Glossary

« Previous | Next »
BISEXUAL
capable of feeling affectional/erotic attractions toward persons of either sex, male or female.
EROTOCENTRISM
the overriding belief that one’s own sexual behavior and attitude is superior to all others and that one’s own sexuality is the standard by which all others should be judged.
GAY
feels affectional/erotic attraction toward persons of the same biological sex. Once applied to same-sex attracted men and women, it is increasingly confined to same-sex-attracted men, although some women (See LESBIAN) still accept the term as applied to themselves.
GAY COMMUNITY
portrays the general mutual supportiveness that has long existed among all the many varieties of sexual minorities who comprise that community.
GAY LIFESTYLE
a term used pejoratively by heterosexual people to depict all sexual minorities as promiscuous and sex driven. [The judgment distorts the experience of many people’s experience.]
HETEROSEXUAL
having affectional/erotic attractions to persons of the opposite biological sex. [An adjective, it should not be used as a noun.]
HOMOSEXUAL
having affectional/erotic attraction to persons of the same biological sex, or pertaining to such attraction. [Like its counterpart term ?heterosexual? it should not be used as a noun.]
HOMOSEXUALITY
a blanket term for all the varied kinds of sexual orientation, expression, and activity that can be experienced between members of the same biological sex. These range from fantasy to reality, and from affectionate “cuddling” through genital stimulation whether within a committed partnership or in “one-night-stands,” through consensual but anonymous activity in a variety of more-or-less socially acceptable milieus, through prostitution, all the way to rape. The same definition can be applied to HETEROSEXUALITY with the substitution of ?opposite biological sex? for ?same biological sex.? Both terms, if used in the singular, are of little value in reasoned discourse; they are too vague and generalized. They may have some small utility in the plural: HOMOSEXUALITIES and HETEROSEXUALITIES.
HOMOPHOBIA
the irrational fear of persons who are part of the sexual minority; the prejudice growing out of the belief that all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons are promiscuous.
INTERGENDERED, INTERSEXED
born with partial or complete genital attributes of both sexes, or born with incomplete genital attributes of either sex. Some such persons decide to live with the attributes they were born with. The term “hermaphrodite” may be gaining some favor among some such persons. This category is increasingly being added to the acronym GLBT to form GLBTI (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intergendered).
LESBIAN
may be used as a noun or an adjective. As a noun, a female with affectional/erotic attractions to other females; as an adjective, being a female whose affectional/erotic attractions are to other females, or pertaining to being such a female.
QUEER
Once a term of derision for same-sex-oriented people generally, but especially for gay men, it finds increasing acceptance among bisexual, transsexual, transvestite, transgender, intergendered, and other sexual minorities who do not feel included by the terms “gay” and “lesbian.”
SEXUAL MINORITIES
A term covering the mysterious varieties of human sexuality beyond the conventional, including lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgendered and transsexual persons, and intergendered persons.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION
The direction toward which one’s affectional/ erotic attraction is manifested: toward persons of the same biological sex as oneself, toward persons of the opposite biological sex from oneself, or toward persons of either biological sex. The orientation may often be experienced in one’s fantasy life as different from one’s overt expression.
STRAIGHT
often been used as the counterpart to GAY
TRANSGENDER
Identifying with the gender, male or female, opposite to the biological sex assigned at birth. Increasingly this term is used as a blanket term for such manifestations as transvestism and transsexuality, along with transgenderism that does not lead to surgical reassignment or permanent social-role change. Transgenderism does not determine sexual orientation
TRANSSEXUAL
having the physical characteristics of one sex but the psychological identity of the other. Now usually used to refer to someone who is undergoing medical treatment to alter the birth sex, ranging from the administration of hormones to “surgical reassignment.”
TWO SPIRIT or TWO-SPIRITED
Originating in some Native American or First People cultures, this term is being embraced by more and more people who consider themselves to have the characteristics of ?both? genders, or who do not feel themselves confined to one gender or another. In many First People cultures around the world, such people have often filled the roles of “shaman” healer, seer, wise person in their communities.
Transvestism, or cross-dressing
may be engaged in by people of opposite-sex-orientation, by transgender people, or by same-sex-oriented people.
« Previous | Next »