Asexual: experiencing little to no sexual attraction to others; may also have a lack of interest in sexual relationships and/or behavior.
Bisexual: experiencing attraction to some people of their gender and other genders; bisexuality does not need to be equally split between two genders, nor does it have to exist on the man/woman binary.
Gay: experiencing attraction solely or primarily to members of the same gender; can refer to both gay man-identified people and lesbian woman-identified folx. “Gay” is also often used as an umbrella term to encompass all of the queer community, or an individual identity for someone who broadly identifies as not straight.
Homosexual: experiencing emotional, physical, and/or sexual attraction to people of the same gender. This term is typically considered medical, stigmatizing, and is discouraged from common use due to its history of being pathologized as a mental illness.
Lesbian: woman-identified individuals who are primarily or solely attracted to other woman-identified folx.
Pansexual: experiencing sexual/romantic/physical/spiritual attraction to members of all gender identities and expressions.
Queer: often used as an umbrella term to describe folx who don’t identify as straight or cisgender. The term “queer” can often also be used interchangeably with the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. This term has been used derogatorily in the past, so many members of the LGBTQ+ community are uncomfortable with its use, and others have reclaimed the word to define their experience in the community.
Questioning: unsure about or exploring one’s own sexual orientation or gender identity
Straight: experiencing attraction to people who are not their same gender; a more colloquial term for heterosexual.
Killerman, S. (n.d.). The Safe Zone Project: Core Vocabulary. Retrieved October 13, 2020, from https://thesafezoneproject.com/activities/core-vocabulary/