SPECTRUM

A movellian's guide to sexuality and gender identity. Like a handbook, only cooler.

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2. Definitions

Here's my hastily complied list of useful words and defintions more people should know. If I've forgotten anything important that you think people should know or have got the details or defintions of a word wrong, please tell me as soon as possible in the comments so I can add it in/change the defintion. I hope this list is helpful, and I apologise in advance for the probably-quite-annoying centre formatting, or any mistakes I've made.

- Myrah

NOTE: the defintions are all in alphabetical order, by the way.

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Advocate

A really awesome person.

Someone who actively works to end intolerance, educate others and support social equality for a group.

 

 

Agender

Also known as genderless, or gender neutral.

If a person is agender, they don't identitfy with any sort of gender.

 

 

Ally

This is not the 'A' in LGBTQIA*. That 'A' is for asexual.

A heterosexual person who supports queer people and their rights.

 

 

Androgyne/Androgynous

Sometimes known as gender benders.

Being androgynous can refer to having both 'masculine' and 'feminine' qualities. They do not identify themselves as male or female.

 

 

Aromantic

Not the same thing as asexual.

Lack of romantic attraction towards any gender.

 

 

Asexual

Asexuals can still be attracted to people romantically,

But they aren't attracted to people sexually.

 

 

Bicurious

This was surprisingly hard to define. Sorry for my overuse of commas!

Someone who suspects they might be bisexual, as although they have previously considered themselves 'straight', they find themselves attracted to members of the same sex. However, they probably have not got round to confronting themselves about this, or the attraction is not a raging priority.

 

 

Bigender

THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS BISEXUAL, OKAY?

Someone who identifies as both a man and a woman - but not necessarily a 50/50 combination of both. Bigender people could differ between presenting themselves as male, female, or gender-neutral as they want.

 

 

Binary Genders

coughcough OUTDATED coughcough

A traditional view of gender identity, limiting the possibilities to 'man' or 'woman'.

 

 

Biromantic

The same thing as polyromantic.

Someone with romantic attraction towards people of either sex.

 

 

Bisexual

Not the same thing as bi-gender.

A bisexual is sexually attracted to two or more genders, but not necessarily 50/50 either way.

 

 

Bi-trendy

It's just an attention show.

A person who pretends to be attracted to the same sex (usually by making out with them) in order to gain the attention of someone of the opposite sex.

 

 

Cis

Pronounced 'sis'.

Anyone 'cis' is someone who is not transexual/transgender or does not have a gender identity different to their biological sex.

 

 

Closeted

Someone yet to 'come out of the closet'.

A person who is keeping their sexuality or gender identity a secret.

 

 

Coming Out

Coming out of the closet.

When someone reveals their sexuality and gender identity. Often thought to be a one time event, but because we live in a heteronormative society this is a lifelong process.

 

Demi-Sexual

In between asexuality and being sexually attracted to others.

*DEFINITION BY @SleepIsForTheWeak*

Demisexuals are characterised by a lack of sexual attraction towards any person unless they become deeply emotionally or romantically attractedto a specific person or persons. The level of connection it takes for a sexual desire to form is dependant on how close the relationship is, rather than initial attraction.

 

 

Drag King

Not the same thing as a Drag Queen!

Someone presenting an exaggerated form of masculine expression, often a woman. Usually performed in a theatre, for entertainment.

 

 

Drag Queen

Not the same thing as a transvestite!

Someone presenting an exaggerated form of feminine expression, often a man. Usually performed in a theatre, for entertainment.

 

 

Dyke

NEVER USE THIS WORD.

A derogatary slang term used for lesbian women. It's been reclaimed by many lesbians as a symbol of pride, but unless you're a lesbian yourself I really wouldn't advise calling someone a dyke.

 

 

Faggot

DON'T USE THIS WORD EITHER.

Look, your friends may think it's 'hard' to call someone a faggot, but it actually just makes you seem like a fat headed bigot. It's a derogatory slang term for a gay man, and unless you're gay yourself and have reclaimed it as a symbol of pride, don't go around calling people faggots.

 

 

Gay

Originally meaning happy.

Generally meaning a man who is attracted to other men. Some lesbians prefer this term to 'lesbian', and sometimes it is used to group the entire LGBT* community. It's also sometimes used as an insult, but the people who use it this way are ignorant bigots.

 

 

Gender Fluid

I can't think of a caption for this section. Just pretend I said something cool.

Gender fluid may have fluctuating understandings of their gender, moving between categories as feels right. Their identity is not confined to just one gender category.

 

 

Gender (Identity)

It's not who you were born, but who you are inside.

Gender identity is your own personal sense of who you are. It refers to qualities that are 'masculine', 'feminine', neither, or both. Gender identity can be a sensitive issue, and it's better to let other people tell you about their gender (if they want to), instead of make assumptions. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same thing. It is generally assumed in society that it is only possible to be one of two binary genders - male, or female. However, this is not the case.

 

 

Gender Nonconforming

Also known as gender diverse or gender variant.

Someone who looks and/or behaves in a way that doesn't conform to society's expectations of how a person of that sex should look/ behave. No, this is not the same as sexual orientation.

 

 

Gender Questioning

Am I insulting your intelligence explaining this? It's kind of obvious...

Someone questioning their gender identity.

 

 

Gender-Queer

May identify as multiple genders, a combination of genders, or between genders.

Someone who identifies outside of the Man/Woman gender system.

 

 

Grey-Aromantic

Added in thanks to @Wingardium Levi-Assbutt

Someone with a limited amount of romantic attraction for any sex or gender.

 

 

Grey-Asexual

Added in thanks to @Wingardium Levi-Assbutt

Someone with a limited amount of sexual attraction for any sex or gender.

 

 

Gynesexual

I can't think of good captions...

Someone attracted to females and/or femininity.

 

 

Homophobia

The fear of gay or other queer people. Often caused by the homophobe beginning to question their own sexuality.

 

 

Heteroromantic

The opposite of homoromantic.

Exclusive romantic attraction towards people of the opposite sex.

 

 

Heterosexual

More commonly known as 'straight'.

A person who is sexually attracted exclusively to people of the opposite sex.

 

 

Homoromantic

The opposite of heteroromantic.

Exclusive romantic attraction towards people of the same sex.

 

 

Homosexual

More commonly known as 'gay'.

A person sexually attracted exclusively to people of the same sex.

 

 

Intergender

Not the same as intersex, whatever your teachers told you.

A gender identity placed anywhere between 'male' and 'female'.

 

 

Intersex

This becomes apparent at either birth or puberty.

Refers to someone whose chromosomes, hormones, and anatomy don't match up to what is expected of either male typical or female typical bodies.

 

 

Lesbian

Some times 'lesbian' is substituted for 'gay'.

A female who is attracted to other females. The word lesbian origins stem from Sappho, a Greek poet who spent most of her life on the Isle of Lesbos writing about how hot she thought girls were.

 

 

LGBTTQQIIP2SAA*

Almost always shortened to LGBT*, or sometimes LGBTQIA*.

A combination of letters attempting to represent every single identity in the queer community. It stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Intergender, Spirit, Asexual, Ally.

 

 

Monoromantic

Very similar to monosexual, so don't get confused!

Someone who is romantically attracted to just one sex.

 

 

Monosexual

"One love! One heart! Let's get together and feel alright!"

Someone who is sexually attracted to just one sex.

 

 

Outing (someone else)

uh oh...

When someone reveals another's sexuality or gender identity, usually without the other person's approval or permission.

 

 

Pangender

Not to be confused with Pansexual.

Someone who identifies as many/all genders, either as a combination or fluidity.

 

 

Panromantic

Not to be confused with anything else it might somehow be confused with.

Romantic attraction towards anyone, regardless of biological sex/gender.

 

 

Pansexual

Also known as omnisexual.

Pansexual people are attracted to all genders.

 

 

Polyamouous

*Suggested by @OutOfPlaceAndUnderDressed*

Someone who has more than one sexual/romantic relationship at the same time and are open about it.

 

 

Polyromantic

This has nothing to do with maths, I promise.

Romantic attraction towards people of more than one gender or biological sex, but without implying (as biromantic does) that there are only two genders or sexes.

 

 

Polysexual

'Poly' means many.

Someone who is sexually attracted to more than one gender but does not wish to identify as bisexual, because that would be like impying there are only two binary genders.

 

 

Queer

An umbrella term for the LGBT* community.

Historically a derogatory slang term for the LGBT* community, it was reclaimed to represent all people who fall outside the 'normal' sexuality or gender identities.

 

 

Questioning

It's fun to say the word 'questioning' to the tune of the word tragedy in the song 'Tragedy' by the Beegees. :)

Someone who is in the process of questioning their sexual orientation or gender.

 

Sapiosexual

*Suggested by @Rhapsody*

A person who is sexually attracted to intelligence in others.

 

Sex

ERMAGERD! Mirlotta just said sex! How totally hilarious! LOOOL!

Sex refers to a person's biological status. Typically, a person's sex is catagorised as male, female, or intersex, though there are several exceptions to this. The indicators of biological sex include sex chromosomes, internal reproductive organs, and external genitalia.

 

 

Sexuality

Who are they attracted to?

A person's biological sex in relation to which gender or person they are attracted to.

 

 

Third Gender

Often used interchangeably with two-spirit.

If someone is third gender they are considered neither male nor female. (Whether by their own will, or by general social agreement.) It's a gender category in societies that recognise three or more genders.

 

 

Transgender

Not to be confused with transexual!

Someone who does not conform to society's standards of what makes a male male and a female female. A transgender male may choose to act, dress, and look like a female, for example.

 

 

Transfeminine

Not to be confused with transmasculine!

Someone assigned a male sex at birth and who identifies as feminine, but not completely as a woman.

 

 

Transmasculine

Not to be confused with transfeminine!

Someone assigned a female sex at birth and who identifies as masculine, but not completely as a man.

 

 

Transromantic

I'm really bad at thinking of captions. Help?

Romantic attraction towards people of variant or ambiguous gender.

 

 

Transexual

Not to be confused with transgender!

Transexuals are the same as a transgender person, except they have transitioned from one sex to another. A person born as a male can become recognizably female through surgery and/or hormones.

 

 

Transvestite

Often called a cross-dresser.

A person who dresses as the opposite binary gender as a lifestyle choice, instead of for business or entertainment as a drag queen/king does. Similarly, while a drag king/queen performs publicly, the majority of transvestites do not appear publically in opposite binary gender clothing. It is not generally okay to call someone a transvestite unless as a reclaimed way of pride, as it it still commonly used as a slur, as is 'trannie'. You should not use this word either.

 

 

Two-Spirit

*insert awesome caption here*

The term 'two-spirit' probably originated with the North American Zuni tribe. Native Americans with both masculine and feminine characteristics and gender identities have distinct roles in tribal life. A two-spirit person is viewed as third gender.

 

 

 

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Hopefully you found that at least a little bit useful. Suggest ideas for upcoming chapters in the comments!

 

 

 

 

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