Here we provide a brief overview of the letters of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, as well as some other useful terms.
Please note that this is a work in progress. If you feel that we have misrepresented an identity (or are missing one), please contact emma.mannfors (at) helsinki.fi. We will be updating this page with the inuput of the entire group.
The LGBTQ+ umbrella encompasses many gender identities, as well as sexual and romantic orientations.
A gender identity describes the gender of an individual. A person can be trans- of cisgender, binary or nonbinary. There are an infinite number of possible gender identities.
A sexual orientation describes the gender(s) an individual is sexually attracted to (for example, homosexual/bisexual). An individual’s sexual orientation is not necessarily the same as their romantic orientation.
A romantic orientation describes the gender(s) an individual is romantically attracted to (for example, aromantic/heteroromantic). This is not necessarily the same as a person’s sexual orientation.
Queer: An umbrella term to refer to the whole community. Still considered by some to be a slur, and should generally not be used by those outside of the community.
Binary: The gender binary divides gender into male and female, often presented as opposites. A binary person is one whose gender identity is either male or female. They can be trans or cis.
Cisgender (cis): A person whose gender identity aligns with the gender they were assigned at birth. While a cis person may be LGBT+ due to their orientation, this gender identity is not by itself part of the LGBT+ community.
Nonbinary: Not fitting into the gender binary. Nonbinary identities are normally seen to fall under the trans umbrella. For example: agender, genderfluid.
Transgender (trans): An umbrella term for people whose gender identity does not align with the gender they were assigned at birth. A trans person does not need to feel dysphoria or medically transition to be considered trans.
Asexual/aromantic: Feeling no romantic or sexual attraction to any gender. An asexual person may still feel romantic attraction to others (i.e. homoromantic asexual).
Bisexual/biromantic: Attracted to one’s own gender, as well as others. Bisexual does not mean attracted to only binary or cis people.
Heterosexual/heteroromantic: Feeling attraction to a person of another gender. Generally not, by itself, a part of the LGBT+ community.
Homosexual/homoromantic: Feeling attraction to a person of the same gender. Gay is often used as a synonym. Lesbian refers to women.
Pansexual/panromantic: Feeling attraction to all genders.
What do the letters in LGBT…. stand for?