THE ABC’S OF L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.A.B.GF.GNC.GQ.NB.P.P.Q.2S+

1200px-Gay_flag.svg.png

What does L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.A.B.GF.GNC.GQ.NB.P.P.Q.2S+ mean?

The initialism LGBT came about in the 1990s, intended to replace the umbrella term gay, used inaccurately to describe the whole LGBT+ community. While young people are increasingly embracing the notion of free and dynamic sexuality, rejecting sexual and gender labels, signifiers, and categorizations entirely (Edelstein 2016), the segmentation can still prove empowering, even comforting for many. 

The following definitions have been extracted from the National LGBT Health Education Centre’s Glossary of Terms. While it is by no means exhaustive, and definitions vary community by community and person by person, this compilation is designed to help communicate common, mutually understood uses and definitions.

Agender: Describes a person who identifies as having no gender.

Asexual: Describes a person who experiences little or no sexual attraction to others. Asexuality is not the same as celibacy.

Bigender: Describes a person whose gender identity is a combination of two genders.

Bisexual: A sexual orientation that describes a person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of their own gender and people of other genders.

Gay: A sexual orientation that describes a person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of their own gender. It can be used regardless of gender identity, but is more commonly used to describe men.

Gender Fluid: Describes a person whose gender identity is not fixed. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more one gender some of the time, and another gender at other times

Gender Non-Conforming: Describes a gender expression that differs from a given society’s norms for males and females.

Genderqueer: Describes a person whose gender identity falls outside of the traditional gender binary structure. Other terms for people whose gender identity falls outside the traditional gender binary include gender variant, gender expansive, etc.

Intersex: Group of rare conditions where the reproductive organs and genitals do not develop as expected. Intersex is also used as an identity term by some community members and advocacy groups.

Lesbian: A sexual orientation that describes a woman who is emotionally and sexually attracted to other women.

Pangender: Describes a person whose gender identity is comprised of many genders. 

Pansexual: A sexual orientation that describes a person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of all gender identities.

Queer: An umbrella term used by some to describe people who think of their sexual orientation or gender identity as outside of societal norms. Some people view the term queer as more fluid and inclusive than traditional categories for sexual orientation and gender identity. Due to its history as a derogatory term, the term queer is not embraced or used by all members of the LGBT community.

Questioning: Describes an individual who is unsure about or is exploring their own sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Transgender: Describes a person whose gender identity and assigned sex at birth do not correspond. Also used as an umbrella term to include gender identities outside of male and female. Sometimes abbreviated as trans.

Two-Spirt: Describes a person who embodies both a masculine and a feminine spirit. This is a culture-specific term used among some Native American, American Indian, and First Nations people.

By: Mitch White