Educational,  Social Awareness

Your Ultimate Guide to Pride (Sex, Gender and Orientations)

June is Pride Month. Pride month celebrates taking pride in your sexuality and sexual orientations. With the long and discriminatory history to deviant sexual orientations, it is very little common knowledge about sexuality. This post will list and explain the different sexual and romantic orientations. My hope is that through this post, people become educated and aware that there is more than one orientation, and that through understanding the spectrum, tolerance and love is built.

 

First, we need to establish some definitions. 

Attraction (Who you like)

Romantic attraction is attraction that is based on emotional ties and the desire for a relationship with the love interest. It does not involve sexual attraction, but it is possible to have both a sexual and romantic attraction to someone.

Sexual attraction is an attraction to someone that is solely sexual in nature.

Sex Vs. Gender

Sex uses the terms “male” and “female.” It is based on what is between your legs. If you have a penis, you are a male. If you have a vagina, you are a woman.

Gender uses the terms “man” “boy” “woman” and “girl”. It is based on what is between your ears (your brain). If you feel like you conform more to the social constructs for a woman, you are a woman. If you feel like you conform more to the social constructs for a man, you are a man.  

Different Genders

Cis-gender means that your birth sex and your gender match.

For example, if you are a female (have a vagina) and you identify as a woman, you are cis-gender.

Transgender means that your birth sex differs from your gender.

For example, if you are a male (have a penis) and you identify as a woman, you are transgender. Transgender individuals are called trans-men or trans-women based on what they are transitioning to. If you are transitioning to woman (from a male), you are a trans-woman.

Gender fluid means that you tend to identify as different genders depending on the day.

For example, today, I am feeling more stereotypically manly. Tomorrow, I may feel more stereotypically feminine

Genderless means that you do not particularly relate to any gender and just do your own thing and create your own rules.

I think of Jaden Smith when thinking of genderless, as he has worn dresses and makeup. However, I have to admit that I am ignorant to what he identifies as in terms of gender and sexuality.

Sexual and Romantic Orientations

Sexual Orientations is determining what gender(s) you would typically like to have sex with.

Romantic orientation is determining what gender(s) you would typically like to be in a relationship with, whether or not you desire to have sex with the person you want to be in a relationship with.

Below is a list to help you define your sexual and romantic orientations. It is important to note that I said “define”. It is not to help you choose. We do not choose our sexual and romantic orientations; it is within us. However, it may be hard to define with words. You may think you are confused, or weird or picky. I promise, a definition likely exists for what you are feeling. Once you understand the proper terminology, you can connect with others like you for support and acceptance.

It is important to remember that your romantic orientation and sexual orientation does not have to match. You can be demisexual, polyromantic.

1. Heterosexual / Heteroromantic (Different Gender)

Note: This is what most people in our world sees as normal. “Hetero’’ means different

You are heterosexual if you are only sexually attracted to someone who are the opposite gender than the gender that you identify with.

You are heteroromantic, if you are only romantically attracted to people who are the opposite gender that you identify with.

2. Homosexual / Homoromantic (Same Gender)

Note: This is what is normally called “gay” or “lesbian”. “Homo” means “same”.

You are homosexual if you are only sexually attracted to people who are the same gender that you identify with.

You are homoromantic if you are only romantically attracted to people who are the same gender that you identify with

3. Bisexual / Biromantic (Men and Women, usually cis-gendered)

Note: “Bi” as a prefix means “2”. Therefore, bisexual and biromantic people assume that there are only two genders: men and women.

You are bisexual if you are sexually attracted to both men and women.

You are biromantic if you are romantically attracted to both men and women.

4. Pansexual / Panromantic (All Genders, including transgenders)

Note: “Pan” as a prefix means “all.” Pansexuals do not make the assumption that there are only two genders, and they are not only attracted to cis-gender people. They are attracted to all people

You are pansexual if you are sexually attracted to people of any gender, including transgender.

You are panromantic, if you are romantically attracted to people of any gender, including transgender.

5. Polysexual / Polyromantic (Many but not all genders)

Note: “Poly” as a prefix means “many” but not “all. Polysexuals and polyromantics believe that there are more than two genders but are not necessarily attracted to all of them.

You are polysexual if you are sexually attracted to multiple genders but not all genders.

You are polyromantic if you are romantically attracted to multiple genders but not all genders.

For example, I am romantically (but not sexually) attracted to men, women and transmen. This would make me polyromantic because I am attracted to more than the two basic genders, but not all genders (not transwomen). This does not mean that I am transphobic or discriminatory. It simply means that my natural desire is not aroused by that particular gender.

6. Asexual / Aromantic

Note: “A” as a prefix means “no” or “away from”.

Asexual is typically having no sexual desires for anyone.

A romantic is typically having no romantic desire for anyone.

This does not mean that you will never enter a relationship or have sex. However, the attraction is not there.

7. Demisexual / Demiromantic

Note: “Demi” as a prefix means “half” or “partially.

You are a demisexual if you do not typically feel sexual attraction towards someone unless you start to know them well and (usually) have strong feelings for them

You are a demiromantic if you typically do not feel romantic attraction for someone unless you get to know them first and (usually) have strong feelings for them.

Most demisexuals think that they are just picky. I thought I was picky and that I got pickier with age. The truth is, I find it really difficult to think of someone sexually if I do not have a strong attachment to them first.  I am demisexual.

8. Gray-sexual / Gray-romantic

Note: Gray does not have a definition as a prefix but often gives the connotation that something is in between (because gray is in between black and white).

You are graysexual if you are very rarely sexually attracted to anyone

You are grayromantic if you are very rarely romantically attracted to anyone.

Question of the Week

Do you know all of the sexual and romantic orientations? Can you name them?​

Answer By Christina, Life Coach | Website | Instagram

Straight, gay, bi, pan, cis, trans, ace, demi, queer, sapio, inter, aromantic, andro, gyn, skolio

I love Christina's answer because it is so inclusive. However, she combined sexualities with genders. She also added sapiosexual (attraction to knowledge), androsexual (attraction to men regardless of cisgender or transgender) and gynsexual (attraction to women regardless of cisgender or transgender). Though awesome terms to know, I think they are subdivisions of the other sexual orientations.

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Final Thoughts

This post took me much longer than usual because I wanted to be accurate and detailed for you all. Through it, I discovered even more about my sexuality. There could sometimes be a combined sexuality. I am a cis-gender woman who is hetero-demiexual (sexually attracted to men, but only when I have strong feelings for them) and demi-polyromantic (romantically attracted to me, women and transmen, but only once I know them well). 

Having the exact terminology makes me feel awesome about myself. I pray you find your exact terminology and are happy with it. If you feel comfortable, leave me a comment below with your sex, gender, and sexual and romantic orientations

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  • Kristina Spirit of the Soul

    This is great for those still trying to understand LGBTQ and how people are choosing to label. Whether you agree with this or not, it is important to educate ourselves to understand the world around us and hopefully be accepting.

  • Janeane M Davis

    When I was young, people were either gay or straight. There was nothing else. One good thing about modern life is that people can stand up and be who they are, who they want to be. No one should have to hide in a closet and pretend to be something they are not. This article and list of definitions, may help some people explain how life works to their parents, friends, and co-workers.

  • Kasha J

    I not even sure why so many labels are neccessary. You like what you like. You noted some I’ve never heard of but does ones orientation HAVE to be defined? Are the labels for oneself or other to understand tour preference?

    Good read-kasha j

    • Mish Truth

      Hey Kasha,

      Though labels may be irrelevant to some people, and particularly those who are cis-gendered and heterosexual, many people feel out of place. They feel like they are different or alone. Language is the first step to beginning to understand what they feel. Once they have the language, they could reach out for support and find a community of others like them.

      Realizing I was demi-sexual was awesome. I wasn’t weird for not feeling sexual attraction to people I didn’t know. I wasn’t weird for not enjoying the hookup culture like many of my friends in college. And I wasn’t weird for liking a girl romantically, but not sexually. I finally understood what I was feeling fully and it made me feel so great about myself.

    • Mish Truth

      I do not think that most people on the LGBTQIA spectrum are offended for asking. I think they are more offended when they tell people who refuse to accept them for who they are. I would encourage you to observe their demeanor and see if they would be accepting of a question. Most are, especially if asked genuinely and not sarcastically or with disdain. <3

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