LGBTQ Identities Overview

The identities described below are a derived from theoretical and practical perspectives for cultural sensitivity, common usage and general appropriateness. Please note each individual can use any or all of these terms in a unique way. This list represents a small number of terms used in the LGBTQ community. Please feel free to contact the center to learn more about LGBTQ identities and culture.

Lesbian

Sexual Orientation identity of a female identified person attracted romantically, erotically and/or emotionally to other female identified persons.

Gay

Sexual Orientation describes an identity related to a male identified person attracted romantically, erotically and/or emotionally to other male identified persons.

Bisexual

Sexual Orientation describes an identity of a person emotionally, physically and/or sexually to men and women representing traditional sides of the gender binary.

Transgender

A loose category for people who challenge gender norms in a wide variety of ways. This is an umbrella term for many identities related to gender presentation. (See Transgender Identities Overview)

Queer

Umbrella term embracing a matrix of sexual preferences, orientations, gender expression. It’s a reclaimed word originally used as a slur against LGBTQ community members.

Questioning

Describes a person exploring gender or orientation identities.

Intersex

General term used for a variety of conditions in which a person’s reproductive or sexual anatomy doesn’t fit typical definitions of male or female.

Asexual

Individual who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which is a lifestyle choice, asexuality is an orientation.

Ally

A person who support equal civil rights, gender equality and challenges homophobia and transphobia.

Pansexual

Sexual orientation identity based on attraction to all or many gender expressions regardless of sex assignment. 
(“Sex” refers to biological and physiological characteristics and “gender” refers to the socially constructed roles, behavior and presentation culturally deemed appropriate by society.)