We know it can be confusing, particularly if you find yourself new the the queer community either as an ally or explorer of our wonderful community.
There are a lot of different terms used when referring to our community. The most common these days tends to be the LGBT or LGBTQ2+ but neither one of these terms include everyone.
So here's a quick overview of the most common terms used in the expanded acronym - LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual)
Lesbian: A woman who is emotionally, physically, spiritually and/or sexually attracted to women.
Gay: A person whose primary attraction is to people of the same gender. The word can refer to men or women, although some women prefer “lesbian.” Sometimes used as an umbrella term for the LBGT community.
Bisexual: A person who is emotionally, physically, spiritually and/or sexually attracted to members of more than one gender, though not necessarily at the same time.
Trans: “Across”. An umbrella term used for people whose gender identity is not in harmony with their birth assignment, either wholly or partially, or who experience their gender identity as radically different from what is expected of a “man” or “woman.” It includes but is not limited to people who identify as transgender, trans woman, trans man, transsexual, cross-dresser, gender non-conforming, gender variant or gender queer. There are many communities that live under this umbrella and there is no single or universal experience of what it means to be trans.
Queer: An umbrella term used proudly by some people to defy gender or sexual restrictions. This is also one way some people identify themselves as members of the lesbian, gay, bi, and/or trans communities or cultures.
Questioning: A period where a person explores their own sexual and/or gender identity, reflecting on such things as upbringing, expectations from others, and inner landscape. The person may not be certain if s/he is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans and may be trying to figure out how to identify themselves.
Intersex: A person born with biological and/or physical characteristics that are not easily categorized by medical practitioners as male or female. Intersex people are often assigned as either male or female at birth. Some intersex people identify with their assigned sex, while others do not.
Asexual: A person who experiences little or no sexual attraction and who chooses to call themselves asexual. Since sexuality is a socially dominant framework, asexual people may feel marginalized. Not all asexual people are aromantic.
Pansexual: A person who has romantic or sexual attractions to people of any gender or sex.