Source: Deseo Divergente Tumblr
As we've covered in our previous article, Demystifying Gender, there can be as many genders as there are individuals on the planet. But gender and sexuality are two very different things; Diane Sawyer (lol) simplified it to a concept we can all understand [even though sexuality is more complex than who you sleep with] :
“Sexual orientation is whom you go to bed with. Gender identity is whom you go to bed as.”
Regardless of your gender, your sexual attraction is a different subject. It is precisely this that has caused quite some controversy when it comes to putting labels on sexual orientation. The terms used to define orientation are not agreed upon, especially by the non-binary community, since some words for sexual orientations make reference to one's own gender: heterosexuality and homosexuality, gay and lesbian. (i.e "lesbian" indicates not only that one is attracted to women, but also that one identifies as a woman) Some words for sexual orientations don't make reference to one's own gender, which makes it easier for non-binary people to use them (i.e pansexuality, skoliosexuality, and asexuality).
Understanding that gender and sexuality are a spectrum instead of a binary is, in my opinion, a crucial turning point for a person and a community at large. Not only does it broaden your worldview, but it also gives you a glimpse into a much more fluid colorful future where we are free to choose whoever we want to be independently of whoever we want to fuck independently of however we want to dress. Enough with sentencing a person to a cultural identity they do not want nor need. If you are heterosexual and cisgender you might not feel the need to really sink your teeth into this area of studies, but believe me the reward is great if you do. Information leads to understanding and compassion, and some people are merely scared of the unknown and how to handle the unknown. The world is going to progress with or without you anyway, might as well be an advocate for change and celebrate the spectrum!
[ Disclaimer: Labels are starting points for the purpose of having further conversation about gender & sexuality, a tool. A word can never encapsulate a person. Some identities just scratch the surface of who you are.]
Source: Mayan Toledano©
Androsexual / Androphilic — A romantic or sexual orientation in which one feels attraction to men or masculinity, regardless of one's own gender identity.
Asexual — experiencing little or no sexual attraction to others and/or a lack of interest in sexual relationships/behavior. Asexuality can encapsulate from people who experience no sexual attraction or have any desire for sex, to those who experience low levels, or sexual attraction only under specific conditions.
Bicurious — A curiosity about having attraction to people of the same gender/sex.
Bisexual — A person who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to people of their gender and another gender.
Demisexual — A sexual orientation in which a person feels sexual attraction only to people they have formed a strong bond with, friends for example.
Fluid(ity) – Generally with another term attached, like gender-fluid or fluid-sexuality, fluid(ity) describes a sexual preference that may change or shift over time between or within the mix of the options available.
Gynephilia— A romantic or sexual orientation in which a person feels attraction to women or femininity, regardless of their own gender.