In honor of marriage equality, I’m going to explain a few more terms, common and uncommon, in the LGBT community.
You can find part one, which discusses the terms heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender, pansexuality, intersex, asexuality, and questioning, here.
I bet you’re surprised that there are more than eight orientations. I bet you though that LGBTQIAP was the extended initialism. Actually, that’s the shortened extended inititalism. The common extended initialism is LGBTQQIAAP.
That’s enough of that. So what’s that extra Q, and A?
The other Q stands for queer. It’s commonly used as an insult, but the gays are taking it back! It’s okay to say queer now, as long as you know the rule. As an adjective, it’s okay, as a noun, it’s not. I know that’s confusing, here is an example.
“He is queer.”
“He is a queer.”
The first one is okay, the second is an insult; don’t say it.
And the other A? That stands for Ally, a straight person who is supportive of the LGBT community, and LGBT rights. In any movement, it’s always important to have allies. The LGBT community cares a lot about their allies.
Now, that’s not all of the identities either. There are tons more.
The biggest umbrella I want to talk about in this post is the asexual umbrella. So let’s start there.
We know that asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to any gender. So we have people who experience sexual attraction, and people who don’t. But what about the people in between? Here are some identities that fall under the asexuality umbrella.
- Gray Asexual, or Gray A – This is used to describe someone who falls somewhere in the middle. People who use this term include people who:
- some times, but not always, or rarely experience sexual attraction
- experience sexual attraction, but have a low sex drive
- experience sexual attraction and drive, but not enough to act on it
- enjoy and desire sex, but only in limited circumstances
- Demisexual – This is used to describe someone who experiences sexual attraction only after they have formed a strong emotional connection with someone.
The next few terms are most commonly used in the asexual community, but can be applied to everyone.
- Romantic Attraction – An emotional response. This is the desire for romantic closeness with another person. Often romantic and sexual orientations line up, so if a person says they are heterosexual, they are probably also heteroromantic. Sometimes, they don’t line up. Here are some common romantic orientations¹.
- Heteroromantic – Romantic attraction to the opposite gender
- Homoromantic – Romantic attraction to the same gender
- Biromantic – Romantic attraction to both genders
- Panromantic – Romantic attraction to all genders
- Aromantic – Romantic attraction to no gender
- Demiromantic – Romantic attraction is only experienced after a close emotional bond
Let’s move on to some more orientations. I’m just going to list them.
- Androsexual/Androromantic – Attraction to masculinity
- Gynesexual/Gyneromantic – Attraction to femininity
- Skoliosexual/Skolioromantic – Attraction to genderqueer²/trans* people
- Novosexual/Novoromantic – Used by genderfluid³ people; attraction changes based on the gender currently being experienced. Ex: when the person identifies as male, they are attracted to women, when the person identifies as female, they are attracted to men.
- Polysexual/Polyromantic – attraction to more than two different genders, but not all genders.
- Sapiosexual/Sapioromantic – Attraction to intelligence
- Fraysexual/Frayromantic – Attraction is experienced, but fades after a bond is formed
There are, of course, many more. I can’t get into all of them now, maybe there will be more of these in the future! I hope this post helped you understand a little bit more about the LGBT community!
¹ Romantic and sexual orientations have reciprocals of each other. Anything that is a sexual orientation, can also be a romantic orientation.
² Genderqueer refers to anyone who does not identify on the gender binary (male and female), or whose gender changes. Maybe I will have a future post about gender identities.
³More specific gender identity referring to someone whose gender changes randomly or based on where they are or who they are with.
Part of the Daily Blogging Challenge July 2015