What Does It Stand For?
LGBTIQA+ Stands For:
- L is for lesbian
- G is for gay
- B is for bisexual
- T is for trans
- I is for intersex
- Q is for queer
- A is for asexual, agender, aromantic
- + is for other diverse sexual orientations and gender identities
The LGBTIQA+ Spectrum Is Made Up Of:
- Sexual/Romantic orientations
- Gender identities
- Intersex conditions
1. Sexual Orientation
This is romantic and sexual attraction to people of the different genders, of the same gender, or to more. These include:
- Asexual orientation: no attraction to any gender
- Bisexual orientation: attraction to the same gender and different genders
- Heterosexual orientation (straight people): attraction to a different gender
- Homosexual orientation (gays and lesbians): attraction to the same gender
- Pansexual orientation: attraction to people regardless of gender
- Polysexual orientation: attraction to multiple - but not all - genders
People whose sexual orientation does not perfectly fit into straight, gay/lesbian or bi sometimes consider themselves queer.
Many asexual people consider asexuality as the fourth sexual orientation – attraction to no genders. However, asexual people are not a homogeneous group and there is much diversity among asexual people themselves. Some asexual people do not have any romantic and sexual attraction at all while some of them have only romantic relationships without sex. In this case, they may be romantically attracted to a different gender, the same gender, two genders, and so on. So, in the case of asexual people, there is a difference between their sexual orientation and their romantic orientation.
- Aromantic: lack of romantic attraction towards anyone
- Biromantic: romantic attraction towards the same gender and different genders
- Heteroromantic: romantic attraction towards person(s) of a different gender
- Homoromantic: romantic attraction towards person(s) of the same gender
- Panromantic: romantic attraction towards someone regardless of gender
- Polyromantic: romantic attraction towards multiple - but not all - genders
There are also other romantic orientations.
Besides asexual people (those who do not experience sexual attraction) and sexual people (who do experience sexual attraction), there are also demisexual and some other people who are between them (they may act either way at different times or situations or have a lower need for sex than sexual people).
2. Gender Identity
Gender is how a person feels about themselves: whether they are a man, a woman, both, or neither. Whereas, our sex is assigned at birth based on whether we have genitals which are typically male or typically female. Gender identity may or may not match a person’s biological sex. Thus, there are two main groups of people depending on their gender identities:
- Cisgender people: those whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth
- Trans people: those whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth
Many trans people identify themselves as either male or female (binary trans people). However, there are also non-binary and genderqueer people who identify themselves as both men and women (bigender), as no gender (agender) or as another gender entirely.
Trans people, as well as cisgender people, may have any sexual orientation.
3. Intersex Conditions
Some people have physical characteristics (primarily and/or secondary) of both sexes. These conditions may include; chromosome disorders, atypical genitalia or reproductive organs, overproduction or underproduction of sex-related hormones. There are around 100 different intersex conditions.
Intersex people, as well as non-intersex people, may have any sexual orientation and gender identity. In many cases, they consider themselves either men or women, though some of them consider themselves both or neither. Thus, a person may be intersex and consider themselves transgender or genderqueer at the same time.
Many intersex people undergo sex assignment surgery and/or hormone therapy in childhood in order to make them as close as possible to either men or women. However, in many cases, intersex people’s gender identity does not match the sex they were made into. So, they often transition to another gender, and so may also identify as trans.