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Your Basic #LGBTQI+ Terms Decoded

How many do you know?🤔

For many people, gender and sexuality are more complicated than the binary of being either a man or a woman, heterosexual or homosexual. And while this list of terms cannot possibly cover the full spectrum of gender and sexuality, it’s a great starting point to get you educated.

Here’s a list of #LGBTQI+ terms you need to know:

Asexual

A sexual orientation characterised by not feeling sexual attraction or desire in the ways we understand mainstream attraction.

Androgyne

A person identifying outside of the gender binary – neither a man nor a woman, and/or sometimes both.

Binary

The classification of sex and gender into two distinct, opposite forms: male and female. This is our ‘norm’ and excludes anyone who does not identify with this restrictive, old-fashioned way of understanding gender and sexuality.

Bisexual

A person who is emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted to both men/males and women/females.

Cisgender

A person whose gender identity is the same as what they were assigned at birth, based on their physical sex (the opposite of a transgender person).

Demisexual

A person who only feels sexually attracted to someone with whom they have an emotional connection.

Femme

A person who expresses and/or identifies with femininity, and/or describes gender expressions that reclaim and disrupt traditional constructs of femininity.

Gay

A person who is emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted towards people of the same gender.

Gender

A social construct used to classify a person as a man, woman, or some other identity.

Gender fluid

A person whose gender identity and expression shifts, whether within, between or outside of gender norms.

Gender non-binary

A gender identity or experience that embraces a range of expressions and ways of being that resonate for an individual beyond the binary.

Heterosexual

A person who is emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted to people of a gender other than their own.

Intersex

A general term for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy (sex chromosomes, external genitalia, and/or an internal reproductive system) that doesn’t fit into society’s definitions of either male or female. It’s an umbrella term with about 20 variations.

Lesbian

A woman who is emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted towards people of the same gender.

Pansexual

A person who is emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted towards people of all genders/sexes.

Queer

An umbrella term used to describe multiple and intersecting identities outside of the cisgender, heterosexual expression. It’s a rejection of normative constructs of gender. Being queer isn’t the same as being homosexual or ‘gay’ (though you can be both).

Transgender

A range of identities and experiences of people whose gender identity and/or expression differs from society’s expectations based on their assigned sex at birth. Not all trans people undergo medical transition (through surgery or hormones).

WATCH: Elle van der Burg decodes LGBTQI+ terms

Read more #COSMOTalks

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