Questioning is a term used to describe individuals who are exploring, learning, or experimenting with their sexual or romantic orientation, or gender identity. Questioning can describe both the process of exploring one's identity and the individual who is doing the exploring. The letter "Q" in the LGBTQIA+ acronym can sometimes stand for both "Queer" and "Questioning".
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There have been several pride flags depicting questioning, to reflect different questionings. Known variations of a questioning flag include the gender questioning flag and the queer flag, which commonly doubles as the questioning flag.
Questioning is an umbrella term used to describe anyone who is questioning their gender or romantic identity, and or sexual orientation. Questioning individuals may experiment with using various identities before finding one that fits. Some identities one might be questioning are:
- Homocurious - an individual who is questioning whether or not they are sexually attracted to the same gender, or identify as gay.
- Bicurious - an individual who is questioning whether or not they are sexually attracted to both men and women, or identify as bisexual.
- Androcurious - an individual who is questioning the gender identity that can be expressed through clothing or identifies as androgynous.
- Pancurious - An individual who is questioning if they are sexually and or/romantically attracted to people regardless of gender.
Perceptions and discrimination
A common phrase used to diminish the feelings of LGBTQIA+ young people "it's a phase"; in particular, it is often used to describe individuals who are experimenting or questioning their identity or orientation. As a result, people who are questioning may be excluded from the LGBTQIA+ community, or may feel as though they do not fit into the community, despite knowing that they are not cisgender heterosexual.
- Emily Fields from the freeform series Pretty Little Liars questioned her sexual orientation for several episodes of the first season. She ultimately came out as a lesbian.
- Izzy Lisko from the Apple TV+ series Home Before Dark is questioning her sexual orientation and if she is attracted to her close female friend despite being in a romantic relationship with a boy.
- Aki Menzies from the HBO Max series Gossip Girl questioned his sexual and romantic orientation after being attracted to his male best friend and his girlfriend. He ultimately came out as bisexual but expressed his unsureness if the label fit.
- PDF about mental health facts for queer and questioning people.
- PFlag.org's frequently asked questions and explanations regarding the "Q" in LGBTQ.
- Gaycenter.org's defining Questioning.
- Young.scot's "Am I LGBT?" Questioning your sexual orientation page.
- Hutchison, Elizabeth. Dimensions of Human Behavior: The Changing Life Course. SAGE, 2010. English. ISBN 9781412976411. (web archive)