What Does LGBTQIA+ Stand For?
Here’s a super quick breakdown of sexual orientations and gender identities. These labels try to simplify vastly complex human experiences. Folks have different preferences in the labels they choose for themselves and how they understand those identities. It’s important to allow folks to decide what language works best for them and to realize that even if two people share an identity, they do not share lived experiences.
Lesbian refers to women who are primarily sexually and/or emotionally attracted to other women. Lesbians can be cisgender, gender non-conforming, or trans!
Gay refers to same-sex attraction. Generally, this term applies to men attracted to men, but many WLW (women loving women) and GNC folks also prefer this label.
Bisexual (Bi) refers to folks who are attracted to people of the same or different gender.
Pansexual (Pan) refers to folks who are attracted to people regardless of gender.
Transgender (Trans) refers to folks who identify with and/or express a different gender than the one assigned at birth. There are MTF (male to female), FTM (female to male), and non-binary trans folks.
Queer is both an umbrella term and a slur that has been reclaimed by folks within LGBTQIA+ community to describe anyone who fits outside of the dominant cis-normative compulsory-heterosexual culture.
Intersex describes folks who have biological traits that do not fit into the binary male/female model. Intersex folks have natural variations in chromosomes, genitals, and/or reproductive organs.
Asexual & Gray-Sexual
Asexuality (Ace) refers to folks who don’t experience sexual attraction. Gray-Sexuality describes people who are on the spectrum between allosexuality and asexuality.
Aromantic refers to folks who don’t experience romantic attraction. Some folks on the ace spectrum experience other forms of attraction including: aesthetic, emotional, intellectual
Non-Binary & Gender Non-Conforming
Non-binary (enby) and Gender Non-Conforming (GNC) refers to folks who do not identify and/or express gender based on the binary male/female model.
Fluidity is not part of the LGBTQIA+ acronym but it refers to the spectrum of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression that shift over time or are expressed differently from day to day.
Questioning & Non-Identifying
Some folks are still in the process of discovering themselves. Other folks are more comfortable without labels and may choose to not self-identify. That’s ok too!
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Originally published at https://shrimpteeth.com on July 27, 2022.