Genderqueer, pansexual, "PGP"..there's a lot 2 learn! It's important to be informed abt + sensitive to LGBTQ terms
Regardless of your own sexuality, it's important to be aware of the different sexual and gender identities that your friends, family and community members may identify with. Being aware of how other people in your life identify (or don't identify) will help you be more supportive and accepting of everyone in your life (including yourself!)
The 101 on Sexuality
Sexuality is about more than just sex. Your sexuality encompasses your body and your sexual and reproductive anatomy, your biological sex, your gender and gender identity, your sexual orientation, your sexual desires and preferences, your relationships and behaviors, and more!
Sexual orientation is an important part of your sexuality – your orientation describes what gender(s) you are attracted to. For example, if you identity as a heterosexual, you likely are attracted to people of the opposite gender. If you identify as gay or homosexual, you likely are attracted to people of your same gender. You may be attracted to people of multiple genders and identify as bisexual, pansexual, both, or none of the above. A person’s sexual orientation can change and be fluid, so one label may not be accurate to describe your orientation. While your sexual orientation may change over your lifetime, research shows that your sexual orientation is based on biological factors – your genetics that are set in place before you are born. Sexual orientation is not a person’s choice and you should never feel pressured to change who you are attracted to.
What is Gender Identity?
Everyone is born with a sex – sex is biological and is determined by the sexual and reproductive anatomy we are born with. Gender is “socially constructed” meaning that culture and society have a big influence on how we think we should act as a girl or boy, man or woman etc.
Our gender identity is how we express our gender, whether it be how we act, dress, or behave. People who feel that their gender matches the sex they were assigned at birth are cisgender. People who do not feel that their gender matches the sex they were assigned at birth may identify as transgender. People who don’t identify as a single gender may identify as genderqueer or gender nonconforming. Gender identity and sexual orientation are NOT the same thing. Transgender people may or may not be gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, or pansexual, just like cisgender people may or may not be gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, or pansexual. A "PGP" or a preferred gender pronoun is how an individual prefers to be referred to. This could be "she, her, her's", "he, him, his" or even "ze, hir, hirs". Learn more about PGP's here.