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LGBTQIAP2+ Definitions every Ally should know.

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The terms and definitions below are always evolving and changing and often mean different things to different people. 

Sexual orientation: How to describe a person’s enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction to other people. Don’t say “sexual preference,” which implies it’s a choice and easily changed.

Lesbian: A woman who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to other women. Lesbians can be Non-Binary, Trans, or other gender identities

Gay: A sexual orientation that describes a person who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to people of the same sex; commonly used to describe men.

Bisexual: A person who is emotionally or sexually attracted to more than one gender.

Transgender: A person whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. 

Queer: Originally used as a pejorative slur, queer has now become an umbrella term to describe the myriad ways people reject binary categories of gender and sexual orientation to express who they are.

Intersex: A general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with anatomy (internal and/or external, including chromosomal patterns) that doesn’t fit the “typical” definitions of female or male.

Asexual (“Ace”): A person who doesn’t fit traditional standards and expectations around sexual desire. Many people in the LGBTQIAP2’s+ community think of sexuality as a spectrum. A broad spectrum of sexual orientations generally characterized by feeling varying degrees of sexual attraction or a desire for partnered sexuality. Asexuality is distinct from celibacy, which is the deliberate abstention from sexual activity, despite sexual desire. There are many diverse ways of being asexual.

Pansexual: A person who can be attracted to anyone, regardless of their gender identity.  referred to “Omnisexual” sometimes. 

Two-spirit: A person who is Indigenous and traditionally identifies as having both masculine and feminine spirit. The definition can differ by tribe.

Avoid the assumption that all LGBTQIAP2+ people have similar Lifestyles or Experiences. Educate yourself by Respectfully Asking Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity questions. 

How do you identify yourself and why?

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