Straight White Man Explains Human Sexuality in 2 Minutes {Video}. ~ Renée Picard

“Sex does not determine the pronoun you should use: gender does.” ~ Hank

Labels and descriptions about sexuality and gender are confusing, because human sexuality is both complex and fluid. As Hank explains, there are “no nice, shiny boxes.”

What is meant by the term “gender spectrum”? What is the difference between sexual and romantic orientation?

I’ve shared a really informative video about this below, but Hank talks really fast, so here’s the Coles’ notes version:

  • Biological sex = body parts (*remember that this is not always binary)

  • Gender identity = brain (what you feel like you identify with)

  • Sexual orientation = who our heart is attracted to (remember that this can shift and change over time)

  • Romantic orientation = who we prefer to have intimate (but not necessarily sexual) relationships with

  • Sexual behavior = not necessarily linked to orientation


To understand more LGBTQ terminology, check out the U.C. Davis LGBTQIA Resource Center Glossary.

Please remember, these are just loose descriptions, not hard and fast labels. People change, things change. Love is love.

No one has the right to make any assumptions about someone based on any of these characteristics.

Thanks for being so awesome, Hank.


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Assistant Ed: Renee Picard / Ed: Catherine Monkman

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Alec Dec 2, 2013 2:15pm

more please!

Debbie Sep 27, 2013 6:14pm

This is good! Can you do something similar about religion, please?

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Renée Picard

Renée Picard is a freelance writer and editor. She prefers real conversation over small talk, red over pink, ocean over mountains. She leads life with a soft-but-fierce heart. For her, writing has always been an instinct, a craft, a heart-thing.

For more, check out her personal blog or her Medium page. You can also follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.