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This introductory guide provides information on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning communities.

What is LGBTQ?

LGBTQ is an acronym, a group of letters that represent a group of words.

You may have heard it from friends, coworkers, media, daily conversations, or readings, etc. LGBTQ is an acronym with a lot of meaning, a lot of interpretations, and a lot of history.

LGBTQ is often used to refer to all of the communities of people who identify themselves by this term. Each letter represents the following:

Queer or Questioning

MyEnglishTeacher Blog (Gabriela Preiss)


Additional Information

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in America face discrimination in their daily lives.  A majority of states don’t have explicit laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.  While more states every year strive to pass laws to protect their citizens from discrimination and advance LGBTQ equality, we continue to see lawmakers sponsor bills that invoke religion, pre-empt local protections, and target transgender and nonbinary people to allow, and in some cases mandate, discrimination.

 All people, including those who are LGBTQ, should be treated fairly and equally by the laws of their state and should have the opportunity to earn a living, access housing and healthcare, and participate fully in society.

You can access the ACLU page for a list of active bills affecting LGBTQ rights. They are updated every week.


A Glossary Of Terms Associated With the LGBTQ Communities

This glossary is provided as a starting point for discussion and better understanding.
Language is dynamic, continually growing and changing. This is particularly true with
the language we use to identify ourselves. We should strive to ensure that our
language does not demean, exclude or offend, by respectfully allowing others to selfidentify.
Affectional Orientation: The part of our identity related to whom we are romantically attracted; also
known as romantic orientation.
Ally: A person who does not identify with a group, but still advocates for that group's rights.
Asexual: A person who has no sexual orientation and/or has a lack of interest in sex. Intimate
romantic/affectional relationships may be desired. Some people prefer the nickname “Ace.”
Biphobia: Negative feelings, attitudes, actions, or behaviors against people who are, or are perceived to
be, bisexual or pansexual. It may also be a fear of one's own bisexual or pansexual attractions.
Bisexual: A person who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to men and women.
Cisgender: Someone who is comfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth. The state of not
being transgender.
Cissexism: The systems of advantages bestowed on people who are cisgender. It can also be the
assumption that all people are, or should be, cisgender.
Crossdresser: A person who dresses in clothing deemed inappropriate by society for the gender
assigned them at birth. The purpose is usually emotional comfort or erotic fulfillment.
Drag King & Drag Queen: A person who crossdresses as a means of performance or entertainment.
Gay: While most often associated with men, in its broadest meaning, this is a person who is sexually
and/or romantically attracted to people of the same sex.
Gender: The range of characteristics associated with men and women and the masculine and feminine
attributes assigned to them by society.
Gender Expression: The part of a person's identity that is about expressing masculinity or femininity
as influenced by society, culture and individual expectations.
Gender Identity: The part of a person’s identity that is about their sense of self as male or female,
neither or both.
Gender Non-Conforming: A person whose behavior and/or gender expression does not conform to
societal expectations.
Genderqueer: A person who does not identify as a man or a woman. They might identify as both,
neither or somewhere between. Individuals may prefer other terms for themselves, like non-binary or
Heteronormative: A term that describes the marginalization of non-heterosexual relationships and
reinforces the binary system of viewing gender.
Heterosexism: The systems of advantages bestowed on people who are heterosexual. It can also be
the assumption that all people are, or should be, heterosexual and gender-conforming.
Heterosexual: A man who is only sexually and/or romantically attracted to women or a woman who is
only sexually and/or romantically attracted to men; also known as straight.
Homophobia: Negative feelings, attitudes, actions, or behaviors against LGBTQ people or people
perceived to be LGBTQ. It may also be a fear of one's own same-sex attractions.
Homosexual: An outdated clinical term used to describe someone who is gay or lesbian. Many people
dislike the term since it was used to denote a mental illness.
Intersex: A person whose biological anatomy and/or genes vary from the expected male or female
anatomy and/or genetics.
Lesbian: A woman who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to other women.
LGBTQQIAA2SPP: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Ally,
MSM: An abbreviation for men who have sex with men. They may or may not identify as gay, bisexual
or pansexual.
Omnigender: Possessing all genders. The term is used to oppose the idea that there are only two
Pansexual: A person who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to people regardless of their gender
identity, gender expression or biological sex. This term goes beyond a gender binary.
Polyamory: Having more than one sexual and/or romantic partner with the consent and knowledge of
all individuals.
Queer: A simple label to explain orientations, gender identities and/or gender expressions that do not
conform to societal expectations. Some people view this as a term of empowerment and others strongly
dislike this term.
Questioning: A person who is unsure about their orientation and/or gender identity.
Same-Gender Loving: A term used most frequently in communities of color that affirms the same-sex
attraction of individuals. The term may be preferred over lesbian, gay or bisexual.
Sex: The identification of the biological/physical gender most often categorized as male or female.
Sexual Orientation: The part of our identity related to whom we are sexually attracted.
Trans or Trans*: An inclusive term that encourages people to remember all of the identities under the
transgender umbrella, including: transsexual, crossdresser, genderqueer, genderfluid, two-spirit, etc.
Transgender: In its broadest meaning, this umbrella term encompasses anyone whose self-identity,
behavior or anatomy falls outside of societal gender norms and expectations.
Transphobia: Negative feelings, attitudes, actions, or behaviors against transgender people or people
perceived to be transgender. It may also be a fear of one's own gender non-conformity.
Transsexual: A person whose gender identity is not congruent with their biological sex. These
individuals may or may not pursue hormonal or surgical means to bring congruency to themselves.
Some people dislike this term and prefer the terms: transgender, trans or trans*.
Two-Spirit: A Native American term for LGBTQ individuals with dual or multiple genders. It can mean
having both a masculine and a feminine spirit. It has different meanings in different communities.

Gay Center

 Human Rights Campaign

Human Rights Campaign fights for LGBT equality in Nebraska alongside state and local groups and lawmakers.

LGBT Rights - ACLU of Nebraska

ACLU of Nebraska fights discrimination and moves public opinion through the courts, legislatures, and public education across five issue areas:

  • Relationships
  • Youth and Schools
  • Parenting
  • Gender Identity and Expression
  • Discrimination in Employment, Housing and other areas