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Johns Hopkins University Blasted Over Its Definition of ‘Lesbian’

Johns Hopkins University Blasted Over Its Definition of ‘Lesbian’

<p>Johns Hopkins University Blasted Over Its Definition of ‘Lesbian’</p>
Felipe Balduino/Pexels

Social media users accused the prestigious school of “erasing women.”

As a result of an updated definition of the word “lesbian” posted in an online glossary for LGBTQ+ terms, Johns Hopkins University has come under fire for “erasing women.”

To include nonbinary individuals who might still identify as lesbians, a glossary of terms at Johns Hopkins University has been updated to define a lesbian as “a non-man attracted to a non-man.”

As gender and sexual identity are understood more fully, the Baltimore-area school maintains a comprehensive glossary of LGBTQ+ terms and definitions.

According to social media users, Johns Hopkins is “erasing women.” They cite a glossary entry featuring “gay man” that doesn’t use similar language.

Noted author and transphobe J.K. Rowling chimed in on Twitter, chastizing the educational institution.

“Man: no definition needed. Non-man (formerly known as woman): a being definable only by reference to the male. An absence, a vacuum where there’s no man-ness,” Rowling wrote.

Numerous state legislatures throughout the U.S. have targeted transgender communities by passing laws that prevent transgender children from receiving gender-affirming medical care. Right-wingers have also viciously criticized brands and companies that support LGBTQ+ communities.

“Johns Hopkins strives to create a campus culture that is inclusive and welcoming for all gender identities, sexual orientations, experiences and viewpoints, and we are committed to ensuring Johns Hopkins is a place where LGBTQ people feel supported,” Johns Hopkins’s director of media relations, Jill Rosen, said in a statement to The Advocate. “The LGBTQ Glossary serves as an introduction to the range of identities and terms that are used within LGBTQ communities, and is not intended to serve as the definitive answers as to how all people understand or use these terms.”

Rosen concluded, “Upon becoming aware of the language in question, we have begun working to determine the origin and context of the glossary’s definitions. We have removed the page from our website while we gather more information.”

GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Anti-Defamation League provide very different definitions in their glossaries than Johns Hopkins.

According to ADL’s glossary, lesbian means a “woman who is emotionally, physically, and/or romantically attracted to some other women.”

The HRC defines a lesbian as “a woman who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to other women.” Additionally, nonbinary people use the term, the group’s site says.

Additionally, GLAAD refers to gays and lesbians under the same rubric but with a focus on a specific group of individuals.

“While many lesbians may identify as gay, the term lesbian(s) is clearer when talking only about a woman or women,” the advocacy group’s definition states.

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