Words can crush

Updated: Oct 2, 2019

If you find yourself struggling to feel confident in your communication with LGBTQ+ friends, family, and neighbors, this guide is for you. The LGBTQ+ community uses many terms that may take time and intention to learn and understand. Terminology also changes rapidly, and words used today sometimes replace terminology that LGBTQ+ people have found incomplete, confusing, or offensive in the past. Words Can Crush: Compassionate Communication with LGBTQ+ Friends is meant to be a trusted partner on your journey to understand the words used by LGBTQ+ people and which words and phrases can unintentionally cause offense. Some problematic terms are easily recognizable, well-known, and avoided by most people. Other difficult words and phrases are not as well-known, and it would be easy to use them and cause offense inadvertently. In this guide, we offer a glossary of terms to help you practice better communication with LGBTQ+ friends, and a list of problematic words and phrases together with brief explanations of why they’re difficult and what you might use instead. At the end of this guide, we also offer a list of more plainly offensive terms to strike from your vocabulary.


This resource is provided at no cost to you as part of our mission to invite willing Christians, LGBTQ+, and same-sex attracted friends to step towards loving one another more boldly.  If you find the content useful for your life of ministry, we invite you to consider supporting our work so we can continue to offer quality resources like this to you and others in ministry.


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