly match your bowtie? That’s so gay!
- “what pronouns do they prefer?”– The polite way to navigate a confusing gender situation. Sometimes there are people who are a little in between looking. Sometimes there are people who are sort of in between feeling! It’s not nice to ask about hormones or genitalia– you just met the person! Ask about pronouns.
- Omer– The 49 day period of time between Passover and Shavuot. It is traditional to refrain from live music and other types of fun during this time.
- Lag B’ Omer– The 33rd day of the Omer, when you get to break the rules and have fun! It’s a traditional holiday for weddings and parades and bonfires.
- Passover/Pesach– The Jewish holiday that commemorates the Exodus and springtime. It is traditional to have a special meal called a seder.
- Shavuot/Shavuos– The Jewish holiday that commemorates receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai. It is traditional to eat dairy and study torah.
- Shabbat/Shabbos– The Jewish sabbath, which starts Friday night at sundown and ends Saturday night when there are 3 stars in the sky. Work is prohibited. Also other stuff, like using electricity.
- kiddush– the blessing over the wine.
- hamotzi– the blessing over the bread.
- bracha/brachot– “blessing” or “blessings.”
- sheva brachot– “seven blessings”– it is traditional to have feasts every day for a week after Jewish weddings in honor of the couple. During this time, seven special blessings are said, known as the “sheva brachot”
- chuppah– the wedding canopy, symbolizing the home the couple will make together. It is a piece of fabric held over the couple during the ceremony, supported by four poles.
- tallis/tallit– the prayer shawl that Jewish adults wear during prayer services
- ketubah– the legal document usually signed at weddings. it is aesthetically beautiful and hung on the wall in the couple’s home afterwards.
- shtar– a more egalitarian version of a ketubah, a shtar is a document of partnership.
- bedecken– the moment before the ketubah signing where the couple puts fancy ceremonial clothes on each other, including a kittel for the groom and usually a veil for the bride.
- kittel– a white garment that looks kind of like a fancy lab coat that Jewish men traditionally wear for the first time at their weddings. they are also worn during yom kippur, and as a burial shroud. (creepy!)
- auf ruf (pronounced “oof roof”)- when the couple reads torah before their wedding
This is going to be one helluva wedding.
Lag B’ Blog, day 10.