Top university sparks backlash over definition of ‘lesbian’

Outrage has been expressed online at Johns Hopkins University over its non-binary-inclusive definition of ‘lesbian’ in its glossary of LGBTQ+ terms, writes Thomas Kika for Newsweek. The Baltimore-based university, a major hub of medical research in the US, maintains an extensive glossary of definitions for terms relevant to the broad LGBTQ+ community, which is updated as the subject of gender and sexual identity changes.

On Monday 12 June, the glossary’s new definition of ‘lesbian’ came under attack as the university defined the term as ‘a non-man attracted to non-men’. The update is meant to be inclusive of non-binary individuals who might still identify as lesbians. Social media users accused Johns Hopkins of attempting to ‘erase’ women. They also pointed to the glossary’s listing for ‘gay man’, which does not use similarly non-binary-inclusive language.

The flare-up comes amid a broader backlash to LGBTQ+ rights and the embrace of queer communities by society. Numerous state legislatures across the US have begun passing laws that target transgender communities, taking particular aim at the ability to get gender-affirming care for trans children.
Full report on the Newsweek site