Glossary of Sexual Orientation/Gender Terminology

Sexual orientation and gender are immensely complex, and the various terminologies related to them can be very confusing. Below is a list of definitions to help provide a clear understanding of various terms surrounding sexual orientation and gender.  DISCLAIMER: Some of the following terms are derogatory, offensive, and outdated, and should not be used as…

Bisexuality

What is Bisexuality? Historically bisexuality has been defined as a category of sexual orientation distinct from homosexuality and heterosexuality, due to the experience of romantic and sexual attraction to both males and females. However, because of a growing awareness of the binary (the idea that there are only two genders) this definition is increasingly criticized…

Pansexuality

What is Pansexuality? Pansexuality is a sexual orientation describing a person who is attracted to all types of people, regardless of their sex or gender.1 The term “pansexuality,” sometimes referred to as omnisexuality, has its roots in the Greek prefix pan-, meaning “all” or “every” coming together as one.2 When combined with the suffix, –sexual, describing one’s…

Overview of Sexual Orientations

Sexual orientation is a term that describes a person’s sexual, emotional, or romantic attraction, as well as the gender(s) of the people they are attracted to.1, 2 Sexual orientation differs from gender identity in that gender identity describes a person’s psychological identification with a particular gender, rather than their attraction to people.  The Kinsey Scale—developed…

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Sex, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity are commonly confused terms often used inconsistently and interchangeably. However, there are important distinctions between these ideas that involve both biological and social factors. The complex interaction between them influence a person’s identity, sexual attraction, emotional attraction, and gender expression as the iconic image of the “Genderbread Person”…

The Kinsey Scale

Contrary to popular belief, sexuality is not binary. Sexual orientation is not limited to the two categories of heterosexual and homosexual. Rather, there is a whole spectrum of sexuality and people may fall in between certain categories or change their minds over time. Biologist and sexologist Alfred C. Kinsey captures this idea with his seven-point…

Homosexuality and Religion

Disclaimer: In this article, for the sake of simplicity and consistency, we will be using the term “homosexual” as a blanket term to represent all queer, bisexual, pansexual, questioning, and other non-heterosexual orientations. If you would like to learn more, you can read our Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity article. If you need resources or…

Coming Out

Disclaimer: In this article, for the sake of simplicity and consistency, we will be using the term “LGBTIA+” as an umbrella term to represent all gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, questioning, and other non-heterosexual orientations. If you would like to learn more, you can read our Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity article. If you need resources…

Homophobia

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, homophobia is the irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.1 However, people commonly describe homophobia as less of a fear and more of a prejudice and an intolerance toward those within the LGBTQ community.2 Whether it is believed to be an inherent and inborn quality or…