The Terminology of Pride Month - What is with all the letters, pronouns and flags?


I understand that some of the terminology encountered during Pride Month may be confusing to those who are not familiar with conversations around LGBTQ+ issues. This post is going to be explaining some of the terminology that you might encounter this Pride Month.

Some of my definitions may not be perfectly accurate, but I have tried to present as much terminology as possible in a manner that is easy to understand. Please continue to do your own further reading around this terminology.

Some Unhelpful Responses to Avoid

Non-affirming people (those who do not affirm LGBTQ+ people) seem to be so afraid of all the terminology around LGBTQ+ issues. Rather than taking the time to learn about it, they will complain that the ever-expanding LGBTQ+ vocabulary is “getting ridiculous” and refer to LGBTQ+ folk in derogatory terms such as “the alphabet people.” Meanwhile, the same people will easily list the names of the 25 players in their favourite sports team and happily learn the lyrics to hundreds of their favourite songs.

Furthermore, there is a fairly new trend where non-affirming people will refuse to use people’s preferred pronouns or engage with someone who has pronouns in the bio of their profile. This reveals that they have put no effort into learning the reason and value of doing so.

These are some of the misconceptions that I hope to address in this post. The definitions I provide here are not based on personal beliefs and interpretation, but are the scientifically accepted terminology accepted at this point in time.

Sex, Gender and Sexuality

First, let us make some distinctions between a person’s sex, gender and sexuality.

Sex - The physical anatomy that a person is born with that doctors use to identify their gender.

Gender - The internal understanding that a person has about their gender. This is who they “identify” as.

Cisgender - Someone who identifies as the same sex they were born with.

Transgender - Someone who identifies as a different sex to what they were born with.

Sexuality - Someone’s sexuality defines who they are attracted to. This is usually sexually but not necessarily always.

Heterosexual - Someone who is attracted to the opposite sex.

Homosexual - Someone who is attracted to their same sex.

LGBTQ+ Acronym

Next, let us have a look at the letters used to describe LGBTQ+ people. This acronym is used to refer to the entire group of people who does not fit the gender and sexual norms as generally defined by society. You will notice that I tend to use the LGBTQ+ acronym while others will use shorter or longer acronyms, such as LGBT or LGBTQIAP2S+.

L - Lesbian. A woman who is attracted to other women.

G - Gay. A man who is attracted to other men.

B - Bisexual. A person who is attracted to both men and women.

T - Transgender. A person who identifies as a gender that is different to the sex they were assigned at their birth. Someone who is non-binary does not conform to traditional binary beliefs about gender and would typically fall under this category as well.

Q - Queer or Questioning. A person who doesn’t fit the traditional definitions as laid out above. Many people use this definition to encompass all other categories of gender and sexual differences. While queer was once used as a derogatory term to refer to gay people, many LGBTQ+ folk have reclaimed the word as a catch-all phrase for someone who does not fit gender and sexuality norms. However, many still find the term derogatory so please make sure that they are okay with using the term before referring to them as queer!

+ - The + symbol at the end of the acronym ****seeks to include anyone who may fall outside of the definitions included before it.

While most people use the above acronym, some prefer to be more specific and will include additional definitions in their acronym. The current full accepted acronym is: LGBTQIAP2S+. In addition to the above, we have:

I - Intersex. A person who was born with a combination of male and female biological traits.

A - Asexual. A person who does not experience sexual attraction.

P - Pansexual. A person who is attracted to others based primarily on characteristics other than their sex/gender.

2S - Two-Spirit. A pan-Indian term for an indigenous person, primarily in North America, who fulfils a traditional third-gender social role in their communities.

Ally - An ally is a cisgender, heterosexual person who advocates for LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion.


In the LGBTQ+ community (in fact, in general), it is respectful to use a person’s correct pronouns. Many LGBTQ+ folk and allies will state their preferred pronouns in their profile bios (e.g. he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them/theirs, etc). Some people will use a combination of the above or some other pronouns that you may be unfamiliar with (ze, fae, per, xe, ve, etc). Your responsibility isn’t to understand (although it would be a bonus if you were willing to do some research when you encounter something you have never heard before). Your responsibility is to respect someone’s identity and request.

Another common complaint from non-affirming folk when it comes to pronouns is that they cannot use the pronouns they/them/theirs for a singular person because they are plural pronouns, but this is a weak excuse as singular they/them/their pronouns have been in the English language for hundreds of years.

Adding your preferred pronouns to your name (regardless of your gender or sexuality) normalizes the process and shows respect for and solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

We can go so much further in relationship building and understanding one another when we choose to not be obnoxious and ignorant.


Each group of the LGBTQ+ community has their own flag. I won’t be able to post them all here, but a quick Google search will show you them all.

The cover image of this post is the most recently updated and accepted Pride Flag. It was designed by combining many of the various Pride Flags that currently exist.

Yellow with circle - Intersex Pride Flag

White, Pink and Light Blue - Transgender Pride Flag

Brown and Black - Queer Black and People of Colour Pride Flag (Also a statement against racism and support of people affected by HIV/Aids).

Horizontal Rainbow Colours - The traditional LGBT Pride Flag. The colours of the flag represent the following:

Red - Life

Orange - Healing

Yellow - Sunlight

Green - Nature

Blue - Harmony/Serenity

Purple - Spirituality


Learning and using the correct terminology around LGBTQ+ issues is a wonderful way to show love and respect to the LGBTQ+ community. Whether you agree with same-sex relationships or not, refusing to educate yourself and use the correct terminology shows a lack of maturity and respect.

Let me end off this post by saying that no-one expects you to be perfect and always know the correct terminology to use in every situation. Most LGBTQ+ folk will appreciate you asking questions, as long as it is done in a respectful way, and it is quite acceptable to ask for someone’s preferred pronouns if you are not sure. We are all learning and growing. All that the LGBTQ+ community asks of you is to be willing to put in effort to learn and apologise when you make mistakes.


  1. Very interesting and I can say I am an ally.

    1. Rev Joe Taylor7 June 2024 at 09:53

      Thank you for your allyship!

  2. Thanks for this Joe. Very interesting and clear as to who is what. Glad to say I'm an ally.

    1. Rev Joe Taylor7 June 2024 at 09:53

      Thank you for your allyship!

  3. Father God have mercy😭 I plead your blood Jesus over this deception. Help us to DESIRE to be holy as you are holy.

    1. Rev Joe Taylor7 June 2024 at 09:55

      I think all of us who follow Christ desire to be holy as he is holy, regardless of our gender or sexuality. Someone's gender or sexuality does not exclude them from following Jesus. Have a blessed day!

  4. Luke 9:25-26 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

    You may have the approval of the whole world, Joe, with your acceptance of this that Jesus weeps over.. but the stance you are taking is anti-Jesus. If you are ashamed of what YOU KNOW that He says in scripture about LGBT+, then He will be ashamed of you😭 It's beautiful that you have love for this community, that is God. But you are KEEPING THEM BOUND in slavery by not sharing the REAL Jesus with them, WHO IS HOLY. Joe, I plead with you to fear God and tremble at His word. Do not lead people astray..Don't be afraid to leave the false church and find the real Jesus again..

    1. Rev Joe Taylor7 June 2024 at 09:52


      I am sorry that you felt the need to post anonymously.

      First, this post has nothing to do with affirmation of LGBTQ+ folk. It merely explains the terminology of proven, scientific understandings about LGBTQ+ issues. If we want to love this community like you suggest is beautiful, we need to understand them better.

      But seeing as though you brought up my affirmation of LGBTQ+ folk, I will gladly respond to it. If you think that an LGBTQ+ affirming position gets approval from the world today then you still have a lot to learn. LGBTQ+ folk are still highly oppressed and persecuted in the world today. The many hate-filled comments I receive are nothing compared to the hatred that LGBTQ+ people face every day. This is why I do this work. I have chosen to stand with the oppressed, just as Jesus did.

      I'll tell you what being anti-Jesus looks like to me: reinforcing exclusionary theology and policies against other human beings; supporting unjust practices and teachings that cause people to want to commit suicide; choosing to use one or two verses of the bible out of context to condemn a whole group of people who are causing absolutely no harm to anyone. These things are anti-Jesus.

      I am happy to stand before God and answer for my love and support of LGBTQ+ folk.


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