I got into a philosophical conversation today with some friends about how it is incredibly common for the masses to cut off the letters after “LGBT”. Hardly anyone uses the other letters, or they go so far as Q. I want to discuss these terms, as well as a few others. Not in spite of Pulse, but because of it. Human rights and human beings cannot continue to go unspoken, underrepresented and undermined. My only waiver statement is that I’m trying my best to be accurate, but I’m not perfect. This is meant as a discussion-if you have comments, concerns or general inquiries-please plop them into the comments. I always take them seriously-ya’ll know that to be true.


Lesbian: A woman who is romantically, sexually, and/or affectionally attracted to women.

Gay: A man who is romantically, sexually, and/or affectionally attracted to men.

Bisexual: A person who has sexual and emotional relationships with or feelings towards both women and men, although not necessarily at the same time.

Transgender: A term for people who challenge society’s view of gender as fixed, unmoving, dichotomous, and inextricably linked to one’s biological sex.

Queer: Usually this term is used as a self-affirming umbrella term for the LGBTQIA community. *COULD BE OFFENSIVE*

Intersex (Androgynous): A person born with sex chromosomes, external genitalia, or an internal reproductive system that is not considered medically standard for either male or female. If both are present, the term hermaphrodite may still be used, even though it is outdated

Asexual: A person who doesn’t experience sexual attraction or who has low or no interest in sexual activity. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community; each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction, and arousal somewhat differently.

Pan (Poly)sexual: A person who is attracted to all or many genders or gender expressions.

+ (Ally): An individual whose attitudes and behavior are supportive and affirming of all genders and sexual orientations and who is active in combating homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, and cissexism both personally and institutionally.

Questioning: A process whereby an individual is re-assessing his or her sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Androphilia: attraction to men, males, and/or masculinity

Gynephilia: attracted to woman, females, and/or femininity

Autosexual: someone who has a great deal of trouble responding to someone else sexually but can respond fairly or very well to his (or her) own touch.

Metrosexual: a man with a strong aesthetic sense who spends more time, energy, or money on his appearance and grooming than is considered gender normative.

Skoliosexual: attracted to genderqueer and transsexual people and expressions

Genderqueer: Identity adopted by some trans people who blur the lines of the gender binary or embrace gender fluidity.

Gender Binary: Recognizes only two genders and regulates behavior within narrowly male or female expectations.

Neutrois: non-binary gender identity which is considered to be a neutral or null gender.

Transsexual: a person who identifies as a sex other than the one to which they were assigned at birth

Aromantic: a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others and/or a lack of interest in forming romantic relationships.

Greyromantic: orientation that is between aromantic (no romantic attraction) and romantic, experiencing romantic attraction, but not very often.

Lithromantic: feel romantic attraction towards others and also enjoy being in romantic relationships but only in theory.

Demiromantic: an individual who does not experience attraction unless they have formed a strong emotional connection with another individual. Often within a romantic relationship.

Polyamorous: open to more than one relationship even if they are not currently involved in more than one

Cisgender: Not transgender, that is, having a gender identity or gender role that society considers appropriate for the sex one was assigned at birth.

Sexual Orientation: A person’s emotional, physical, and sexual attraction and the expression of that attraction with other individuals.

There’s a difference between sex, sexual orientation and gender. There is also a difference between sexual orientation and attraction. I just want to get these definitions out there, because ignorance can only be defeated by education and understanding.

Definitions today were taken from:

Amherst College

It’s Pronounced Metrosexual


77 thoughts on “LGBTQIAP+

      1. Sure thing! I know I was in a Human Sexualities class this past semester and the only things that were covered were L, G, B and T. So it was definitely a learning curve! I’d identified as “Bi” for so long and was incredibly surprised that I was only doing so because I didn’t know what else there was!

      2. An ace of hearts! (That’s slang for a romantic asexual.) And I really do love adding new information to my pile. It feels like I’m actively participating in my world when I get to put new stuff to use.

  1. Our church participates in the Long Beach Pride parade every year. Last year our youth group insisted they wanted to be sure we are all inclusive. Now when we march we have a banner on the side of a truck that has this:


    I couldn’t be more proud of them. For those who are wondering. We know the LGBT, but here’s the rest:
    Q – Queer
    Q – Questioning
    I – Intersex
    P – Pansexual
    2 – Two sex (Native American term)
    S – Straight
    A- Ally
    A – Asexual

    It looks like from your list we missed a few. Add any more and we’ll have to rent a semi

    1. That’s fantastic! I’m really encouraged that there are churches who spread inclusive love ❤ Honestly, there are so many facets of just the ones I've managed to list-little subcultures inside the umbrellas. I LOVE that your church included Two Sex. It's a phenomenal idea.

      1. They learned it all through a human sexuality class that our church offers when we have enough kids. It lasts about six months and is outstanding. The funniest part for them is when they search around for large objects to put inside of condoms. It’s to teach them to never fall for “The condoms are too small” crap. It’s really hysterical.

      2. What a phenomenal idea!! I went to a public school in a town where condoms were a bad word, you signed abstinence promises and were told that if you had sex, you’d get an STD and pregnant and then you’d die. And I graduated high school in 2011. So I’m so happy not all schools (or churches) are like that!

  2. I am a pansexual female and my fiancée is transgender. You wouldn’t believe the abuse I got from even people who were in my friendship group who after I said I was dating a transgender male decided to tell me that I was a disgrace to the lesbian name and things like that (lesbian because mainly that’s what I believed I was until I learned what all the other letters stood for). Now, I associate myself with people who seriously don’t care who I date and are happy that I’m happy.

    This post really did help me because even I didn’t know some of these letters or understand the ones I had heard of and I am part of the LGBTQIA community myself.

    Thank you for enlightening me 🙂

    1. Well thank you for reading, and for sharing your story! I, similarly, chose the wrong “letter”-simply because I was only aware of the first couple and what they truly stood for (I’d always used bisexual because I think love is meant to be found in a person-not a gender but in the end, I just wanted a relationship and not so much the sex that comes with it, so: romantic asexual for me!). In the end, it can be really nice to find a letter that you “belong” to. I know the ace community is pretty rejected by a lot of people, so I can understand the frustration of people who claim to be understanding and then really aren’t. I got a lot of crap for not being the right kind of bisexual (when I still used the label) when I married my husband-and not a wife. But I think that if you’re lucky enough to find someone whom you love and they love you in return, then it doesn’t matter how they identify, what letter they like or any of the other categories-reciprocating love is nothing short of a miracle. So congratulations on your engagement and I hope you have a lovely wedding and a strong marriage:) And thanks again for reading!

  3. Rad! I just want to start off by saying thanks for warning that queer can be used as a slur, as tbh i dont really appreciate being called it.

    Personally i write and say lgbtqa+ but i think thats because i identify as grey ace so it would be kinda lowkey erasing myself? My school has lgbt society and only includes those categories in the title, but we accept everyone who fits within the extended acronym. I dont think its really an issue that people shorten it, as long as people are aware that it doesn’t just end at transgender, but i get why some people feel erased from the ,ainstream culture of where if you dont fit into lgb or t then youre even ‘stranger’.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad your school has a group:) That’s very encouraging to hear!! I’ve started moving away from using the alphabet soup and just using SAGA (Sexuality And Gender Acceptance). It’s easier for me to explain and I think it’s more inclusive as well. As an ace, I think a lot of people are still kinda in the dark about how to include someone whom they see as being completely opposite to them and all they stand for. I definitely agree that by not including all the other letters, it feels like a disservice (thus the reason I switched to SAGA). But thank you for reading and leaving your story. I’m glad we happened to meet:)

      1. Yeah i definitely agree with just using SAGA to be more inclusive. Because we just call ourselves LGBT Society, i know of people who are aro/ace and heterosexual but biromantic who thought for months that they weren’t welcome to come as they dont identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. I’d actually never heard of SAGA before today, so hopefully when the next school year begins i can just pushing for that acronym to be more widely used! 🙂

      2. I didn’t find out about SAGA until a little after I made this post, thought it was a PHENOMENAL idea and haven’t put it down since. I think that as long as people keep exploring what it means to love and what it means to be human, we’re going to keep creating categories until we either have so many that each person gets their own category, or we al just revert to one big category of everybody (which I vote should be SAGA). The university I attend has a couple different LGBT(+) groups, but honestly, I think that they should all just join up into one. Because of all the people who may feel excluded from a group, it should never be the people the group is about.

  4. To be honest, I’m so happy when the media or a politician even just puts a + on the end of LGBT. Although I think awareness is growing of other identities, LGBT is still mostly used as an acronym which is kind of frustrating. But at the same time, I know that we’ll probably never be able to have an acronym that includes everyone? Yeah, so mostly I use LGBTQ+ or queer, but I know some people don’t like the term queer so I kinda try to not use it for someone without asking. (Although sometimes I slip up on that, so.)

    1. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts! I agree that it can definitely feel like such a “win” when the rest of it gets noticed! In answer to your question though, have you heard of SAGA? It stands for Sexuality And Gender Acceptance. I’ve started using that instead of trying to fit in all the other letters like the alphabet version of pi. It is my opinion that it covers everybody, including allies, and it doesn’t matter if there are new preferences or orientations that come up later-they’re still covered:)

      1. Ooh no, I have’t heard of that one, thanks so much! I’d like to use that in the future. *nods* The problem is when everyone just knows it as ‘LGBT’, sigh.
        I’m kind of torn about the whole ‘allies in the community acronym thing’, because on one hand: they’re supporters rather than the ones being discriminated against. And when I say ‘I want to see more queer characters’ I don’t mean more allies…? But on the other hand, they can be very wonderful, and it’s like WE ARE ALL IN THIS FIGHT TOGETHER.
        So much acronym confusion… Will we ever find the perfect one?!?

      2. You bring up some really great points! I definitely use the opportunity to explain SAGA every time I can-because I think it might be the key to getting past the “only these letters count” problem.
        I think allies should count in the respect that perhaps they just want to see some equality. I stood on that outside for a while before finding my proper “letter”. But the point you made about book characters-that is where I cannot agree with you more. If you haven’t already, I invite you to look up (and read) Rachel Gold. She writes books about SAGA characters-with them as the lead roles. Being Emily was about a m2f character, and her newer book, My Year Zero, focuses more on lesbians-but in the context of mental health (which is why I LOVE it) and her stuff is REALLY great for introducing the topics she writes about to people who aren’t sure about what they mean.
        We can always hope for finding perfect any things.

      3. Yeah, hopefully we can make it more popular and try and get past all these crazy long acronyms.
        Aah thank you SO MUCH for that recommendation! I’ve never actually heard of Rachel Gold & her books sound great. 🙂 I shall be checking them out promptly! Yep, hopefully we can find something that works for everyone.

      4. Of course:) I read her stuff this past semester at the suggestion of one of my bosses and I thought she was great. Especially when there are so few authors who put SAGA individuals at the head of their own stories.

      5. Ah, if ever want recommendations for more books with SAGA characters, then I have a couple! *nods* Although literary representation can always be improved, there are some great authors out there.

  5. Wow, there are a lot here I didn’t know about. Well done! I thought androgyny was more a gender expression and/or identity than a physical state?
    Intersex is very interesting, apparently it affects 1 in 2000 births (read on several sources), but people just aren’t aware. Thanks for helping with the education in these subjects.
    I hope one day everyone can just be able to be themselves without having to categorise themselves or others.

    1. I think a lot of these could have multiple interpretations-that’s why there are so many with vague definitions. But I’m pleased you feel I’ve done the list justice. I agree that perhaps one day we won’t need these labels, we’ll just be human.

    1. I completely understand. I’d never heard of the sandwich analogy-but you’re absolutely right.
      I actually switched (as I’ve told a lot of people) to SAGA (Sexuality And Gender Acceptance). I feel like it doesn’t carry the stigma that queer does, but it’s also not an infinite bunch of letters that no one will ever remember-plus, it includes orientations and genders that haven’t been named yet.
      But if queer makes you feel pride in who you are-you use it to our heart’s content. Because at the end of the day, you have to live your life so you feel fulfilled-not anybody else.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!

      1. “SAGA” has no stigma, because it has no known meaning. the sandwich gag is my own. I came out in the 1990s and the term “lesbigay” started the merging of the words, and it’s not used today. first comes useage, then comes meaning and then: dictionary. I think it’s strange that the 1970s queers reclaimed the Nazi symbols and this is part of the problem. who uses what words, when and how… meanings change over time, which is why dictionaries are not authority on words.

      2. personal identity vs group identity depends on a cohesive group – which required homogeneity – something that does not work in a factional group with issues and not culture in common

      3. Excellent points! I have to say though, there was a bit of reappropriation done by the Nazis as well, so some of the symbols may very well have better contexts to pull from.
        And I’m quite thrilled you mentioned social cohesion-because I was going to ask if you thought that could be a contributing factor. I notice it a lot with the treatment of aces and aros, both within group and from the outside. Bisexuality to some extent also experiences this dissonance.

      4. I’ve been in many community groups that ended because of the internal more victim than thou. also, given the gap between hetero men and hetero women, there is not much that queer women and men have in common with each other and all things being something-sexual – it comes down to who are are most interested in sex with. against that social insecurity of fear rejection pain/anger towards looking out for a community that really has only existed in the public mainstream since the 1990s. Xena, Will & Grace, Friends. before L Word and Queer as Folk… but our movement for queer equality has been difference from the civil rights, women’s rights – because we fought through the courts and parades – not violence. Sorta more comparible to the Blind/Deaf.Disabled because any ethnic demographic can be those things. gay stopped being just for decadent white people.

      5. I definitely appreciate your insight-I’d also add in who you AREN’T willing to have sex with, but I think that’s just semantics. Have women’s rights been violent (violence led by the women)? I’m genuinely asking. As someone who barely remembers the last time a Clinton was in office, I’m still piecing together facts, I suppose. I think that far too often, intersectionality is avoided because it’s “messy”. Everyone wants to see “rights” as divided by category, when in reality there is too much overlap for there to be a simple solution to anything. I mean, the most recent and heartbreaking incident at Pulse is a great example of this. It wasn’t just “queer folk”, it was Latina night, it was hosted by trans individuals. It’s a very complex issue and until we start treating rights like they need to be treated, I doubt anything happens quickly.

      6. I am 48 and Canadian. The last 8 years under Obama have been unprecedented in that conservative “would rather self destruct than compromise”. . The problem of affirmative action/employment equity has been that everyone picks one. So if you are a one armed woman who’s asian. you are either disables, asian or a woman. this is how the bullies get to create nuances that don;t really exist and how they appear to be accepting of some degree of difference.

      7. Rights are not segregated, they are not limited, they are intended by letter, law and spirit of to expand. it is religion that is not compatible with equality and it’s a mental illness that prevents people cooperating

      8. and inside the community, the demand for MtF to be accepted by lesbians, without any FtM equivalant is a problem and trans telling others that if dating is not included, then we’re not allies.. that is not what gays.lesbians told straight people. it’s not the way to build alliances

      9. I’m really glad you stopped by. I see so many different things as a college student in a major cultural hub. I’m always glad to hear from other geographies and the general “other”-because I think it’s exceptionally ethnocentric to only consider the view you hold as your own.
        With that said, I definitely agree there’s a gendered issue even for those who transition, and that absolutely must come to an end.

      10. It is funny that on the internet, that many Americans are shocked to meet people from other nations. in 2011, I went on a Cruise to Alaska and despite me looking like her Grandmother and Mother, and talking to them for 20 mintues, I suddenly became terrifying to a 12 year old girl from Texas because I was her first foreigner. Canadian, eh.

      11. Admittedly, I feel as though there may be a psychological wall between the US and all others. We are not taught in compulsory education about other cultures, other ways of thought. And I find that disheartening amongst other things. I got into my major (anthropology) because I had questions about cultures that weren’t answered anywhere else. But I am one in an ocean of people and I know there are plenty of ignorant people who are content to stay ignorant.

      12. Americans are overly self involved and do not understand that the rest of the world is not willing to suffer for American standard of living. which, because of religion is at the bottom of the G20. South Africa had equal marriage before America. and Australia is shameful

      13. Generalizations are a dangerous thing. Religion is not the sole reason the world struggles any more than lactose intolerance is. Does it contribute? In some places. Is it the only area of concern? Definitely not.

      14. I have non-combat PTSD and am agoraphobic because of an inter-faith group in the workplace… People not being able to keep their religion to themselves is at the very heart of discrimination and oppression. That plus religion being a mental illness and the only reason why people are actually bothered by that others exist. it hits them in the cognitive dissonance.

      15. Well, I’m very sorry that happened to you. But I’m going to have to politely disagree with religion being a MI. And I feel that this conversation may be better suited on a religion blog, or a political one, but here is neither.

      16. As an anthropology major, I actually find that anthropology gives a lot of understanding an insight to religion. Many of my mentors became more religious because of their degrees.

      17. then they need to do more compare and contrast. The John Templeton Foundation is undermining science and that history of White Scientist and Feather Cultures needs to be dealt with directly

  6. I love this post because it tells it like it is… I consider myself to be very conscience of individuals beliefs, practices, values, etc. I recently wrote a post that I have been working on for about 3 months now and I just now posted it to my blog LADYHOOD because I wanted to make sure that I was not offending anyone. Please check it out “It’s not a choice” is the title. After reading your post, I feel that I should add letters because I cut off the letters after “LGBT” as you stated, and I seek to reach the masses. Its all about raising awareness and my poem/blog post seeks to do just that.

    Thank you for what you say and do!

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I usually do something closer to social commentary, but I really felt like this was one topic not enough people really understood (especially with the massive amounts of vocab!) so I tried to leave my thoughts behind and just focus on what people should know. I’d be more than happy to stop by your blog (I’ll head that way as soon as I’m done here!) but it’s definitely a topic worth blogging about-and being aware of!

  7. I recently started embracing the term queer.I came out very young as bisexual and dated both men and women in my first half of high school I faced a lot of discrimination from adult friends that I worked with at a local theatre who told me that bisexuality wasn’t real and that I would eventually pick a side. So my junior year of high school when I feel in love with a girl I came out as a Lesbian. The discrimination from these adult gay friends stopped and I embraced the title of lesbian. I ran the GSA at my high school for two years and went on to be the president of the GSA at my university. I lived openly as a lesbian for 7 years and when I did find myself attracted to men I ignored it because bisexuality wasn’t real. I was one of the most loved presidents in the history of the university’s GSA I boosted the membership from ten members to 30. I had a girlfriend and thought everything was good but some feelings started to surface. Fantasies about men that I wanted desperately to talk to my girlfriend about. We had bisexual girls in our group but if they started dating a guy they would stop showing up for meetings. If they started dating a girl they would usually come out as a lesbian. Every time this shift would happen my girlfriend would reiterate that bisexuality wasn’t real and that she would never date a bisexual because they would probably cheat on her. We ended up breaking up after I expressed feelings of wanting to be intimate with a man. I then labelled myself as pansexual and dated several different peopl\e of a variety of orientations and gender identities. I settled down with my wife 5 years ago. She was assigned male at birth and started her transition to be her authentic self this past august. This is when I started to embrace Queer. I realised that I kept changing labels so people would understand me better. After my wife came out I realised that I don’t care if people understand. Queer covers all the identities that I have embraced in the past and using it as a positive helps to take the negative stigma from the word just like a lesbian embracing the word dyke or someone embracing the word bitch. If you don’t take it as an insult it has no power and even more if you embrace it as a title you give it a great positive power. If I would have embraced the Queer identity in middle school when I came out I would have saved myself a lot of re-labelling.
    TL;DR I’m Here and I’m Queer and I love it

    1. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your story!! I’m a firm believer that the right things will happen to you when you are ready and not a moment before. I hope your S/o and you remain happy for all your years, because even just reading what you wrote I can tell that you have a strong relationship. I’m so sorry you spent so long not feeling valid-but here you are and you accept yourself and that’s what matters!

    1. Hi! Thank you for reading and for spot checking! There definitely are a lot of identities to be remembered. I’ll add in the ones I missed (and check to see if I can find more!) as soon as I press enter. I don’t know how I missed those two, but I’m glad you caught it! Thank you!!

      1. Are people generally mean? 😦 I try to welcome anybody who stops by to read my blogs-because they spent some of their time to invest in me. But even more so, this is a topic that breeds insecurity-especially amongst people who just don’t know. Being mean isn’t something that will help our community, and it’s just bad manners.

      2. Awesome! You seem cooler every minute! 😋 I tend to have correction conversations with people and they are stand off-ish. It’s amazing how much nicer people on WordPress are.

      3. Thanks! I’ve also had some really epic convos with people here. I mean, I can’t speak for everyone, but what I can say is that LGBT+ (SAGA) rights are one of my big discussion topics-and making sure that all people feel represented and welcome is really important to me. So I will always welcome helpful corrections.

    1. Were that an option, I’d select it every time. And the same applies to ethnicity as well. So much hate and pain has come of people using labels to look down on others. But, maybe we’ll get there.

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