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Sexual Orientation
 
Sexual orientation refers to our physical, emotional or romantic attraction to people. We can be attracted to someone who has a gender identity that differs from ours, to someone with a similar gender identity, to someone of any gender identity on the spectrum, or we may not be attracted to anyone. Romantic orientation refers to our romantic attraction.  
 
Sexual orientation can often develop at a young age and for some it may evolve over time or at a later point in life.  
 
What does LGBTQ mean? 
  • Lesbian – A term used to describe someone who identifies as female, who is sexually and/or emotionally attracted, to people of a similar assigned sex and/or the same identified gender.
  • Gay – A term used to describe someone who is sexually and/or emotionally attracted to people of a similar assigned sex and/or the same identified gender. 
  • Bisexual – A term that has expanded to refer to sexual or emotional attraction, or both, to people of more than one gender.
  • Trans/Transgender – An umbrella term used to describe people who have a gender identity that differs from their assigned sex at birth.  
  • Two-spirit – A term used by some Indigenous North American people to describe their experiences of sexual orientation, gender identity or spiritual identity.  Some use the term to refer to the presence of the masculine or feminine spirit, or some combination of spirits.
  • Queer – A term sometimes used by people to refer to their identity instead of assigning other labels to their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. 
  • Questioning – A term used to recognize people may be still exploring and questioning their gender identity or sexual orientation, or other aspects of identity, recognizing this is okay and acceptable.  
Additional terms:
  • Asexual – A term used to describe a sexual orientation whereby the person does not experience sexual attraction towards anyone, of any gender.  
  • Heterosexual – A term used to describe someone who is sexually and/or emotionally attracted to people of a different assigned sex and/or a different identified gender.
  • Pansexual – A term used to describe someone who has a sexual, romantic or emotional attraction to someone of any potential gender identity.

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Updated Jul 24, 2017