Rainbow Glossary of Terms

Aromantic – A romantic orientation the describes people who experience little or no romantic attraction, regardless of sex or gender.

Asexual – Asexual identity or orientation includes individuals who don’t experience sexual attraction to others of any gender. Also referred to as “aces,” some people who are asexual do experience romantic attraction to people of one or multiple genders.

Autosexual – A person who’s sexually attracted to themselves. Someone’s desire to engage in sexual behavior such as masturbation doesn’t determine whether they’re autosexual.

Biromantic – Those who experience romantic attraction, but not sexual attraction, to individuals of more than one gender.

Bisexual – A sexual orientation that describes those who experience sexual, romantic, or emotional attractions to people of more than one gender.

Demiromantic – This romantic orientation describes individuals who experience romantic attraction only under specific circumstances, such as after building an emotional relationship with a person.

Gay – A term that describes individuals who experience sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction to people of the same or a similar gender. Some gay-identified women prefer the term lesbian, while others prefer queer or gay. It’s also best to ask which word or term someone uses to describe themselves.

Greysexual – Graysexual is a term used to acknowledge the gray area on the sexuality spectrum for people who don’t explicitly and exclusively identify as asexual or aromantic.

Many people who identify as graysexual do experience some sexual attraction or desire, but perhaps not at the same level or frequency as those who identify their sexuality as being completely outside of the asexual spectrum.

Intersex – Intersex people are individuals born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones or genitals that, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, “do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies”.

Lesbian – A woman or female-identified person who experiences sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction to people of the same or a similar gender. Some women who are lesbians may also refer to themselves as gay or queer, while others prefer the label lesbian

Libidoist asexual – A term used to describe an asexual person who experiences sexual feelings that are satisfied through self-stimulation or masturbation.

This label acknowledges that, for some people, acting on libido or sexual feelings doesn’t necessarily involve sexual behavior with others.

Omnisexual – Omnisexual is similar to pansexual and can be used to describe individuals whose sexuality isn’t limited to people of a particular gender, sex, or sexual orientation.

Pomosexual – A term (not necessarily an identity) used to refer to those who reject sexuality labels or don’t identify with any of them.

Queer – An umbrella term that describes individuals who aren’t exclusively heterosexual. The term queer (the Q in LBGTQIA+), acknowledges that sexuality is a spectrum as opposed to a collection of independent and mutually exclusive categories. Use of the word queer opens up options beyond lesbian, gay, and bisexual to individuals who don’t fit neatly into these categories or prefer a category that isn’t dependent on sex and gender.

Sapiosexual – A word used to describe those who experience attraction based on intelligence, rather than sex or gender.

Skoliosexual – A sexual orientation that describes those who are sexually attracted to people with non-cisgender gender identities, such as people who are nonbinary, genderqueer, or trans.

Spectrasexual – A term that describes people who are sexually or romantically attracted to multiple or varied sexes, genders, and gender identities — but not necessarily all or any.

Transgender, or trans – An umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. People under the transgender umbrella may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms – including transgender.

Definitions supplied by Healthline and GLAAD, where you can find more terms and definitions.