How much do you know about sexual orientation and gender identities? Like me, I’m sure some of you gets it confused with gender identity. It’s 2021, and it’s about time everyone learns and accept the diversity of each individual’s sexual or gender preferences.
Have you ever asked yourself, “What’s my gender identity?” or “How do I understand other people better?”
That’s why before we give a detailed run down to every sexual orientation known today, we’ll discuss and differentiate what is sexual orientation from gender identity.
Author’s Note: This will be a LONG read. but you can skip to parts you need to. If you have any concerns or if I made any mistakes in writing this, please let me know so I can do the necessary corrections. I wrote this article as an ally. Hoping that this will help others in understanding each type of gender identities better, and treat each other with utmost RESPECT.
Sexual Orientation vs Gender Identity
According to the study and definition on APA.org:
“Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and/or sexual attractions to men, women or both sexes. Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the other sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex.
Gender identity is how a person identifies themselves as. You can identify as male or female, depending on what reproductive organ you were born with. Transgender people identify as what they believe they are. If one is born male and identifies as a woman, then she is considered a transgender woman. If a person is born female but identifies as male, then he is considered a transgender male.”
In layman’s terms, sexual orientation is how you co-relate those attractions to other people or some themselves. They can be attracted to the same, different, or a variety of labels.
We’ll go in-depth as we identify each one. This is not in any particular order.
List of Gender Identities
Feel free to either click the link or scroll down to read the entire list of gender identities
(people who are attracted to the same gender)
This is applicable to a gay man if he’s attracted to another man. Lesbian if it’s a woman who’s attracted to another woman. Avoid using the word “homosexuals” as the outdated term is already considered derogatory by majority.
Famous Gay Personality: Portia De Rossi
When she split up with former beau Francesca Gregorini in 2005, she revealed her sexual orientation to the press. They were dating between the years of 2001 and 2004. Portia began dating Ellen de Generes, another well-known host, in 2005, and the pair is still together today.
(woman attracted to women)
There are women who are attracted to other women on a physical, romantic, or emotional level. Lesbians may also self-identify as gay men or gay women.
(attracted to both male and female)
A popular misconception is that bisexuals or bisexuals must have sexual intercourse in order to qualify as such. No, you don’t. It refers to a person who is attracted to both the same and different genders. Throughout one’s existence, this attraction can manifest itself in a variety of ways and to varying degrees.
People can describe themselves as bi-curious if they are unsure if they are attracted to people of the same gender as well as people of another gender.
Famous bisexual personality: Angelina Jolie
She told OK Magazine, “I have loved women in the past and slept with them. I think if you love and want to pleasure a woman, particularly if you are a woman yourself, then certainly you know how to do things a certain way.”
(Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or cisgender)
I am often perplexed by this description. Many who identify as queer use this word because they find the words lesbian, homosexual, and bisexual to be too restrictive. Particularly within the LGBT community, queerness is not widely acknowledged. Queer is commonly used when you are not strictly heterosexual but cannot identify with a single orientation.
Queer is questioning.
(People who do not feel any sexual attraction to anyone)
Hugs, cuddles, and human companionship are essential to asexual people. However, they do not pursue further relationships because they lack the physical need for any sexual desire. In tests, it has been contrasted and equated with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), as both suggest a general lack of sexual attraction to others.
Being asexual does not necessarily imply that an individual has a medical condition or social issues. Asexuality is clearly a lack of sexual attraction to others and is not regarded as a hindrance to their daily life.
Famous Asexual Personality: Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla once said, “I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.” True to his word, the famous inventor never married and it is believed that he may have died a virgin. His true love was in the act of creation and has said that “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.”
(people who do not experience romantic attraction)
Aromantics are always confused with Asexuals. But compared to asexuals who do not find any gender attractive. On an interview on Cosmopolitan magazine, an aromantic answered “Hanging out with people is cool. Sex is cool. Pretty robotic when it comes to “romantic” feelings. “When I’m away from people, I don’t miss it. When I am with them, I do enjoy myself.”
Sexual and romantic feelings are different.
(Attracted to the opposite sex)
These are people who identify as straight. They are only attracted to 1 gender and that is the opposite. A man is attracted to a woman. A woman attracted to a man.
(Can be attracted to anyone regardless of gender identity or types of sexuality)
It is also known as omnisexuality or being gender-blind. The most important feature of a pansexual individual is that they are not limited by their attraction to one gender or the other. Basically, if you’re pansexual, it doesn’t matter what your partner’s sexual orientation is.
Some people believe that pansexuals can be attracted to objects, animals, and so on. This is a common misconception. No, it does not. Pansexuals are only drawn to other people, regardless of gender or sexuality.
Who Can Pansexual People Date?
Famous Pansexual Personality: Miley Cyrus
“I went to the LGBTQ centre here in L.A., and I started hearing these stories. I saw one human in particular who didn’t identify as male or female. Looking at them, they were both: beautiful and sexy and tough but vulnerable and feminine but masculine. And I related to that person more than I related to anyone in my life,” Miley explains.
(intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all partners involved.)
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, polyamory is “the state or practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time.”
In an interview with Teen Vogue, podcast host of Sex Ed in Color and writer Cameron Glover explained, “What differentiates polyamory is that polyamory itself is not so much about the number of people you can have sex with or anything like that, but the number of folks you can have and create substantial relationships with, that may include sex, but that can encompass other relationship components.”
Famous Polyamorous Relationship: Nebraska Thunderfuck, Nick San Pedro and RuPaul’s Drag Race star Derrick Barry
(Polysexuality is sexual attraction to multiple, but not all, genders.)
Polyamory, on the other hand, incorporates romance into the relationship mix. Polysexuality is described as sexual attraction to multiple genders and sexual engagement with multiple genders. Attraction is solely sexual, nothing else matters. It is true and should be respected in the same way as any other sexual orientation is.
(a belief that heterosexuality is the only valid sexual orientation)
Argh. I’m writing this description with such a look of disgust on my face that it’s causing me wrinkles. There are individuals who believe that the only acceptable sexual orientations are male and female. Merriam Webster defines it as “based on the belief that heteronormativity is the only standard and natural representation of sexuality.”
It’s harmful and condones hatred and violence. I hope this “belief” gets eradicated soon.
(An ally is a person who is a member of the dominant group who works to end oppression in his or her own personal and professional life by supporting and advocating with the oppressed population.)
Personally, I identify myself as an Ally.
You can be heterosexual while still supporting other sexual orientations, particularly when others are marginalized due to their differences. Allies are those who support the civil rights of homosexuals, bisexuals, queers, and others who face bigotry. They contribute to a more welcoming atmosphere, whether in the workplace, public meetings, or private gatherings.
If you’re confused about your gender identity, take a deep breath. Relax. Do not pressure yourself to conform to any definition. These sexual orientations are social constructs that should be used as a guide, not a strict direction. Regardless of who you are and what you identify as. What’s important is giving equal respect to all human beings.