LGTBQ Question?

In the lexicon of non-straight or non-CIS sexual descriptors, we have LGBTQ, for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and “queer.” My question: What does “queer” describe that isn’t covered by “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered”? Also, is there a meaningful distinction between “pansexual” and “bisexual”? Is it really possible to be one and not the other?

So far as I understand it, the Q stands for Questioning.


Q can mean queer or questioning. It’s just a good catch-all for everything else. Pansexual, asexual, genderfluid, etc.

My understanding is that the basic difference between pan and bi is this: Bi is you are attracted to 2 or more genders but your level of attraction towards them will differ. Pan is basically you are attracted to all genders equally.

It includes genderqueer also.

My understanding of the definition of pansexuality (which seems to be backed up by its defintion over on Wikipedia) is that a pansexual can be sexually/romantically attracted to someone, regardless of their sex or gender identity.

An alternative I have heard is QUILTBAG, which should be roomy enough to include everyone that is NBN (non-binary-normative).

It’s a general rule of life that, no matter how many categories you come up with, there will always be some specimens that don’t fit neatly into any of them. You can add a new letter to the acronym every time you find another category, but if you do that, you’ll end up running out of letters before you run out of categories. Or you can include a catchall miscellaneous category.

I’ve been seeing LGBT+ a lot lately, as the “plus” incorporates a lot more than the Q does.

I like to use “LGBTetc.”

The basic rule of information retrieval that I was taught was that you can have precision (exactly what’s relevant but probably not everything) or recall (everything that might be relevant but also a lot that’s not really), but you can’t have both at the same time.

I was hoping that someone was brave enough to open a post about this very question.

I’ve seen “2S” (two-spirit) added to the list (from Canadian sources).

Not really. The main difference is someone who identifies as “pan” is explicitly signaling that they’re open to dating people who are trans or who don’t fit the traditional gender binary, but lots of people who identify as “bi” are also okay with dating trans/non-binary people as well.