LGBTIQQSA2SXYZ - what does it all mean?

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Mother Hen
Joined in 2011
June 15, 2011, 13:06

I was talking to Anthony on another post that it might be nice to have a list of the terms/labels/terminology used on the forums and within the community for the Heterosexual Family, Friends and supporters, especially for us parents, so we can gain a better understanding. They can all get a bit confusing, I try and use the right term as I don’t want to offend anyone but it is hard if we don’t know what they are. I never know if it’s GLBT or LGBT or if it doesn’t matter, I have seen a few other letters after them as well, what do they mean? For me personally I don’t want to inadvertently offend anyone and wish to show respect to everyone. When I mentioned it to Anthony he directed me to a web site, as if to say look it up yourself, I then volunteered to put something together, think it was his plan all the way along, now I’m wondering what I have got myself into.

I’m sure I haven’t found them all so please feel free to add more, again I stress the purpose of this post is to learn, understand and a real heart’s desire not to offend anyone. So if I haven’t got things down right please let me know.

Asexual – A person that isn’t sexually attracted to either gender.

Allies – A straight person that supports the LGBT community.

Bisexual – An individual who is physically, romantically and/or emotionally attracted to men and women.

Closet – Describes a person who is not open about his or her sexual orientation.

Coming Out – A lifelong process of self-acceptance. People forge a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identity first to themselves and then may reveal it to others.

Cross-Dressing – To occasionally wear clothes traditionally associated with people of the other sex. Cross-dressers are usually comfortable with the sex they were assigned at birth and do not wish to change it. “Cross-dresser” should NOT be used to describe someone who has transitioned to live full-time as the other sex or who intends to do so in the future. Cross-dressing is a form of gender expression and is not necessarily tied to erotic activity. Cross-dressing is not indicative of sexual orientation.

Gay – Used to describe people whose enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attractions are to people of the same sex (e.g., gay man, gay people).

Heterosexual – Used to describe people who are attracted to the opposite sex, also called “Straight”.

Lesbian – A woman who’s enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction is to other women. Some lesbians may prefer to identify as gay (adj.) or as gay women.

Sexual Orientation – The scientifically accurate term for an individual’s enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction to members of the same and/or opposite sex, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and heterosexual (straight) orientations.

Gender Identity – One’s internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or a boy or a girl), for transgender people, their birth-assigned sex and their own internal sense of gender identity do not match.

Gender Expression – External manifestation of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through “masculine,” “feminine” or gender-variant behaviour, clothing, haircut, voice or body characteristics. Typically, transgender people seek to make their gender expression match their gender identity, rather than their birth-assigned sex.

Intersex – Describing a person whose biological sex is ambiguous. There are many genetic, hormonal or anatomical variations that make a person’s sex ambiguous (e.g., Klinefelter Syndrome). Parents and medical professionals usually assign intersex infants a sex and perform surgical operations to conform the infant’s body to that assignment. This practice has become increasingly controversial as intersex adults speak out against the practice. The term intersex is not interchangeable with or a synonym for transgender.

Pansexual – A person that is attracted to a person because of their personality, they do not care what gender they date; they care about what is on the inside.

Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) – Refers to surgical alteration, and is only one small part of transition, preferred term to “sex change operation.” Not all transgender people choose to or can afford to have SRS.

Transgender – An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term may include but is not limited to: transsexuals, cross-dressers and other gender variant people. Transgender people may identify as female-to-male (FTM) or male-to-female (MTF). Use the descriptive term (transgender, transsexual, cross-dresser, FTM or MTF) preferred by the individual. Transgender people may or may not decide to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically.

Transsexual – An older term which originated in the medical and psychological communities. While some transsexual people still prefer to use the term to describe themselves, many transgender people prefer the term transgender to transsexual. Unlike transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term, as many transgender people do not identify as transsexual. It is best to ask which term an individual prefers.

Transition – Altering one’s birth sex is not a one-step process; it is a complex process that occurs over a long period of time. Transition includes some or all of the following personal, legal and medical adjustments: telling one’s family, friends and/or co-workers; changing one’s name and/or sex on legal documents; hormone therapy; and possibly (though not always) one or more forms of surgery.

Questioning – Someone that is questioning their sexual orientation, unsure which gender/s they are attracted to.

Offensive Terms

Terms that are considered to being offensive by many: These are taken from the web site listed below; I would certainly like to have some feedback about them.

Hermaphrodite – This is the term previously used for Intersex people. Originally a medical term as a condition/disorder it was eventually rejected as a label by the intersex community. We find the word “hermaphrodite” misleading, mythologizing, and stigmatizing. Although some intersex activists do reclaim and use this term to describe themselves, it is not an appropriate term to refer to intersex people in general. In short, snails are the hermaphrodites; humans are not.

Homosexual – Generalised term used to describe people who are attracted to the same sex it is a term that is considered by to be derogatory and offensive by many.

Homosexual relations/relationship,” “homosexual couple,” “homosexual sex,” – Preferred terms: “relationship” (or “sexual relationship”), “couple” (or, if necessary, “gay couple”), “sex,” etc. Identifying a same-sex couple as “a homosexual couple,” characterizing their relationship as “a homosexual relationship,” or identifying their intimacy as homosexual sex” is extremely offensive and should be avoided. These constructions are frequently used by anti-gay extremists to denigrate gay people, couples and relationships. As a rule, try to avoid labelling an activity, emotion or relationship “gay,” “lesbian” or “bisexual” unless you would call the same activity, emotion or relationship “straight” if engaged in by someone of another orientation.

Lifestyle – Inaccurate term used by anti-gay extremists to denigrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lives. As there is no one straight lifestyle, there is no one lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender lifestyle, again also implies being LGBT is a choice, “Gay Lives,” “Gay and Lesbian Lives” is preferred.

Sexual Preference – Used to suggest that being gay or lesbian is gay or bisexual is a choice and therefore can and should be cured. “Sexual Orientation” is preferred.

Transvestite – Derogatory, prefer the term Cross Dressing


You will hear and see these Acronyms used in the context of speaking to groups within the community like this forum, I don’t know if all are these are used, I’ve only selected some of them, the amount of Acronyms seem to be non-ending.

GLBTIQ – Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Question (Queer)

ISGD – Intersex, Sex and/or Gender Diverse

LGBT / GLBT – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, LGBT and/or GLBT are often used because they are more inclusive of the diversity of the community. I don’t know which is more correct if it’s LGBT or GLBT or if it doesn’t matter, to me ladies first 🙂

LGBT + H – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Heterosexual Community

LGBTI – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex

LGBTQ – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning

LGBTQAIPS – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer/Questioning, Asexual/Allies, Intersexual, Pansexual, Straight

LGBTQIDK – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, I Don’t Know

LGBTTIQQ – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning

LGBTTIQQ2S – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgendered, Intersexual, Queer, Questioning, 2-Spirited

LGBTIQQSA2SXYZ – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Straight Allies, Two Spirited, Everyone Else

LSGD – Intersex, Gender Diverse

SSAGD – Same Sex Attracted and Gender Diverse

QUILTBAG – Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual, Asexual, Gay.

What do the letters stand for?

A – Allies or Asexual

B – Bisexual

C – Curious

G – Gay

I – Intersex

L – Lesbian

O – Other

P – Pansexual

Q – Queer or Questioning

SA – Straight Allies

T – Transgender

TS – Two Spirited

U – Unsure


Phew, lots of information and I certainly learnt a lot by putting it all together and I hope others do too. Anthony said that there are many in the LGBT community who might not know all these either, so maybe it needs to be posted somewhere else on the forum as well for all to see, I’m not sure where so maybe someone could let me know, maybe under discussion?

Ok, I’ve looked all these up now something for you to look up. In some circles I can have AAPS added after my name, in September the AAPS will be replaced with FAPS and I will also have AFIAP added.

So what do AAPS, FAPS & AFIAP mean? My son is not allowed to answer.

Joined in 2011
June 15, 2011, 14:32

Haha good job with elaborating, I was wondering what the I and Q were added to the GLTB.

Also I am not sure how homosexual is offensive. isn’t it the technical name like heterosexual is the technical name for being straight?


Mother Hen
Joined in 2011
June 15, 2011, 14:58

It was the Homosexual part being offensive that I personally wasn’t sure about either, that is just what the web site said so I thought I’d rather put it in and get some feedback on it and er on the side of caution.

Chapter Leader
Joined in 2008
June 15, 2011, 15:05

Mother Hen – G’day! What an exaustive list. A lot of hard work on your part. Thank you.

As for your little test: AAPS – without resorting to googling, it could mean you are an Associate of the Australian P Society, with the ‘P’ being pysiotherapist or psychologist or pychologist or photographic or ??? With the F in FAPS being an upgrade to ‘Fellow of’. (Although one normally transits from Associate to Member to Fellow.) Then the ‘I’ in AFIAP could be “international’. By the way, what’s the prize? And of course, if the replacement and addition means an upgrade in your eminent status, we all say “congratulations”.

Mother Hen
Joined in 2011
June 15, 2011, 20:14

Well done forestgrey, 🙂

“P” is for Photographic. “A” is for” Associate of” “F” is for “Fellow of” . On the right track with the “I” being International (FIAP) FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE L’ART PHOTOGRAPHIQUE. The International Federation of Photographic Art. The “A” Stands for Artist. So they are Photographic Honours, APS, Australian Photographic Society, the FIAP is recognized world wide and yes a big achievement. APS holds their Convention (APSCON) every year in Sept when the awards are official handed out and I am allowed to use them, I received notification I was successful last week. Not supposed to tell any one until Sept but you lot won’t tell anyone will you :bigsmile: It involves entering a lot of International competitions and receiving acceptances and awards to achieve these honours, so yes I”m pretty pleased.

The prize, well the honour of being the one that worked it out forestgrey :bigsmile: :bigsmile: :bigsmile:

Joined in 2010
June 16, 2011, 21:55

🙂 Hi Mother Hen

Congratulations on your letters after your name in September. Thank you for compiling all the information. It was very interesting and I had not heard of some of them. I feel very educated now lol and will have to refer to your list before I write in the forum to make sure I get them correct.

Thank you again.

Helen xx

Mr Summit
Chapter Leader
Joined in 2010
June 16, 2011, 22:51

You missed my favourite:

I don’t think that too many people would get upset at you using “homosexual” but it would identify you as someone who doesn’t know much about the community. It is also one of *their* words (ie. its the word we see on angry placards). So it has derogatory overtones. When we ask some people, like Peter Madden, to use “gay” instead they refuse. This goes to show how little respect they have for us. I mean, it is less syllables for goodness sake!

As for “homosexuality”, I don’t think anyone considers that to be offensive.

Joined in 2008
June 17, 2011, 01:00

I giggled all the way along with the ABC’s! :bigsmile:

Thankyou Mother Hen for putting together such a comprehensive list, I knew we were diverse but who knew that much!

It’s great that you are so willing to educate not only yourself but others also(including me!)

Cheers Michelle

Joined in 2011
June 18, 2011, 00:47

The mother in you is a shining warm star! 🙂

Your Son must be very proud of you!


Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
June 18, 2011, 19:42

It was the Homosexual part being offensive that I personally wasn’t sure about either, that is just what the web site said so I thought I’d rather put it in and get some feedback on it and er on the side of caution.

You done good motherhen… done real good. You have come from an almost zero knowledge base on terminology to being more informed than the average LGBTTIQQSSATSXYZ person….hehe.

to answer the question about the word homosexual being offensive.

The word homosexual is a relatively new word which first appeared in 1869 in a pamphlet in Germany. Next it appeared in a book Discovery of the Soul in 1880 and in 1886, Richard von Krafft-Ebing used the terms homosexual and heterosexual in his book Psychopathia Sexualis,

From that point on it was only used in a clinical context as referred to someone who was ‘abnormal’ ,dysfunctional and as a pathology.

So it didn’t have good connotations. some of that has been removed as more scientific research has been done on sexual orientation.

If gay and lesbian people liked the word then they wouldn’t have come up with terms like camp or gay.

if homosexual is being used in a clinical sense when differentiating between homosexual or heterosexual then that is okay…..but there is a better way. eg gay or lesbian or LGBT…..depending on whether we are talking about gender or a community.

it is particularly offensive when used with other words such as

  • homosexual relationship

  • homosexual lifestyle

  • homosexual people

  • homosexual agenda

You will notice that some very anti-gay christian leaders refuse to use new terminology and will only ever use the word homosexual.

does that make more sense?

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