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What does LGBTQ mean?

LGBTQ stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning.” For some, the Q stands for “queer.”

Heterosexual, lesbian, gay and bisexual are all sexual orientations. Sexual orientation is about who we are emotionally, romantically, physically and sexually attracted to. People who are lesbian or gay are attracted to people of their same sex. “Gay” encompasses men who are attracted to men and women who are attracted to women. “Lesbian” is the term for women who are attracted to women. People who are bisexual people can feel attracted to people who identify as men or women or as gender-fluid.

The term “queer” can sometimes apply to someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Some people call themselves queer, but not everyone feels comfortable with that term because it has sometimes been used as an insult against LGBTQ people.

Transgender is different from lesbian, gay and bisexual. Though these terms are often grouped together under LGBTQ, transgender is actually a gender identity, not a sexual orientation.

Gender identity is our innermost sense of whether we feel like we’re a guy, a girl or someone else altogether. Our feelings about our gender identity often match up with the bodies we have. Someone who has a penis and testicles may have an inner sense that says, “Yep, I’m a guy!” and someone who has a vagina and ovaries may have an inner sense that says, “Yep, I’m a girl!” But sometimes our feelings and our bodies don’t match. When our feelings about our gender don’t match our body, that’s called being transgender.

Transgender people can be any sexual orientation, just like people who aren’t transgender can be any sexual orientation.

Some people are very sure about their sexual orientation and gender identity. They may know early on in their lives that they are heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual. They may know clearly that they’re a guy or girl or they may know that their feelings about their gender don’t match their bodies.

What is asexuality?

Asexuality is a sexual orientation. People who are asexual do not experience sexual attraction and won’t experience…

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