As societies understanding of sexuality and gender progresses, it brings with it some extra words and terminology to describe those that make up the LGBT+ community. For this week blog we’ve decided to attempt to bring some definition to some terms you may or may not have already heard of – after all, we as a community must support one another, and the first step to take is in understanding!

Words to describe sexuality:

Gay – a person who is exclusively attracted to members of their own gender. Although the term is more usually associated with males or male presenting genders attracted  to other males, it can also be applicable to female and female presenting individuals. 

Lesbian – a female or female presenting person who is exclusively attracted to members of their own gender.

Bisexual – someone that is not attracted to only one gender.

Asexual – someone who experiences little to no sexual attraction. Despite not having sexual attraction, some asexuals still engage in sexual activity. Asexuality is in itself a spectrum, and is sometimes referred to as being ‘Ace’.

Pansexual – someone who is attracted to all genders, including those who identify as having no gender. It is a word commonly associated with those who are attracted not a person and not a gender. 

Queer  an umbrella term that is used to embrace all sexualities that are not straight.

Words to describe gender:

Cisgender – a person whose sense of identity matches the biological sex they were born with. 

Non-Binary (or genderqueer, gender fluid) – describes those who feel their gender identity is neither completely masculine or feminine. It is possible to identify as non-binary and still present as a singular gender.

Transgender – a person who identifies their gender as something different to the gender they were assigned at birth. The term is inclusive of those who choose to have assignment surgery and those that don’t. 

Transman – a transgender person who was assigned female at birth, but identifies as male. 

Transwoman – a transgender person who was assigned male at birth, but identifies as female.

Intersex – a term used to describe those born with sexual or reproductive organs that are not exclusively male or female.