A to Z of LGBTQ+

Hello, dear reader, and here is a brief list of terms used within queer spaces. Please keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive and exists solely as a resource for readers of this blog who may come across a term they are unfamiliar with. Corrections and updates may be changed as needed. The list is alphabetical for searching at a glance, but [control + f] may be helpful if you are looking for a specific term. 

A

Agender: Used to describe someone who does not identify with any gender.

Ally: Used to describe someone who is not LGBT+ but supports the community; can also refer to a member of the community who is not “out” to others.

Ace/Asexual: Used to describe someone who does not experience sexual attraction.

Aromantic: Used to describe someone who does not experience romantic attraction.

B

Biphobia: Present both in and outside the LGBT+ community; perpetuates the idea that bisexual people are lying about their sexual identity and must either be “gay” or “straight.”

Bicurious/Questioning: Used to describe someone who is questioning their orientation and exploring their sexuality. In some situations “bicurious” has a negative connotation due to its sometimes questionable use in media and implication that bisexuality is a phase or “stepping stone” to another sexual identity. 

Bisexual: Used to describe someone who is attracted to two or more genders. Definitions may change for those who identify as Bisexual, such as “attraction to the same gender and to another gender” etc.

C

Cis/Cisgender: Used to describe someone who is not trans; identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth.

Coming Out/Leaving the Closet: When someone who is LGBT+ expresses their orientation or identity to another person or group of people who were not previously aware. Often referred to as “Coming out of the closet,” in which the closet represents the person’s perceived gender or sexuality.

D

E

F

G

Gay: Used to describe someone, typically male, who is exclusively attracted to their own gender; may also be used as an umbrella term for the queer/LGBT+ community as a whole.

Gender Binary: Concept that there are only two “true” genders: male and female. Generally considered negative as it is invalidates non-binary genders or those who do not align with either male nor female. 

Gender Identity: How one interprets their own gender regardless of it aligns with how others perceive them; unrelated to outward appearance or physical attributes.

Genderqueer: An umbrella term used to describe someone who does not conform to the traditional gender binary and may identify as having none or all genders, or a different gender entirely.

GNC/Gender Non-conforming: Applies to an individual who expresses their gender in contrast to traditional traits expected from their assigned gender. Not to be confused with genderqueer, this term can apply to cis individuals. 

H

Heteronormativity: The idea that heterosexual is the “default setting” for people and any other sexuality is deviant from the norm.

Heterosexual/Straight: Used to describe someone who is exclusively attracted to the gender opposite them on the binary; i.e. a heterosexual woman is attracted to men.

Homophobia: Discrimination and violence against someone because they are attracted to the same gender.

Homosexual: Used to describe someone who is exclusively attracted to their own gender.

I

J

K

L

Lesbian: Used to describe a woman who is exclusively attracted to other women.

LGBT+/LGBTQA: Acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender but often used as an umbrella term for those either not straight or not cisgender. Longer acronym includes Queer/Questioning and Asexual/Ally

M

Misgendering: Using pronouns other than a person’s preferred pronouns; may be intentional or unintentional but still a form of transphobia, and therefor disrespectful and not tolerated within this blogspace.

MLM: Acronym for Men Loving Men or Man Loving Men; refers to community of gay, bisexual, or pansexual men who are romantically or sexually attracted to other men; may be used as a personal identifier: i.e. John is a man who loves other men so he identifies a mlm.

N

Nonbinary: Used to describe someone who does not identify as either male or female; may use they/them/their pronouns, but not always– ask first.

O

P

Pansexual: Used to describe someone who is attracted to all genders.

Polysexual: Used to describe someone who is attracted to multiple genders.

Pronouns/Preferred Pronouns: Used to refer to someone when not using their name; examples include but are not limited to she/her, he/him, and they/them; should not be assumed, ask if unsure.

Q

Queer: An umbrella term for the LGBT+ community; considered an offensive slur by some members of the community, and should be used with caution; may also be a personal identifier: i.e. John does not want to label himself as gay or bi, he prefers the term queer.

R

S

T

Trans/Transgender: Used to describe someone who identifies with a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth.

Transphobia: Discrimination and violence against someone because they identify as a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth.

U

V

W

WLW: Acronym for Women Loving Women or Woman Loving Women; refers to community of gay, bisexual, or pansexual women who are romantically or sexually attracted to other men; may be used as a personal identifier: i.e. Sarah is a woman who loves other women so she identifies a wlw.

X

Y

Z

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Author: Nyla Linn

Queer reader, editor, and blogger with a passion for good representation. Follow my blog for book recommendations, thoughtful discussions on how LGBTQ+ individuals are treated in the media, and reviews on your favorite novels. My door is always open for my dear readers.

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