At IWU, we often say LGBQA TGNC to represent a very broad spectrum of identities and self-understandings. In fact, the thing we may have most in common as a queer community, is that each of us understands our sexual orientation and gender identity as a unique reflection of our experiences, feelings and biology. Further, our identities as underrepresented sexual minorities intersect with other identities grounded in race or ethnicity, faith, social class or standing, just to name a few. Coming to know, understand and express who we are is one of the major tasks that confronts us as LGBQA TGNC individuals, and you will find the freedom to explore and describe yourself here at IWU. Find below a few of the identity archetypes that we often refer to and draw upon in our self-definition, and that fall generally within the framework of the LGBQA TGNC community.
L is for Lesbian
A term used to describe a woman who is attracted to women.
G is for Gay
A term used to describe a man who is attracted to men, but often used and embraced by women to describe their same-sex relationships as well.
B is for Bi-
Bisexual- a person who experiences sexual attraction to two (or more) genders.
Biromantic- a person who experiences romantic attraction to two (or more) genders.
T is for Trans
A blanket term used to describe all people who are not cisgender. See also: Non-Binary/Genderqueer Learn moreTrans supports
Q is for Queer
(1) Historically, this was a derogatory slang term used to identify LGBTQ+ people; (2) A term that has been embraced and reclaimed by some parts of the LGBTQ+ community as a symbol of pride, an umbrella term representing all individuals who fall out of the gender and sexuality “norms."
Q is for Questioning
The process of exploring one’s own sexual orientation, investigating influences that may come from their family, religious upbringing, and internal motivations.
A is for Asexual
A person who does not experience sexual attraction. Asexuality is a broad spectrum with many different variations and levels of attraction. Learn more
A is for Aromantic
A person who does not experience romantic attraction to others. Aromanticism is a broad spectrum with many different variations and levels of attraction.Learn more
F is for Fluid
Generally paired with another term, such as gender-fluid or fluid-sexuality; fluid(ity) describes an identity that is a fluctuating mix of the options available (e.g., man and woman, gay and straight).
N is for Non-binary
"Binary" refers to the western binary gender system of man/woman. People who are non-binary identify, at some point in time, as neither a man nor a woman. TNGC supports
P is for Pan-
Pansexual- a person who experiences sexual attraction for members of all gender identities/expressions.
Panromantic- a person who experiences romantic attraction for members of all gender identities/expressions.
O is for Omnisexual
Sometimes the same as pansexual, sometimes meaning attraction to anyone or anything, human or nonhuman.
I is for Intersex
A general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types—for example, a girl may be born with a noticeably large clitoris, or lacking a vaginal opening, or a boy may be born with a notably small penis, or with a scrotum that is divided so that it has formed more like labia. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY. Learn more
M is for Middle Sexualities
People who occupy the space of sexual orientation and attraction between entirely heterosexual and entirely homosexual.
G is for Genderqueer
(1) A blanket term used to describe people whose gender falls outside of the gender binary; (2) A person who identifies as both a man and a woman, or as neither a man nor a woman. TNGC supports
H is for Heteroflexible
A form of a sexual orientation or situational sexual behavior characterized by minimal homosexual activity in an otherwise primarily heterosexual sexual orientation that is considered to distinguish it from bisexuality.
S is for Straight
A man or woman who is attracted to people of the other binary gender than themselves.
C is for Cisgender
A description for a person whose gender identity, gender expression, and biological sex all align (e.g., man, masculine, and male).
U is for You!
Whatever your identity, even as it shifts and evolves, you are welcome in our LGBTQ+ community, and encouraged to explore all aspects of yourself and self-knowing.