Did you look up one day and realize there were a lot more terms that explain your queer counterparts and allies in the queer community that you weren’t always aware of or don’t always understand? Like what does it really mean to be pansexual, agender or even non-binary? Taking the time to understand the identities that might not belong to you but that share space with you within the queer community is not only the right thing to do, but it’s the only way one can truly be inclusive.
To help you better educate yourself on the queer terms that matter, LBH has put together a quick glossary of queer terms. So next time you meet someone who identifies as intersex, instead of uncomfortably asking them what that means, you can pull up this bookmarked page.
Agender - a term which can be literally translated as 'without gender'. It can be seen either as a non-binary gender identity or as a statement of not having a gender identity.
Androgynous - an individual whose gender expression and/or identity may be neither distinctly “female” nor “male,” usually based on appearance.
Aromantic - those who experience little or no romantic attraction to others and/or has a lack of interest in romantic relationships/behavior.
Asexual - a sexual orientation generally characterized by not feeling sexual attraction or desire for partnered sexuality. Asexuality is distinct from celibacy, which is the deliberate abstention from sexual activity. Some asexual people do have sex, and there are many diverse ways of being asexual.
Bigender - a person who fluctuates between traditionally “womxn” and “man” gender-based behavior and identities, identifying with two genders (or sometimes identifying with either man or womxn, as well as a third, different gender).
Bisexual - an individual who is physically, romantically and/or emotionally attracted to men and womxn. Bisexuals don’t have to have sexual experience with both men and womxn in order to identify as bisexual.
Cisgender - a term used to describe people who, for the most part, identify as the gender they were assigned at birth.
Demisexual - a person that has little or no capacity to experience sexual attraction until a strong romantic connection is formed with someone, often within a romantic relationship.
Drag Queen/King - commonly used by people who present socially in clothing, name, and/or pronouns that differ from their everyday gender, usually for enjoyment, entertainment, and/or self-expression. Drag kings typically live as womxn and/or dykes when not performing.
Dyke - a person who identifies themselves as masculine, whether it be physically, mentally, or emotionally. ‘Dyke’ is sometimes used as a derogatory term for lesbians, but can also be claimed as an affirmative identity label.
Femme - someone who identifies themselves as feminine, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. Often used to refer to a feminine-presenting queer woman or people.
Gay - (adjective) used to describe people whose enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attractions are to people of the same sex. In contemporary contexts, lesbian (n. or adj.) is often a preferred term for womxn.
Gender Fluid - a gender identity which refers to a gender which varies over time. A genderfluid person's identity will change constantly, so it's always best to ask what they are in that moment.
Genderqueer - a spectrum of gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine—identities that are outside the gender binary.
Gender Non-Conforming - a person who is, or is perceived to have gender characteristics that do not conform to traditional or societal expectations.
Intersex - a person who naturally (that is, without any medical interventions) develops primary and/or secondary sex characteristics that does not fit neatly into society’s definitions of male or femxle. This term has replaced the term “hermaphrodite,” which is inaccurate, outdated, problematic, and generally offensive.
Lesbian - a womxn whose enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction is to other womxn.
LGBTQQIA - an acronym used to refer to all sexual minorities: Lesbian, Gay/Gender Neutral/Gender Queer, Bisexual/Bigender, Transgender/Transvestite/Transsexual, Questioning/Queer, Intersex, and Allies/Androgynous/Asexual.
Pansexual - a person who is not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity.
Polyamory - refers to the practice of, desire for, or orientation toward having ethical, honest, and consensual non-monogamous relationships (i.e. relationships that may include multiple partners).
Queer - an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or are not cisgender that has been appropriated by some LGBT folks.
Skoliosexual - someone who is primarily sexually, romantically and/or emotionally attracted to genderqueer, transgender, transsexual, and/or non-binary people.
Transgender - an umbrella term (adj.) for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term may include but is not limited to: transsexuals, cross-dressers and other gender-variant people. Transgender people also may identify as female-to-male (FTM) or male-to-female (MTF).
Written by: Kee Simone, LBH Editor-in-Chief (@thebaddiegalore)
Photo Credit: rferl.org/