Do you know what number you sit on the Kinsey Scale? What about the Klein Grid? Do you identify with a number, a number and a letter… or like most people do you identify with a label? Perhaps you refuse labels altogether. Perhaps “Queer” fits you like a snug glove.

Either way, knowledge is power : take a look at these definitions and make your own mind up from there.

The definitions here will define sexuality beyond the binary. The binary refers to definitive male and female sexual characteristics, cis-gender men and women. However, we know that intersex people exist, just as transgender, non-binary and agender people exist.

When it comes to sexuality, just like gender and sex, attraction and desire aren’t as rigid as mainstream heteronormative society would like us to believe. Attraction can be sexual and/or romantic, it can be fluid, changing with the seasons, with age, with people we meet.

Some say that labelling can be harmful and divisive, but for many who feel repressed within a society that doesn’t let them exist, labels can also be liberating and empowering, where you find your sense of community.

Defining terms around gender and sexuality

Let’s take a look at the diverse rainbow of attraction we use for our identities:


The “Alphabet Soup” of sexuality, stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, plus the many more that follow here.


The sexual attraction to a member of the opposite gender.


Mostly heterosexual, but with sexual tendencies towards the same gender, or other genders.


The romantic attraction toward members of the opposite gender, typically an identity associated with asexuality, or bisexuality.


Some people use this identity to describe their attraction to gender within the binary. More recent bisexual activism clearly states it as the sexual attraction to more than one gender to include attraction toward trans and non-binary individuals.


The curious tendencies to have a sexual experience with a member of the same gender and other genders.


The romantic attraction to people of the same gender and other genders.


This identity describes the attraction to all genders, including trans and non-binary folk. Though it was formed in opposition to the original meaning of bisexuality, many in the community now equate it with bisexuality, or even refer it as under the bisexual umbrella.


This is the sexual attraction to some, but not all genders.


The sexual attraction to genderqueer, trans and/or non-binary folk, excluding cisgender people.  


The sexual attraction to members of the same gender. Generationally, “gay” has multiple connotations. Historically, it describes a “happy” character, more recently it has been used as a derogatory word “that’s so gay” equating to “that’s so shit”. “Homosexuality” has been termed as an outdated and medicalised term for gay people.


The romantic attraction to members of the same gender.


Queer is an umbrella term for gender and sexual minorities.
A long standing history of negativity, “queer” originally meant “weird”, and as an offensive term towards anyone living outside of heterosexual norms. Many people are now reclaiming this word as a positive one.


A woman sexually interested in other women. This identity is often used by cis and trans women who are attracted to other cis and trans identifying women.


The lack of sexual attraction to any gender.


The lack of romantic attraction to any gender.


Where sexual attraction only comes after an emotional bond has been made, with any gender.


Where a romantic attraction only comes after a long period of emotional connection has been made.


The sexual attraction toward people with masculine qualities.


The romantic attraction toward people with masculine qualities.


The sexual attraction toward people with feminine qualities.


The romantic attraction toward people with feminine qualities.


Attraction to intelligence. This term has become controversial as some see it to be ableist


When someone is still figuring out their sexuality. They may feel uncertain about assigning a rigid label to themselves, and assign this while navigating their sexual and/or romantic feelings.


When a non-heterosexual person is hiding their sexual identity from other individuals. Usually for fear of judgement, harassment, and homophobic violence.


When a non-heterosexual person is not hiding their non-heterosexual identity.


When someone has exposed a non-heterosexual person’s identity without their permission.

Coming Out

A process of telling people that you aren’t heterosexual. This is a continual process, one that queer people do throughout their lives, when they meet new people, start new jobs.


The word of 2019, they/them/their/theirs/themselves is a singular pronoun used to describe a person in the place of he/she. Either when one doesn’t know the gender of the person being described, or specifically if they identify as genderqueer, trans or non-binary.

Choose your own adventure

The beauty of these rainbow identities is that we don’t have to be one forever. We can choose multiple descriptors at different times in our life that feels right for us. They can be used to empower, liberate and for community, a shared experience. Don’t rush to label yourself, but also don’t let others label you.
Claim a label, or resist them, it’s your identity.


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