Our global experience and understanding of sexuality – in an amazing kaleidoscope of diversity – has been transformed in the past century.

What was once condemned, feared, misunderstood, hidden, or denied is now . . .

. . . openly and passionately a part of our social and political discussion. Who would have imagined 50 years ago that sexuality would be such an important part of the political symphony now playing out?

As a CST (Certified Sex Therapist), not much surprises me, expect how little people really know about sex and sexuality.  Though the Sexual Revolution was unleashed in the 60’s, there is still of lot of misinformation.  Fear, shame and guilt can run deep.

I am constantly learning.

Today I offer you a very brief Sextionary so that you can be more Sex Smart.  These definitions are VERY simplified and only begin to provide a reference point from which you can better understand sexuality.

I will also offer you several links below from which this information has been gathered so that you have an opportunity to gain greater understanding, if you so choose.

Ally: Person who does not personally identify with the LBGTQ sexual orientation(s) but supports the rights of the LGBTQ community

Agender: (Genderless, gender-free, non-gendered, or ungendered) Identifies as having no gender or gender identity

Asexual : One who does not experience sexual attraction

Bigender: Moves between feminine and masculine gender identities and behaviors, depending on context

Butch:  Lesbian with masculine traits

Femme: Lesbian with feminine traits

Gender: One’s socially constructed identity as man or woman

Gender Variant: (Gender nonconformity)  Behavior or gender expression that does not match masculine and feminine gender norms

Intersex:  Variation in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, or genitals that prohibit an individual to be exclusively male or female

LGBTQ: Acronym originating in the 1990’s representing “the gay community”, specifically lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning individuals/identities

Lesbian: Identifies as a woman, predominantly sexually and romantically attracted to women

Gay: Identifies as a man, predominantly sexually and romantically attracted to men.

Bisexual: Sexually and romantically attracted to men and women

Transgender: Identifies as the opposite sex from the sexual genitalia with which s/he was born

Queer: Individual not identifying exclusively as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, yet experiences sexuality “outside of the dominant narrative”.

Questioning: One who is not yet clear about personal sexual orientation and/or gender identify yet not labeled

Pangender: Identifies as all genders

Pansexual (Omnisexual): Considered to be gender-blind

Sex: Act of intercourse or identification as male or female

Sexual Orientation: Preference of an individual’s desire for intimate, emotional, and/or sexual relationships as same gender/sex, another gender/sex, or multiple genders/sexes.

Sexuality: Exploration of sexual acts, orientation, pleasure, and desire

Transsexual: Emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite sex

Transvestite: Male who derives pleasure from dressing in women’s clothing

Two-Spirited: Gender/variant individuals seen as having both male and female spirits inside

What does the ‘Q’ in LGBTQ stand for?

Q represents both ‘queer’ and ‘questioning’.

Queer. For decades ‘queer’ was used to degrade gays.  Today it is now claimed as a honor, particularly by younger members of the gay community.  Though ‘queer’ is now used in a positive way within the LGBTQ community, caution is to be used because of the negative historical meanings (much as ‘nigger’ is used either positively or negatively today, depending on the context).

Questioning. When a person is in the process of identifying and understanding their gender and sexual identity and orientation, they are called ‘questioning’.  This designation gives them a supportive and safe place, within the community, for this exploration.

Respectfully use the same term to identify someone that they would use to identify themselves.


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