Some identifying words, and the definitions as I understand or use them*.
Some Words for Attraction:
- Aromantic – a person who rarely or never experiences romantic attraction.
- Aromantic folks exist on a spectrum. Some never feel any romantic attraction. Others feel those feelings only after a strong emotional connection is formed.
- Asexual – a person who rarely or never experiences sexual attraction
- Asexual folks exist on a spectrum. Some never feel any sexual attraction. Others feel those feelings only after a strong emotional connection is formed.
- Bisexual – a person attracted to people of two or more genders.
- Gay – a person attracted to people of the same gender. Sometimes used as an umbrella term for the LGBTQIA community.
- Lesbian – a female identifying person attracted to female identifying persons
- Pansexual – a person who’s attraction is not limited by biological sex or gender identity.
- Queer – Sometimes, queer is used as an umbrella word for the LGBTIA community, used by members to identify themselves as a part of the community without having to list the complexities of their identity. Other times, queer is used as an identity on it’s own, distinct from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, etc.
- Queer is a former slur which has been reclaimed by the LGBT community. Folks who are not members of the community should check with their LGBT friends as some people aren’t comfortable with non-community members using the word.
Some Words for Gender:
- Cisgender (cis) – A person who’s gender identity matches their genetically assigned sex
- Nonbinary – A person who doesn’t identify specifically as male or female, but as something in between or outside of those binary options.
- Transgender – A person who’s gender identity doesn’t match their genetically assigned sex
*Everyone uses words differently. These are the definitions as I understand them, but they may not apply equally to all folks. Talk to your friends, family and colleagues about what the words they use to identify themselves mean to them.