Inclusive Language Series: LGBTQ+ Terminology and History Month

In honor of LGBTQ+ history month (October 1st – October 31st), we wanted to highlight different terms that fall under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, not all of which are showcased in the five-letter acronym. Adding a plus sign to the end of the acronym helps bring awareness to other gender identities and sexual orientations that comprise the LGBTQ+ community.

LGBTQ+ history month is meant to celebrate and highlight the achievements and activism of LGBTQ+ people. To learn more about LGBTQ+ icons, we encourage you to peruse the LGBTQ+ History Month themed bulletin boards that are posted around the residence halls!

LGBTQ+ Terms (not an exhaustive list):

Lesbian: A woman who is attracted to other women.

Gay: A man who is attracted to other men.

Bisexual: Refers to a person who is attracted to people of either the male or female sex.

Transgender: Refers to someone whose gender identity is different than the sex they were assigned at birth.

Gender Queer/Gender Nonbinary: Refers to a spectrum of gender identities that are outside of or actively reject the masculine/feminine gender binary.

Queer: Originally used as a derogatory term, it has recently been reclaimed by some groups to be used as a term that refers to any individual who transgresses society’s traditional views of gender or sexuality.

Asexual: Refers to a person who is not sexually active or not sexually attracted to other people.

Aromantic: People who have little to no romantic attraction towards others.

Pansexual: Refers to an individual who is romantically and/or sexually attracted towards people of all gender identities and biological sexes. This term exists in direct opposition to the gender binary and originated in conjunction with the transgender movement.

Demisexual: Refers to a person who only feels sexually attracted to someone after they’ve developed a close emotional bond.

Intersex: Refers to a person who is biologically intermediate between male and female, with both ovarian and testicular tissue and ambiguous genital organs.

Two Spirit: A Native American term for individuals who identify both as male and female. In western culture these individuals are identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

Gender identity and sexual orientation can be thought about as a spectrum with many people not falling completely on one side or the other. Societal gender roles and heteronormative culture actively exclude LGBTQ+ people and serve as barriers to identity development. If you are a part of the LGBTQ+ community or questioning your gender identity and/or sexual orientation, please know that resources exist and there are communities on campus to support you!

Places to find resources and community on campus

Upcoming Holidays & Observances

  • October 15-24: Navaratri: Nine-day Hindu festival that marks the start of fall.