Many lesbians with short haircuts tend to be classified as butch, stonebutch, softbutch, genderqueer or transgendered.
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual, heteronormative, or gender-binary. While the term has had a pejorative meaning through most of the 20th century, some political and social LGBT groups began to reappropriate the word in the 1990s to establish community and assert a political identity. Additionally, some academic disciplines, such as queer theory, have used the term to denote a general opposition to binary thinking.
Since its emergence in the English language in the 16th century (related to the German quer, meaning "across, at right angle, diagonally or transverse"), queer has generally meant "strange", "unusual", or "out of alignment". It might refer to something suspicious or "not quite right", or to a person with mild derangement or who exhibits socially inappropriate behaviour. The expression "in Queer Street" was used in the UK as of the 1811 edition of Francis Grose's A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue for someone in financial trouble.
The terms third gender and third sex describe individuals who are categorized (by their will or by social consensus) as neither man nor woman, as well as the social category present in those societies who recognize three or more genders. The term "third" is usually understood to mean "other"; some anthropologists and sociologists have described fourth, fifth, and even some genders. The concepts of "third", "fourth" and "some" genders can be somewhat difficult to understand within Western conceptual categories.
Although biology usually determines genetically whether a human's biological sex is male or female (though intersex people are also born), the state of personally identifying as, or being identified by society as, belonging to neither the male or female genders is considered relative to the individual's gender role in society, gender identity, and sexual orientation. While some western scholars have sought to understand the term 'third gender' in terms of 'sexual orientation,' several other scholars, especially the native non-western scholars, consider this as a misrepresentation of 'third genders.' To different cultures or individuals, a third gender may represent an intermediate state between man and woman, a state of being both (such as "the spirit of a man in the body of a woman"), the state of being neither (neuter), the ability to cross or swap genders, another category altogether independent of men and women. This last definition is favored by those who argue for a strict interpretation of the "third gender" concept. In any case, all of these characterizations are defining gender and not the sex that biology gives to living beings.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are associated with certain stereotypes - conventional, formulaic generalizations, opinions, or images based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Stereotypical perceptions may be acquired through interactions with parents, teachers, peers and the mass media, or, more generally, through a lack of firsthand familiarity, resulting in an increased reliance on generalizations.
Negative stereotypes are often associated with homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia, or transphobia. Positive stereotypes, or counterstereotypes, also exist, but may still be hurtful or harmful.
Human sexuality is the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. A person's sexual orientation may influence their sexual interest and attraction for another person. Sexuality can have biological, emotional/physical or spiritual aspects. The biological aspect of sexuality refers to the reproductive mechanism as well as the basic biological drive that exists in all species, which is hormonally controlled. The emotional or physical aspect of sexuality refers to the bond that exists between individuals, and is expressed through profound feelings or physical manifestations of emotions of love, trust, and caring. There is also a spiritual aspect of sexuality of an individual or as a connection with others. Sexuality impacts and is impacted by cultural, political, legal, and philosophical aspects of life. It can refer to issues of morality, ethics, theology, spirituality, or religion. Some cultures have been described as sexually repressive.
Interest in sexual activity typically increases when an individual reaches puberty. Some researchers assume that sexual behavior is determined by genetics, and others assert that it is molded by the environment. This is the nature versus nurture debate, in which one can define nature as those behavioral traits that are due to innate characteristics, such as instincts and drives. The concept of nurture can be defined as the environmental factors or external stimuli that influence behavior, emotions, and thinking. Biological and physical differences include the human sexual response cycle among men and women.
Sexual orientation is an enduring personal quality that inclines people to feel romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender. These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, while asexuality (the lack of romantic or sexual attraction to others) is sometimes identified as the fourth category. These categories are aspects of the more nuanced nature of sexual identity. For example, people may use other labels, such as pansexual or polysexual, or none at all. According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation "also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions".
The term sexual preference largely overlaps with sexual orientation, but is generally distinguished in psychological research. A person who identifies as bisexual, for example, may sexually prefer one sex over the other. Sexual preference may also suggest a degree of voluntary choice, whereas the scientific consensus is that sexual orientation is not a choice. There is no consensus among scientists about why a person develops a particular sexual orientation; however, biologically-based theories for the cause of sexual orientation are favored by experts, which point to genetic factors, the early uterine environment, or both combinations. Moreover, there is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting or early childhood experiences play a role when it comes to sexual orientation; when it comes to same-sex sexual behavior, shared or familial environment plays no role for men and minor role for women. Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the opposite sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex.