The + In LGBT+: Queer People Discuss Their Identities

Covering the spectrum of identities often misunderstood and erased, these queer people put the + in LGBT+.

Hida Viloria and Lachlann Watson explain their identities

We often use the acronym LGBT+, but what does the + encompass? The reality is, there are more queer identities out there than most people know about, and these people have publicly spoken about their often misunderstood identities.

Francis Brennan, Asexual

Francis Brennan standing in front of a window holding a spray and cloth

Everyone’s favourite hotel guru, Francis Brennan opened up about one of the most misunderstood identities in 2015 when he explained that he has never been sexually attracted to anyone before:

“I’ve never lusted after anyone. I suppose I’m what you would call asexual. I’m always too tired anyway. So forget that. [Sex] doesn’t interest me at all.

“Well, everyone is always probing this point. When you’re 61 and unmarried there are assumptions made. People think I’m gay but, just so you know, I’m not. I would have had (men) coming on, not in my youth, but as an adult. Nothing too heavy. A wink and a nod.”

Lachlan Watson, Gender Non-Binary

Star of "The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina" Lachlan Watson

Lachlan Watson, star of the hit Netflix show The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, explained to Pop Buzz how they identify as non-binary and how that influenced their character in the hit show:

“I talk so much about myself and my identity as a non-binary person and I think they [show creators] listened, and if anything it helped them understand that labels aren’t everything. Susie is on an ongoing queer journey, just like myself.”

Watson also explained that they used to think they were a trans male, as they thought it was the only option for them:

“I thought that was my only option: ‘I don’t feel like a woman so I guess I’ll be a man,” they said.

Hida Viloria, Intersex

Intersex activist Hida Viloria

Intersex identities are often erased at birth without consent, but activists like Hida Viloria are fighting that.

“Being intersex is fine and this person has been able to grow up happy and successful and feel good about themselves. There’s no reason I have to cut up my child’s body in this non-consensual, irreversible way. I’ll just let them grow up and decide later on if they want to change anything about their body, the way most people get to decide,” said intersex activist Hida Viloria.

Being intersex is when a person is born with physical sex characteristics that don’t fit typical characteristics of males or females.

Christine Sydelko, Asexual

Christine Sydelko showing off the tattoos on her knuckles

This Vine star turned YouTuber sat down with As/Is to talk about her sexual identity.

“I’m not interested in having sexual contact with a male or female or any gender. I have never experienced arousal. My nipples get hard if it is cold outside, but not in a sexual way.

“It doesn’t define me, but it is a part of me. I feel like any close friends that I have, I would want them to know. I told my parents because they kept asking me why I didn’t have a boyfriend.

“Just because you are asexual does not mean you aren’t interested in people romantically.

“We’re just normal people like everyone else.”

Miley Cyrus, Pansexual

Miley Cyrus on the red carpet of the 2018 Met gala in New York

Miley told Variety, “My whole life, I didn’t understand my own gender and my own sexuality. I always hated the word ‘bisexual,’ because that’s even putting me in a box. I don’t ever think about someone being a boy or someone being a girl.

“Also, my nipple pasties and shit never felt sexualized to me. My eyes started opening in the fifth or sixth grade. My first relationship in my life was with a chick. I grew up in a very religious Southern family.

“I went to the LGBTQ centre here in LA, 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.”

Sydney and Shannon, Demisexual

Two girls looking out to the sea

Sydnee and Shannon explained their demisexual identities online.

In an article for Elite Daily, Sydnee Lyons talked about how her first one-night-stand made her realise she is demisexual:

“I only develop a sexual attraction to people after I’ve gotten to know them.”

Similarly, Shannon Ashley wrote on medium.com, “demisexuality rests on the asexual spectrum–which took me a while to grasp since I never thought of myself as asexual. Truth be told, I’ve got a high sex drive.

“A demisexual person doesn’t experience attraction to a person unless they feel a deeper connection.

“It varies for every one of us. When I’m in love I want to have sex every day, even twice a day. But I know some demis who have a moderate or very low libido. There’s no way to know unless you ask us.”

Jason Mraz, ‘Two Spirit’ sexuality

Jason Mraz performing with a guitar

Opening up about his sexuality, Mraz said, “I’ve had experiences with men, even while I was dating the woman who became my wife.

“It was like, ‘Wow, does that mean I am gay?’ And my wife laid it out for me. She calls it ‘Two Spirit,’ which is what the Native Americans call someone who can love both man and woman.”

According to the New York TimesThe term ‘Two-Spirit’ was coined in the early 1990’s at a conference for gay and lesbian Native Americans as an umbrella term with no specific description of gender or sexual orientation.

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