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Though I’m a very out and proud queer woman now, my journey through the boundaries and discovery of my own gender and sexuality wasn’t always easy. Even after finally growing secure with my identity, I still come across new definitions and theories, and keeping track of the somewhat evolving “alphabet soup” of sexuality can be arduous. Mmm, soup. Is it lunch yet? Okay, my stomach says we’re starting here:
LGBTQIA: Known as “The Alphabet Soup” — Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual/Trans*, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual or Ally. I’ll define these to my best ability in just a minute.
Gender versus Sex: Your sex (genitals) does not necessarily determine your gender identity. Gender identity is how people interpret themselves. Gender expression refers to the way one outwardly presents themselves, be it masculine, feminine, or otherwise.
D.C.'s Transgender and Gender Identity Respect Campaign is the first US governmentally-funded ad campaign to address trans/genderqueer discrimination.
Transgender verus Transsexual versus Transvestite: A transgender person has a gender identity that differs from their gender assigned at birth. A transsexual person has a gender identity that differs from their sex assigned at birth. Some people may interpret transsexual to mean a person who has undergone gender reassignment surgery. A person does not need to have surgery to identify as trans. In fact, some people prefer just top, bottom, or no surgery at all. It’s pretty offensive to ask someone what genitals they have and if they plan for surgery. The words “transvestite” and “tranny” are also pretty offensive, so you should probably refrain from using them. Ever.
Ally: Someone who does not identify as LGBTQI but is an advocate for gender and sexual equality.
Androgyny: When a person’s gender expression does not strictly abide by traditional “masculine” and “feminine” expressions, and may combine the two.
Asexual: Someone who isn’t sexually attracted to any gender or sex.
Bisexual: A person who is sexually attracted to two genders or sexes.
Cisgender: A person whose birth-assigned sex and gender identity match i.e. a person who is born with a vagina, is assigned the female sex at birth, and identifies/expresses themselves as such.
Feminism: Complete equality for all genders and sexes.
Thigh Strap-Ons are super popular among queer kinksters.
Gay: A person who is strictly attracted to those of the same gender or sex as themselves, both romantically and sexually. Usually used to refer to men.
Genderqueer: A person whose gender identity and expression breaks the boundaries of societal expectations for their sex.
Intersex: A person whose sex is not entirely male or female.
Lesbian: A woman who is strictly attracted to women, both romantically and sexually.
Pansexual: Someone who has no restrictions on what gender or sexes they are romantically and sexually attracted to.
Preferred pronoun: The terms a person prefers when being referred to as other than their name, i.e. her/she, him/her, them/they, ze, hir, etc. If you’re ever unsure of what pronoun to use for someone, simply ask. It’s better to admit your ignorance than to offend someone by mis-gendering them.
Queer: Frequently used as an umbrella term for anyone who falls outside of heteronormative genders, sexes, and sexual preferences.
Being a young, clueless queer kid was hard enough when just trying to gain a solid grasp of the vast range of gender and sex identities and sexual preferences in order to apply it to myself. Once I started exploring my body and watching porn, I’d become super frustrated when mainstream sites just didn’t do it for me. Luckily there’s an evolving presence and acceptance of queer-identified people, therefore more and more queer porn! Click “Read More” below for some queer porn, toy, and sex education resources.
If you have any questions about gender, sex, and sexual identity, feel free to email Sexpert Sabrina Dropkick at Sabrina@PipedreamProducts.com, or anonymously inquire with the Sexperts here!