DIFFERENT SEXUALITIES DEFINITIONS
Someone who is sexually or romantically attracted to people of the same sex or gender.
People within the bi+ community define bisexuality in various ways. Some identify as bisexual, while others use pansexual, queer, fluid, or no label at all to describe their attractions to more than one gender.
Demisexual people only or mostly feel sexually attracted to people that they have an emotional bond with.
People who are attracted to members of the opposite sex/gender.
Identifying as a man and being attracted to other people who identify as men.
Identifying as a woman and being attracted to other people who identify as women
An umbrella term for anyone outside of the heterosexual norm. It can be used as both an identity and as a term to define LGBTQ+ communities.
People who are attracted to people of the opposite sex/genders
Experiencing little or no sexual desire.
Experiencing little or no romantic attraction, regardless of sex or gender.
People who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.
People who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.
Sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity.
A word that’s used for someone whose body doesn’t fit the medical definition of a male or female body. People who are intersex can have genes, hormones, or body parts that don’t fit into the male or female categories, or might overlap. There are a lot of ways people can be intersex.
Refers to a person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit, and is used by some Indigenous people to describe their sexual, gender and/or spiritual identity. As an umbrella term it may encompass same-sex attraction and a wide variety of gender variance.
Sometimes we are unsure of our sexuality at a certain time and that is perfectly okay!
Problematic queer narratives
Representation of queer and trans characters in media has very rarely been unproblematic. In the past, queer and trans characters barely existed at all and if they did, they were largely inaccurate and reinforced harmful stereotypes.
These days, you have probably noticed that queer and trans characters in tv and movies are becoming more and more common (yay!).
But it’s important to remain critical of the representations that we are given.
Eric and Adam, Sex Education
In season one of Sex Education, we watch Eric get constantly bullied by Adam Groff, the angry, rebelious son of the school’s headmaster. Adam frequently threatens, physically assaults, and calls out homophobic slurs to Eric.
In the season finale, their tense relationship ends with a twist: stuck in detention together, following a physical fight, Adam kisses Eric and gives him a blowjob. Afterwards, he grabs Eric’s shirt in his fist and threatens him not to say a word about what happened. Though we see Adam and Eric’s story eventually evolve, the closeted-bully trope that is portrayed so often in queer love stories, is a dangerous one. This relationship reinforces the narrative that homophobes are all secretly queer, rather than individuals responding to the toxic heteronormative and homophobic culture we all exist in. Adam never really acknowledges or takes responsibility for the harm his behaviour caused Eric.
Simon, Love, Simon
Simon’s secret romance with “Blue” is exciting and romantic…buuut the hyperfocus on both teens being in and coming out of the closet is limiting and narrow.
The narrative of “coming out” is weaved into queerness in a way that simplifies and paints a uniform brush over all queer experiences. Portraying the experience of “coming out” as essential to being queer suggests that if you are queer and can’t talk about it, you are somehow less queer than your counterparts.
It also portrays coming out as a one-time big event, when in reality, it is often far more complicated than that.
Jughead Jones, Riverdale
Riverdale straightwashing of Jughead Jones’s character was disappointing to many fans. Straightwashing (AKA hetwashing) happens when queer characters or figures are re-written as straight or straight-seeming, partly or entirely erasing their queer identity.
Even when Archie comic writers confirmed that the character of Jughead Jones is asexual, he was still depicted as striaght in the Riverdale series. Asexual characters are very rarely included in 2SLGBTQ+ representation.
Peach Salinger, You
In season one of the Netflix show You, Beck’s best friend, Peach, is a wealthy socialite, who we find out is a closeted lesbian, secretly in love with Beck. Peach is obsessive, controlling, and manipulative when it comes to her friend, playing into the overdone predatory queer villain stereotype.
As the only queer character in the entire series, she is never one that we are encouraged to root for, empathize with, or relate to, and she ends up dying without having the chance to tell her own story.
Cece Drake, Pretty Little Liars
After 5 seasons of Pretty Little Liars, the terrorizing “A” is finally exposed as Cece Drake, a trans AMAB person who underwent gender reassignment surgery and was sent to a psychiatric institution because of her transphobic family.
The trope of a trans character as a psychopathic, deceitful, violent villain is not new. It was infuriating to many fans to see it played out yet again. To make matters worse, Cece’s character is played by a cisgender actress, Vanessa Ray. Having cis people play trans characters, not only robs trans actors of work, but also of the ability to represent themselves.