Hello my fellow queerders! This is a space where I’ll explain or expand on certain words. Sometimes it’ll be a straight definition, other times it’ll be the definition with a little subtext or backstory as to why I choose that term over another. It’s meant as a resource and a jumping off point if you’re doing your own research into a topic. This page is constantly being updated as I learn. If you come across a term that isn’t listed, please feel free to share!
As always – if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to message me!
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Heteronormative: “denoting or relating to a world view that promotes heterosexuality as the normal or preferred sexual orientation.”
Cisgender: “denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex.”
Sexual Attraction: “attraction on the basis of sexual desire or the quality of arousing such interest. Sexual attractiveness or sex appeal is an individual’s ability to attract the sexual or erotic interest of another person, and is a factor in sexual selection or mate choice.”
Romantic Attraction: “Romantic attraction is an emotional response that most people often feel that results in a desire for a romantic relationship with the person that the attraction is felt towards. Many asexual people experience romantic attraction even though they do not feel sexual attraction.”
Gender Roles: “a set of societal norms dictating the types of behaviors which are generally considered acceptable, appropriate, or desirable for people based on their actual or perceived sex or sexuality.”
There was a fabulous hashtag “Pizza Roles Not Gender Roles” back in March of 2015 that touched on the issues of enforced gender roles and how they’re actually harmful. If you’re looking for something to distract yourself with, I’d give the following YouTube Videos a watch (which will probably send you on an awesome YouTube rabbit hole journey):
Queerbaiting (or Queer Baiting): “when people in the media (usually television/movies) add homoerotic tension between two characters to attract more liberal and queer viewers with the indication of them not ever getting together for real in the show/book/movie” or a “tactic where a queer relationship or character is hinted at to attract/appeal to the queer market, and then is denied, either modifying the character’s behavior (making them enter an opposite gender relationship), playing it off as a joke (sometimes a recurring joke or trope), or denying the assumptions (in interviews, panels and such) without modifying the character’s behavior.”
Recently, this has been something that has started taking on a new definition to where showrunners/screenwriters include a gay character or relationship in their show, but do not actively do anything with it or give those characters/relationships little screen time. It is the inclusion of queer themes (whether tension, characters, relationships, etc) to gain a bolstered number to their ratings by appealing to a queer audience.
Homosexual: “a person who is sexually attracted to people of their own sex.”
LGBTTQQIAAP (or commonly referred to as LGBTQ, LGBT, LGBT+, GLBT, etc.): lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual.
Lesbian: “relating to homosexual women or to homosexuality in women.”
Gay: “relating to homosexual men or to homosexuality in men.”
Bisexual: “a person who is sexually attracted to both men and women.”
Transgender: “denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.”
Queer Alphabet: This is an original umbrella term that I use when talking about the LGBTQ+ spectrum. I use this because as I have studied queer culture (and lived it), the acronym has changed more times that I can count. The issue with using a specific acronym is that sometimes orientations are left out (as noted in the extended list that I have above, under the definition). My intention is to never unintentionally exclude someone from the conversation, so I use “the queer alphabet” as a catch all phrase when talking about the sexual orientation spectrum.