What do all the terms mean?
So you have a good idea who you are, you have a relatively good idea how you identify, or maybe you don’t understand how you identify, or you’re confused because you don’t understand what you are feeling. How do you identify? Who are you? Are you sure you’re identifying yourself correctly?
What about all the different terms?
What do they all mean?
Things can be confusing in life as we are all aware, and it can be even worse when you are young and not sure of the feelings you have, or you have been told “You will be this way!” but you don’t feel right about what has been laid out for you. “Who am I?” and “What are these feelings I’m having?” Are two of the biggest questions for ones self out there.
So I put together this short list (this list could end up being a book if you ask some people) in hope that it will help some, educate others, or clarify meanings. It may upset some people as they will swear, “I have been identifying as (Blah) for years and now you’re telling me I’m wrong.” No, that is not it at all, and not what I am trying to accomplish.
If some of these definitions sound familiar it is because I did review them from several different sources and tried to simplify the “long winded” and elaborate on the “short” explanations to come up with this list.
The list - in no particular order:
Heterosexual: Simply put, the romantic and/or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the opposite sex or gender. In the simplest of terms, man to woman, woman to man.
Bi-Sexual: An orientation involving physical and/or romantic attraction to both males and females. Some people who have a distinct but not exclusive preference to one sex over the other may also identify themselves as bisexual, but are able to cross the gender roles easily.
Asexuality: The lack of sexual attraction to any gender orientation and, in some cases, the lack of interest in sex. Sometimes, it has also been considered a lack of a sexual orientation.
Pan-sexual: The potential for sexual attractions, sexual desire, romantic love, and/or emotional attraction, towards people of all gender identities and biological sexes. Some may refer to themselves as gender-blind. Basically that gender and sex are insignificant or irrelevant in determining whether they will be attracted to someone. Most pansexual’s rejects the gender binary, or the “notion of only two genders and the three standard sexual orientations”, as pansexual people are open to relationships with people who do not identify as strictly men or women.Pansexuality can also mean the attraction to a person’s personality, rather than their physical appearance, orientation or gender.
Homosexual: The romantic and/or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to “an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affection, or romantic attractions exclusively to people of the same sex. The most common terms used to indentify homosexual people are lesbian for women and gay for men, though gay is also used to refer generally to homosexual.
Transsexual (or Transsexualism): An individual’s identification with a gender inconsistent or not culturally associated with their biological sex. A medical diagnosis can be made if a person experiences discomfort as a result of a desire to be a member of the opposite sex, or if a person experiences impaired functioning or distress as a result of that gender identification. Transsexualism is stigmatized in many parts of the world but has become more widely known in Western culture in the mid to late 20th century, concurrently with the sexual revolution and the development of sex reassignment surgery (SRS). Discrimination and negative attitudes towards transsexualism often accompany certain religious beliefs or cultural values. There are cultures that have no difficulty integrating people who change gender roles, often holding them with high regard, such as the traditional role for ‘two-spirit’ people found among certain native American tribes.
Transvestite (IE..Cross dresser): Is the practice of wearing clothing traditionally associated with the opposite sex. However the word often has additional connotations, and has undergone several changes in meaning since its inception (circa 1910 -1920 Germany) and is still used in a variety of senses. The term itself was derived from Latin trans-, “across, over” and vestitus, “dressed”.
Transgendered: Someone whose psychological gender identity differs from the social expectations for the physical sex they were born with. For example, a female with a masculine gender identity or who identifies as a man. This does not exclusively refer to transsexual persons, i.e. those who are transitioning or have transitioned from one gender to another; all transsexual persons are transgender, but not all transgender persons are transsexual. A transgender person is anyone who fully accepts a gender identity—androgynous, hermaphroditic, intersex, transsexual, third gender, bi-gender, or otherwise does not match his or her assigned gender.
Gender Queer: Kind of a catch-all term for gender identities, other than man and woman, thus outside of the gender binary and hetero-normative or “regular gender” roles. People who identify as gender queer may think of themselves as one or more of the following: both man and woman (bi-gender, pan gender); neither man nor woman (genderless, agendered); moving between genders (gender fluid); a third gender or other-gendered; also includes those who do not place a name to their gender; having an overlap of, or blurred lines between, gender identity and sexual orientation. Some gender queer people also identify as transgender, and may or may not wish for physical modification or hormones to suit their preferred expression. Many gender queer people see gender and sex as separable aspects of a person and sometimes identify as a male-woman, a female-man, or a male/female/intersex gender queer person.
Tri-sexual: (I’ll admit that I know nothing about this) A person who has absolutely no sexual preference and readily partakes in all forms of sexual perversion. The “tri” of course is the fact that a trisexual’s attraction (although gender blind) ranges are human, animal, or inanimate object. Live, dead, or grotesquely disfigured/unattractive —it doesn’t matter in the eyes of a tri-sexual. They have an “If it feels good —do it” philosophy when it comes to fulfilling their sexual needs.
Hermaphrodite: in humans and other animals, is the presence of intermediate or atypical combinations of physical features that usually distinguish female from male. This is usually understood to be congenital, involving chromosomal, morphologic, genital and/or gonadal anomalies, such as diversion from typical XX-female or XY-male presentations, e.g., sex reversal (XY-female, XX-male), genital ambiguity, or sex developmental differences. An intersex individual may have biological characteristics of both the male and the female sexes. Intersexuality as a term was adopted by medicine during the 20th century, and applied to human beings whose biological sex cannot be classified as clearly male or female. Intersex was initially adopted by intersex activists who criticize traditional medical approaches to sex assignment and seek to be heard in the construction of new approaches.
Some people (whether physically intersex or not) do not identify themselves as either exclusively female or exclusively male. Androgyny is sometimes used to refer to those without gender-specific physical sexual characteristics or sexual preferences or gender identity, or some combination of these; such people can be physically and psychologically anywhere between the two sexes. This state may or may not include a mixture or absence of sexual preferences.
Androgyny (androgynous): is a person who does not fit cleanly or clearly into the typical masculine and feminine gender roles of their society. They may also use the term bigender to describe themselves. Many androgynes identify as being mentally “between” woman and man, or as entirely genderless. They may identify as non-gendered, gender-neutral, agendered, between genders, multi-gendered, inter-gendered, pan-gendered or gender fluid.
The androgynous person is simply a female or male who has a high degree of both feminine (expressive) and masculine (instrumental) traits. A feminine individual is high on feminine (expressive) traits and low on masculine (instrumental) traits. A masculine individual is high on instrumental traits and low on expressive traits. An undifferentiated person is low on both feminine and masculine traits.
NOW - If you are now upset, and think me to be some kind of “Religious zealot” who has no idea what he is talking about. Your wrong, I am not, I’m just a human and if you are further curious as to who I am, look at pansexual, because that is how I identify.
If you are now further confused, I would suggest looking up the long winded terms on wiki, or through any of the dictionary web sites. There are even your local LGBTQ community action programs with some wonderful people at them that could help you understand more.
One should enjoy life "AS WHO" they are, not suffer through life for who they are.