In the previous article, we went over the first four letters of the LGBT+ acronym. To recap, the L is for lesbian, a girl who likes girls, the G is for gay, someone who likes the same gender, the B is for bisexual, a person who likes both or all genders, and the T is for transgender, a person who’s sex assigned at birth does not match their gender identity. For information on how to use these words it is always best to ask a person you know in one of these categories, and recognize that not everyone will agree with every definition or on what is alright and what is not. The full acronym, or at least the most complete one that I found, was LGBTQIAPD. That’s another whole 5 letters that need to be defined and discussed, and there may still yet be more. But we’ll just focus on these new ones, so let’s get started.

The Q stands for questioning, which is kind of self-explanatory, or it can more commonly stand for queer. This, next to the word gay, is one of the most broad and used terms for the entire community as a whole. If you don’t want to say the whole acronym, or the abbreviated version, then simply saying ‘queer’ is fine in most cases. However, this is one of those words that has been reclaimed. This means that it used to be a slur that invoked violence and very negative connotations, and used to be a very harsh insult. In general people in the community have reclaimed it and don’t see the usage of it as a problem, but older members of the community may still see it as a slur and would prefer it not to be used. This should be respected, and if someone tells you not to use it then you should never use it around them if at all. People have many different opinions on this word, so take the word of the people around you rather than this article if the opinions conflict. This is a general rule.

I stands for intersex. This is a biological sex similar to male or female, but cannot be categorized into either of those. It is not necessarily a gender identity, but rather something that is assigned at birth. This happens when sex characteristics don’t line up perfectly, and may have mixtures of both male-typical and female-typical anatomy. Besides anatomy, people can also have mixed up chromosomes, which people don’t get tested for unless there is an actual problem. This means that anyone could be intersex and live their whole lives without knowing it, which happens surprisingly often. The term for intersex used to be hermaphrodite, but this has fallen out of fashion for being offensive and inaccurate. Hermaphrodite means that a person is born both fully male and fully female. The sad thing is that if a baby is born obviously intersex, doctors will oftentimes perform surgery to ‘correct’ them, and this can cause lasting issues for the child both medically and mentally. It’s especially terrible if the child turns out not to identify with the sex they were medically altered to be.

The A in the acronym stands for asexual. It can also stand for aromantic or agender, but something that it does not stand for is ally. Allies are not a part of the community, and shouldn’t call themselves so, because they are straight and cisgender. Anyways, being asexual is to experience no sexual attraction to any gender. If you are straight or gay, for example if you are a straight girl, consider how you aren’t attracted to girls and what this feels like. This is how asexual people feel, just with all genders. It doesn’t mean that they are celibate, it doesn’t mean they can’t have relationships or fall in love, and it doesn’t mean that they will die sad and alone. Another important thing to note is that asexual is not a gender, as is, for some reason, a common misunderstanding. Asexual is often paired with aromantic, which is a romantic orientation. Romantic orientations were first explored with asexual people, because sometimes it is possible that a person will have no sexual attraction but will have romantic attraction. So an asexual person can be asexual and also biromantic, for example, if they are romantically attracted to multiple genders. However, many asexual people are also aromantic, which means they also don’t experience romantic attraction at all. Agender, mentioned earlier, is a gender identity that means basically having no gender, feeling like neither a boy or a girl, and not leaning in any way towards either.

The P stands for pansexual. The latin prefix ‘pan’ means all, so this orientation means that a person is attracted to all genders. From my understanding, it is a more modernized way of saying bisexual, acknowledging that there are more than two genders. However, many people choose to identify themselves as bisexual, either because they are only attracted to two genders or don’t want to go through the trouble of explaining what pansexual is every time they come out. Many people use this to mean they are attracted to people’s personalities, regardless of what they look like or what gender they are. The P can also stand for polysexual, which is when a person is attracted to more than one gender, but not all genders. Since there are many genders, being polysexual is not hard as people don’t have to be attracted to all genders.

The D stands for demisexual. This sexuality is kind of similar to being asexual, in that there is generally not a lot of sexual attraction. However, it is different in that attraction can develop over time, but before a strong platonic connection is formed there just isn’t any. This can be after two people have become close friends, and a demisexual person might suddenly develop attraction. A demisexual person wouldn’t look at strangers, for example, and become attracted to people in the way many others do. People can also be demiromantic, and have that paired with any other sexual orientation.