Understanding LGBTQ and Sexuality From A to Z

lgbtLGBTQ or the longer acronym, LGBTQQIAAP stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Allies, Pansexual. It’s lost on many Arabs due to misconceptions, and an inexcusable homophobia, but views are changing and people want to learn.

Here are some terms folks should know to get started on a basic understanding of sexuality. These terms are very much real, nothing about them is fictional or an illness. It’s a matter of emotion, preference, and identity. Shall we?


A-sexual – no sexual attraction.

BDSM – Bondage Discipline Sadomasochism is a variety of erotic practices involving dominance and submission, role-playing, restraint, and other interpersonal dynamics.

Bisexual – a person who has fantasies, feelings, actions towards both genders.

Cisgender – social and cultural system is consistent with identity (typical) assigned at birth.

Cross-dressing: dressing as the opposite sex.

Gay – a man who has fantasies, feelings, actions towards another man.

Genitalia – reproductive organs especially externally.


Gender – is a multi-faced, complex, always changing, and infinitely sociocultural in nature.

Gender socialization – the tendency for boys and girls to be behave differently according to gender norms.

Gender assignment – given initial designation by a doctor.

Gender Identity – “who I am”.

Gender Role – how you chose to socially present yourself.

Gender Attribution – how the public interprets your gender.

Gender Queer – protesting gender binary, gender fluid, both or neither.

Heterosexual – a person attracted to a person of the different gender.

Homosexual – a person attracted to a person of the same gender.


Intersectionality – race, class, body, and gender. very freakin’ important in understanding sexuality!!!

Intersexuality – existing or occurring between two sexes.

Lesbian – a woman who has fantasies, feelings, actions towards another woman.

Pansexual – not limited in sexual choice with regard to gender or activity.

Patriarchy – is about the social relations of power between men and women, aka that shit we don’t like.

Performance – “being” a certain identity.

Performativity – performing an identity which can be thought of as “doing”.


Queer – an inclusive term for gay and lesbian people. It has social and political connotation.

Questioning – not clear of and questioning identity.

Sex – A) biological gender of a person. B) Erotic activity between people. C) Awesome.

Sexology – the study of human sexual life or relationships.

Sexual orientation – cumulative experience and interactions of erotic fantasy, romantic and emotional feelings and sexual behavior directed towards one or both sexes.

Transgendered – contesting cisgender.

Trans – a person whose biological gender may not match their gender identity.


WE SAID THIS: Check out 10 Openly LGBT Leaders in Technology and Business.

Samar Marwan is the accidental product of Palestinian refugees living between the West and Middle East. The San Francisco native is hella serious about PCRF, LGBT rights, and burritos. Through her online writings she is intent on breaking taboos in the Arab world and liberating the white man from orientalism. Currently, she is planning a revolution against the hipsters. Send her your love (or hate) at HellaSamar or samar@scoopempire.com.