Special Issues » The Pride Issue 2012

What the modern terms for gender and sexual identity mean

LGBTQQIAA

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Despite our best efforts, the City Paper was not able to find anyone for three of the LGBTQQIAA terms: B (for bisexual), Q (for questioning), and A (for asexual). Here are the definitions to those terms and the others in the acronym. The definitions come from GLAAD's Media Reference Guide , Out and Equal, and UC San Diego's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center.

Lesbian
A woman whose enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction is to other women.

Gay
The adjective used to describe people whose enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attractions are to people of the same sex. Or a term used in some cultural settings to represent males who are attracted to males in a romantic, erotic, and/or emotional sense.

Bisexual, Bi
An individual who is physically, romantically, and/or emotionally attracted to men and women. Bisexuals need not have had sexual experience with both men and women. In fact, they need not have had any sexual experience at all to identify as bisexual.

Transgender
A person who lives as a member of a gender other than that expected based on anatomical sex. Sexual orientation varies and is not dependent on gender identity.

Queer
An umbrella term that embraces a matrix of sexual preferences, orientations, and habits of the not-exclusively heterosexual-and-monogamous majority. Queer includes lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transpeople, intersex persons, the radical sex communities, and many other sexually transgressive (underworld) explorers.

Questioning
A person who is unsure of their sexuality or same-sex-loving feelings.

Intersex
Someone whose sex a doctor has a difficult time categorizing as either male or female. A person whose combination of chromosomes, gonads, hormones, internal sex organs, gonads, and/or genitals differs from one of the two expected patterns.

Asexual
Person who is not sexually attracted to anyone or does not have a sexual orientation.

Ally
Someone who confronts heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and heterosexual and genderstraight privilege in themselves and others; a concern for the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people; and a belief that heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia are social justice issues.

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