Many people and organizations use “LGBTQ+” as an inclusive acronym representing the diverse range of sexual orientations and gender identities. The descriptors these initials represent are always evolving, but some of the most common terms are listed here.
Lesbian: A woman who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to other women. Women and non-binary people may use this term to describe themselves.
Gay: A person who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to members of the same gender. Men, women and non-binary people may use this term to describe themselves.
Bisexual: A person emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to more than one sex, gender or gender identity though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree. Sometimes used interchangeably with pansexual.
Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.
Queer: A term people often use to express a spectrum of identities and orientations that are counter to the mainstream. Queer is often used as a catch-all to include many people, including those who do not identify as exclusively straight and/or folks who have non-binary or genderexpansive identities. This term was previously used as a slur, but has been reclaimed by many parts of the LGBTQ movement.
Questioning: A term used to describe people who are in the process of exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Note - Definitions on this page were taken from: The Human Rights Coalition Glossary. It is important to note: 1) Terms and definitions can change, thus expanding the glossary; 2) Not all LGBT individuals within the community agree will agree with these terms and definitions; 3) The glossary may be missing some terms and definitions.