I Can’t Keep up with the Letters

Photo courtesy @sharonmccutcheon

Annie Peterson | Civil Patriot

On February 4th President Biden signed Executive Order #52. Instead of talking about the staggering number of ways he’s seeking to undo Trump’s policies with all of these over-the-top orders, let’s focus instead on #52: A memorandum promoting LGBTQI right worldwide 

In short, this executive order supports a global effort to decriminalize homosexuality. 

With that in mind, I thought this would be good time to offer a brief refresher on the current gender terms for those, like me, who are confused by all the letters. 

Starting with the basics, here’s how LGBTQI is broken down: 

  • Lesbian
  • Gay
  • Bi-Sexual (Bi)
  • Transgender
  • Queer
  • Intersex

What jumped at out me is the addition of the new letter “I” for Intersex.  

I’m not going to lie: I had to look that one up. Maybe you did, too. 

According to Vanderbilt.edu is it defined this way: An umbrella term that describes people born with any of 30 different variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals.

While researching, I landed on a list of definitions of all of the gender definitions broken down. (This might be a good time to admit there were only two when I was growing up, so it was easier to keep up.) I was stunned to find the list has grown beyond my comprehension. 

Here are a few of the new ones that I was unfamiliar with: 

  • Asexual: no interest in sex with anyone
  • Aromantic: no interest in romance
  • Pansexual: sexual attraction with all genders
  • Non-binary: non-exclusively male or female
  • Genderfluid: not conforming to gender roles
  • Genderqueer: gender identity built around the word “queer”
  • Agender: no alignment with male or female; existing without gender
  • Muxe: Mexican people who are assigned male at birth but identify as something different
  • Stud: masculine identifying person who was assigned female at birth 
  • Mahu: 3rd gender people who operate within the culture in traditional Hawaiian/Tahitian spiritual and social roles. 
  • Heterosexism: prejudice against anyone who isn’t heterosexual
  • Cisgender: sticking with the sex you were assigned at birth 
  • LGBTQ2S+ALLY: someone who confronts heterosexism

I just thought it would be good to share the list so you can see what’s happening with the gender-specific definitions that cool kids are using. 

Or, non-gender-specific definitions the cool kids are using. 

And I’m also ready to admit that I’m secretly worried about all of those letters. I’m getting old. My memory’s not what it used to be. By the end of Biden’s term, (if this list is accurate) LGBTQI will become: LGBTQIAAPNGGAMSMHC. And, honestly? I just don’t have it in me to memorize that many letters. 

Not at my age. 



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