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Definitions

LESBIAN: Any self-identified woman who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to women and calls herself a lesbian is one.

GAY: Any self-identified man who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to men and calls himself a gay man is one. Some women also identify as gay, preferring the term to lesbian.

BISEXUAL or BI:
Anyone who is attracted to men and women and identifies as such is bisexual or bi.

TRANSGENDER: Anyone whose gender identity (inner sense of being a woman, man, or another gender), gender expression (outward display of one’s gender identity) or behavior is different from what is traditionally associated with their biological sex and who identifies as transgender. This umbrella term may include people who have altered or wish to alter their bodies and/or self-presentation to match their gender (who may also called transsexuals), and people who do not wish to change their bodies but who nonetheless transgress gender boundaries in some way (for example: people with androgynous gender presentation, cross-dressers, etc.) Remember: A person who identifies as transgender can be of any sexual orientation.

QUEER: A reclaimed term, more individuals than ever are identifying their sexual or gender identities as queer, embracing the fluidity of the term, and the culture and history of academics, arts, and politics that fall into this non-conforming category.

QUESTIONING: Questioning is very common when it comes to issues as complex as sexuality and gender. It is okay not to know what you think or where you fit. Just remember: you are not alone and there are many resources to help you.

INTERSEX: Anyone born with sexual traits (chromosomes, anatomy, or hormones) not considered “standard” for either males or females is intersex. Intersex people can be of any sexual orientation and gender identity.

ASEXUAL: Anyone without sexual feelings or a sexual orientation. Many asexual individuals have deep and meaningful relationships with others exclusive of sexual intimacy.

ALLY: Anyone who does not identify as a member of a particular marginalized group but advocates for equality, integration, and understanding of that group is an ally. The LGBTQI community embraces straight and cisgender allies and appreciates their help in reducing homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, and genderism.


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