Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning Plus

UW-Superior provides an inclusive and inviting space for LGBTQ+ individuals in the Gender Equity Center. Student staff provide programs that educate campus and provide support to the LGBTQ+ community.

Definition of Terms:

LGBTQIPA: Acronym used for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Pansexual, Polysexual, Autoerotic, Asexual, and Ally.

Lesbian: A woman who has emotional, physical, spiritual, and sexual/erotic attraction to other women.

Gay: Usually, but not always, refers to homosexual men. Also used on occasion as an umbrella term for LGBQ.

Bisexual: A man or woman who has emotional, physical, spiritual, and sexual/erotic attraction to men and women.

Transgender: An umbrella term to describe gender identities that stray from fitting into the male-female binary of dominant culture. 'Trans' meaning across or beyond gender, there are literally thousands of ways to be considered trans*.

Queer: An umbrella term to cover all GBLTQIPA identities as well as the movement for equal rights and equitable protection under law regardless of sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender display, or gender identity. This term was formerly derogatory towards GBLTQIPA, it was reclaimed and is considered a positive word by some in the community, but not all.

Questioning: The process of exploring one's own sexual identity, including but not limited to examining upbringing, expectations from others (family, friends, church, etc.) and inner motivation.

Intersex: The biological sex of those whose biological sex is neither completely male nor completely female according to medical standards (usually having to do with the size or presentation of genitalia). This classification of sex is based on chromosomes, hormones, or primary and secondary sex characteristics. There are many different ways to present as intersexed (e.g. hermaphrodite).

Pansexual/Omnisexual: Refers to the potential for sexual attraction, desire, romantic love, and/or emotional attraction towards persons of all gender identities and biological sexes. Not to be confused with polysexuality, it means all instead of many.

Polysexual: A man or woman who has emotional, physical, spiritual, and sexual/erotic attraction to multiple genders/gender identities and/or sexes. Not to be confused with polyamory or pansexuality.

Autoerotic: Someone who is sexually stimulated only through internal stimuli.

Asexual: A person who has no sexual desire.

Ally: Anyone, straight or not, who support LGBTQIPA by learning about their issues and perspectives, and committing ourselves to work against heterosexism and homophobia.

Plus (+): an umbrella term/symbol used in order to be all-inclusive of anyone who desires to identify with this community.

Additional Definitions

Advocate: This person identifies their own personal biases, and the biases of others. This is someone who actively works to make an accepting, welcoming, accessible, and equitable world for all.

Agender- without gender; Someone who do not identify with any gender.

Ambisexual- A person with an ambiguous sexual orientation; one who is attracted to both females and males.

Androgynous- partly male and partly female in appearance; can’t determine sex.

Aromantic- An individual who lacks interest in or desire for romantic relationships

Bigender- An individual who purposely changes between masculine and feminine gender-role behavior for a situation.

Binary: The idea that only two options exist, as in two genders, two sexes.

Cisgender- An individual whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex.

Closeted: A figure of speech for one who has not disclosed, or chooses to keep private their sexual orientation, gender identity, or aspects thereof, including sexual identity and sexual behavior.

Coming Out: A figure of speech for one who is open and does not conceal their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Cross-Dressing: A man who dresses in women's clothing, or a woman who dresses in men's clothing, not directly related to gender or sexuality in all cases.

Demiromantic: An individual who develops a romantic attraction only after developing an emotional connection.

Demisexual: An individual who develops a sexual attraction only after developing an emotional connection.

Drag: Queen - a person who consciously performs femininity, sometimes in an exaggerated/theatrical manner, usually in a show or theatre setting. King - a person who consciously performs masculinity, sometimes in an exaggerated/theatrical manner, usually in a show or theatre setting.

FtM: Describes an individual who is female to male transitioning.

Gender Identity: Our innermost concept of self as male, female, or transgender.

Gender Reaffirmation Surgery: Originally known as sex change surgery, or sex reassignment surgery. This surgical construction/reconstruction of sex organs and primary/secondary sex characteristics is sometimes sought out by transgender or transsexual individuals. It also can be performed without consent on intersex children.

Gender status: The societal and cultural expectations of people based upon their biological sex.

Gender: A guise, a role, a social construction and performance through which we learn to associate certain characteristics with maleness or femaleness.

Gender-queer/gender neutral/: Any person whose gender presentation is an intentional mixture of gender signifiers. This is sometimes a political identity in support of transgender persons, and against the binary gender system.

Heteronormativity: The belief that all people are heterosexual, the assumption and/or belief that heterosexual relationships and behavior are superior, the norm, correct, and the actions based on this assumption.

Heteroromantic- An individual who is romantically attracted to a member of the opposite sex or gender.

Heterosexual: A man whose sexual/erotic attraction, emotional attraction, and affection are directed toward women, or a woman whose sexual/erotic attraction, emotional attraction, and affection are directed toward men.

Homophobia: A fear, anger, discomfort, intolerance of, lack of acceptance of, and/or hatred of homosexuality, especially rooted in the heterosexism.

Homoromantic- An individual who is romantically attracted to a member of the same sex or gender.

MtF: Describes an individual who is male to female transitioning.

Omnigender- a non-binary gender experience which refers to a wide multiplicity of genders tending to be infinite.

Oppression: The exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. It can be defined in a social context as socially supported mistreatment and exploitation of a group or category of people by anyone.

Outing: To declare a person's identity publicly; people can out themselves, or someone can out them with or without their permission (though in most cases, permission is preferred).

Pangender (Third-Gender): An individual who does not conform to a binary gender standard. Sometimes referred to as a third gender.

Panromantic: An individual who is romantically attracted to a person no matter their sex or gender.

Polyamory: The practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. Not to be confused with polysexuality.

Pride: Not being ashamed of oneself and/or showing your pride to others by coming out, marching, attending events, etc. Being honest and comfortable with yourself.

Privilege: A set up unearned, sometimes unrealized entitlement or immunity that is granted either by birth or a conditional basis. Contrasted by a right, which is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all citizens or human beings from the moment of birth.

Sapiosexual: One who finds the contents of someone else’s mind to be their most attractive attribute.

Sex: The common, but imperfect sorting of people into biological categories of male or female, usually based on anatomy, chromosomes, hormones, gonads, genitalia, and appearances.

Sexual identity: How a person identifies their own sexuality. This may or may not relate to their actual sexual orientation. (only 16% of women and 36% of men who reported some level of same-sex attraction had a homosexual or bisexual identity). More closely related to sexual behavior than sexual orientation in most cases.

Sexual orientation: Describes whether we are sexually, erotically, meaningfully, and emotionally attracted to certain genders/sexes.

Sexuality: A capacity for sexual feelings, a person's sexual orientation or preference for sexual activity.

Skoliosexual- A potential sexual attraction to non-binary identified individuals.

Tolerance: The practice of permitting a thing of which one disapproves, such as social, ethnic, sexual, or religious practices.

Trans*: The shortened version of transgendered.

Transition: A term to describe the process of changing one's gender presentation to accord with one's internal sense of their gender. This process differs for all who go through it, and is not an event, but takes anywhere between several months to several years to complete. Some people spend their entire lives transitioning as they redefine and reinterpret their gender. This process may or may not involve hormones or gender reaffirmation surgery.

Transsexual: An individual's identification with a gender that is inconsistent or not culturally associated with their assigned sex (Their gender identity conflicts with their assigned sex).

Two Spirit: Native American term for a trans individual.

Zhe/Hir: Gender neutral pronouns used to replace she/her, he/him, and create gender neutral language. (Example: "Zhe said hir name was Blake," instead of "He/she said his/her name was Blake."