Alphabet Soup

Here at VACAYA we use the shorthand “LGBT+” to refer to the community we serve, but we know there are many more colors in our rainbow. ALL are welcome here, no matter where you fall on the wide spectrum of LGBTQIAPK identities. In the warm spirit of VACAYA, we embrace “the more the merrier” mantra and we’ll happily keep adding letters to our tasty alphabet soup.

As the ONLY large-scale LGBTQIAPK travel company on the planet, we view DIVERSITY as being invited to the dance and INCLUSION as being asked to dance. With VACAYA… EVERYONE dances!

And it should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway… there are things in life people simply don’t choose:

  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity
  • Appearance
  • Disability
  • Mental Illness
  • Race

Things people DO choose:

  • Being a jerk to someone because of something that person can’t control.

The point here? Don’t be a jerk. Be open to getting to know people who might be a little different from you. We each have a story to tell. That’s the beauty of life. And sharing and celebrating our unique stories is the fuel that powers VACAYA.

For those who’ve perhaps wondered, “What do all those letters mean anyway?” here’s a quick look at what each stands for:

L

Lesbian: A female-identified person who’s attracted romantically, physically, or emotionally to another female-identified person.

G

Gay: A male-identified person who’s attracted romantically, physically, or emotionally to another male-identified person.

B

Bisexual: Individuals who are attracted to both men and women romantically, physically, or emotionally.

T

Transgender: Individuals whose biological sex is different than the gender with which they identify.

Transsexual: Transsexual individuals have physically altered their body in order to better match their gender identity. It describes a change in physiology.

Q

Questioning: Indicates a person who is examining their own gender, sexual orientation, or sexual identity.

Queer: Queer is an all-inclusive term referencing lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transpeople, and intersex persons. Although “queer” had been seen as a derogatory term, our community has reclaimed it in an attempt to reject the idea that the labels of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are able to explain any one person’s identity.

I

Intersex: Someone whose physical sex characteristics are not categorized as exclusively male or exclusively female. LEARN MORE

A

Asexual: A person who is not attracted to anyone or who doesn’t have a sexual orientation. LEARN MORE

Ally: A person who does not identify as LGBTQIAPK, but supports the rights and safety of those who do.

P

Pansexual: When someone is pansexual it means they are attracted to people regardless of their gender. They are attracted to individuals rather than one particular gender or sexuality, and that can be whomever they fancy. LEARN MORE

Polyamorous: People who identify as polygamous / polyamorous have consenting open relationships with more than one person at a time. LEARN MORE

K

Kink: Kink is simply about those who have kinky fantasies. Kinks live in the beautiful underworld of our community, a place where BDSM (bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism), leather, and other fetishes all come together. EXPLORE the arguments for “K” being part of our community’s Alphabet Soup.

While Alphabet Soup predominantly describes sexuality, gender is a whole other topic altogether. Our friends at the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Transgender Equality have provided us with the following definitions to help the VACAYA community better understand the complex subject of gender:

Gender Identity
One’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both, or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.

Gender Expression
External appearance of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.

Cisgender
Denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex.

Transgender
An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.

Agender
Those who are genderless, without a gender identity, or gender neutral.

Genderqueer/Genderfuck
Terms used for those who do not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions, but who identify with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.

Gender Transition
The process by which some people strive to more closely align their internal knowledge of gender with its outward appearance. Some people socially transition, whereby they might begin dressing, using names and pronouns, and/or be socially recognized as another gender. Others undergo physical transitions in which they modify their bodies through medical interventions.

Latinx
Latinx is the gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina. Use of the word aims to move beyond gender binaries and is inclusive of the intersecting identities of Latin American descendants who are trans, queer, agender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, or gender fluid.

SOGI
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

GSRM
Gender, Sexuality, and Romantic Minorities

All of us here at VACAYA promote a progressive understanding of both sexuality and gender. And while we constantly strive to have a deeper understanding of how you view yourself, the wheels of progress move slowly with our mainstream partners. Many times, gender has been reduced to a simple binary choice: male or female. This has to do with the many Customs and Border Patrol regulations requiring a person’s stated gender to match the gender on their passport/legal ID. We will continue to work with our partners to expand those current limitations, but know that your VACAYA family will always respect your right to identify – both in terms of sexuality and gender – in whatever way you choose. In other words, you do you.