Here at Pride Buzz, we want to embrace every shade. That means we take pride in learning and sharing different terms, lifestyles, cultures and identities. It is important to be able to understand what people are saying when you communicate. Here is a comprehensive list of LGBTQ+ definitions:
agender – adj. : a person with no (or very little) connection to the traditional system of gender, no personal alignment with the concepts of either man or woman, and/or someone who sees themselves as existing without gender. Sometimes called gender neut, gender neutral, or genderless.
androgyny/ous /“an-jrah-jun-ee”; “an-jrah-jun-uss”/ – adj. : 1 a gender expression that has elements of both masculinity and femininity; 2 occasionally used in place of “intersex” to describe a person with both female and male anatomy.
androsexual / androphilic – adj. : being primarily sexually, romantically and/or emotionally attracted to some men, males, and/or masculinity.
aromantic – adj. : experiencing little or no romantic attraction to others and/or has a lack of interest in romantic relationships/behavior. Aromanticism exists on a continuum from people who experience no romantic attraction or have any desire for romantic activities, to those who experience low levels, or romantic attraction only under specific conditions, and many of these different places on the continuum have their own identity labels . Sometimes abbreviated to “aro” (pronounced like “arrow”).
asexual – adj. : experiencing little or no sexual attraction to others and/or a lack of interest in sexual relationships/behavior. Asexuality exists on a continuum from people who experience no sexual attraction or have any desire for sex, to those who experience low levels, or sexual attraction only under specific conditions, and many of these different places on the continuum have their own identity labels (see demisexual). Sometimes abbreviated to “ace.”
- Asexuality is different from celibacy in that it is a sexual orientation whereas celibacy is an abstaining from a certain action.
- Not all asexual people are aromantic.
bigender – adj. : a person who fluctuates between traditionally “woman” and “man” gender-based behavior and identities, identifying with both genders (and sometimes a third gender).
bicurious – adj. : a curiosity about having attraction to people of the same gender/sex (similar to questioning).
bisexual – adj. : 1 a person who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to males/men and females/women. 2 a person who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to people of their gender and another gender . This attraction does not have to be equally split or indicate a level of interest that is the same across the genders or sexes an individual may be attracted to.
butch – noun & adj. a person who identifies themselves as masculine, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. ‘Butch’ is sometimes used as a derogatory term for lesbians, but is also be claimed as an affirmative identity label.
cisgender /“siss-jendur”/ – adj. : a person whose gender identity and biological sex assigned at birth align (e.g., man and assigned male at birth). A simple way to think about it is if a person is not transgender, they are cisgender. The word cisgender can also be shortened to “cis.”
closeted – adj. : an individual who is not open to themselves or others about their (queer) sexuality or gender identity. This may be by choice and/or for other reasons such as fear for one’s safety, peer or family rejection or disapproval and/or loss of housing, job, etc. Also known as being “in the closet.” When someone chooses to break this silence they “come out” of the closet.
cross-dresser – noun : someone who wears clothes of another gender/sex.
demisexual – adj. : little or no capacity to experience sexual attraction until a strong romantic or emotional connection is formed with another individual, often within a romantic relationship.
down low – adj. : typically referring to men who identify as straight but who secretly have sex with men. Down low (or DL) originated in, and is most commonly used by communities of color.
drag king – noun : someone who performs masculinity theatrically.
drag queen – noun : someone who performs femininity theatrically.
dyke – noun : referring to a masculine presenting lesbian. While often used derogatorily, it can is adopted affirmatively by many lesbians (both more masculine and more feminine presenting lesbians not necessarily masculine ones) as a positive self-identity term.
fag(got) – noun : derogatory term referring to a gay person, or someone perceived as queer. Occasionally used as an self-identifying affirming term by some gay men, at times in the shortened form ‘fag’.
femme – (noun & adj) someone who identifies themselves as feminine, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. Often used to refer to a feminine-presenting queer woman.
fluid(ity) – adj. : generally with another term attached, like gender-fluid or fluid-sexuality, fluid(ity) describes an identity that may change or shift over time between or within the mix of the options available (e.g., man and woman, bi and straight).
FtM / F2M; MtF / M2F – abbreviation : female-to-male transgender or transsexual person; male-to-female transgender or transsexual person.
gay – adj. : : : 1 individuals who are primarily emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to members of the same sex and/or gender. More commonly used when referring to men who are attracted to other men, but can be applied to women as well. 2 An umbrella term used to refer to the queer community as a whole, or as an individual identity label for anyone who does not identify as heterosexual.
gender fluid– adj. : : gender fluid is a gender identity best described as a dynamic mix of boy and girl. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more man some days, and more woman other days.
gender identity – noun : the internal perception of an one’s gender, and how they label themselves, based on how much they align or don’t align with what they understand their options for gender to be. Common identity labels include man, woman, genderqueer, trans, and more. Often confused with biological sex, or sex assigned at birth.
gender normative / gender straight – adj. : someone whose gender presentation, whether by nature or by choice, aligns with society’s gender-based expectations.
genderqueer – adj. : a gender identity label often used by people who do not identify with the binary of man/woman; or as an umbrella term for many gender non-conforming or non-binary identities (e.g., agender, bigender, genderfluid).
gender variant – adj. : someone who either by nature or by choice does not conform to gender-based expectations of society (e.g. transgender, transsexual, intersex, gender-queer, cross-dresser, etc).
heteronormativity – noun : the assumption, in individuals or in institutions, that everyone is heterosexual (e.g. asking a woman if she has a boyfriend) and that heterosexuality is superior to all other sexualities. Leads to invisibility and stigmatizing of other sexualities. Heteronormativity also leads us to assume that only masculine men and feminine women are straight.
hermaphrodite – noun : an outdated medical term previously used to refer to someone who was born with some combination of typically-male and typically-female sex characteristics. It’s considered stigmatizing and inaccurate.
heterosexism – noun : behavior that grants preferential treatment to heterosexual people, reinforces the idea that heterosexuality is somehow better or more “right” than queerness, and/or makes other sexualities invisible.
heterosexual – adj. : a person primarily emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex. Also known as straight.
homophobia – noun : an umbrella term for a range of negative attitudes (e.g., fear, anger, intolerance, resentment, erasure, or discomfort) that one may have towards members of LGBTQ community. The term can also connote a fear, disgust, or dislike of being perceived as LGBTQ. Homophobic – adj. : a word used to describe an individual who harbors some elements of this range of negative attitudes towards gay people.
- The term can be extended to bisexual and transgender people as well; however, the terms biphobia and transphobia are used to emphasize the specific biases against individuals of bisexual and transgender communities.
- May be experienced inwardly by someone who identifies as queer (internalized homophobia).
homosexual – adj. & noun : a person primarily emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to members of the same sex/gender. This [medical] term is considered stigmatizing (particularly as a noun) due to its history as a category of mental illness, and is discouraged for common use (use gay or lesbian instead).
- Until 1973 “Homosexuality” was classified as a mental disorder in the DSM Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This is just one of the reasons that there are such heavy negative and clinical connotations with this term.
- There was a study done prior to DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) being revoked about peoples’ feelings towards open queer service members. When asked, “How do you feel about open gay and lesbian service members,” there was about 65% support (at the time).” When the question was changed to, “How do you feel about open homosexual service members,” the same demographic of people being asked – support drops over 20%. There are different connotations to the word homosexual than there are to gay/lesbian individuals for both straight and queer people.
lesbian – noun & adj. women who have the capacity to be attracted romantically, erotically, and/or emotionally to some other women.
lipstick lesbian – noun : Usually refers to a lesbian with a feminine gender expression. Can be used in a positive or a derogatory way. Is sometimes also used to refer to a lesbian who is assumed to be (or passes for) straight.
metrosexual – adj. : a man with a strong aesthetic sense who spends more time, energy, or money on his appearance and grooming than is considered gender normative.
outing – verb : involuntary or unwanted disclosure of another person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status.
pansexual – adj. : a person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction for members of all gender identities/expressions. Often shortened to “pan.”
passing – adj. & verb : 1 trans* people being accepted as, or able to “pass for,” a member of their self-identified gender identity (regardless of sex assigned at birth) without being identified as trans*. 2 An LGB/queer individual who is believed to be or perceived as straight.
queer – adj. : used as an umbrella term to describe individuals who don’t identify as straight. Also used to describe people who have a non-normative gender identity, or as a political affiliation. Due to its historical use as a derogatory term, it is not embraced or used by all members of the LGBTQ community. The term “queer” can often be use interchangeably with LGBTQ (e.g., “queer folks” instead of “LGBTQ folks”).
questioning – verb, adj. an individual who or time when someone is unsure about or exploring their own sexual orientation or gender identity.
same gender loving (SGL) – adj. : sometimes used by some members of the African-American or Black community to express an non-straight sexual orientation without relying on terms and symbols of European descent.
spiritual attraction – noun : a capacity that evokes the want to engage in intimate behavior based on one’s experience with, interpretation of, or belief in the supernatural (e.g., religious teachings, messages from a deity), experienced in varying degrees (from little-to-none, to intense). Often conflated with sexual attraction, romantic attraction, and/or emotional attraction.
stealth – adj. : a trans person who is not “out” as trans, and is perceived by others as cisgender.
third gender – noun : for a person who does not identify with either man or woman, but identifies with another gender. This gender category is used by societies that recognize three or more genders, both contemporary and historic, and is also a conceptual term meaning different things to different people who use it, as a way to move beyond the gender binary.
top surgery – noun : this term refers to surgery for the construction of a male-type chest or breast augmentation for a female-type chest.
transgender – adj. : A person who lives as a member of a gender other than that assigned at birth based on anatomical sex.
- Because sexuality labels (e.g., gay, straight, bi) are generally based on the relationship between the person’s gender and the genders they are attracted to, trans* sexuality can be defined in a couple of ways. Some people may choose to self-identify as straight, gay, bi, lesbian, or pansexual (or others, using their gender identity as a basis), or they might describe their sexuality using other-focused terms like gynesexual, androsexual, or skoliosexual
- A trans* person can be straight, gay, bisexual, queer, or any other sexual orientation.
transition / transitioning – noun, verb this term is primarily used to refer to the process a trans* person undergoes when changing their bodily appearance either to be more congruent with the gender/sex they feel themselves to be and/or to be in harmony with their preferred gender expression.
two-spirit – noun : is an umbrella term traditionally used by Native American people to recognize individuals who possess qualities or fulfill roles of both genders.
Disclaimer: We are currently aware that some of the terms are either outdated or offensive to some, however, it is still important that people are able to identify and know exactly what they are saying when using such terms.
Research Credit and Sources:
http://www.stop-homophobia.com http://www.thesafezoneproject.com http://www.itspronouncedmetrosexual.com http://www.google.com