The term LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer. But those sexual and gender identities are only a few of the unlimited types that exist. As we understand more about gender and sexuality, new identities are added to this list all the time!
The truth is, gender, sex, and sexual identity are so complex and fluid that it can be hard for someone to easily explain or describe themselves using one label or word.
- Asexual – A person who does not experience sexual attraction. Asexual people often still have intimate emotional and intellectual relationships, but they are not looking for a sexual relationship.
- Bisexual – A person who is attracted to people from more than one gender identity.
- Gay – Usually used to refer to a man who is attracted to other men. This term is sometimes used to describe anyone who identifies as a person who is interested in people of the same gender (e.g. women who are interested in women).
- Genderqueer – A person whose gender identity doesn’t fit the categories of “man” or “woman.” Many different, non-traditional gender identities may fall under the umbrella term “genderqueer.”
- Homosexual – A person who is attracted to or wants to have a relationship with other people of the same gender.
- Heterosexual – A person who is attracted to people of the opposite gender. (Another word for this is “straight”.)
- Intersex – A person whose sex characteristics (hormones, penis*, vulva, breasts, hair growth, x/y chromosomes) do not match their assigned sex.
- Lesbian – A woman who is attracted to other women.
- Omnisexual – Another term used to describe pansexual people.
- Pansexual – A person who is attracted to members of any gender. This term recognizes that many people do not fit neatly into a gender category like man/woman, for example, people who are 2 spirited or trans.
- Queer – An umbrella term for sexual identities other than heterosexual.
- Questioning – A person who is unsure of and exploring their sexual identity.
- Transgender – An umbrella term used to describe a range of people who do not conform to their assigned sex. Transgender people may or may not opt for surgery or hormones that change their sex or sex characteristics into those of the gender they identify with. (For example, taking hormones to increase the growth of facial hair or getting surgery to remove their Adam’s apple.)
- Two-Spirited – A First Nations, Métis or Inuit person whose gender is seen to include both male and female aspects or who is non-heterosexual. In some First Nations traditions it is believed that two-spirited people have been spiritually blessed by the creator to house both female and male spirits in their bodies.