Understanding Your Queer Alphabet

LGBTQ and sometimes I, A and P...sounds like a vocabulary lesson. And it kind of is. Since writing my LGBTQ book, I've become more familiar with these terms and understand their importance. As an ignorant heterosexual, if I heard the word "gay," I just assumed it referred to anyone who was not heterosexual.  Boy howdy was I wrong. That would actually be the word "queer."  And there's a part of me that cringes to use that word because when I was younger it was a slanderous term. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I am by NO MEANS an expert on all the acronyms, so instead of speaking about it personally, I cheated. Before you slam me for copying something from the urban dictionary, know that there are 10 terms in several varying possible combinations.  My goal here is to educate common people on LGBTQ terms without offending the LGBTQ community.  If I misspeak/misrepresent something, please don't be angry and kindly correct me.

Here is the link to the urban dictionary definition below. (Comments in yellow are mine.)

LGBTQQIAAP = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Allies and Pansexual.

Lesbian - Women that are only attracted to women.

Gay - Men that are only attracted to men. Gay can also be used to describe homosexual men and women.
Note: Though using the blanket term "gay" can be offensive to some non-"men attracted to men" in the community.

Bisexual - A person that is attracted to both sexes.

Transgendered - A person that has/is transitioning to the opposite sex, as they were born as the wrong sex/in the wrong body.
(Female to male. Male to female). Note: Sometimes the T stands for Transsexual. The difference between Transgender and Transsexual "Transexuality is a condition in which a person identifies himself as opposite to his birth gender. On the other hand transgender is pertained to the behaviour of a person to think different from his or her own gender.  While a transgender person do not think of changing their sex but only like to be dressed like his desired sex, transsexuals want complete physical change and want to be closer to the sex in which they have identified themselves." 

Queer - A person that does not want to label themselves as, e.g. Lesbian, so they call themselves queer instead. Note: At an LGBTQ meeting at an SCBWI Conference, Lee Wind discussed that queer is also a term encompassing all the non-heterosexual terms and that it is a term the gay community has taken back as a positive word.

Questioning - Someone that is questioning their sexual orientation, unsure which gender/s they are attracted to.
Note: Also referred to as IDK = I Don't Know.

Intersex - A hermaphrodite. Note: Here is another explanation I found more appropriate "
Intersex (not intersexed). Hermaphrodite is not a pejorative word, but it's not a very good word to describe a person who is intersex because intersex is a developmental abnormality which can cause a variety of problems."

Asexual - A person that isn't sexually attracted to either gender.

Allies - A straight person that supports the LGBT(QQIAAP) community.

Pansexual - A person that is attracted to a person because of their personality. They do not care what gender (or non-gender) they date, they care about what is on the inside.

All of these make up LGBTQQIAAP.

I hope that gives you a clearer understanding. (And believe you me, some of the explanations for the above terms that I found had varying "if and then" types of answers.) Being open and supportive no matter what the acronym is the important message here.  Though I have to confess, when non-gender people begin to create new pronouns because they don't want to be boxed in under the current pronouns, I furrow my eyebrows and hope to god my brain does not explode from trying to be so politically understanding.