The Alphabet Mafia. Alphabet Spaghetti. The Alphabet People. The Queers. The Gays. The Homosexuals. That Lot. Who ARE these people and why can’t they make up their minds what to call themselves?

Hey, I’m Slade and I am the co-founder of The Queer Parenting Partnership. I’m coming to you today to talk about all those letters in that ever growing acronym! It’s confusing right? Don’t worry, I hear you. It confuses us too. Then again, quantum science also confuses me but just because I don’t understand it or know everything there is to know about it, doesn’t mean I can simply dismiss it.

For the most part, our “community” is called the LGBT community. A more inclusive term is LGBTQIA+ or LGBTQIAP2S+.

Why can’t we just all agree on an acronym? Well, it’s not that simple unfortunately. There are many who believe the acronym should be LGB and there are many who believe we should extend it further to LGBTQQIAAPP2SK with either a * or a + to indicate that there are others. Many elders in the community dislike the word “Queer” as it was previously used as a slur against us. However, in the last 20 years or so, the community has reclaimed the word. One should still be mindful when using the word and anyone who isn’t queer absolutely should not be using it.

Don’t be afraid of the acronym or the genders/sexualities you don’t understand – these things are constantly evolving! These things have always existed. We’re just now better able to describe them. I’m here to hopefully help you understand things a little better with an A to Z.

I will do my best to give correct and up to date information and I will share further resources for those who may be interested in learning more.

As with all humans, queer humans are complex, complicated creatures and much as you try, we don’t fit into any boxes. Not sorry! There are many things that interact and intersect to make up human beings and trying to create some sort of linear presentation simply doesn’t work. Even a Jeremy Bearimy wouldn’t quite cut it!

Image description: One Jeremy Bearimy

The “spectrum” that most people tend to talk about is a line whereby a person fits somewhere between point A and point B. This doesn’t work for many people and is far too simplistic. The spectrum would have to be drawn in some multidimensional way for it to have any degree of accuracy. Even then, it changes for each person!

So lets just throw those images out and start over, deal?

A is for:

Abrosexual: Someone who’s sexual orientation is not fixed

Ace: Shorthand for Asexual

Aceflux: Someone on the ace spectrum who’s sexual attraction is changeable

AFAB: Assigned female at birth

AGAB: Assigned gender at birth

Agender: Someone who doesn’t have a gender

Alloromantic: Someone who has the urge to have romantic relationships with other people

Allosexual: Someone who has the urge to have sexual relationships with other people (allo identities are the opposite of ace identities)

Ally: A person who supports the LGBTQIA+ community and challenges problematic behaviour

AMAB: Assigned male at birth

Androgyne: A non-binary identity that is ambiguous in presentation

Androgyny: A combination of masculine and feminine characteristics in ambiguous form

Androromantic: Someone who is romantically attracted to male or masculine individuals

Androsexual: Someone who is sexually attracted to male or masculine individuals

Aporagender: A non-binary identity separate from male, female or anything in between.

Aromantic: Someone who does not experience (or experiences very little) romantic attraction

ASAB: Assigned sex at birth

Asexual: Someone who does not experience sexual attraction

Assigned gender: The gender someone is assigned at birth (People tend to use sex and gender interchangeably)

Assigned sex: refers to the sex interpreted at birth and noted on a birth certificate

B is for:

Bi: Short form of bisexual

Bi erasure: The tendency to deny the existence of bisexuality

Bigender: Someone who identifies with two genders

Binary: Of two forms (i.e male/female)

Binding: A method of flattening one’s chest with a compression garment or binding tape

Biphobia: The intolerance of bisexual/biromantic people.

Biromantic: An individual who is romantically attracted to more than one sex or gender.

Bisexual: An individual who is sexually attracted to more than one sex or gender.

Bottom: A person who prefers the bottom position during sex

Butch: ‘Masculine’ gender expression

C is for:

CAFAB: Coercively assigned female at birth.

CAMAB: Coercively assigned male at birth.

Cerul: A non binary person who presents in a “traditionally feminine” way

Cis: Short for cisgender/Latin for “on the same side as”

Cisgender: A person who’s gender assigned at birth matches with their gender identity

Closeted: Any LGBTQ+ person who has not shared their status with friends/family or the wider community

Coming Out: A lifelong process of self-acceptance

Crossdressing: When someone dresses in clothes that are “opposite to the norm” of their gender or sex identity, but it may be part of their gender expression

Cupioromantic: An Ace identity that describes someone who does not experience romantic attraction but still desires/likes a romantic relationship.

Cupiosexual: An Ace identity that describes someone who does not experience sexual attraction but still desires/likes a sexual relationship.

D is for:

Deadnaming: The use of the birth name or former name of a transgender person without their consent.

Demi: As it relates to gender/sexual/romantic attraction means halfway between ace/allo

Demigender: An umbrella term where someone feels only a partial connection to a gender/gender identity

Demiman/woman: A person who’s gender is mainly but not completely male/female

Demiromantic: A person who only feels romantic attraction to people with whom they have formed a strong emotional bond

Demisexual: A person who only feels sexual attraction to people with whom they have formed a strong emotional bond

DFAB: Designated female at birth

Diomoric: A non-binary person who is attracted to others who are non-binary

Disclosure: The revelation of one’s sexual attraction/orientation or transgender status. Could also be the revelation of one’s STI status

DMAB: Designated male at birth

Drag: Theatrical gender performance

Dyadic: A person who is not intersex

Dyke: A derogatory term for a lesbian – although many lesbians have reclaimed this term

Dysmorphia: The obsessive idea that one’s body or a part of one’s body is severely flawed (often confused with dysphoria)

Dysphoria: A sense of unease pertaining to the incongruence of one’s sex and gender identity – this could range from general anxiety to severe depression (Opposite of euphoria)

E is for:

Emotional attraction: An umbrella term for attractions that exist on an emotional level

Enbian: A person who’s gender identity is non-binary and who is attracted to relationships with other non-binary people

Enby: Shorthand for non-binary (Please do not shorten non-binary to NB)

Epicene: “That which exhibits characteristics of [male and female], yet is neither” – Lacking the characteristics of a specific sex or gender – Also a non-binary identity akin to androgyny

Ethical non-monogamy: An umbrella term for a relationship comprising of more than two people who all give informed consent

[Gender] Euphoria: The comfort, or indeed joy, when a person feels comfortable in their gender identity (Opposite of dysphoria)

Exorgender: Referring to the binary genders male and female

Exorsexism: Discrimination against non-binary identities and the belief that there is only male and female

[Gender] Expression: How a person conveys their gender to others through behaviour, mannerisms, appearance etc.

F is for:

Faggot: A derogatory term directed at gay people. Some gay people have reclaimed this word.

Feminamoric: A diamoric orientation that refers to non-binary and/or genderqueer people who are attracted exclusively to women.

Femme: A gender expression that encapsulates “traditionally feminine” notions

Flexible: Suffix usually attached to a gender or sexual identity to indicate that it is not fixed.

Fluid: Suffix usually attached to a gender or sexual identity to indicate that it is not fixed.

Flux: Suffix usually attached to a gender or sexual identity to indicate that it is not fixed.

FTM: Initialism female to male (Not to be used without the consent of the person you are referring to)

Futch: A bisexual, lesbian or sapphic woman or fem-aligned envy who presents with a mix of feminine and masculine traits (a contraction of ‘femme’ and ‘butch’

G is for:

Gay: Homosexual or same sex attracted. Most commonly used to refer to homosexual men

Gender: A classification of human behaviour, actions and roles in relation to ideas of “femininity” and “masculinity”

Gender Apathetic: A person who doesn’t care about gender

Gender Binary: The notion that a person can only be male or female

Gender Expression: How one “performs” their gender (External)

Gender Fluid: someone who’s gender changes

Gender Fuck: Someone who likes to intentionally present/behave in a gender non-conforming manner

Gender Identity: How a person relates to their gender (Internal)

Genderless: A person who doesn’t identify with any gender

Gender Neutral: A person who doesn’t identify with any gender

Gender Nonconforming: A gender expression that does not “conform” to societal notions of a perceived gender

Genderqueer: Someone who identifies outside of the gender binary

Grey Ace: An asexual person who may feel some amount of sexual attraction

GSRM: Gender, sexual and romantic minorities (Another way of saying LGBTQ+)

Gyneromantic: Romantic attraction to female identified or feminine individuals

Gynesexual: Sexual attraction to female identified or feminine individuals

H is for:

Heteroflexible: Someone who is mostly straight but may experience homosexual activity (without same-sex attraction)

Heteronormative: The assumption that heterosexuality is the default setting and anything else is “abnormal”

Heteroromantic: Someone who is romantically attracted to the opposite gender as themselves.

Heterosexual: Someone who is sexually attracted to the opposite gender as themselves

Homophobia: Discrimination and hatred of lesbian and gay people

Homoromantic: Someone who is romantically attracted to the same gender as themselves

Homosexual: Someone who is romantically attracted to the same gender as themselves

HRT: Abbreviation of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hyperandrogenism: A symptom that occurs in several medical conditions causing high levels of androgens in AFAB individuals

Hyperestrogenism: Excessive amounts of oestrogen in the body.

Hypergonadism: An intersex condition that causes hyper function of the gonads – could manifest a precocious puberty. Caused by abnormally high levels of sex hormones

Hypogonadism: A sex development disorder that leads to a reduction in the functionality one’s gonads

I is for:

IAFAB: Intersex assigned female at birth

IAMAB: Intersex assigned male at birth

ID: Identify

Intergender: A gender identity that is a mix of binary genders

Internalisation: Where a person changes their public behaviours and personal beliefs based on social influence

Intersectionality: The crossovers between different demographics that may change a person’s experience in the world via privilege or discrimination

Intersex: A person who’s biology doesn’t easily fit male or female. This could be genitals, chromosomes or hormones.

J is for:

Joyfriend: A term that can be used for a non-binary partner.

K is for:

Kinsey Scale: A scale devised by Alfred Kinsey to measure sexual attraction

Klinefelter syndrome: Intersex variation resulting from 2 or more X chromosomes and one Y chromosome.

L is for:

Lesbian: A woman who is attracted to other women

Libido: Sex drive

Libidoist: A person who has a sex drive

Lithromantic: Someone who experiences romantic attraction, but does not desire reciprocation

Ludum: A “straight passing” relationship

M is for:

Macrogenital: A genetic trait that causes enlarged or otherwise larger than usual genitals. This is not an intersex trait, however, it is often a result of an intersex condition – particularly related to hormone overproduction.

Metamour: A polyamory term used to refer to the partner of another partner.

Metrosexual: A portmanteau of ‘metropolitan’ and ‘heterosexual’. Usually used to describe a man who prides himself on appearance and fashion.

Monosexual: A person exclusively sexually attracted to one single gender.

Misgendering: The use of incorrect pronouns (deliberate or otherwise).

MTF: Initialism male to female (Not to be used without the consent of the person you are referring to).

Müllerian Genesis: An intersex condition whereby an “afab” person is born without a uterus. They may or may not have ovaries and an underdeveloped or incomplete vagina.

Multisexual: The opposite of mono sexual – whereby a person is sexually attracted to more than one gender

N is for:

Neutrois: (Pronounced new-twah or neuter) A person with a null, neutral or lack of gender

Neopronouns: A new (neo) set of singular third-person pronouns. They can be used by anyone but are typically used by non-binary or gender non-conforming people

Non-binary: Someone who does not fit into the binary of gender, sex and/or sexuality

Nounself Pronouns: Gender neutral pronouns that use a noun as a pronoun. Fae/Faer/Faers are probably the most common nounself pronouns

O is for:

Objectum: Romantic or sexual attraction to inanimate objects

Omnisexual: Interchangeable with pansexual

Orientation: Orientation is an enduring pattern of sexual or romantic attraction

Ovotestis: A gonad with both testicular and ovarian aspects.

P is for:

Panromantic: Someone who is romantically attracted to all genders/sexes

Pansexual: Someone who is sexually attracted to all genders/sexes

Passing: Being perceived as the gender you identify with

Pink capitalism: When businesses profit from LGBTQ+ individuals (i.e during Pride month) without actually ensuring the safety of LGBTQ+ workers

Pink pound: Linked to pink capitalism

Poland Syndrome: A syndrome that may either be considered an intersex variation or to cause intersex traits

Polyamorous: A relationship between more than 2 people

Polyandry: When a woman has a relationship with or marries multiple men

Polygyny: When a man has a relationship with or marries multiple women

Polycule: A polyamorous relationship usually with 5 or more people involved

Polygamy: When a person has a relationship with or is married to multiple people

Polygender: A person who has more than one gender at a time

Polysexual: Someone who is sexually attracted to many genders

Prader–Willi syndrome: A syndrome that may either be considered an intersex variation or to cause intersex traits

Pre-Op: A term used by transgender individuals who have not yet had surgery but intend to

Pronoun: A word used instead of a name like ‘he’ ‘she’ ‘you’ they’ etc. Everyone has pronouns.

Q is for:

Queer: An umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities. Formerly used as a derogatory term to refer to homosexual people and since reclaimed by the community

Questioning: The process of exploring or experimenting with one’s sexuality, gender, romantic interests etc. Many people question their identities, not just LGBTQ+ people

QUILTBAG: Another alternative acronym standing for Queer, Unsure, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual, Asexual/Aromantic, Gay

R is for:

Romantic attraction: An emotional attraction based on a desire for a romantic relationship or engaging in romantic activities with someone. Romantic attraction can be entirely separate from sexual attraction

Romantic orientation: A term that refers to the gender(s) one feels romantic attraction to – labels usually consist of a prefix with the suffix “-romantic” I.e. Homoromantic. Romantic orientation can be entirely separate from sexual orientation

Romance-repulsed: A term commonly used by aromantic and other art-spec people who find romance or romantic activities uncomfortable

S is for:

Sapphic: A woman or woman-aligned person who is attracted to other women or women-aligned people

Sex: A group of physical differences in a species with male and female being two extreme points. Sex is often associated with chromosomes, hormones, genitals and secondary sex characteristics

Sexual attraction: A form of physical attraction to a person based on a desire for sexual interation

Sexual orientation: The gender or genders one does or does nor feel sexual attraction towards and how it is felt

Sexuality: The way a person experiences and expresses themselves sexually

Skoliosexual: A person who is attracted to transgender or non-binary people

Straight: Slang for heterosexual

Straight passing: A term used to describe a couple (or an individual) who appears to be straight. This term is incredibly problematic

T is for: