Any combination of letters attempting to represent all the identities in the queer community, this near-exhaustive one (but not exhaustive) represents Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Intergender, Asexual, Ally
Ally: Someone who advocates for and supports members of a community other than their own. Reaching across differences to achieve mutual goals. A person who may not share the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ, but who supports and honors sexual and gender diversity and challenges homophobic, transphobic and heterosexist remarks, behaviors, institutions, and systems.
Androgyny: A gender expression that has elements of both masculinity and femininity.
Asexual: Someone who does not experience sexual attraction towards other people, and who identifies as asexual. May still have romantic, emotional, affectional, or relational attractions to other people.
Assigned Gender: A decision made at birth (or before birth) about the gender of an infant based on visible genitalia.
Biphobia: Fear of, hatred of, or discomfort with people who are bisexual. Fear of bisexuals, often based on stereotypes, including inaccurate associations with infidelity, promiscuity, and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. Intolerance or prejudice is usually a more accurate description of antipathy toward bisexual people.
Bisexual: A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of their own gender as well as another gender.
Bisexual Erasure: Bisexual erasure or bisexual invisibility is the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or re-explain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, news media and other primary sources. In its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include denying that bisexuality exists. It is often a manifestation of biphobia, although it does not necessarily involve overt antagonism.
Butch: A person, usually female-identified, who identifies themselves as having masculine gender characteristics and/or appearance, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. Most frequently claimed as an affirmative identity label among lesbian women, and gender non-conforming people designated female at birth.
A person whose gender identity is aligned to what gender/sex they were assigned at birth; 2) A non-trans* person.
Cissexism is the positioning of cis identities as better or more real than trans identities. Cis does not refer strictly to gender performance, but gender identity.
Cissupremacy refers to the system of oppressing trans people and privileging cisgender people; Cis seen as being superior to tras.
The process of recognizing and disclosing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity to other people; often incorrectly thought to be a one-time event, this is a lifelong and sometimes daily process; not to be confused with “outing.”
A person who wears clothing opposite of their gender for comfort, pleasure, or fun. It carries no implications of sexual orientation. Has replaced the term “Transvestite”
The different and unfair treatment of certain groups of people based on specific characteristics, such as race, religion, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
The act of dressing in gendered clothing and adopting gendered behaviors as part of a performance, most often clothing and behaviors typically not associated with your gender identity. Drag Queens perform femininity theatrically. Drag Kings perform masculinity theatrically. Drag may be performed as a political comment on gender, as parody, or simply as entertainment. Drag performance does not indicate sexuality, gender identity, or sex identity.
A person who consciously performs “masculinity,” usually in a show or theatre setting, presenting an exaggerated form of masculine expression, often times done by a woman; often confused with “transsexual” or “transvestite.” Drag may be performed as a political comment on gender, as parody, or simply as entertainment. Drag performance does not indicate sexuality, gender identity, or sex identity.
A person who consciously performs “femininity,” usually in a show or theatre setting, presenting an exaggerated form of feminine expression, often times done by a man; often confused with “transsexual” or “transvestite.” Drag may be performed as a political comment on gender, as parody, or simply as entertainment. Drag performance does not indicate sexuality, gender identity, or sex identity.
A person with a specific set of sexual anatomy (e.g., 46,XX phenotype, vagina, ovaries, uterus, breasts, higher levels of estrogen, fine body hair) pursuant to this label
Femininity is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with girls and women. Femininity is often perceived as a social construct, which is made up of both socially defined and biologically created factors. This makes it distinct from the definition of the biological female sex, as both males and females can exhibit feminine traits.
A person who expresses and/or identifies with femininity; 2) A community label for people who identify with femininity specifically through a queer context 3) A feminine-identified person of any gender/sex.
A gender identity where a person identifies as 1) neither or both female and male; 2) Experiences a range of femaleness and maleness, with a denoted movement or flow between genders; 3) Consistently experiences their gender identity outside of the gender binary.
A term for a transgender individual who was assigned female at birth and currently identifies as a man (“FTM”).
A term used to describe a man who is attracted to men, but often used and embraced by women to describe their same-sex relationships as well
A socially constructed system of classification that ascribes qualities of masculinity and femininity to people. Gender characteristics can change over time and are different between cultures.
Gender Affirming Surgery:
Surgical procedures that alter or change physical sex characteristics in order to better express a person’s gender identity. May include removal of the breasts, augmentation of the chest, or alteration or reconstruction of genitals. Also called Gender Confirming Surgery or Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS). Preferred term to “sex change surgery.”
The idea that there are only two genders (M/man and F/woman) and is based on physical anatomy at birth. Along with this comes the idea that people must strictly adhere to culturally acceptable behavior for men/boys and women/girls. For example men/boys are to exhibit masculine gender presentation, behaviors, and social roles and women/girls are to exhibit feminine gender presentation, behaviors, and social roles.
Description of emotional or mental dissonance between one’s desired concept of their body and what their body actually is, especially in reference to body parts/features that do not align or promote to one’s gender identity; 2) A term used in psychiatry to refer to the incongruence between an individual’s designated birth sex and their gender identity, with marked dissociation from one’s physical body.
The external display of gender, through a combination of dress, demeanor, social behavior, and other factors, generally measured on a scale of masculinity and femininity. Gender expression may change over time and from day to day, and may or may not conform to an individual’s gender identity
An individual’s internal sense of being male, female, both, neither, or something else. Since gender identity is internal, one’s gender identity is not necessarily visible to others.
Used to denote a unisex or all-gender inclusive space, language, etc. Ex: A gender neutral bathroom is a bathroom open to people of any gender identity and expression.
A person whose gender identity is neither man nor woman, is between or beyond genders, or is some combination of genders. Some genderqueer people identify under the transgender umbrella while others do not.
Societies commonly have norms regarding how males and females should behave, expecting people to have personality characteristics and/or act a certain way based on their biological sex. Gender Roles ascribe to social expectations of how an individual should look or behave often based upon the sex/gender assigned at birth.
Gender Variant/Gender Non-Conforming:
People whose gender identity and/or expressions are different from the societal norms; 2) Broad term used to describe or denote people who are outside or beyond culturally expected or required identities or expressions.
A person who is predominantly heterosexual, but not exclusively so.
Heteronormativity is the belief that people fall into distinct and complementary genders (man and woman) with natural roles in life. It asserts that heterosexuality is the only sexual orientation or only norm, and states that sexual and marital relations are most (or only) fitting between people of opposite sexes. Consequently, a "heteronormative" view is one that involves alignment of biological sex, sexuality, gender identity and gender roles. Heteronormativity is often linked to heterosexism and homophobia
Behavior that grants preferential treatment to heterosexual people, reinforces the idea that heterosexuality is somehow better or more “right” than queerness, or ignores/doesn’t address queerness as existing
A medical definition for a person who is attracted to someone with the other gender (or, literally, biological sex) than they have; often referred to as “straight”
A person who is predominantly homosexual, but not exclusively so.
A fear, discomfort, anger, resentment, hostility, etc. toward lesbian, gay, and/or bisexual people, often expressed as discrimination, harassment and violence against anyone not acting within socio-cultural norms of heterosexuality.
A medical definition for a person who is attracted to someone with the same gender (or, literally, biological sex) they have, this is considered an offensive/stigmatizing term by many members of the queer community; often used incorrectly in place of “lesbian” or “gay”
Administration of hormones to affect the development of one’s secondary sex characteristics. Transgender persons who decide to undertake medical transition, may use hormone therapy as part of that transition.
Arrangement of a society used to benefit one group at the expense of another through the use of language, media education, religion, economics, etc.
The process by which an oppressed person comes to believe, accept, or live out the inaccurate stereotypes and misinformation about their group
Intersectionality (or intersectionalism) is the study of intersections between forms or systems of oppression, domination or discrimination. An example is black feminism, which argues that the experience of being a black woman cannot be understood in terms of being black, and of being a woman, considered independently, but must include the interactions, which frequently reinforce each other.
Intersex: A health condition, often present at birth, involving anatomy or physiology that differs from societal expectations of male and female. Intersex conditions can affect the genitals, the chromosomes and/or other body structures. Intersex conditions are sometimes referred to as “disorders of sexual development.” People with intersex conditions should not be assumed to be transgender.
A woman whose primary sexual, emotional, and romantic orientation is toward people of the same gender; A woman who is attracted to women.
Lesbian feminism, a subset of feminism that emerged in the mid-to-late 20th century at the convergence of the women’s movement, the gay rights movement, and the sexual revolution. Lesbian feminists consider same-sex relationships legitimate and use their lesbian identity as a basis for community building and collective action. Lesbian feminism challenges the perception of heterosexuality and male supremacy as “normal” and presents alternate ways of thinking about gender and power.
Lesbophobia comprises various forms of negativity toward lesbians as individuals, as couples, or as a social group. Based on the categories of sex, gender, sexual orientation, lesbian identity, and gender expression, this negativity encompasses prejudice, discrimination, and abuse, in addition to attitudes and feelings ranging from disdain to hostility. As such, lesbophobia is sexism against women that intersects with homophobia.
A person with a specific set of sexual anatomy (e.g., 46,XY phenotype, penis, testis, higher levels of testosterone, coarse body hair, facial hair) pursuant to this label.
A man is a male human. The term man is usually reserved for an adult male, with the term boy being the usual term for a male child or adolescent. “Man" may also refer to a person's gender identity instead of their sex.
Excluded, ignored, or relegated to the outer edge of a group/society/community.
Masculinity (also called boyhood, manliness or manhood) is a set of attributes, behaviors and roles generally associated with boys and men. It is a combination of socially-defined and biological factors, distinct from the definition of the male anatomical sex. Both men and women can exhibit masculine traits and behavior.
Hatred or dislike of women and girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women
A term for a transgender individual who was assigned male at birth and currently identifies as a woman (“MTF”).
Describes a gender identity that is neither female nor male; 2) Gender identities that are outside of or beyond two traditional concepts of male or female.
The systematic subjugation of a group of people by another group
with access to social power, the result of which benefits one group over the other
and is maintained by social beliefs and practices.
Exposing someone’s sexual orientation as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender to others, without their permission; in essence “outing” them (not to be confused with “coming out”). Outing someone can have serious employment/economic/safety/religious repercussions in some situations.
A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction for members of all gender identities/expressions
Gender-neutral term for a significant other; Used often in the LGBTQ community. GLBT people may also use “girlfriend/boyfriend,” “lover,” “roommate,” “life partner,” “wife/husband,” or other terms when referring to their partners.
Patriarchy is a social system in which males hold primary power, predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property; in the domain of the family, fathers or father-figures hold authority over women and children.
Preferred Gender Pronoun (PGP):
A preferred gender pronoun, or PGP, is simply the pronoun or set of pronouns that an individual would like others to use when talking to or about that individual. In English, the singular pronouns that we use most frequently are: I, you, she, her, he, him, and it. “I”, “you” and “it” are what we call “gender neutral” or “all gender”, but “she”, “her”, “he” and “him” are gendered. This can create an issue for transgender and gender nonconforming people, because others may not use the pronouns they prefer when speaking to them or about them.
Prejudice; an inclination or preference, especially one that interferes with impartial judgment
A trans-identified person who has not received Gender Affirming/Sexual Reassignment Surgery; implies that the person does intend to receive such surgical procedures
A trans-identified person who has received Gender Affirming Surgery/Sexual Reassignment Surgery.
An abbreviation for Queer & Trans People of Color and Queer & Trans Women of Color. These terms are rooted in the concept of intersectionality—which focuses on the intersections and interactions between various forms & systems of oppression, including: Racism, Classism, Heterosexism, Patriarchy, Religious Oppression, etc. A QTPOC framework attunes itself to the lives, challenges, and needs of people who experience these compounded and/or interlocking oppressions.
An umbrella term to refer to all LGBTIQ people; Also a political statement, as well as a sexual orientation, which advocates breaking binary thinking and seeing both sexual orientation and gender identity as potentially fluid.
A person is in the process of questioning or analyzing their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Secondary Sex Characteristics:
Secondary sex characteristics are features that appear at sexual maturity and during puberty in humans, distinguishing the two sexes of a species (male and female), but that, unlike the sex organs, are not directly part of the reproductive system. This could include: Growth of facial and body hair, Adam’s apple/deepening of voice, Body fat distribution, breasts, widening of hips, etc.
A medical term designating a certain combination of gonads, chromosomes, external gender organs, secondary sex characteristics and hormonal balances. Common terms are “male, “female” and "intersex."
The cultural, institutional, and individual set of beliefs and practices that privilege men, subordinate women, and denigrate values and practices associated with women.
The complex range of components which make us sexual beings; includes emotional, physical, and sexual aspects, as well as self-identification (including sexual orientation and gender), behavioral preferences and practices, fantasies, and feelings of affection and emotional affinity.
The direction of one's sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction. It is on a continuum and not a set of absolute categories. Sexual orientation evolves through a multistage developmental process, and may change over time. Asexuality is also a sexual orientation; often mistakenly referred to as “sexual preference”
Includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure.
Access to resources that enhance one’s chances of getting what one needs or influencing others in order to lead a safe, productive, fulfilling life.
A person who does not identify with the traditional genders of “man” or “woman,” but identifies with another gender; the gender category available in societies that recognize three or more genders; For example, Native American two-spirit people, hijira in India, kathoeys in Thailand, and travestis in Brazil.
Transfeminism is primarily a movement by and for trans women who view their liberation to be intrinsically linked to the liberation of all women and beyond. It is also open to other queers, intersex people, trans men, non-trans women, non-trans men and others who are sympathetic toward needs of trans women and consider their alliance with trans women to be essential for their own liberation.
A term for people whose gender identity is different from their assigned sex at birth.
The social, psychological or medical process of transitioning from one gender to another. Gender transition is an individualized process and does not involve the same steps for everyone. Transition may include telling one’s social support network; legally changing one’s name or sex; therapeutic treatment with hormones; and possibly, though in not all instances, surgery.
A transgender individual who identifies as a man (see also FTM).
Transmisogyny is the intersection of transphobia and misogyny. It can be expressed through negative attitudes, expressed through cultural hate, individual and state violence, and discrimination directed toward trans women and trans and gender non-conforming people on the feminine end of the gender spectrum.
The fear, hatred, or discomfort of transgender people or otherwise gender variant, often expressed as discrimination, harassment and violence.
A person whose gender identity is different from their designated sex at birth and has taken steps of physical transition so that their body is congruent to both their gender identity and the conventional concept of sexually male and female bodies.
A transgender individual who identifies as a woman (see also MTF).
Contemporary term chosen to describe Native American and Canadian First Nation people who identify with a third gender, implying a masculine and a feminine spirit in one body. Dress is usually mixture of male and female articles and they are seen as a separate or third gender who have distinct gender, social, spiritual roles in their tribes.
A woman is a female human. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent. “Woman" may also refer to a person's gender identity instead of their sex.