People whose sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) do not conform to the majority may experience hostility and exclusion in everyday life. Sexual orientation and gender identity are two separate but distinct part of people’s overall identity. Learning about these concepts for the first time can be confusing and overwhelming.


Enter the SOGI Universe! The LGBT+ Health Division at the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF) has created a simple way to help you understand some of the SOGI terms.


We created the SOGI Universe in celebration of our annual LGBTQI+ Health and Advocacy Day on 26 November 2022. The aim of this event is to bring together LGBTQI health service providers, researchers, civil society and community members to share information about health research and services for the LGBTQI community in Cape Town.

The SOGI Universe is an open access resource for all to use freely with the hope that the Universe will spread awareness, promote inclusion, increase knowledge and start dialogues around SOGI concepts. Through this, we hope to contribute towards increased acceptance and understanding of LGBTQI people in all aspects of their life.

To note, this is a platform to provide an introductory understanding to these terms, but they do get a little more complicated as you venture further into the galaxies! These concepts exist on a continuous spectrum rather than being strict categories. You can identify with one, many, or none of the terms in each category or galaxy. What’s most important is that they speak to you!


Click on the links below to download our SOGI resources:

The SOGI Universe for PowerPoint PNG

The SOGI Wallchart (A2)




Links to additional resources: