LGBTQ 101, adapted for the visually impaired

I generally approach things in this space from a text-heavy, theoretical level. I shoot for advanced knowledge and understanding, because so much of what I end up doing in other spaces (including meatspace) is basic 101-level stuff. But I came up with what I think is a pretty easy and elegant visual way to understand the labels LGBTQ.

The following are Community labels. While they can and are frequently used as individual identity labels, not everyone in these communities uses these labels for personal identification. They are broad and general and not intended to describe people’s attractions in fine detail.

Straight: a person who is attracted to people of another (almost always constructed as a binary “other” or “opposite”) sex/gender.

Lesbian: a female-identified person who is attracted to other female-identified persons.

[image: A circle with the letter ‘L’]

A circle with the letter 'L'

Gay: a person attracted to others of the same sex/gender. Frequently used to refer to male-identified persons, but can also be used to refer to someone of any sex/gender whose attraction is to the same sex/gender.

[image: Same as Image 1, with a larger added circle that intersects about 50% with the letter ‘G’ in the section that doesn’t intersect.]

Image 1, with a larger added circle that intersects about 50% with the letter 'G' in the section that doesn't intersect.

Bisexual: a person of any sex/gender who is attracted to people of the same and other sexes/genders. Non-monosexual.

[image: Same as Image 2, with a non-intersecting circle about midway in size between the previous circles placed just below them, with the letter ‘B’ inside.]

Image 2, with a non-intersecting circle about midway in size between the previous circles placed just below them, with the letter 'B' inside.

Trans*gender: a person whose gender assigned at birth does not match their internal sense of self-gender. This includes people who identify as a binary gender, and people whose gender identity is not defined in a binary. Trans*gender people can identify as straight, gay, lesbian, or bisexual, as sexual orientation and gender identity/presentation are not the same.

[image: same as Image 3 with an added ellipse that intersects all three existing circles, but not intersecting the letters, with a letter ‘T’ inside.]

Image 3 with an added ellipse that intersects all three existing circles, but not intersecting the letters, with a letter 'T' inside.

Queer: anyone who does not identify as straight and/or cisgendered. This term was a slur that is being reclaimed as a positive since the mid-1980s.

[image: same as Image 4, with a large circle surrounding all of the previous image except for about 1/5 of the ‘T’ ellipse, and a straight line in the lower right perpendicular, so the figure resembles the letter ‘Q’]

Image 4, with a large circle surrounding all of the previous image except for about 1/5 of the 'T' ellipse, and a straight line in the lower right perpendicular, so the figure resembles the letter 'Q'

ABB, or Anything But Bisexual: This refers to the multiple regional and slang terms that some non-monosexual people use for self-identification. These are personal identification terms that are used by people who also fit the general umbrella definition of being part of the bisexual community in order to have a more specific personal identity label, or to indicate a specific attitude regarding the political implications of gender.

[image: same as Image 5, with a small circle entirely within the circle demarcated by ‘B’ and about 1/4 intersecting with the ‘T’ ellipse, in the area where the ‘T’ and ‘B’ intersect. Inside this circle are the letters ‘ABB’ in a smaller font.]

I release this into the wild, anyone that wants to use it with attribution either under my legal name or through referral to this blog is welcome to do so.

5 Responses to LGBTQ 101, adapted for the visually impaired

  1. Pingback: LGBTQ 101: A look at labels | Eponymous Fliponymous

  2. stormcrow14 says:

    Love this diagram! I get to work with teenagers as a therapist and having something visual should make sexual orientation and gender identity a little bit easier to understand.

  3. E says:

    Very useful and well-written post! But can I please ask you something, if you don’t mind?
    Does pansexuality fall under the ABB label? I ask this because I’ve seen pansexuality referred as either a “subcategory” of bisexuality (one without a strong political or social interest inside the community, specifically) or as an entirely different sexuality. I’ve also heard bisexuality and pansexuality compared in terms of either “bisexual people can’t be attracted to non-binary people, pansexual people can”, “bisexual people are attracted to different genders because of different traits/with different intensity, pansexual people aren’t influenced by gender when they’re attracted to someone”, or “bisexual people always have a preference for one gender, pansexual people don’t”. Is any of this true? Or are they just stereotypes?
    Please forgive me if I’ve worded anything in a wrong or offensive way: I’m not really used to discussing sexuality with anyone and English isn’t my native language, but it’s not my intention to hurt anybody! Also, I’m sorry if this is not the kind of topic you want to talk about here or if you find all these questions rude, if you aren’t able to answer or if you just don’t want to. I’ve read some of your posts and you just seemed like the kind of person who may be give accurate and accesible answers on this sort of topic.
    Thanks in advance, whether you decide to answer or choose not to!

    • fliponymous says:

      The discourse you describe is *exactly* why pansexuality is the biggest of the Anything But Bisexual labels… and the one that most consistently redefines bisexuality into something that excludes people in order to support a faulty notion.

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