140+ Affectionate LGBTQIA+ Nicknames

We all have friends who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, or nonbinary – with a ton of variations and subsets. Members of this marginalized community have long experienced a feeling of being “on the outside.” It’s your responsibility to make your friends feel safe, included, and loved – and the right nickname can help.

Of course, names can be hurtful, too. While it might be fine to call your running buddy “Speedy,” it would be inappropriate to call a wheelchair-bound friend “Slowpoke.” Nicknames highlight an element of a person’s identity, and they can do this positively or negatively.

First, let’s look at some common terms associated with LGBTQIA+ people.

  • “Homosexual” – This is an outdated, clinical term describing someone who experiences same-sex attraction, and it’s considered derogatory. Its abbreviated form, “homo,” is just as bad. Use “gay” instead.
  • “Gay” – Used to describe a man attracted to men, but can also refer to a woman attracted to women. While this is the preferred adjective, it can be used positively (“Grant, may gay friend, is an amazing fashion guru”), neutrally (“My friend Grant is gay”), or negatively (“Don’t hang out with Grant or you might become gay too”). Use the word correctly: “Gay” does NOT mean bisexual or transgender, and it is not a synonym for “queer.”
  • “Lesbian” – Used to describe a woman attracted to women or their relationship. This word is not negative unless used in a negative context (“Don’t get all lesbian on me”).
  • “Fag/faggot/dyke” – These words have a history of being used in a derogatory manner and are widely considered insulting; however, you may see two gay men affectionately call each other “fag” or an activist group that incorporates the word “dyke.” In this context, it’s equivalent to Black people calling each other the “n” word or women calling each other the “b” word: Usually extremely inappropriate, it can be used in some contexts to show solidarity or affection. To be safe, it’s best to never use a derogatory term to refer to a friend, even jokingly. Many people experience trauma related to race or sexual orientation – bullying, shame, rejection, and abuse. Find affectionate nicknames that have positive connotations.
  • “Queer” – Originally used to mean “strange, different,” this word came to describe same-sex attractions in an insulting way. However, “queer” has been reclaimed and is no longer considered derogatory. A person may describe themselves as “queer” if they have sexual or gender identities that do not follow the traditionally-understood “heterosexual” or “cisgender” models. It is not a synonym for “gay.” Anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community might consider themselves “queer.”

LGBTQIA+ Nicknames

LGBTQIA+ Nicknames

Here are some Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Genderqueer, Queer, Intersexed, Agender, Asexual, and Ally community nicknames:

AcidAn energetic friend who never stops moving
AcornAn inexperienced friend who has recently come out as queer
Almond JoyA sweet, good-natured gay friend
AmazonA tall friend with strong, feminine features
AngelA feminine-featured man
ATMA rich friend
BabyAn affectionate name for someone you feel tenderly toward
Baby-faceA young male with feminine features
BachelorSomeone living on their own, without a partner
Barbie boyA man who loves fashion
BeanstalkA very tall friend
BearA big, hairy, friendly gay man
BearetteA woman with a masculine demeanor
Blue SteelA friend with blue eyes
BooA large friend who is cuddly and friendly
BoxerA stocky friend
Bright EyesA young gay man recently out
BubblyAn animated personality
BurlyA large, muscular friend
ButchA woman with a masculine demeanor
Cabbage PatchA friend with a rounded figure
CactusSomeone with an abrasive character
CakeA person who is sexually attractive
CaptainSomeone who tends to take the lead
Care BearA large gay man who is affectionate
CarrotsA friend with red hair
CatA cool friend
CheekyA witty and clever friend
Cheerful CharlieA synonym for the old use of “gay,” which meant “happy”
CheesecakeA friend who makes a lot of jokes
ChefA friend who likes to cook
Classy CatA gay man who dresses impeccably
CobraA shrewd friend
Complete PackageA friend with all of the elements one desires in a partner
CookA friend who likes to cook
Cool RainbowA well-liked queer friend
CornflakesA friend who is always clowning around
CowboyA masculine person who is old-fashioned
Coy BoyA shy friend
CubA young, gay man
CucumberA calm friend
Cuddly BearA large friend who is affectionate
CupcakeA small, attractive friend
Daddy BearAn older gay man
Daffy DuckA silly friend
DaggerA devilishly handsome man
DaintyA small friend with delicate features or tastes
DaisyA feminine friend
Dapper LadA well-dressed gay friend
DashingA handsome friend
DinosaurA very old person
DiscoA hippie
Diva DaddyA man with a dramatic air
DocA respected friend
DollyA sweet-faced friend with small, feminine features
Drag RaceA friend who enjoys cross-dressing
DragonA friend who likes to dress in drag
DragonflyA friend who likes to dress in drag
DreamyA good-looking friend
Eagle-EyeSomeone with exceptionally good vision, or someone who wears glasses
ElfA cute friend
Eye CandySomeone with attractive features, regardless of their personality
FabulosoA gay man with a feminine demeanor
Fancy PantsA friend who puts on airs
FemmeA man with a feminine demeanor
Fierce BabeA woman with tough qualities
Fine WineA partner (or potential partner)
FluffyA large, friendly friend
FoxyA devilishly hot friend
FrecklesA friend with freckles
Fruit LoopA friend who acts just a little crazy
FurryA hairy friend
Gay BurritoA gay friend who is a good hugger
GentlemanA polite friend
GingerbreadA friend with red hair
GogglesA friend who wears glasses
Golden BoyA tall, muscular, blonde man who is attractive to gay men
GranolaA friend who is very healthy
GrapefruitA friend who acts silly all the time
HamsterA friend who is like a pet
HandsomeA good-looking friend
Happy CatA synonym for the old use of “gay,” which meant “happy”
Hard MetalA friend with many piercings
HeartbreakerA good-looking friend who is not attracted to the people attracted to them
HellcatA friend who is always getting into trouble
Honest AbeA friend who is very concerned with the truth
Hot DogA man known for his sexual exploits
Hot StuffA physically attractive friend
HulkA very muscular masculine friend
Husky DuskA friend with a rough, sexy voice
HyenaA friend with an exceptional laugh
Icy HotA friend with blue eyes
Jolly RogerA gay man with good spirit
KikiA gay friend. “Kiki” means “double happiness.”
KinkA sexual friend
LatteA very energetic friend
Lonely HeartA single friend that is looking for a relationship
Loud and ProudA queer friend who is known for speaking their mind
LoveyAn affectionate name for a friend
Low-CalA skinny friend
Low-CarbA muscular person who works out a lot
Lucky DuckSomeone who has success in relationships
MagellanSomeone who likes to try new things
MaidenAn innocent friend who has never been in a relationship
Medium-RareA friend with all of the attribute one could request in a partner
Miss FreakyA feminine friend with unique sexual habits
Mister FreakyA masculine friend with unique sexual habits
Obscene QueenA queer friend known for being brash and dramatic
OtterA hairy man
Out ThereA queer friend who has recently come out
Painted SaintA heavily-tattooed friend
Party in a CanA friend that brings life to every party
PerkyAn energetic friend
PollyShort for “polyamorous,” this friend enjoys multiple relationships at the same time
PopeyeA vegan friend or a friend who likes to eat healthy foods
PretzelA flexible friend
PrissyA friend who is over the top with their femininity
PumpedA muscular friend
Queen BeeA friend who likes to be the center of attention at a party
QueenieA masculine friend who likes to act or dress in a feminine way
Rainbow DangerA queer friend who likes to take risks
RascalA mischievous friend who likes to play tricks on others
Real DealSomeone who doesn’t pretend to be someone they are not
Ripped DudeA muscular friend with masculine qualities
RustyAn older friend
SaintSomeone known for their innocence and lack of experience
Sassy FaceSomeone that likes to be clever and talk back
Saucy PantsA friend that always has a comeback
ScholarSomeone who wears glasses or is academically inclined
SmokeyA hot friend
So ExtraA friend with a dramatic feminine demeanor
Special AgentA friend with a wide range of skills
SpicyA hot friend
SteadyA friend who can be relied upon in relationships
StudA man with great sexual success
Sweet cheeksA stocky man with an innocent-looking face
TankA large, strongly-built friend
Teddy BearA cuddly friend
ThirstySomeone who always wants to have sex
TipsyA friend who enjoys alcohol
UnicornA queer friend
UrsulaA woman with a masculine demeanor
WeirdoA queer friend who likes to be thought of as different from everyone else
XA friend who doesn’t identify as a specific gender
YogiA large, affectionate man

Remember: Don’t assume your friend will like these nicknames just because they are on this list. Everyone is different. One friend might consider a nickname hurtful, and a different friend might think the same nickname is funny. It’s all about what makes your friend feel acknowledged and accepted.

Nicknames should bring friends closer together. Never make fun of your friends.

How do you know if your friend likes a nickname? Ask them how they feel about it. If they aren’t a fan, don’t take offense: just ask them what they would prefer to be called. When in doubt, just call your friend by their name.

What names did we forget to add to this list? What do your LGBTQIA+ friends like you to call them?

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