Watch as late night comic Stephen Colbert hilariously destroys those who support laws against people using the public restroom they prefer.
The following is a list of terms commonly used within the LGBTQ Community (or those used toward this community by others), as well as their definitions. This list is an evolving one and will be updated continuously with terms, definitions, and links to resources. Please comment with any terminology we have left out, useful resources, and also feel free to let us know if you agree or disagree with anything we’ve stated here. It is important to us, as well as our audience that our information is as accurate, detailed, and comprehensive as possible.
Advocate - Any person who works to support a group (in this case, the LGBT Community), whether through funds, awareness, education, or other means
Ally - A straight person who supports the LGBT community
Androgynous - A gender expression used to describe someone who has both male and female traits or anatomy; also sometimes used in place of “intersexual” to describe individuals who possess both male and female anatomy
Androsexual - Someone who is attracted to masculinity, males, or men
Asexual - Someone with very little to zero attraction to anyone of any gender
Bigender - Someone who fluctuates between the typical man and woman gender identities and, in some cases, may also identify with a third gender
Biphobia - Intolerance, fear, misinformation, aversion to, or hatred toward the bisexual community as a whole or to individuals who identify as bisexual - this behavior is common in (but not limited to) some people struggling with their own sexual identity
Bisexual - Someone who is attracted to both males and females. Also see pansexual, which includes being attracted to those who identify as anything other than cisgender males and females
Binary - Limiting gender roles to “man” or “woman” and excluding any other possibilities
Note: A cisgender individual can still be non-binary, as they might still be attracted to other genders. Binary individuals are those who mistakenly believe there can only be cisgender individuals.
Cis or Cisgender - Someone whose biological gender and gender identity is aligned
Closeted - Someone who is not open regarding their gender or sexual identity; this individual has not “come out of the closet”
Coming Out - Revealing a gender or sexual identity; “coming out of the closet”
Cross-Dressing - Wearing clothing that conflicts with what is typical for your gender identity (such as a man putting on a skirt); this might be done just for fun, for sexual gratification, for self-expression, or even for relaxation. Cross-dressing is not always an indication of wanting to be the opposite sex.
Drag King - A cross-dressing performer who expresses masculinity (or the male form) in a strong way; usually done by a female in a drag show; the drag king may also be the winner of said show
Drag Queen - A cross-dressing performer who expresses femininity (or the female form) in a strong way; usually done by a male in a drag show; the drag queen may also be the winner of said show
Dyke - An insult used to belittle lesbian women; some lesbian women have reclaimed this term and use it with each other as a term of endearment, yet others are still uncomfortable with this term.
Fag or faggot - An insult used to belittle gay men; some gay men have reclaimed this term and use it with each other as a term of endearment, yet others are still uncomfortable with this term.
Fluid - Ever-changing; A gender fluid individual may change identities as they see fit for each situation or as they feel they are comfortable. This can happen within the span of a few seconds, minutes, days, months, or years. This individual is not confused, transitioning, or choosing between identities, but is comfortable with two or more identities and identifies with each.
FTM - Female to male; This is a person who has undergone medical procedures to align anatomy with gender identity, often confused with a trans-man.
Gay - Having an attraction to the same sex; most often used for male to male attractions, but can be used for others as well
Gender Dysphoria - A feeling that the biological sex of your body isn’t right; those with Gender Dysphoria (GD) may also have Gender Identity Disorder (GID). However, the two are not the same. Not all trans people have GD or GID, but some have one or the other or both. GD is also not to be confused with Body Dysmorphic Dysphoria (or BDD). Those with GD usually see a decrease or disappearance of of the effects of GD if they change their gender role to match the one they feel is correct.
Gender Identity Disorder (GID) - GID is an official mental disorder that can only be diagnosed by a licensed psychiatrist. However, those with GID exhibit a strong and persistent gross-gender identification, have persistent discomfort about biologically assigned sexually anatomy or an inappropriateness in the gender role of said sexual assignment, and exhibit clinically significant distress in functioning occupationally, socially, or in other important areas. Those with GID might also experience Gender Dysphoria (GD), but not always. Not all trans people experience GID or GD.
Gender Expression - The outward/external display of the gender which an individual identifies with; this may refer to clothing, social behaviors, grooming habits, hairstyles, and other factors.
Gender Identity - The internal representation of the gender you identify with, whether it aligns with your biological gender or not; this is the gender you consider yourself to be
Genderless - An individual who does not identify with any gender role
Genderqueer - An individual who identifies with a gender outside the typical binary roles of man and woman; someone who identifies as neither man nor woman or someone who identifies with both or somewhere in between
Gender Neutral - Avoiding labels or attitudes based on typical gender roles; gender-neutral individuals might wear either male or female clothing, not worrying about the difference. However, not everyone who calls themselves gender neutral would do so. This might also refer to an individual who does not determine rights of others or attitudes about others based on gender roles. A gender neutral individual may be an ally to the LGBT or might be a part of it. Gender neutrality is not restrictive to the LGBT community. Some may ask others to use a gender-neutral pronoun (they, them) when referring to them.
Gynesexual - Having an attraction to females or femininity
Hermaphrodite - An out-of-circuit (no longer used) medical term that was used for intersex individuals, prior to current medical information. Hermaphrodite refers to someone who is 100% male and 100% female at the same time, which is impossible. Instead, intersex is the preferred and more accurate term for someone who has both male and female anatomy. This can refer to any combination thereof, such as having both a uterus and a penis.
Heterosexism - Belief or behavior indicative of heterosexuals being better, superior, or preferred over those in the queer community
Homophobia - Intolerance, fear, misinformation, aversion to, or hatred toward the queer community as a whole or to queer individuals - this behavior is common in (but not limited to) some people struggling with their own sexual identity
Homosexual - Medical term for a person who is attracted to individuals of the same biological sex; some in the LGBT community take offense to this term and instead prefer the terms gay or lesbian, as “homo” or “homosexual” has become an insult in some crowds
Hypersexual - Having a highly intense sexual attraction that may be classified as an addiction - some proponents are pushing for this to be included as an official mental disorder, due to the severity
Intersex - Someone who has any combination of both male and female anatomy, such as having both a uterus and a penis
In the Closet - See “closeted”
Lesbian - A female who is attracted to females
LGBTQ+ - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer, etc; refers to anyone who is not a straight cisgender individual; also refers to the community of said individuals
MTF - Male to female; This is a person who has undergone medical procedures to align anatomy with gender identity, often confused with a trans-woman.
Non-Binary or Nonbinary - Any gender role that does not fit within the confines of a typical binary role (see the antonym, binary)
Out, Outing, Or Outed - Forced out of the closet; i.e someone else has revealed a gender or sexual identity to others that was supposed to be a secret
Partner - Mate, spouse, or significant other
Preferred Pronoun - The pronoun an individual identifies with (i.e. he, she, or they)
Queer - This was once a derogatory term, used to insult those in the LGBTQ+ community. It has since been reclaimed as a symbol of pride among the community. This term is often used to represent anyone who does not fall into straight cisgender roles.
Questioning - A term used to refer to someone who is in the process of figuring out their sexual or gender identity
Same-Gender Loving (SGL) - A term for “lesbian” or “gay” used by some in the black LGBT community as an alternative to terms that may be used by the white LGBT community
Sexual Orientation - the type of attraction (whether sexual, spiritual, or otherwise) that one feels for others, based upon their gender relationship to each other (i.e gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, etc); not to be confused with sexual preference
Sexual Preference - the types of intercourse and gratification one prefers to participate in; not to be mistaken for sexual orientation
Skoliosexual - Having an attraction to those who identify as genderqueer, transsexual, or anything other than cisgender
Straight - This is a cisgender individual that is attracted only to the opposite sex.
Third-Gender - Someone who identifies with a gender other than the typical “man” or “woman” genders; recognized in some societies who accept that there are at least three genders, possibly more
Transgender - Anyone who is not cisgender; not to be used as transgendered, as it implies something was done to make them that way, which is not always the case. The -ed is not preferred, and in some cases, may be an insult
Transitioning - A person who is in the process of becoming the gender they identify with
Transphobia - Intolerance, fear, misinformation, aversion to, or hatred toward those who are transexual or transgender - this behavior is common in (but not limited to) some people struggling with their own sexual identity
Transsexual - An individual whose gender identity is the binary opposite of that which they were born with. This person may have medical procedures to correct this, but not necessarily. They also may present themselves as the opposite sex. This is not to be confused with a trans-man or a trans-woman, which is different.
Trans-man - Someone who was born as the female sex, but identifies as a man. This is not the same as being a transsexual man or an FTM.
Trans-woman - Someone who was born as the male sex, but identifies as a woman. This is not the same as being a transsexual woman or an MTF.
Two-Spirit - A Native American term used to describe an individual who takes on or possesses qualities of more than one gender role
If you truly love someone, you won't be unfaithful, right? According to comments I've been reading on social media lately, that only applies if you prefer just one sex. Therefore, pansexual people (those who are attracted to people of any gender or gender identity) can't have a faithful relationship. What?
Who you choose to be with doesn't determine whether YOU are a faithful person or not. That's almost like blaming the partner when someone cheats on them. If a person chooses to cheat (and yes, it is a choice), that person would have likely done so regardless of the gender of the person they are cheating on.
Someone with a cheating mentality will do so for a variety of reasons. However, if their brain already okays it for one reason, who’s to say it won’t do so for another and another and another.. and so on? People don’t cheat simply because they are pansexual. They cheat because they are cheaters.
In fact, as a pansexual, I can say that pansexuals may be less likely to cheat for gender-related reasons than those of any other sexual orientation. Why? The very definition of pansexuality should explain that.
Most people who identify with the pan label love souls, not genders. Many, like myself, don’t factor gender in at all when choosing a mate. Rather, a mate is chosen and appreciated based on who they are as a person.
There is often no craving for a specific gender, as gender is not what defines how a mate is chosen. A pansexual might choose to be with a female, a male, a trans individual, a fluid individual, a binary or non-binary individual, and any combination thereof or in between.
Again, we see a beautiful soul, not a label or body part. This is not to say that pansexuals can’t or won’t cheat. Anyone can cheat. However, to say that all pansexuals are unfaithful is absolutely ridiculous, based on the facts mentioned above.
Because there is often not a specific gender being sought after, and all gender identities are appreciated, there is no reason to cheat based solely on the gender of a chosen mate. Cheating is of course possible for a pansexual person, just as much as it’s possible for any person.
However, the choice of a pansexual person to cheat on their partner is more likely to be based on other factors and insecurities than it is to be based on the fact that they are pansexual or that their partner is not a specific gender.
Knowledge before judgement - it’s always a good thing.
P.S. The author is (gasp!) a faithful pansexual.
If you're among my circle of friends and family, you probably see me as a straight woman, correct? Well, you would be both right and wrong with this assumption. Why? Well, it's just not that simple, so let me break it down.
First, let's give credit where credit is due. My friend San at Informed Sharing wrote a post called “I Like Girls” and it inspired me to give my thoughts as well. Incidentally, she also inspired me to do this “Pieces of Me” series, modeled after her own.
Most people who know me would call me straight because to their knowledge (and accurately), I have only been in relationships with men. Why then, do I identify more closely with the pansexual title (if I must have a label)? The answer is both simple and complex.
As another friend said in a related post, we're all a little more flexible than we care to admit. Though I have been with only men, I am attracted to souls, not genders. When I see a person, I see no gender , race , or other label . I see and feel what is on the inside of that person, that soul. That is the simple definition of pansexuality – as far as what it means to me.
But you see, there are so many variations of what each of these labels means to each individual person. That, and the fact that people are just people, is why labels suck. They really do. Can't we just treat each other like the precious individual human souls that we all are? Can't consenting adults simply love each other without everyone else butting in? But alas, people need definitions, so if there must be labels, now you have mine. I'm a pansexual. I love the human race. Pure and simple.
Think I would leave someone I'm into and go run off and fall in love with someone else, due to varying genders? Wrong. Think again. Did you not read the above clearly? I don't see genders. I see souls. Therefore, there's no reason to leave one for another based on genders. While I support various types of relationship roles, I'm not the type to leave for a reason like that. And there you have yet another problem with labels: judging . I know exactly who I love and who I am – and when I am in love, I am not afraid to say so.
I'll speak my mind clearly, no matter what. What about you?
*I originally published this on a since-closed venue.
Straight UP LGBTQ
Lyn Lomasi is the main voice behind Straight Up LGBTQ. She's a pansexual woman on a mission to spread the upward message of equality through fun and seriousness. Whether you identify as straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual, pansexual, or otherwise, you deserve to be treated with the exact same respect as anyone. We're all just people, trying to make it on this difficult, but often fun, ride we call life.
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, they are your content superheroes to the rescue! Running their network, tackling deadlines single handedly, and coaching fellow writers & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is their top priority. While rescuing civilians from boring content and marketing, they conquer the world, living the RV life and making Crafts For A Purpose with their awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels. They also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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