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LGBTQIA Resources: Sexual Orientation


Selected terms from UC Berkeley's Centers for Educational Justice & Community Engagement's Definition of Terms:

  • Bisexuality: Also bi. A person who is attracted to two sexes or two genders, but not necessarily simultaneously or equally. This used to be defined as a person who is attracted to both genders or both sexes, but since there are not only two sexes (see intersex and transsexual) and there are not only two genders (see transgender), this definition is inaccurate.
  • Coming out: To recognize one's sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex identity, and to be open about it with oneself and with others.
  • Gay: Men attracted to men. Colloquially used as an umbrella term to include all LGBTIQ people.
  • Heterosexuality: Sexual, emotional, and/or romantic attraction to a sex other than your own. Commonly thought of as “attraction to the opposite sex” but since there are not only two sexes (see "Intersex" and "Transsexual"), this definition is inaccurate.
  • Heterosexism: Assuming every person to be heterosexual therefore marginalizing persons who do not identify as heterosexual. It is also believing heterosexuality to be superior to homosexuality and all other sexual orientations.
  • Heterosexual Privilege: Benefits derived automatically by being (or being perceived as) heterosexual that are denied to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, queers and all other non-heterosexual sexual orientations.
  • Homophobia: The irrational fear and intolerance of people who are homosexual or of homosexual feelings within one's self. This assumes that heterosexuality is superior.
  • Homosexuality: Sexual, emotional, and/or romantic attraction to the same sex.
  • In the Closet: Keeping one's sexual orientation and/or gender or sex identity a secret.
  • Invisible Minority: A group whose minority status is not always immediately visible, such as some disabled people and LGBTIQ people. This lack of visibility may make organizing for rights difficult.
  • Lesbian: A woman attracted to a woman.
  • Sexual Orientation: The deep-seated direction of one's sexual (erotic) attraction. It is on a continuum and not a set of absolute categories. Sometimes referred to as affection, orientation or sexuality. Sexual orientation evolves through a multistage developmental process, and may change over time. Asexuality is also a sexual orientation.

Famous & Queer

"The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.” - Anderson Cooper (HRC Website)

LGBT identified people are famous musicians, actors, actresses, politicians, writers-- everywhere! Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of people who've identified as LGBT.