A person’s sexuality is their identity in relation to the gender or genders to which they are typically attracted, often called a person’s sexual orientation. Sexuality is an umbrella term that includes sexual feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and attractions towards other people. An individual’s sexuality is personal and unalterable, so it is important to learn about different aspects of human sexuality from a young age to build confidence and knowledge on the subject.
It seems silly that the words used to describe human sexuality take into account our own gender identity and not just the individuals we are physically, sexually, and emotionally attracted to in our lives. These labels can be used to identify other people in certain communities and can help us find people with shared life experiences. There are umbrella labels to describe large groups of people and other terms that refer to more focused crowds. For example, “the LGBTQ+ community” is an abbreviation for the large queer community, specifically using letters to represent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people (and the plus to show there are more sexual orientations than what is listed).
While labels are useful and important for many, some do not use them to describe their sexual orientation. There are many individuals who do not feel entirely represented under some of the more popular terminology and instead choose to forgo a label on their sexuality as they discover and become more confident in their own sexual orientation.
This page is here to help understand common terms relating to sexual orientation and identity. It is important to remember that these terms are only a small portion of human sexuality and should be used as an educational tool and not a complete list of all sexual orientations.
This is by no means a comprehensive list; we will be adding to and developing this page as the website progresses.
Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others. It can also be described as the low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity.
A sexual attraction to multiple genders. Some people experience varying levels of attraction to different gender identities since human sexuality is a spectrum, but they are still sexually attracted to more than one gender. This is closely related to pansexual but not the same sexual orientation.
A sexual attraction to a different gender. Many definitions use the wording “to the opposite gender” but this reinforces the idea that there are only two gender identities (male and female).
A sexual attraction to individuals of one’s own gender. The prefix “homo-” means “the same” while “hetero-” denotes two things that are different.
A sexual attraction to all genders. For some people in the pan community, the attraction stems from the personality and not the gender identity. This is closely related to bisexuality but not the same sexual orientation.
Sources: Identity Labels