There are different acronyms to label the target groups of people who feel attracted to people of the same sex, who want to change sex, or who do not want to be forced in limiting definitions of gender and sexuality. For educational purposes, GALE created the acronym DESPOGI: Disadvantaged because of their Expression of Sexual Preference Or Gendered Identity.
This definition is suited for strategies in education because:
- Education to combat discrimination should not only focus on emancipating people who label themselves as a minority. It should deconstruct the limiting norms that create discredited identities and imagined minorities (the norm of heterosexuality). This definition avoids labeling people in categories and focuses on the structural context of social exclusion.
- We speak of sexual preference rather than of sexual orientation. We are aware that it is more politically correct to speak of sexual orientation in legal and international contexts. However, we are also aware that the term sexual orientation is historically based on the debate whether same-sex attraction is innate or a choice. This debate is based on the idea that same-sex attraction is wrong . The argument that same-sex attraction is innate is based on the idea that same-sex attracted people cannot change their orientation to conform to the norm of heterosexuality. We are not interested in the question if same-sex attracted people can change their feelings; it is a biased question. Referring to own choice of expression puts human rights for same-sex attracted people squarely in the middle of the human rights framework: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration of Human Rights, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
- We speak of expressing sexual orientation and gendered identity, because our aim is emancipation, which does not just entail the right to be but also the right to express identity.
- We speak of gendered identity , because we want to include not only self-identified transsexual and intersex people, but also boys and girls who are excluded because they are perceived to not conform to the norm of heterosexuality. In this sense, heterosexual students can also be our target group.
Sometimes we use the acronym LGBTI, because DESPOGI is not yet commonly known.