LGBTQ+ terms

Whether you’re not sure what something means, or you want help describing your feelings, it can help to find out more about different definitions or sexual and gender identities.

Describing gender and sexuality

There are lots of types of sexuality and its okay if you don’t fit into just one. For some people, their sexuality is fluid and can change over time.

It’s important to remember that nobody can define your sexuality except you. Even when you use the same word as someone else, it might not always mean the same thing, and that’s okay.

Gender and Sexuality definitions

Aromantic or aro

Someone who has little or no romantic attraction to other people, or who doesn’t have the desire to have a romantic relationship.

Ace or asexual

Someone who experiences little to no sexual attraction to other people.

Bicurious

People who don’t see themselves as either heterosexual or gay, but may also sometimes be curious about the gender they're not normally attracted to.

Bi or bisexual

Someone who is emotionally and physically attracted to more than one gender.

Cisgender or cis

This is a way of describing someone who’s gender identity is the same as the sex that was recoded on their birth certificate. For example someone might be cis-female.

Demiromantic

Someone who doesn’t feel any romantic attraction unless they have a strong emotional connection with someone first.

Demisexual

Someone who doesn’t have any sexual attraction unless they have a strong emotional connection with someone first.

Gay

Someone who is romantically and sexually attracted to people of the same gender.

Gender fluid

Being gender fluid is when someone’s gender identity changes over time. Even if someone’s gender identity changes, the way they express their gender might not.

A gender fluid person’s gender identity might change a lot, or it might change over a long period of time.

Greyromantic

Someone who doesn’t experience feel romantic attraction very often, or doesn’t experience strong romantic attraction to other people.

Greysexual

Someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction very often, or who doesn’t have strong feelings of sexual attraction.

Heterosexual or straight

Feeling emotionally and physically attracted to people of the opposite gender.

Homosexual

Feeling emotionally and physically attracted to someone of the same gender.

Homoflexible

Someone who mostly identifies as gay or homosexual, but who is sometimes attracted to someone of a different gender.

Lesbian

Girls who are emotionally and physically attracted to someone of the same gender.

LGBTQ+

LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer/questioning and more. Even though people refer to them together, gender identity isn’t the same as sexuality.

Mixed orientation

People who experience a romantic or emotional attraction that is different from their sexual attraction. For example, someone may feel emotionally attracted to girls but sexually attracted to boys.

Non-binary

Being non-binary is when someone’s gender identity doesn’t match being only male or female.

Someone who’s non-binary can identify with parts of being male, female or both. Or they might not identify with either.

Pansexual

Someone who is sexually attracted to someone else regardless of their gender.

Panromantic

Someone who experiences romantic attraction towards someone else regardless of their gender.

Polyamory (or poly)

Someone who can have multiple romantic relationships at the same time. People in polyamorous relationships are all aware of each other and consent to any new relationships that start.

Polysexual

Someone who is romantically and sexually attracted to some genders, but not all.

Queer

Some LGBTQ+ people use queer to describe not fitting into other labels or sexualities, or feel more comfortable using it to describe themselves. Some LGBTQ+ people also use it to describe the community as a whole.

Queer has been used as an insult or slur against LGBTQ+ people, which is a form of bullying and discrimination. Because of this, some people don’t like to use the term at all.

Questioning

This describes someone who is going through the process of understanding their sexuality, or who’s unsure about it. 

Romantic orientation

This includes whether you’d want to have a romantic or intimate relationship with someone.

Sexual orientation

This is how physically attracted to someone you are, and whether you want to have sexual contact with someone.

Trans or transgender

This is a way of describing someone who’s gender identity is different from the sex that was recorded at birth.

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