LGBTQ+ Definitions - LGBTQ+ Rolla (2024)

The acronym LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and more, including Intersex and Asexual. This page includes a broad range of queer identities . It is important to not use a term for someone else, unless you know they identify with it. When someone comes out, it is NEVER an invitation to ask overly personal questions. See the section on Coming Out for more information on how to respond to someone who has come out to you.



LGBTQ+ Definitions - LGBTQ+ Rolla (1)



While queer historically was used as a slur, it has been reclaimed by the LGBT community as an umbrella term. Queer can refer to both someone’s gender identity and/or their sexual/romantic orientation.



Sometimes the acronym LGBTQ+ is also written with 2 Q’s. The second Q is for questioning. People who are trying to discover their gender identity or sexual orientation are welcome into queer spaces so they can learn more and have peers who can help them discover what they feel comfortable in. Questions (taken from Trevor project) someone can explore are:

Am I interested in being sexually intimate with others?
Who am I interested in being sexually intimate with?
Who do I find physically attractive?
How often do I experience feelings of sexual/physical attraction?

Have I ever had a crush on someone before?
Who have I had crushes on?
Who do I want to experience romantic behaviors with?
Who do I want to experience romantic relationships with?

How do I experience my gender?
How do I feel in relation to the sex I was assigned at birth?
What does gender mean to me?

How do I like to present my gender?
In an ideal situation, how would I want to express my gender?
What aspects of gender expression make me feel happy and authentically myself?
What aspects of gender expression make me feel sad and not like myself?

Labels: All the words used to describe gender and orientation are referr

ed to as labels. There are queer people who don’t want to label themselves or be labeled by others, and that perfectly fine. Labels only serve as a way to effectively communicate ideas.



The LGBTQ+ acronym is also sometimes written as LGBTQIA. The A stands for asexual/aromantic/agender not ally. An ally does not identify as queer but visibly supports queer people.


Here are some things you can do to be an ally:

Vote for laws that protect queer people from discrimination

Protest laws that would harm queer people

Self-educate about the issues that queer people face

Join events that are open to allies

When you hear someone say something hurtful, speak up.

Find more resources on our allyship page!



Orientation or Sexual Orientation, refers to the romantic and/or sexual attraction people feel for other people. Individuals may identify as gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, some other term, or choose not place a label on their orientation.

Here these definitions are written in the broadest way possible, so instead of man, masculine person is used. See man vs male vs masculine as to the difference in these terms.



Gay is often used as an umbrella term for anyone who is not straight. It also can refer specifically to a masculine person who is attracted to masculine people. A specific term that refers only to a masculine person who is attracted to masculine people is Man-Loving-Men (MLM) or Achillean.

Straight refers both a masculine person who is exclusively attracted to feminine people (Duaric or Romeric) and a feminine person who is exclusively attracted to masculine people (Duaric or Julietian).



Lesbian refers for a feminine person who is attracted to feminine people. The terms WLW (Woman who Loves Women) or Sapphic also apply.



Bisexual refers to a person who is attracted two or more gender identities or presentations. It often refers having attraction to both feminine and masculine people, but it could also be attraction to masculine people and androgynous people, or attraction to masculine, feminine and androgynous people. This term has some overlap with Pansexual and Omnisexual. Some people choose to continue to identify as bisexual even if pan or omni might fit better because it is the first term they learned that somewhat fit, or because they are older and words like pansexual and omnisexual were not around.



Pansexual people will feel attraction to people regardless of their gender identity. Pansexual people will sometimes describe it as being gender blind, which is the key difference between pansexual and omnisexual.

Omnisexual is attraction to people of all gender identities. There can still be a preference for a certain gender identity while being omnisexual.



Asexual is an umbrella term that can refer to anyone on the asexual spectrum (a-spec). Asexuality is defined by a lack of innate desire to participate in sexual activities. They may or may not have innate attraction to people, so asexuals can be gay, straight, bi, or any orientation. Here is a nice graphic that breaks down different types of attraction. Sometimes the prefix of the words are combined, someone who is greysexual and bisexual may say they are grey-bi. Asexual is also referred to as ace. Being ace is not synonymous with being celibate, some may choose to be celibate, others may not. Someone coming out as ace is NOT an invitation to ask overly personal questions about their sex life.

Mesi ace is an umbrella term for anyone who identifies on the ace spectrum but not as completely asexual, i.e. greysexual, demisexual, lithosexual.

Aromantic is another separate spectrum that describes the degree to which people feel romantic attraction or desire. Aromantic terminology is similar to that of ace, but use the suffix romantic in place of sexual. Some aromantics are also asexuals, but not all. Aromantic is also referred to as aro.

What is the difference between romantic and sexual attraction? While sexuality and romanticism is different for everyone, sexual attraction is more categorized by the types of people one desires to be sexual with, while romantic attraction is more based on the types of people one would want have an intimate relationship with.

Mesi aro is an Umbrella term for anyone who identifies on the aro spectrum but not as completely aromantic, i.e. greyromantic, demiromantic, lithoromantic.

Allosexual is the opposite of asexual, and are people who do feel innate sexual desire, and will experience attraction without even realizing it.

Alloromantic is the opposite of aromantic, and are people who do feel innate romantic desire, and will experience attraction without even realizing it.


Greysexual / greyromantic

Greysexual is a term for someone on the a-spec but has some experience of feeling sexual attraction. People may identify as greysexual if they only feel sexual attraction once or twice, feel sexual attraction weakly, or only under specific circ*mstances.

Greyromantic is similar to greysexual, but instead of sexual attraction, it is romantic attraction.


Demisexual / demiromantic

Demisexual applies to people who only experience sexual attraction after an emotional connection is made. The connection may be romantic or platonic. Once a connection is made, this does not mean the person will automatically feel sexually attracted to the other person, just that it is now possible for sexual attraction to occur.

Demiromantic is similar to demisexual, but instead of sexual attraction, it is romantic attraction.



Lithosexual or akoisexual describes people who experience sexual desires but do not want them reciprocated. The lithosexual person may be uncomfortable at the thought of someone being sexually attracted to them, or they may lose their sexual feelings if they learn it’s reciprocated. As such, lithosexuals do not feel compelled to seek out a sexual relationship.

Lithoromantic is similar to lithosexual, but instead of sexual attraction, it is romantic atttraction.


Gender Identity

Gender identity is an internal feeling a person has that may influence how the person presents themself, and how they interact with other people. In western society, gender identity is historically heavily tied to the concepts of femininity and masculinity, but that is changing. Other cultures have had the concept of a gender identity that is not based on femininity or masculinity that has been present for centuries.

Cisgender is someone who identifies with their gender assigned at birth.

Man vs male vs masculine: Male describes the biological sex of a person. Man describes the identity, and masculine can refer to presentation, or identifying with some aspects of manliness without identifying as a man. Someone can be a man without presenting as masculine, and someone can be masculine without identifying as a man. These same concepts apply to woman, female, feminine. Here is a cute graphic that is used to get a visual idea: (Image credit)

LGBTQ+ Definitions - LGBTQ+ Rolla (2)

The gender elephant is a bit more accurate then the gender unicorn. While this graphic is helpful to understanding concepts, it does not always translate to how people think of their identity.

Femboy or Femboi: Usually used for someone who identifies more masculine who will present in a feminine way. This term, especially with the spelling boi, is also used by nonbinary individuals.

Tomboy or Butch: Usually used for someone who identifies more feminine who will present in a masculine way.



Transgender is an umbrella term for anyone who does not identify with with the gender they were assigned at birth.

AGAB: Assigned gender at birth. Why use agab instead of assigned sex at birth? Because society still operates in a false binary system and a child will often experience social pressure from parents, teachers, and peers to perform a certain gender role. Hopefully as society continues to be more accepting of gender diverse people this will change. Currently using terms like AFAB (assigned female at birth) and AMAB (assigned male at birth) is more affirming then MTF (male-to-female) or FTM (female-to-male) as the term MTF implies that the person used to identify as male and now identifies as female, however many people do not feel that this encompasses their experience – many trans people describe it as feeling incorrect about the gender role they were playing.

Transitioning: the process a trans person goes through to be comfortable in their body. This can include choosing a name, changing their wardrobe, Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and surgery. Not all trans people will take HRT, and it is never appropriate to ask about their transition.

Transman or transmasculine: Someone who was AFAB, but identifies and may present as masculine.

Transwoman or transfeminine: Someone who was AMAB, but identifies and may present as feminine.



Intersex describes a person who has physical sex characteristics that are in-between that of men and women. This could include chromosomal abnormalities, natural hormones, genitalia, or gonads, secondary sex characteristics, or some combination of these things. Intersex people may not actually identify as LGBTQ+, but because of similar struggles and minority status, LGBTQ+ offers a community and accepting space for intersex individuals. Intersex people can have any sexual orientation and gender identity. Here is a graphic that showed the spectrum of Intersex conditions: (Image credit)

LGBTQ+ Definitions - LGBTQ+ Rolla (3)

False Binary: the idea that humans only exist in one of 2 gender identities, male and female. However the existence of intersex people breaks the idea that people are born into 1 of these 2 categories. Furthermore, biological sex is not equivalent to gender identity.



Because Intersex is not well known, is it easy to see people in terms of a false binary – masculine and feminine. However not everyone identifies as strictly masculine or feminine. One could identify as both masculine and feminine, that they are in-between masculinity and femininity, a mix of masculine and feminine, or neither. Anyone who does not fall into the strictly feminine or strictly masculine falls under the umbrella term nonbinary. Nonbinary encompasses genderfluid, genderqueer, demiboy, demigirl, bigender, etc. Nonbinary is also known as enby. Someone who is nonbinary may or may not present as androgynous.



A pronoun is word used to refer to someone in the third person. Examples of pronouns are he/him, she/her, they/them, xe/xem, ze/zem. It is a good idea to get in the habit of using singular they; historically, “they” has been used as a singular third-person pronoun since from 1300’s (Merriam-Webster). Some nonbinary people use they/them pronouns. Others use neopronouns, pronouns derived in the 19th and 20th century. The most well known neopronouns are xe/xem and ze/zem. Here is a solid database of pronouns with examples of how to use all the pronouns in a sentence.



Genderfluid is someone whose gender identity fluctuates over time. It could fluctuate between feminine and masculine, between a nonbinary gender identity and agender

Genderflux is similar to genderfluid, the key difference is that their gender fluctuates between agender and a single gender identity, as opposed to fluctuation between gender identities.

Genderqueer is a term for someone who doesn’t strictly feel masculine or feminine, but may feel some combination of them, or neither. Genderqueer can be used interchangeably with nonbinary.

Maverique is defined as being completely independent from masculinity, femininity,neutrality, or anything in between or derived from any of them. It is also not a lack of gender. It is characterized by autonomy and inner conviction regarding a sense of gender which is unorthodox, unconventional and entirely independent of conventional concepts of gender. Despite this maveriques have a distinct and firm sense of gender.


Demiboy / demigirl

Demiboy is a term referring to someone who feels somewhat masculine but not completely. They could be AMAB, AFAB or intersex.

Demigirl refers to someone who feels somewhat feminine but not completely.

Androgyne is described as being simultaneouslymaleand femaleor in between male and female. Some androgynous people may identify asbigender, with one masculine gender and one feminine gender, while others may identify as a single gender that is somewhere in between man and woman, but not completely one or the other.



Bigender describes someone who feels two gender identities as the same time, it could be both feminine and masculine, it could be feminine and neutral, it could be masculine and some other gender identity, any combination.

Agender would be someone who does not feel gender.

Neutrois is associated with having a neutralornull gender. It is an umbrella term, with each person experiencing neutrois differently. Common definitions include feeling neutrally gendered- feeling neither masculine, feminie, nor anything in between, but still feeling strongly gendered (similar tomaverique). Another common definition is feelinggenderlessor agender– some genderless individuals may identify as both agender and neutrois, while others may prefer one term or the other. Neutrois and agender are occasionally used interchangeably.

Third gender is a term from non-western and native cultures that is used to describe someone who doesn’t identify as masculine or feminine.

Two Spirit is term used in native communities, and each tribe has a unique definition for the term. Two-spirit generally refers to a gender role believed to be a common, acknowledged, accepted, and praised gender classification among most First Nation communities, dating back centuries.


There are other lesser-known terms to describe one’s orientation and gender identity. Check out this website for more terminology.

LGBTQ+ Definitions - LGBTQ+ Rolla (2024)


What are the definitions of LGBTQ2? ›

LGBTQ2. Former acronym used by the Government of Canada to refer to the Canadian community Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two-Spirit. LGBTI. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex. This is the internationally recognized acronym.

What are the meanings of LGBTQ? ›

Lesbian | A woman who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to other women. LGBTQ | An acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer. Non-binary | An adjective describing a person who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman.

What is the full name of LGBTQQIP2SAA? ›

LGBTQQIP2SA: any combination of letters attempting to represent all the identities in the queer community, this near-exhaustive one (but not exhaustive) represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, two-spirited, and asexual.

What is the full acronym for lgbtq2s+? ›

LGBTQ/LGBTQ2+/LGBTTTQQIAP*: Initialisms that represent the constellation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, queer, questioning, asexual, and pansexual identities. The asterisk or plus sign represents the inclusion of additional identities not represented in the initialism.

What do the letters in LGBTQIA2S+ mean? ›

The GSCC primarily uses the acronym “LGBTQIA2S+.” This acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and trans, queer and questioning, intersex, asexual or agender, and two-spirit. This plus-sign signifies additional identity terms.

What is cisgender in simple words? ›

Cisgender (also styled as cisgendered and often shortened to cis) describes someone whose internal sense of gender corresponds with the sex the person was identified as having at birth. Most people can be described as cisgender, or cis. If the pronouncement your mom heard at your birth—It's a girl! or It's a boy!

What does the Q stand for in the LGBTQ? ›

The acronym increasingly includes the letter Q, LGBTQ, referring to queer and/or questioning individuals. The terms queer and questioning are important because they encompass a larger number of individuals who identify as having same-sex attraction and behaviors.

What do the letters Lgbtq+ mean? ›

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual.

What is the symbol of the LGBTQ? ›

Rainbow. The best-known symbol for the LGBTQ+ community, the rainbow's association with Pride dates to 1978 when Gilbert Baker designed the original Pride flag.

What is slgbtqia? ›

2SLGBTQIA+ is an acronym that stands for Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and additional sexual orientations and gender identities.

What is 2S? ›

2S – Two-Spirit (or 2 Spirit or 2S): an important term within some Indigenous cultures and for some Indigenous people, meaning a person with both a feminine and a masculine spirit living in the same body.

Who are two spirits? ›

Traditionally, Native American two-spirit people were male, female, and sometimes intersexed individuals who combined activities of both men and women with traits unique to their status as two-spirit people. In most tribes, they were considered neither men nor women; they occupied a distinct, alternative gender status.

What is 2 in LGBTQ2? ›

Queer is an umbrella term often time used to categorize the entirety of the LGBTQ2+ community. Next, we have the “2”. It's for Two-Spirits.

What does queer in LGBTQ mean? ›

Queer is a term used by those wanting to reject specific labels of romantic orientation, sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It can also be a way of rejecting the perceived norms of the LGBT community (racism, sizeism, ableism etc).

What does the S stand for in LGBTQ? ›

What does the term "two spirits" mean? ›

Traditionally, Native American two-spirit people were male, female, and sometimes intersexed individuals who combined activities of both men and women with traits unique to their status as two-spirit people. In most tribes, they were considered neither men nor women; they occupied a distinct, alternative gender status.

What does intersexual mean in LGBTQ? ›

Nearly one in every 2,000 people is born with variations in reproductive or sexual anatomy, or has a chromosome pattern that doesn't fit with what is typically considered male or female. Such individuals are “intersex” — the “I” in LGBTI — and can identify as male, female or neither.

What are the categories of LGBTQ? ›

The acronym for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace.

What are the different genders and meanings? ›

Genetic factors typically define a person's sex, but gender refers to how they identify on the inside. Some examples of gender identity types include nonbinary, cisgender, genderfluid, male, female, transgender, gender neutral, agender, and pangender.

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