The Scoop with Szmuc: LGBTQIA+ - The Meanings Behind the Letters

This week on The Scoop with Szmuc Her Campus FSU Contributor Lauren Pleasants will be taking over Sharon's column to discuss something a little more serious than usual.

Courtesy: Campus Reform

Acceptance and understanding of the full range of genders, sexes, and sexualities is beginning to finally gain some real momentum. We can legally marry our partners, no matter who they may be, and people at not only getting more comfortable with the idea of everything, but coming out is becoming much easier for those who have spent much of their lives behind the doors society has shut us behind for so long. These DSGs (Diverse Sexualities and Genders) are slowly but surely on their way to being a casually identified part of society, but do you know what they all stand for and truly mean? If not, do not sweat it!

It’s Lauren here, back to give everyone a lesson in the different genders and sexualities present in the world. Everyone is so used to the gender binary, male and female, the idea that sex matches gender, and that sexuality is a choice. Well, today I am here to rock your world and teach you a little lesson that will shake everyone from the heteronormativity we have all been so brainwashed to believe in. This lesson will be in the form of a vocabulary list, so follow along as I blow your mind (and maybe even teach you about something you identify as and didn’t even know it!).

Courtesy: Lucid Heart

Biological Sex: the biological parts we were born with, whether it be a vagina and all its parts, a penis and all its parts, or both. Biological sex does not always align with gender.

Gender: how a person identifies, whether it be male, female, trans, fluid, or choose not to conform to one at all. Because someone identifies as female does not necessarily mean that their biological sex is feminine.

Cisgender: the biological sex a person is born with aligns with their gender.

Lesbian: a female who is attracted to other females, generally between two cisgender people.

Gay: a male who is attracted to other males, generally between two cisgender people. Sometimes as umbrella term used to describe homosexuality.

Bisexual: someone who is attracted to two genders, generally to males and female, all people generally cisgender. This can also include two genders that do no fall in the gender binary. The level of attraction between the two does not have to be equal split 50/50.

Transgender: an umbrella term to cover the entire trans community. Generally pertaining to someone whose gender does not align with their sex assigned at birth.

Queer: sometimes used as an umbrella term to describe the entire LGBTQIA+ community. Often used to describe sexualities that don’t operate within the gender binary.

Questioning: someone who is not sure of their gender/sex/sexuality and is exploring themselves.

Intersex: someone who was born with both male and female sexual organs, with XXY chromosomes.

Asexual: someone who lacks or has low interest in sexual attraction towards others. This can range from either having little desire for sex, to no desire for sex whatsoever.

Aromantic: someone who has little to no interest in romance or forming romantic relationships.

Pansexual: someone who is attracted to anyone of any gender expression or sex.

Demisexual: someone who does not experience sexual attraction without first forming a strong emotional attraction/bond with another person, generally through a romantic relationship.

As you can see, there is a lot that we were not taught growing up, and now is the time to get educated. Yes, there is a lot to learn and it may take some time to get used to these terms and ideas, but understanding these and utilizing them properly will propel us forward in breaking out of heteronormativity so we can live in a world where we can be anything and anyone beyond that.

Here’s the biggest thing: it is okay if you slip up or need help understanding these. You cannot know something without it being explained to you, and those that identify with any of these genders or sexualities understand that. We aren’t trying to make things difficult so you slip up and we can get upset. We are trying to explain everything so everyone can understand each other.

Learn the terms, explore the internet for more, and really get to know what it all means. You could really make someone’s day by understanding who they are or at least showing that you sincerely want to learn.

*If anything is left off this list or is labeled incorrectly it is not intentional. If you see a problem with this list feel free to comment and add onto it in a respectful manner. Thank you.

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For next week’s theme, “Cheating,” Sharon will be answering questions on how to deal with the awful reality of being a fool in love. Submit your questions to [email protected] stating your first name, last name first initial and your age by midnight this Thursday, April 7th. If you would like to be published anonymously, we can do that as well. Just ask when you submit! The first three people to submit questions will receive a free beauty product, and, who knows, maybe you can use it for your next date. Remember, girls and guys are encouraged to send in questions, so stop swiping right and ask away!