Take Pride: A guide to LGBT+ terms


So many people look at me with confusion on their faces when this is mentioned. I think the world has just about grasped the LGBT element but the other letters are a mystery.

As a member of this wonderfully diverse world, even I get confused when a new letter pops up. We are at LGBTQQIAAP at the moment but let’s not run before we can walk.

I recently went on Stonewall Role Model training through work and it all became clear so I thought I’d share it with you. Personally I’m not massively precious about labels it’s all about context for me but the world is changing my friend. We all have a duty to have at least a rudimentary understanding of it and to respect other people’s place in this world. So read on for my decoded LGBT terms, courtesy of Stonewall.

Let’s start with the easy bit:

L – Lesbian

G – Gay

B – Bisexual

T – Trans

You still with me? Good.

Q – Queer –a person who doesn’t necessarily want to use the labels above and is an umbrella term.

Q – Questioning – a person who is still exploring and getting to know themselves

I – Intersex – does not define as male or female

A – Asexual – someone who isn’t sexually attracted to any gender

A – Allies – a straight person who supports the LGBT+ community

P – Pansexual – someone who is attracted to a person because of their personality, not by what is between their legs.

So you kept up with that? Obviously it is possible to be more than one of these and there are variations on the theme LGBT+, LGBTQI+ etc.

I thought it might also be useful to throw in a few Stonewall defined accepted terms.

  • Gay is an adjective not a noun – I’m gay not a gay.
  • But Lesbian can be either – she can be lesbian or a lesbian
  • We have a sexual orientation not a preference or a lifestyle (contrary to the UK press opinion). Preference or lifestyle suggests we have a choice in it. Newsflash – we don’t.
  • A T is a transgender person not a transvestite (sorry Rocky Horror) and not tranny.
  • If they are having surgery it is transitioning not a sex change and no pre/post op.
  • Cis – when you are born with the same gender as your birth sex.
  • Deadnaming – refusing to acknowledge a new name, this is especially hurtful to the trans community. Think when Les Battersby used to call Hayley, Harold in Coronation St.

So there you have it. It’s not exhaustive by any means but I hope this has thrown some light on where the LGBT+ community is going.

If I have missed anything out (and I’m sure I have), by all means let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

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