What is an Ally? LGBTQ+ Terms and Allyship | theSkimm
Pride terms
The Story

There are millions of people around the world that identify as LGBTQ+. And there are a lot of acronyms and terms you should know while waving the pride flag.

I’m ready.

Start with the difference between these essential three:

Sex: A label—male, female, or intersex—assigned at birth based on your biological makeup.

Gender identity: A person’s sense of their own gender. Can be the same or different from one's assigned sex at birth. It’s how one perceives and carries themselves.

Sexual orientation: A person’s attraction to another person. Think: emotional, physical, romantic, spiritual and more.

People like to say: gender identity is who you go to bed as, sexual orientation is who you go to bed with...or don’t.

Now let’s get into the details.


Agender
Ally
Androgynous
Asexual
Binary
Biphobia
Bisexual
Cisgender
Cissexism
Drag kings and queens
Gay
Gender affirmation surgery
Gender attribution
Gender-expansive
Gender expression
Gender-fluid
Gender identity
Gender non-conforming
Gender pronouns
Genderqueer
Gender transition
Heterosexism
Heterosexual privilege
Homophobia
Homosexual
Intersex
Lesbian
LGBTQ+
Non-binary
Pansexual
Pride flag

Pride flag: The most widely known LGBTQ+ symbol aka the rainbow flag. It has six colors: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for the sun, green for nature, royal blue for art, and violet for spirit. Fabric for hot pink was not available for mass production so it was dropped. There’s also a version of the flag with brown and black stripes added to be more inclusive of people of color. And while the traditional six-stripe flag is commonly used, there are a lot of other flags that include different colors and stripes to represent other parts of the LGBTQ+ community.

Queer
Questioning
Transgender
Transphobia

theSkimm

This list is not exhaustive and these terms are personal (they might mean different things for different people). So before you wave that pride flag, be sure to know these terms and always keep an open mind. To read more, check sources like GLAAD

, and the CDC