Warning: This piece includes mentions of things such as sex and primary sex traits. While nothing is described in detail, it is impossible to go over sexual orientations and certain gender identities without identifying these things, so if these make you uncomfortable, please do not read! I would also appreciate if people avoided reviewing this just for the points because I want as many people as possible to get the chance to see it!
And now, without further ado...
I've noticed that a lot of identities and sexual orientations are glossed over, so I decided to make an easy list with definitions for people, along with the date they're celebrated during pride month! (Warning: this is not an exclusive list, and it is very probable I have missed certain identities and/or sexualities. This does not mean they are any less valid!)
Sexual Orientation-- who you love sexually
Romantic Orientation-- who you love romantically
Gender-- who you are
These three are very different. Who you are (your gender) is not affected whatsoever by who you love. The difference between sexual and romantic orientation is a little trickier to figure out. For most people, it's the same. However, for some people, they may be interested in having sex with one gender but are interested in being romantically involved (which includes kissing, cuddling, and dating) another. Some aren't interested in sex at all, and some aren't interested in romantic involvement at all.
~~~~~Please keep in mind that race, biological sex, religion, and upbringing have NO affect on a person's true gender or orientation, nor does a person's gender, sexual orientation, or romantic orientation dictate or determine whatever sexual/romantic life they may have or if they are interested in one. It's good to always keep an open mind about any identities, sexual orientations, or romantic orientations that may differ from your own.~~~~~
AFAB-- Assigned Female At Birth (a person who is AFAB is AFAB regardless of their gender)
AMAB-- Assigned Male At Birth (a person who is AMAB is AMAB regardless of their gender)
Transgender-- Someone who identifies as any gender (or lack thereof) other than what was assigned at birth.
Androgynous-- A physical appearance of looking gender-neutral.
Dead name-- A name given at birth that a person no longer identifies as.
Dysphoria-- Discomfort with one’s sexual organs, voice, or traits generally associated with their gender assigned at birth. This can be social discomfort with pronouns, a dead name, and can also be physical. Dysphoria is generally associated with any trans individuals, but not all trans individuals need to have dysphoria to be valid in their identity.
I have separated all the terms below into the categories of sexual orientation, romantic orientation, and gender. Enjoy!
June 1st: Gay-- Someone who is sexually attracted to a person of the same gender as them; this is generally used in reference to men who love other men, but some women choose to identify as 'gay' rather than 'lesbian', so it is a general term. In recent years, 'gay' has also been used as an overall term within the LGBTQ+ community to describe someone who is not heterosexual.
Example: Gay boys drinking iced coffee in the winter is the equivalent of straight boys wearing shorts in the winter.
June 2nd: Lesbian-- A woman who is sexually attracted to other women. Unlike the term 'gay', 'lesbian' is explicitly used in reference to women who love women. 'Lesbian’ is often used as a noun rather than an adjective like 'gay'.
Example: Those two lesbians moved in together after knowing each other for two weeks, and are now planning their wedding.
June 3rd: Bisexual-- Someone who is sexually attracted to two genders, usually both socially constructed genders (male and female). This term can be applied to anyone who loves two genders, but is usually used for those attracted to men and women. It is important to understand that many people who use the label bisexual are still attracted to those who fall under the nonbinary umbrella. This is because pansexual and omnisexual, terms for attraction to multiple genders, are newer terms. Bisexual is often used to mean the same thing by millenials and people older than them. 'Bisexual' is used as an adjective, like 'gay'. It is important to distinguish that a person is still bisexual, even if dating someone of the opposite gender or the same gender. Dating someone of the same gender does not make them 'gay', nor does dating someone of the opposite gender make them 'straight'. They are not 'half-straight half-gay' or confused either, and both accusations are very offensive to bisexual individuals.
Example: That bisexual woman is not more untrustworthy or more likely to cheat because she is bisexual, and it would be rude to suggest that.
June 4th: Polysexual-- An individual who is attracted to multiple genders but not all. Polysexual is used as an adjective, much like the term 'gay'. Although this is similar to bisexual, pansexual, or omnisexual individuals, there is an important distinction.
Example: My polysexual friend is attracted to men and agender individuals, but he is not attracted to women or other genders, and that is completely okay!
June 5th: Pansexual-- Someone who is attracted to every gender, regardless of gender. The term 'pansexual' is used as in adjective. Pansexual is very easily confused with omnisexual, but the main difference is that pansexual individuals are attracted regardless of gender, which means they fall in love with personalities and may not have a preference towards a certain gender. This does not mean they are attracted to everyone, just that they have the possibility to be attracted to people regardless of gender.
Example: A girl I know is pansexual, and in the past, she's has girlfriends, boyfriends, and nonbinary partners, and she doesn't care about genders when it comes to who she likes and loves; she also hates the joke that she's attracted to pans because it got old after the 500th time she heard it, and she would urge people to stop saying it because they really aren't funny.
June 6th: Omnisexual-- An individual who is attracted to every gender who keeps gender in mind. This may mean the individual has preferences towards a specific gender, even if they are attracted to all genders. 'Omnisexual' is used as an adjective, similar to 'pansexual' with which it is often confused.
Example: The omnisexual man I went on a date with said he had a preference towards women and most of his crushes are on women, but he is attracted to all genders even if he is mostly attracted to women, and he told me he would really like for the term omnisexual to get more representation than it normally does.
June 7th: Ceterosexual-- Ceterosexual people are usually nonbinary individuals attracted solely to other nonbinary individuals. There is a bit of a debate within the community whether the term 'ceterosexual' can be used to describe a binary individual (male or female) who is solely attracted to nonbinary people. In general, it should only be used to describe a nonbinary person who is attracted to nonbinary people, unless you are nonbinary and believe it is okay to describe a male or female person as ceterosexual.The term for this used to be 'skoliosexual' but that term is outdated and most ceterosexual individuals prefer 'ceterosexual' over 'skoliosexual'. Like 'gay', 'ceterosexual' is used as an adjective within sentences.
Example: My nonbinary friend is ceterosexual, and they want to date another nonbinary person, which they are having a hard time with because of the conservative town they live in.
June 8th: Demisexual-- Demisexual individuals feel little to no sexual attraction to someone unless they already feel very close to them, possibly in a romantic sense. It can also be paired with other sexual orientations, such as demiomnisexual or demibisexual, which would mean they have sexual attraction to people they are close with of all genders and of both binary genders (respectively). Alone, the term may describe someone who has attraction to the opposite gender (heterosexuality) but they won't feel sexual attraction to them unless they feel close to the person. A person who is demisexual may find a person attractive but have no desire to have sex with them unless they felt close to them, and the term 'demisexual' is used as an adjective.
Example: The man was demisexual, and he would never want to have sex with someone unless he was very close emotionally to the person; while his parents thought he was saving it for the right person, he also didn't feel close enough to someone to find the idea of sex with them appealing.
June 9th: Grey-Ace/Grey Asexual-- Someone who doesn't have sexual attraction most of the time, but may on occasion feel sexual attraction to someone. The term can also be paired with other sexual orientations, such as grey-ace pansexual or grey-ace ceterosexual. Alone, the term can describe someone who has attraction to the opposite gender (heterosexuality) but the attraction is rare. 'Grey-Ace' is a more laid-back term for 'grey asexual', and both are used as adjectives.
Example: My friend's grey asexual boyfriend said he was interested in taking it a step further with him, which surprised him because he hadn't been sure if his boyfriend felt more than romantic attraction towards him.
June 10th: Asexual-- A person who doesn't experience sexual attraction at all. This does not mean they don't enjoy sex, are repulsed by it, or are uninterested in it, just that they don't experience sexual attraction. Asexuality is largely a spectrum; some asexual people do not seek out sex, but will have it for the romantic intimacy. Others will have sex because their partner wants it and will enjoy it while they do, but will not seek it out themselves. Others are repulsed by sexual activity and want nothing to do with it. Being asexual also does not affect whether or not a person is interested in a romantic relationship or affect their romantic orientation. The term ‘asexual’ is an adjective.
Example: Asexual people would like people to know that saying "you just haven't found the right person yet!" is insulting and makes the speaker seem like they are against the idea that a person knows their own sexuality better than those around them, and could easily be compared to telling a straight woman/man they just haven't met the right woman/man yet.
June 11th: Polyamorous-- Someone who loves multiple people and may be in multiple consensual relationships, with all parties knowing about the others and often all being in relationships with another. It is important to emphasize polyamorous relationships are consensual. Everyone in a polyamorous relationship knows about the other partners and is also romantically or sexually active with them. (This is not the same as open-ended relationships!) 'Polyamorous' is used as an adjective.
Example: If two men are both in a relationship with a woman and with each other and it is consensual, it isn't the woman cheating, nor is it any of them being a whore; being polyamorous is a sexuality, not a scandalous act, and everyone should feel free to love who they love freely, even if it is multiple people.
June 12th: Intersex-- A person who was biologically born with both male and female chromosomes. In some cases it affects only inner organs, and for others, it may be noticeable through secondary and primary sex organs. When intersex children are born, some parents choose one gender and refer to their child that way, or force their child to choose one gender or the other. In many of these cases, the children grow up to be trans or choose to identify openly as intersex rather than male or female. Intersex is the only gender identity an individual CANNOT choose. They must be born as intersex. 'Intersex' is used as an adjective within sentences.
Example: A family friend just gave birth to an intersex baby and she decided to raise the baby gender-neutrally until the baby was old enough to choose what pronouns they felt most represented them.
June 13th: Male-To-Female-- A person who identifies as a woman and, in most cases, uses she/her pronouns, but was born with male or intersex biology. Many male-to-female trans individuals undergo surgeries in order to physically look like the gender they identify as and go on a hormone supplement called estrogen, which is the hormone found within biological women; however, an individual who hasn't undergone surgeries, started hormones, or dresses neutrally or masculinely is still a woman, and people should always respect a person's chosen pronouns and name. Male-to-female individuals may wear bras and stuff them so they give off the appearance of a chest and may do a practice called ‘tucking’ which makes their male sexual organs less noticeable before they get surgery, both of which are completely okay practices as long as they are done safely. The term 'male-to-female' is used as an adjective, and someone who is male-to-female may simply identify themselves as transgender or a transgender woman rather than male-to-female transgender, assuming you will work out that they are male-to-female on your own. (MTF is the short-hand term for Male-To-Female.)
Example: A woman I work with told me she is male-to-female transgender but not out, and I felt very honored that she felt comfortable enough with me to express her true identity; I asked about pronouns and her name immediately because the first thing you should do when a friend comes out to you as transgender is ask about their pronouns and new chosen name if they want to change their current one, and even though sometimes it's hard for me to remember to refer to her by the new name and pronouns, I know how uncomfortable I would be with the wrong pronouns being used about me, which helps me remember.
June 14th: Female-To-Male-- A person who identifies as a man and, in most cases, uses he/him pronouns, but was born with female or intersex biology. Many female-to-male trans individuals undergo surgeries in order to physically look like the gender they identify as and go on a hormone supplement called testosterone, which is the hormone found within biological men; however, an individual who hasn't undergone surgeries, started hormones, or dresses neutrally or femininely is still a man, and people should always respect a person's chosen pronouns and name. Female-to-male individuals may use a piece of clothing called a binder to make their chest less noticeable and may use a packer, which makes it appear as if they have male sexual organs, both of which are completely okay practices as long as they are done safely. The term 'female-to-male' is used as an adjective, and someone who is female-to-male may simply identify themselves as transgender or a transgender man rather than female-to-male transgender, assuming you will work out that they are female-to-male on your own. (FTM is the short-hand term for Female-To-Male).
Example: One of my best friends is dating a female-to-male trans boy, and she's made it very clear to her parents that being attracted to a trans boy does not make a girl gay or lesbian in any way, since the boy identifies as male; even if he still has female anatomy, (which you should NEVER ask a trans person about), he presents himself to the world as male, and therefore, it is completely normal for a girl who considers herself straight to be attracted to him.
June 15th: Agender-- A person who identifies as agender simply means that they have no gender. A person who is agender may use they/them pronouns or may choose not to use any pronouns at all. An agender person may use methods such as binding, tucking, stuffing, or packing to appear more androgynous depending on their sex assigned at birth. While many agender people may want to appear androgynous, they may also dress femininely or masculinely, which does not discredit or go against their identity in any way. The term ‘agender’ is an adjective.
Example: My agender partner doesn’t like to use any pronouns, so whenever I’m referring to Jax, I always use Jax’s name instead of pronouns.
June 16th: Genderfluid-- A person who identifies as genderfluid has a gender that fluctuates. This means they go through stages of being a man, a woman, and sometimes in-between. Stages can last for as long as weeks or months or as little as minutes or hours, and it depends on the individual for how often it changes. Genderfluid individuals will often use varying pronouns based on how they are feeling, such as he/him when they are feeling masculine, she/her when they are feeling feminine, and they/them when they are feeling in-between and/or nonbinary. Some genderfluid individuals will also use they/them and allow people to judge their pronouns based on what they are wearing, but not all genderfluid individuals want this. Genderfluid individuals may use methods such as binding, packing, tucking, or stuffing to appear more androgynous, feminine, or masculine, but genderfluid people do not need to appear androgynous in order to be genderfluid, nor do they need to dress femininely/masculinely to use she/her or he/him pronouns. Genderfluid falls under the category of trans and nonbinary, so genderfluid individuals may introduce themselves as trans and/or nonbinary. The term ‘genderfluid’ is an adjective.
Example: Because genderfluid people don’t choose when their gender shifts, it can be very uncomfortable if they are in public in it does; my older sibling was once in a dress at a party when they felt their gender shift from female to male, and they were uncomfortable the rest of the night!
June 17th: Bigender-- A person who identifies as bigender is someone who has two genders and often feels them at the same time. The difference between being genderfluid and bigender is that bigender individuals feel the identities at the same time. Bigender individuals may use multiple sets of pronouns interchangeably, and may introduce their pronouns as she/they, he/they, or she/he. Bigender people may also introduce themselves as trans or nonbinary because the term falls under both of those umbrellas. Bigender individuals may use methods such as binding, packing, tucking, or stuffing to appear more androgynous, feminine, or masculine, but bigender people do not need to appear androgynous, feminine, or masculine in order to fit their identity. The term ‘bigender’ is an adjective.
Example: My favorite YouTuber is bigender and uses he/they pronouns, so when I comment on his videos, I try to switch up their pronouns so they know I’m acknowledging his pronouns.
June 18th: Trigender-- A person who identifies as trigender is someone who has three genders and often feels them at the same time. The difference between being genderfluid and trigender is that trigender individuals feel the identities at the same time. Trigender individuals may use multiple sets of pronouns interchangeably, and may introduce their pronouns as he/she/they. Trigender people may also introduce themselves as trans or nonbinary because the term falls under both of those umbrellas. Trigender individuals may use methods such as binding, packing, tucking, or stuffing to appear more androgynous, feminine, or masculine, but trigender people do not need to appear androgynous, feminine, or masculine in order to fit their identity. The term ‘trigender’ is an adjective.
Example: My friend’s partner is trigender and loves to dress up in dresses and suits, so my friend is going to take them to a charity ball being held downtown tonight as a surprise!
June 19th: Pangender-- A person who identifies as pangender can experience all the genders of their own culture. A person who is pangender can also identify as genderfluid, and their gender can fluctuate but they always have the capability to be all genders, sometimes multiple at once. The term ‘pangender’ is an adjective.
Example: My sister has a friend from college who is Native American who identifies as pangender and two-spirit; only native American individuals can identify as two-spirit, and since they are pangender, they also encompass the two-spirit identity.
June 20th: Genderqueer-- A person who identifies as genderqueer is anyone who falls under the trans nonbinary umbrella. A person who is genderqueer may still be figuring out a more specific label or they may have landed on genderqueer as the right label for them. The term ‘genderqueer’ is an adjective.
Example: While my sibling is AMAB, they identify as genderqueer and use they/them pronouns.
June 21st: Demigirl-- A person who identifies as demigirl is usually in-between identifying as nonbinary and female. This means that they feel in the middle of these two or feel they encompass both to a certain extent. Most people who use the label demigirl use the pronouns she/her and they/them. The term ‘demigirl’ is a noun.
Example: When my family went to the zoo, one of the workers had a clip on that said she/they pronouns, and when I asked them about it, she said she was a demigirl.
June 22nd: Demiboy-- A person who identifies as demiboy is usually in-between identifying as nonbinary and male. This means that they feel in the middle of these two or feel they encompass both to a certain extent. Most people who use the label demiboy use the pronouns he/him and they/them. The term ‘demiboy’ is a noun.
Example: At the convention, I got to talk to my favorite comic book author about his characters and how I always thought of one of them as a demiboy; he said that though that hadn’t been the intent, he could certainly see it making sense since the character liked they/them pronouns and he/him pronouns.
June 23rd: Androgyne-- A person who identifies as androyne is someone who presents themselves androgynously and usually identifies as in the middle of male and female. Androgyne people usually use they/them pronouns. The term ‘androgyne’ is an adjective.
Example: My child came out to me recently as androgyne, and I offered to drive them to the mall to pick out some more androgynous formal attire because all they have currently are dresses.
June 24th: Intergender-- A person who identifies as intergender is an intersex individual who feels they do not fit exclusively in the male or female categories. This identity is exclusive to intersex individuals and cannot be used by people who are AFAB or AMAB. It is the nonbinary equivalent for intersex individuals, but many intersex individuals may also choose to use labels such as nonbinary rather than intergender. Intergender individuals usually choose to use they/them pronouns most of the time, but they may also want to use she/he pronouns. The term ‘intergender’ is an adjective.
Example: My intersex sibling also identifies as intergender because they don’t feel like they are solely male or female.
June 25th: Nonbinary-- A person who identifies as nonbinary identifies as neither male nor female. Nonbinary is also an umbrella term for any identity that doesn’t fall under male or female, but many people simply identify as nonbinary, whether because they feel the label suits them or because they are still looking in-depth into other terms that might suit them better. Nonbinary individuals mainly use they/them pronouns, and some may dress androgynously but it is not needed in order to be nonbinary. A nonbinary person may use methods such as binding, tucking, stuffing, or packing to appear more androgynous depending on their sex assigned at birth, but others may lean heavily into feminine or masculine clothing or styles. The term ‘nonbinary’ is an adjective.
Example: They told me that nonbinary people don’t exist, but I found this thing in my closet that likes bread and identifies as nonbinary, so now I’m really not sure what to think.
June 26th: Questioning-- A person who is questioning is a person in the middle of figuring out who they are. They may not know their sexual orientation, their romantic orientation, or their gender, and they are in the process of looking through identities to find the one that fits them best. Questioning is a temporary identity place-holder to let people know that you are in the LGBTQ+ community but unsure as of yet what term you are going to want to use. Questioning individuals can use all pronouns. Questioning does not fit exclusively in the gender category but because of the day it is typically celebrated on, I have placed it here to avoid confusion. The term ‘Questioning’ is a verb or adjective.
Example: Since my brother is questioning his sexuality, I suggested he go to his school’s Gay Straight Allies meeting to meet other people who may be figuring themselves out at his age too.
June 27th: Homoromantic-- Someone who is romantically attracted to people of the same gender. Someone who is homoromantic may pair this with any sexual identity, such as being pansexual homoromantic. This would mean that while they are attracted sexually to every gender, they are only interested in a romantic relationship with people of the same gender as them. The term 'homoromantic' is an adjective.
Example: My girlfriend is asexual and not interested in any sexual activity, but she's homoromantic so she dates women.
June 28th: Biromantic-- Someone who is romantically attracted to two genders, usually men and women. Biromantic people can still be attracted to people who fall under the nonbinary umbrella, and the same rules of bisexuality in regards to the validity of their sexuality regardless of who they are dating applies to biromantic people. Biromantic people can pair this with any sexual identity, such as being grey-ace biromantic. This would mean that while they rarely feel sexual attraction unless they are close to the person, they are romantically attracted to people of two genders. The term ‘biromantic’ is an adjective.
Example: My friend is heterosexual and biromantic, so while she is only sexually interested in men, she dates both men and women.
June 29th: Panromantic-- Someone who is romantically attracted to all genders without preference. This does not mean they are attracted to every individual, just that they have the possibility of being attracted to a person regardless of their gender. The term ‘panromantic’ is an adjective.
Example: While they are panromantic and date people regardless of gender, they are omnisexual and are not sexually attracted to men.
June 30th: Aromantic-- A person who doesn't experience romantic attraction at all. This does not mean they don't enjoy being in a relationship, are repulsed by it, or are uninterested in it, just that they don't experience romantic attraction or experience little romantic attraction. Aromanticism is largely a spectrum; some aromantic people do not seek out romantic relationships, but will still engage in romantic intimacy. Others will do things such as kissing because their partner wants it and will enjoy it while they do, but will not seek it out themselves. Others are repulsed by romantic activity and want nothing to do with it. Being aromantic also does not affect whether or not a person is interested in a sexual relationship or affect their sexual orientation. The term ‘aromantic’ is an adjective.
Example: Even though she is pansexual and frequently has one-night stands, she is aromantic and has no interest in a long-term romantic relationship with anyone.
This is not a complete list of all the gender identities, sexualities, or romantic attractions that are out there. If none of these terms fit you, there is one out there for you. Many people who feel there are no terms that fit them simply identify as gay (if it is in regards to their sexuality or romantic attraction), as genderqueer (if it is in regards to their gender), or as queer (if it is in regards to any of those categories). This is by no means an all-inclusive list, and though I attempted to be comprehensive, there are no doubt mistakes within the list above. I hope this list can be the start of understanding yourself and those around you.
If you’d like to do more in-depth research on any of the above identities, I would recommend Queer Undefined, a website where people can submit their personal definitions of terms. (Think of it as the Urban Dictionary of the LGBTQ+ community!) If you yourself are questioning, please feel free to PM me personally or to take a look at our LGBTQ+ club right here on YWS! (Hint: You'll find it under the Clubs tab!)
For now, please remember: stay safe, stay strong, and stay proud.