What Does the “+” in LGBTQIAS2+ Represent?


Miftahul Zannat


Sexuality is a spectrum and like a polychromatic rainbow; it should be celebrated in all the beautiful colours it exists in. It reminds us that humans, though similar, differ vastly from each other, and it is this uniqueness of each individual that makes human beings a beautiful species.

After all, it would be a boring existence if all of us were the same. Billions of same-sized cogs in the machine that is the Earth. So, this Pride, we would like to delve into the various sexual identities represented by the “+” in the LGBTQIAS2+ acronym. 

 

Pansexual

Pansexuality is defined as feeling attracted to people regardless of whatever gender identity they may have. Often defined as a gender-blind sexual orientation, the focus of pansexuality is more on the attraction pansexuals experience towards people rather than what sexual organs they may or may not possess.

Omnisexual

An omnisexual person is someone who experiences attraction to all genders, gender playing an important role in this particular orientation. Though, omnisexuality might seem to share similarities with pansexuality, it is different in that the gender of the person one feels attracted to still plays a role in the attraction, as opposed to pansexual people who are gender-blind when attracted to somebody.

Pomosexual

Pomosexuality refers to people who do not fit under any distinct label or refuse to choose a particular sexual orientation label. People who identify themselves as pomosexuals may or may not feel sexual attraction; the focus in this orientation being a refusal to adhere to specific labels because labels might not completely encompass their identities. 

Skoliosexual

Skoliosexuality is defined as attraction to transgender, non-binary, or genderqueer people. Though a relatively new label, skoliosexuality helps those identifying to specify a lack of attraction to cisgender people.

Greysexual

Greysexuality is a sexual orientation characterised by very low intensity or rare sexual attraction. Greysexuality, falling between the asexual and sexual spectrums, is different from asexuality in that though asexual people are completely devoid of sexual attraction, greysexuals still experience limited attraction.

Demisexual

A demisexual person is someone who is unable to experience sexual attraction to anybody unless a strong, emotional bond is developed. A demisexual person may be gay, lesbian, pan, or any of the sexual orientations described above. However, the focus of the label is on the formation of an emotional bond.

Autosexual

An autosexual individual is someone who experiences sexual attraction exclusively towards their own self.

Sapphic

A sapphic is a woman or woman-aligned person who is sexually attracted to other women or woman-aligned people. Coined from the name of the ancient Greek poet “Sappho”, the term seeks to unify pansexual, lesbian, bisexual and all other sexually oriented women, and to display solidarity among all women who love women.

Closeted

People of the LGBTQIAS2+ community who have yet to disclose their sexual orientations or gender identities. This could be due to fear of social stigma and prejudice.

So, someone who is “in the closet” is someone who has not expressed their sexual identity due to societal pressures and someone who is “out of the closet” is someone who has disclosed their sexual orientation.

Polysexual

This sexual identity is characterised by a person feeling attracted to more than two genders. Not to be confused with polyamory which is the ability of a person to remain in a romantic relationship with multiple people at the same time, polysexuality is the ability of a person to feel sexual attraction to many genders but not all.

Androsexual and Gynosexual

An androsexual individual is one who experiences sexual attraction towards masculinity, while a gynosexual individual is one who experiences sexual attraction towards femininity.

 

Being queer is beautiful. And just as not choosing to label yourself is definitely an option, finding the sexual identity that describes you can feel rejuvenating for some. It might be the way some feel confident. At the end of the day, what is most important is that we remember to be kind to ourselves and live our truths.

 


Miftahul is a curly bigfoot who can be seen reading — whenever you spot her, that is. Occasionally, she writes.

 

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