07 Feb What are the differences between L-G-B-T-Q?
LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,Transgender and Queer &/or Questioning. These names/labels refer to:
- A person’s sexual orientation – which gender a person is attracted to.
- A person’s own sense of gender identity – which gender a person believes him/herself to be. (To read about gender identity specifically, click here.)
Let’s look at each term and a few others:
Heterosexual (Straight): A person who is sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex: if you are male, you are attracted to females. If you are female you are attracted to males. The majority of people identify with being heterosexual, however, a majority does not mean this is the “right” way to be. For example, the majority of people are right handed. Being left handed or ambidextrous is fine too!
Homosexual: A person who is sexually attracted to the same sex: if you are male, you are attracted to males. If you are female, you are attracted to females. Estimates range that from 2-20% of people are homosexual. The statistics are hard to gather, in part, because homosexuality is not accepted by many cultures and religions and thus, many people are reluctant to report being homosexual.
Lesbian: A lesbian is a female who is sexually attracted to other females. In other words, a lesbian is a homosexual female.
Gay: This term is a short hand expression for being homosexual. It can refer to either males or females who are homosexual. In the LGBTQ expression, it represents homosexual males, but gay can refer to female homosexuals as well.
Bisexual (Bi): A bisexual person is attracted to both males and females.
Transgender: A transgendered person has been born as one gender, but identifies his/her self with being the opposite gender. A transgendered person often feels a conflict between their internal sense of gender and their biological sex at birth. This feeling usually presents itself early in life during childhood and adolescent years. it is estimated that .3 percent of the population is transgender (Source: The Week, Oct. 4, 2013) To read more about gender identity, click here.
The “Q” in “LGBTQ” can stand for either “queer” or “questioning.”
Queer: People who identify themselves as queer feel that the traditional gender and sexual identity roles are oppressive and thus, they prefers to use queer as an “umbrella” term that identifies them as someone other than heterosexual.
Questioning: People who identify themselves as “questioning” are still trying to figure out their sexual orientation and/or their gender identity. Many young teens may feel this way as their sexual identities are just beginning to emerge and are not fully known.
With which sexual orientation do you most strongly identify? Have you always felt this way?