Identity Resources

Through these resources, we bring to you some terms commonly used to describe different sexual orientations. These resources are not comprehensive either in the terms or in their explanation. The primary use of labels is not to categorize people, but rather to help people communicate what and how they feel. 

We hope that this will serve as a useful starting point for you to understand different sexual orientations and become better allies to the LGBTQ+ community.

 

Being Gay

It refers to a person primarily emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to members of the same sex/gender. It also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions.

Being Lesbian

A woman whose enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction is to other women. Some lesbians may prefer to identify as gay (adj.) or as gay women. 

Being Bisexual

Someone having the capacity to be emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to some people of one’s gender and another gender. This attraction does not have to be equally split or indicate a level of interest that is the same across the genders an individual may be attracted to.

Being Pansexual

Someone who’s attracted to all genders of people, regardless of anatomical sex, gender identity, or expression 

Being Trans

An identity wherein one’s assigned biological sex doesn’t match their felt identity. This umbrella term includes persons who do not feel they fit into a dichotomous sex structure through which they are identified as male or female. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation.

Being Ace

Experiencing little or no sexual attraction to others and/or a lack of interest in sexual relationships/behavior. Asexuality exists on a continuum from people who experience no sexual

attraction nor have any desire for sex, to those who experience low levels, or sexual attraction only under specific conditions.

Being Aro

Experiencing little or no romantic attraction to others and/or has a lack of interest in romantic relationships/behavior. Aromanticism exists on a continuum from people who experience no romantic attraction nor have any desire for romantic activities, to those who experience low levels, or romantic attraction only under specific conditions.

Being Non-Binary

Nonbinary gender identity is just one term used to describe individuals who may experience a gender identity that is neither exclusively woman or man or is in between or beyond both genders.1 Nonbinary individuals may identify as genderfluid, agender (without gender), genderqueer, or something else entirely.

Being Intersex

It refers to the term for a combination of chromosomes, gonads,hormones, internal sex organs, and genitals that difers from the two expected patterns of male or female. Formerly known as hermaphrodite (or hermaphroditic), but these terms are now outdated and derogatory.