O to P - LGBTQIA Healthcare Guild

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Like Pansexual, used to describe people who have romantic, sexual or affectional desire for people of all genders and sexes.


Openly Gay or Lesbian:

As a modifier, “openly” is usually not relevant; its use should be restricted to instances in which the public awareness of an individual’s sexual orientation is germane. Examples: Harvey Milk was the first openly gay San Francisco supervisor. “Ellen” was the first sitcom to feature an openly lesbian lead character. “Openly” is preferred over “acknowledged,” “avowed,” “admitted,” “confessed” or “practicing” because of their negative connotations.


The systematic subjugation of a group of people by another group with access to social power, the result of which benefits one group over the other and is maintained by social beliefs and practices.  Exists when one social group, whether knowingly or unconsciously, exploits another social group for its own benefit.


Involuntary disclosure of one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status.  Publicly revealing the sexual orientation or gender identity of an individual who has chosen to keep that information private. Also a verb i.e.: The magazine outed the senator in a front-page story.


Wearing a phallic device on the groin and under clothing for any purposes including: (for someone without a biological penis) the validation or confirmation of one’s masculine gender identity; seduction; and/or sexual readiness (for one who likes to penetrate another during sexual intercourse).

Pangendered / Pansexual:

Pangendered – A person whose gender identity is comprised of all or many gender expressions.  Pansexual – A person who is sexually attracted to all or many gender expressions.

Parent / Parenting:

In general, along with “mother” and “father,” the proper term for a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person, whether single or in a relationship, raising a child or children. Because of the blended nature of many families led by LGBT parents, ask the subject which term he or she prefers, when possible. Mention a parent’s sexual orientation, genetic relationship to the child or conception technique only when germane. LGBT parenting.


The commonly accepted term for a person in a committed gay or lesbian relationship.


Describes a person's ability to be accepted as their preferred gender/sex or race/ethnic identity or to be seen as heterosexual.

Pink Triangle:

Now a gay pride symbol, it was the symbol gay men were required to wear in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Lesbians sometimes also use a black triangle.


Refers to having ethically open, usually non-possessive, relationships with multiple partners and can include: open relationships, polyfidelity (which involves multiple romantic relationships with sexual contact restricted to those), and sub- relationships (which denote distinguishing between a ‘primary" relationship or relationships and various "secondary" relationships).  Also called Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationships (CNM).


Polysexuality is the attraction to multiple genders and/or sexes (an alternative to bisexuality). A polysexual person is one encompassing or characterized by many different kinds of sexuality. Polysexual is a sexual identity within a non-binary construct of gender and sexual orientation.  It is used by people who recognize that the term bisexual reinforces the gender dichotomy that underlies the distinction between heterosexuality and homosexuality, implying that bisexuality is nothing more than a hybrid combination of these gender and sexual dichotomies.

Practicing (AKA “practicing homosexual”):

Avoid this term to describe someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Use “sexually active” as a modifier in circumstances when public awareness of an individual’s behavior is germane.


A conscious or unconscious negative belief about a whole group of people and its individual members.

Pride (aka Gay Pride):

Gay Pride.  Short for gay/lesbian pride, this term is commonly used to indicate the celebrations commemorating the Stonewall Inn riots of June 28, 1969. Pride events typically take place in June.

PFLAG - Parents, Friends, & Family of Lesbians and Gays:

PFLAG is a national non-profit organization with over 200,000 members and supporters and over 350 affiliates in the United States. This vast grassroots network is cultivated, resourced and serviced by PFLAG National, located in Washington, D.C.

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