List of LGBTQIA+ Terms

As more equal rights become available to LGBTQIA+ people, there is an ever-increasing range of options for identifying yourself. Gone are the days where LGBTQIA+ people only had the choice of “coming out” as gay, bisexual or lesbian.

People who do not feel that they fit into one of those three labels now have many different terms to choose from.

We have compiled a list of the most popular ones and what they mean.

  • Asexual – Someone who does not experience sexual attraction. As sexuality is so diverse, it can be hard to define where people lie on the spectrum between “asexual” and “allosexual”. Asexuality has nothing to do with romantic attraction and vice versa. It’s perfectly possible to be both asexual and gay, or asexual and bisexual.
  • Ally – An ally is someone who doesn’t identify with the LGBTQIA+ community but supports it in some way. This can be by fighting for equal rights, standing up against homophobic/transphobic bullying, or just educating themselves about the community.
  • Androgynous – A person who doesn’t identify as having a specific gender. Not to be confused with transgender, as an androgynous person does not identify as another gender; they simply do not define their gender as specifically male or female.
  • Aromantic – Someone who does not experience romantic attraction; however, they may still desire romance.
  • Bigender – Someone who falls somewhere between male and female on the gender spectrum.
  • Bicurious – Someone interested in learning more about their attraction towards people of the same sex/gender, but not necessarily identifying as anything other than heterosexual right now.
  • Biromantic – Someone romantically attracted to more than one gender/sex.
  • Bi-romantic – A romantic attraction to two people simultaneously. This word is more commonly used in the polyamorous community.
  • Cisgender – The opposite of transgender; someone whose gender matches their assigned at birth.
  • Cishet – Someone who is cisgender and also identifies as heterosexual.
  • Coming out – When a person tells others about their sexuality or gender identity. This process can be a one-time event; for others, it’s a continuous and ongoing process.
  • Demisexual – Someone who only experiences sexual attraction after an emotional bond has been formed.
  • Dyke – A term used to describe masculine lesbians.
  • Fluid – Someone who does not feel that their sexual orientation or gender identity are fixed, rigid things; they may feel that they are a little bit gay or a little bit bi, for example.
  • Gay – A homosexual man or woman; this term can also be used as “homosexual” in a formal context.
  • Genderqueer – Someone whose gender identity is neither male nor female, or a combination of the two. “Genderqueer” can apply to anyone who feels that their gender falls outside the standard masculine/feminine binary.
  • Intersex – A person with reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not fit into society’s definition of male or female.
  • Lesbian – A homosexual woman.
  • LGBT+ – “Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender”. If you see this acronym used in a sentence without it specifically referring to lesbian or gay people, then the writer probably means LGBTQIA+ or LGBTHTTQIBAGNC.
  • Pansexual – Someone attracted to all genders and/or sexes.
  • Queer – A word used by many LGBTQIA+ people as an umbrella term, encompassing lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and often transgender and genderqueer people too. People of other sexualities may also self-identify as queer if they do not feel the term “homosexual” applies to them.
  • Questioning – Someone who is exploring their sexuality/gender and figuring out where they fit on the spectrum.
  • Straight – Someone who is heterosexual.
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Eastbourne Pride
  • Transgender – A person whose gender does not match the sex assigned at birth. Some transgender people will take hormones, have surgery, or do both to align their body with their gender. Others don’t want any medical intervention and are happy with their bodies as they are. Transgender people can fall under any sexual orientation.
  • Transman – Someone assigned female sex at birth but identifies as male. This term should only be used for people who identify as male or are comfortable with others using this term to describe them.
  • Transphobia – Fear and hatred of someone simply because they are transgender. This is not the same thing as straight privilege, which straight people have by default in our society. Anyone can be transphobic regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Transwoman – Someone assigned male sex at birth but identifies as female. This term should only be used for people who identify as female or are comfortable with others using this term to describe them.
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