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Asexual – a person who feels little or no sexual desire or attraction (which is different from celibacy – which is abstention from sex). Sometimes abbreviated to “ace.”
Bear – a large, hairy man.
Bisexual – someone who is attracted to people of both their own gender and another gender.
Cisgender – a person who is not transgender is “cis” ie they identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.
Cross dresser – a person who dresses in the clothing usually associated with another gender (but is not necessarily gay).
Drag queen – a man who dresses as a woman for entertainment, usually an exaggerated expression of femininity. Not to be confused with cross dressing or a person who is transgender.
Femme – someone who identifies as feminine, either physically, mentally, or emotionally (often used to describe a feminine-presenting queer woman).
Fluid – a person whose gender or sexual identity may shift over time.
Friend of Dorothy’s – a gay man (referring to gay icon Judy Garland).
Gay – most commonly used to refer to men who are attracted to other men, but also used by some lesbians. Also: happy.
Intersex – someone born with a sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of female or male.
Lesbian – a woman who is attracted to other women.
Non-binary – anyone whose identity doesn’t fit neatly into the categories of “man” or “woman,” or “male” or “female.”
Otter – A thin or athletic man, who also tends to be hairy (an extended part of the bear community).
Pansexual – anyone who is attracted to people of all gender identities.
Polyamorous – people who have multiple, consensual, non-monogamous relationships.
Queer – an umbrella term that refers to anyone who isn’t straight. Historically used as a derogatory term, not everyone embraces its use.
Twink – a slender, young gay man.
Transgender – someone whose gender identity differs from the gender they were assigned at birth. Not all non-binary people identify as transgender, and some who have transitioned choose to identify as simply a “man” or “woman.”
This article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of W42ST magazine. Stay in touch with W42ST and be first to read stories like this when you join our daily newsletter at w42st.com.