What is LGBTQ?
LGBTQ is an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning. It can also be seen as LGBT and LGBTQ+. The LGBTQ community is an umbrella term for anyone who does not identify as cisgender or heterosexual. In essence, it is a term used to describe anyone who does not identify as 'straight', or anyone whose gender identity does not align with their sex assigned at birth.
Sexuality is a person's inherent and enduring emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attraction to another person. A person's sexuality is based on the gender and/or gender identity they are emotionally, romantically, and/or sexually attracted to. Sexuality exists on a spectrum, with each individual falling somewhere on that spectrum.
Sexual orientation and sexuality are interchangeable. Identity labels refer to the labels used to describe a person's sexuality. Commonly used ones are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Straight, or Asexual. Click here to learn more.
Gender is the characteristics, feelings, and attitudes that society associates with perceived biological sex. This includes social and societal norms, roles, and characteristics assigned to a person's biological sex. Gender at its core is a social construct and social identity. Biological sex is often assigned at birth by a medical professional assigns to a person when they are born based on their external anatomy. Biological sex exists as male, female, and intersex. Gender and biological sex are not the same things, although they are often referred to as such.
Gender Identity refers to a person's internal understanding of their own gender. Gender and conflict in a person's gender identity play a strong role in transgender, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals. Click here to learn more.