LGBTQ+ Alphabet Soup
LGBTQ+ Terms

Ally* - an individual who supports, and advocates for, individuals and/or communities other than their own

Aromantic - an individual who experiences no romantic attraction to other people; may or may not experience sexual attraction

Asexual - an individual who does not experience sexual attraction

Bisexual - an individual attracted to people of either sex

Cisgender - a person whose gender identity matches the gender assigned at birth

Gay - a common synonym for homosexual; often used to describe men who have sex with men/are attracted to men

Gender* - a multi-factorial social construct that ascribes individuals as being “feminine”, “masculine”, “androgynous”, etc.

Gender expression - how an individual acts and dresses to show their gender

Gender identity* - an individual’s internal, or psychological, experience of their own gender

Gender non-conforming (GNC) - an individual who acts or dresses in a way that does not align with societal expectations for their gender

Genderfluid - a person whose gender identity switches from one to another

Genderqueer* - a gender identity for individuals outside of the culturally expected, or assumed, gender binary

Heteroflexible - someone who is primarily attracted to people of the opposite gender, but occasionally experiences attraction to people of the same gender

Heteromantic - an individual who experiences romantic attraction to people of a different gender

Heterosexual - an individual attracted to people of a different sex

Homoflexible - someone who is primarily attracted to people of the same gender, but occasionally experiences attraction to people of another gender

Homoromantic - an individual who experiences romantic attraction to people of the same gender

Homosexual - an individual attracted to people of the same sex

Intersex - an individual whose body does not fit the so-called “normal” definitions of “male” or “female”

Lesbian - common label for women who have sex with women/are attracted to women

Men who have sex with men (MSM) - often used by medical practitioners as a descriptor regardless of patient’s chosen label

Non-binary - an individual who identifies as neither male nor female

Pansexual - an individual attracted to people of any sex or gender

Polyamorous - a relationship (romantic and/or sexual) involving more than two people

Queer* - 1) a sexual orientation categorized by an interest or attraction to individuals, unfettered by gender identities or labels; 2) an umbrella term for individuals operating outside of or beyond social or cultural constructs of behavior, gender, identity, or sexuality; 3)[historically] a derogatory term used against [LGBTQIA+] people

Questioning - someone who is unsure of their sexuality or gender

Romantic attraction - an emotional attraction to another person; may or may not be accompanied by sexual attraction

Sex - the physical traits that are often used do categorize an individual as “male” or “female”; usually genitalia

Sex & gender binary - the idea that sex and gender only have two categories (usually “male” and “female”)

Sexual attraction - an attraction based on sexual desire; may or may not be accompanied by romantic attraction

Transgender - a person whose gender identity does not match the gender assigned at birth

Transsexual - a person who physically alters their body to match their gender identity, particularly if not the one assigned at birth

Transvestite/crossdresser - someone who routinely wears clothing most often associated with the opposite sex

Two-spirit - a modern, indigenous North American term that describes individuals who fulfill traditionally “third gender” or other gender-variant roles in the culture; NOT interchangeable with other LGBT labels

Women who have sex with women (WSW) - often used by medical practitioners as a descriptor regardless of patient’s chosen label

“+” - sometimes added to the end of the LGBTQIA acronym to stand in for letters not listed

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