What is LGBTQIA+?

So…What do all those letters mean?

Lesbian | A woman who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to other women.

Gay | A person who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to members of the same gender.

Bisexual | A person emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to more than one sex, gender or gender identity though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree.

Transgender | An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.

Queer | A term people often use to express fluid identities and orientations. Often used interchangeably with “LGBTQ.” Also an umbrella term for all of those who do not identify as strictly heterosexual and/or cisgender.

Intersex | An umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations. In some cases, these traits are visible at birth, and in others, they are not apparent until puberty. Some chromosomal variations of this type may not be physically apparent at all.

Asexual | The lack of a sexual attraction or desire for other people.

+  The plus sign is to be inclusive of all the other sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions not already in this acronym.  Check out all terms here.

What’s an Ally? …..I thought that was the “A”.

Ally | A person who is not LGBTQ but shows support for LGBTQ people and promotes equality in a variety of ways.

What does cisgender or cis mean?

Cisgender | A term used to describe a person whose gender identity aligns with those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth.


Why are people using pronouns more in their email signatures and on their nametags?

When someone asks you to use their pronouns, they are asking for you to respect their identity. When someone refers to another person using the wrong pronouns, especially on purpose, that can lead to that person feeling disrespected and can lead to dysphoria, exclusion and alienation. Choosing to add pronouns to your email signature or on a nametag shows you’re open to learning what another person’s chosen pronouns may be and makes them feel respected. Learn more about pronouns on our Pronouns webpage.

sample Ohio State email signature with pronouns listed

*If you have other questions, please contact one of the members of the LGBTQIA+ ERG and we will be glad to reach out to you!