For people who are still in their teens, for people who are still questioning their gender identities, for anyone who gets disturbed when asked about their gender, this article is to make some basic terms clear to help you identify with the terms and to give you the courage to accept yourself.

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Difference Between Sex and Gender?

These terms are often used interchangeably, but we don’t realize, that these two terms are very different and we need to exactly know what they mean to understand ourselves and others better.

Sex: Sex is biologically defined; it is something you are born with.

Gender: Gender, is more of a sociological term. It is based on socially constructed features. One’s gender doesn’t have to necessarily correspond to their sex.

Meaning of terms that should be helpful to the ones who are yet to discover themselves...

Homosexual: sexually attracted to people of one's sex. [Source: Oxford Dictionary]

Heterosexual : (of a person) sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex. [Source: Oxford Dictonary]

What Is LGBTQ?

LGBTQ is something we all must have heard of, but very few of us would actually be aware of the full forms and what the words exactly mean. It is necessary for us to get aware because this is the society we live in and if we are not aware, we might end up having prejudices and wrong judgments in our minds.

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Let's start with the full form.

LGBTQ: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender Queer or Questioning

Here are the definitions-

Lesbian: A lesbian is a homosexual woman. The word lesbian is also used for women in relation to their sexual identity or sexual behaviour, regardless of sexual orientation, or as an adjective to characterize or associate nouns with female homosexuality or same-sex attraction. [Source: Wikipedia]

Gay: Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term's use as a reference to male homosexuality may date as early as the late 19th century, but its use gradually increased in the mid-20th century. [Source: Wikipedia]

Bisexual: Bisexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behaviour toward both males and females, or to more than one sex or gender. [Source: Wikipedia]

Transgender: Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their sex assigned at birth. Some transgender people who desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another identify as transsexual. [Source: Wikipedia]

Questioning: The questioning of one's sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender, or all three is a process of exploration by people who may be unsure, still exploring, or concerned about applying a social label to themselves for various reasons. The “Q” can also be referred to as queer. [Source: Wikipedia]

It is important to understand that your sexual orientation, gender, and sexual identity doesn’t have to necessarily correspond or coincide with your gender. For example, you can be a woman biologically, who might identify herself with the male gender and can have sexual attraction towards another woman.

For more acceptance of oneself, please know that one is not obliged to label themselves with any gender or sexuality just to feel included and accepted in the society or for any reason whatsoever.

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Agender: Agender is a term when one describes oneself as gender-neutral and doesn’t identify with any gender.

Pansexuality: The word pan means “all”. One can identify as being pansexual if one is attracted to people of all genders irrespective of the person’s gender. Pansexual people have described their attraction based on personality and not gender.

Pride Month: This is a month that is entirely dedicated to empowerment, spreading awareness and upliftment of LGBTQ culture, real stories, etc. LGBTQ is celebrated through dances, parades, memorials, and also celebrations of life for the members of the community who lost their lives to HIV/AIDS. People gather in great numbers and show their support through various symbols, T-shirts, etc.

Homophobia: Dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people. [Source: Oxford Dictonary]

One should keep educating themselves about such topics so that more awareness is raised and people become more open talking about them so that normalcy for anyone and everyone who associates themselves with any gender is promoted; So, that no one has to go through feeling inept or abnormal about themselves and feel accepted in all the societies.

It is also completely okay, like mentioned before, if you still don’t know, which gender you associate to or identify with and it is also okay if you don’t want any labels and tags to be pressed upon you. It's completely your choice.

Just be conscious about your own biases or lack of awareness and don’t forget to educate yourself.

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Purvi Wadhwa

Written by

Purvi Wadhwa

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