A Primer on the LGBTQIA2S+ Acronym

Lgbtqia2s InfographicLesbian: A woman who is attracted to other women. Both transgender and cisgender women as well as non-binary people can be lesbians.

Gay: The term gay encompasses all folks who are attracted to people of their own gender. Generally, this term is used to describe a man who is attracted to other men. Both transgender and cismen, as well as non-binary people, can be gay.

Bisexual: Those who are attracted to two or more genders. Some bisexual folks are only attracted to men and women. This term is not inherently transphobic but some folks prefer to use pansexual as a more encompassing term.

Transgender: Transgender is not a sexual orientation. People who are transgender can fall anywhere on the sexuality spectrum. The term transgender refers to identifying as a gender that does not align with the sex assigned at birth. Additionally, this term can also applies to a wide range of nonbinary (neither identify as a man or woman or a combination of genders)

Queer: Essentially, this means “not heterosexual”. Queer is commonly used as a catch-all term for the entirety of the non-heterosexual community. This term is often used intentionally to separate from the heterosexual community without specifically identifying ones identity.

Intersex: Folks who are intersex are born with a variety of sex characteristics that are outside of “rigid definitions” of male and female. Intersex folks identify across the spectrum of gender identities. This term is not a sexual orientation.

Asexual: Folks who are asexual are not sexually attracted to anyone, regardless of gender.

Two Spirit: This term was created by Indigenous people. The definition may change across Nations and is culturally-exclusive, meaning that it belongs to Indigenous communities and non-indigenous people should not self-identify as Two Spirit.

+: This acronym is a fluid acronym – it’s incomplete and is far from ideal. Identities represented within the acronym can be seen as exclusionary. The + is an attempt to recognize that there are many gender identities and sexual orientations that are not included within the acronym.

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