Skoliosexual is a relatively new term that refers to people who are attracted to people who are transgender or nonbinary.
According to one source, the term dates back to 2010 and has mostly been used in LGBTQIA communities and on websites like Tumblr and Reddit.
Somebody who is transgender has a different gender identity than the one assigned to them at birth.
Nonbinary refers to someone who doesn’t identify solely as a man or a woman. They might identify as multiple genders, no gender, or another gender entirely.
Words change over the years, and even relatively unknown words like skoliosexual mean different things to different people.
Some define it as only being attracted to nonbinary people.
Others feel that it means attraction to anyone who isn’t cisgender. People who are cisgender identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.
Still, others feel that this sexual identity can include cisgender people that are genderqueer in their expressions.
In other words, this interpretation includes people who don’t conform to gender expectations. For example, cisgender men who wear makeup and nail polish or cisgender women who wear so-called men’s clothes.
Skoliosexual people might find themselves attracted to people who play with gender norms regardless of whether that person is cisgender.
Many people don’t believe the term skoliosexual is necessary.
For example, some people feel that it’s wrong to define attraction based on whether someone is cisgender.
Most terms for sexual orientation are based on someone’s gender, not whether or not they were assigned that gender at birth.
Since trans men are men and trans women are women, defining them based on being trans instead of their gender seems othering.
Others point out that skoliosexual is a label that’s often used by people who fetishize transgender people in a potentially dehumanizing way.
While not everyone who identifies as skoliosexual fetishizes trans people — and many skoliosexual people are trans — others dislike using this label because they want to avoid that negative connotation.
As one Reddit user pointed out, the prefix skolio- comes from a Greek word that means bent, crooked, or divergent — which is also the root of the word scoliosis, a condition where the spine curves abnormally.
When applied to people, it can sound as though the term implies nonbinary and trans people are “crooked,” which has a negative connotation.
As such, some people may choose words like ceterosexual or allotroposexual instead of skoliosexual.
Allotroposexual, with the prefix allotropo-, is closer to the Greek words for “different” and “mode of life.” This has less of a negative connotation.
Ceterosexual, which has word origins in Latin, means sexual attraction to someone who is nonbinary.
Many people who are mostly attracted to transgender and nonbinary people might not use the word skoliosexual.
They may also choose not to label their sexuality at all. And that’s totally OK!
Labels can help some people find a sense of community, and it can remind them that they’re not alone.
Putting a name to your feelings can help you feel validated. It can also help you describe yourself and articulate your feelings.
But for others, labels may feel unnecessary and limiting.
Regardless of how you describe them, your sexuality, orientation, and identity are valid.
Deciding if, and how, to label your orientation can be difficult — but the language you use to describe it is yours and yours alone.
Nobody should impose a label on you, nor should they tell you that your orientation is wrong, inferior, or invalid.
No matter who you’re attracted to, try to practice safer sex if you’re sexually active.
And if you’re looking for a LGBTQIA-friendly healthcare provider, we’ve got you covered.