Perhaps the most difficult part of coming out of the closet is deciding what you want to identify as. At least it was for me. When confronted with the acronym LGBT, it might seem like you have to chose one or the other. Are you lesbian or bisexual? Well, neither. Sexual, romantic, and gender identities are all different things that influence identity as a whole, each existing on a spectrum. The spectrum of sexuality involves more than just lesbian, gay or bisexual.
Here’s a list of some alternative sexual orientations that go beyond the LGBT acronym.
There are three umbrella terms to describe sexuality:
Asexual: Little to no sexual attraction to others. This does not mean someone can’t have sex or can’t be in a romantic relationship.
Polysexual: Attractions to more than one gender.
Monosexual: Attraction to only one gender. Someone who identifies as gay, lesbian or heterosexual might also identify as monosexual.
Within these basic identities there are many smaller terms to describe sexual orientation:
Pansexual: Pan, the Greek word for all, simply means that you can be sexually attracted to any people regardless of gender. This is different than bisexual. The prefix “bi” implies a dichotomy of genders: male or female. Pansexual is an all-inclusive term.
Demisexual: Attraction is not felt until a deep emotional connection is made.
Androsexual: Attraction to masculinity, but not necessarily males.
Gynosexual: Attraction to femininity, but not necessarily females.
Omnisexual: Attraction to everyone equally with no gender preference.
Queer: Attraction to someone other than the opposite gender. Queer can be used as an umbrella term for someone who knows they are not straight but does not know what other label to call themselves.
While it’s important to recognize that there are other sexual orientations besides lesbian, gay, and bisexual, not labeling yourself can be just as important! Your worth in the LGBT community isn’t defined by how you label yourself. Sexuality, like many other things, exists on a spectrum. Only you know where you fall on that spectrum.
This video goes into further depth about human sexuality and is worth a look!