Gender identity, however, is how a person identifies themselves. You can identify as male or female depending on what reproductive organ you were born with. Or, in the case of transgender people, you can identify with what you believe you are - how you feel. If a person is born a male but identifies as a woman, then she is considered a transgender woman. If a person is born a female but identifies as male, then he is considered as a transgender male.
In layman's terms, sexual orientation is your attraction to other people, or for some, to themselves. You can be attracted to the same, different, or a variety of genders. We've compiled an in depth sexual orientation list that and looks at the definitions of different types of sexuality.
List of Sexualities:
People who are attracted to the same gender.
Lesbians are women who are physically, romantically, and/or emotionally attracted to other women. Lesbians can also be referred to as gay, however gay is more commonly used for men, when a man is attracted to another man. Both are defined as homosexual.
Famous Gay Personality: Portia De Rossi
Portia opened up about her sexual orientation to the public in 2005 when she broke up with former beau Francesca Gregorini. They dated from 2001-2004. In 2005 Portia started dating famous TV host Ellen de Generes and they are still a happy couple today.
People attracted to both male and female.
A common misconception is that bisexuals need to have a sexual experience to identify as one - they don't. Bisexual means a person who can be attracted to the same or different gender. This attraction can vary in different ways and degrees in one's lifetime.
People might say they're bi-curious if they're exploring whether they’re attracted to people of the same gender, as well as people of another gender.
Famous bisexual personality: Angelina Jolie.
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexuals.
Those who identify as queer use this term because they find the terms lesbian, gay, and bisexual too limiting. More often than not, queer is used when you're not exclusively heterosexual but cannot yet identify with a specific orientation. Queer is questioning. It is not however, a universally acceptable term within the LGBT community as to be referred to as "queer" has historically been defamatory.
People who do not feel any sexual attraction to anyone.
Asexual people appreciate hugs, cuddles, and human companionship, but they do not go into relationships beyond that because they lack the desire or physical need for any sexual contact. It has been likened to hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), in that both imply a general lack of sexual attraction to anyone.
Being asexual does not define someone as having a medical problem or a problem relating to others socially. Asexuality is simply a lack of sexual attraction to anyone and is not considered a hindrance to everyday life.
Famous Asexual Personality: Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla never married and it is believed that he may have died a virgin. His one true love was in the act of creation.
People who do not experience romantic attraction.
Aromantics are often confused with and compared to asexuals. As previously mentioned, asexuals do not find any gender attractive, however, aromantics do. They are sexual, but not romantically attracted beings.
Famous Asexual Personality: Isaac Newton
Newton was a man who avoided being in society as much as possible. There are no accounts of him being in any kind of relationship, leading to suggestions that he was either aromanic or asexual.
Attracted only to people when there is an emotional connection.
Sometimes described as a halfway point between sexual and asexual, demisexual people have a need to form an emotional bond with their partner first. Different from abstinence, demisexuals simply do not possess a drive to engage in sex until a relationships is formed.
Attracted to the opposite sex.
Hetrosexuals are people who identify as straight. They are only attracted to one gender – the opposite of their own. A man is attracted to a woman. A woman attracted to a man.
Famous Heterosexual: Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman is famous for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men series and Jean Val Jean in the classic Les Miserable. Besides being a mega-star, he’s also known for being a loyal husband to his wife and the ultimate family man.
Can be attracted to anyone regardless of gender identity or types of sexuality.
Pansexuals can also be referred to as omnisexuals or as being gender-blind. The most important characteristic of a pansexual is that they are not restricted by being attracted to one gender or another. Basically, if you’re pansexual, it doesn’t matter what’s the sexual orientation of your partner is.
A common misconception held by some people is that pansexuals can also be attracted to things, animals, etc. No! Pansexuals are only attracted to fellow human beings regardless of their gender or sexuality. They are open to all - gays, lesbians, asexuals, aromantics, bi-sexuals and transgenders.
Famous Pansexual Personality: Miley Cyrus
According to ENews! Miley was quoted saying, "I went to the LGBTQ center here in L.A., and I started hearing these stories. I saw one human in particular who didn't identify as male or female. Looking at them, they were both: beautiful and sexy and tough but vulnerable and feminine but masculine. And I related to that person more than I related to anyone in my life."
Intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all partners involved.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, polyamory is "the state or practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time." This is not limited to sexual relationships, but also includes intimate emotional relationships beyond that of a friendship.
Famous Polyamorous Relationship: Nebraska Thunderf*ck, Nick San Pedro and RuPaul’s Drag Race star Derrick Barry.
Polysexuality is sexual attraction to multiple, but not all, genders.
Unlike Polyamory which includes romance in the relationship mix, Polysexuality is limited to sexual attraction and engagement with multiple genders. Attraction is exclusively sexual – nothing more, nothing less.
Belief that heterosexuality is the only valid sexual orientation.
These are people who assume that the only acceptable sexual orientation is male with female. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary it means "the attitude that heteronormativity is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality." In its extreme, it condones discrimination, hatred and violence.
Famous heteronormative: Rev. Fred Nile
(An ally is a person who is not in a minority group, yet works to end oppression in his or her own personal and professional life, by supporting and advocating the oppressed population).
If you're unsure about what your sexuality is, breathe. Relax, this is not a test! Do not pressure yourself to conform to any definition. These sexual orientations are social constructs that should be used as a guide. Regardless of who you are and what you identify as, what's important is understanding each other and giving equal respect to all human beings.
For professional support, the following organisations provide a wealth of advice and counselling: