(Adj.) Describes a person with a highly fluid romantic orientation; an abroromantic person experiences their romantic attraction as shifting among romantic orientations, for instance, homoromantic, heteroromantic and biromantic. Sometimes spelled as abromantic.
(Noun) A shortened term for a person who identifies as asexual, meaning someone who experiences little or no sexual attraction or sexual desire.
(Noun) Refers to a physical attraction to a person's appearance--how they look and/or how they present themselves.
(Acronym) AFAB is an acronym meaning "assigned female at birth".
(Noun) A term used to describe a person's gender, based on their innate understanding of themselves -- as opposed to the gender they were assigned at birth. A person can affirm their gender socially (e.g. changing one's pronouns), legally (e.g. legal name change), and/or medically (e.g. gender-affirming surgery). Increasingly used in place of older terms, such as preferred gender or chosen gender. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who does not identify with any gender. Learn More
(Adj.) A sexual orientation in which an individual feels romantic attraction to others, but may not have a need for that affection to be reciprocated. Also known as lithsexual. Learn More
(Adj.) An umbrella term for people who experience sexual attraction to others, as opposed to asexuality, which refers to the absence of sexual attraction. A person who is allosexual can identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or any other sexual orientation. Learn More
An ally is someone who openly supports people in the LGBTQ+ community. Although it usually refers to people who do not identify as LGBTQ+, people within the LGBTQ+ community can be known as allies of other identities within the LGBTQ+ group. Learn More
(Acronym) AMAB is an acronym meaning "assigned male at birth."
Androgyne / Androgyny / Androgynous
(Adj.) Identifying and/or presenting as neither masculine nor feminine. Learn More
(Adj.) Refers to the attraction to males or masculinity, regardless of one’s own sex or gender identity (i.e., both heterosexual women and gay men could be described as androphilic in their sexual attraction). Learn More
(Adj.) Refers to the attraction to males or masculinity, regardless of one’s own sex or gender identity (i.e., both heterosexual women and gay men could be described as androphilic in their sexual attraction). Learn more
(Adj.) Describes a person who is on the aromantic spectrum and who experiences their romantic orientation as fluctuating between experiencing romantic attraction and not experiencing it, and/or experiencing romantic attraction to varying degrees.
(Adj.) Describes a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who does not experience any form of sexual attraction. People who identify as asexual may or may not experience emotional, physical, or romantic attraction. Learn More
(Noun) Refers to the broad spectrum of asexuality, including those who do not experience sexual attraction at all (asexual) as well as persons who experience sexual attraction rarely or at a very low level (greysexual) or experience sexual attraction only for persons with whom they have first formed a close emotional bond (demisexual).
(Noun) A feeling of interest in another person. Attraction can take different forms, including sexual, romantic, physical, emotional, and aesthetic attraction. Individuals may experience just one or multiple types of attraction for another person. Learn More
(Adj./Noun) Originating within gay men’s subculture, someone who has facial/body hair and a larger body. Also used as an umbrella term to refer to a sense of comfort with masculinity and male bodies. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who identifies as gay or straight but also has some interest in engaging in sexual behavior or a relationship with a person of a sex/gender they do not usually engage with. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person whose gender identity is a combination of two or more genders. A bigender person may consciously or unconsciously shift between traditionally masculine and feminine behavior and expression while identifying with both genders (and sometimes a third gender). Learn More
(Verb) An action taken by transgender men and gender nonconforming individuals to minimize the appearance of or flatten breast tissue. Learn More
(Noun) The fear of, discrimination against, or hatred toward bisexuals, pansexuals and omnisexuals. Biphobia occurs within the LGBTQ+ community, as well as in general society. Learn More
(Adj.) An umbrella term for identities such as bisexuality and pansexuality, in which a person is attracted romantically and/or sexually to persons of more than one gender.
(Adj.) Describes a person who is capable of feeling romantic attraction to persons of more than one gender. They may or may not be sexually attracted to the persons they are romantically attracted to.
(Adj.) Refers to the sexual orientation of a person who experiences sexual, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to persons of more than one gender, not necessarily equally or at the same time, in the same way, or to the same degree. Also known as "bi". Learn More
(Noun) The tendency to question, ignore or outright deny the existence and legitimacy of bisexuality. Sometimes referred to as bisexual invisibility.
(Adj.) Describes individuals of Black/African descent who recognize their LGBTQ+ identity as salient to their Blackness and vice versa. Learn More
(Noun) Originated in New England during the late 1800s to describe a situation where two women lived together in a committed relationship. Boston marriages typically occurred between women who were college-educated and financially independent, thereby eliminating the need for male support. Learn More
(Adj./Noun) Having an appearance and/or other traits that are viewed as typically masculine. The term has sometimes been used within lesbian communities to refer to women whose gender expression (hair cut, clothing, etc.) embodies traditionally masculine traits and characteristics. Learn More
(Noun) A term used to describe people who are not related by birth or marriage yet whose bond is like that of family. Oftentimes LGBTQ+ people find and build their chosen family out of necessity, due to a lack of understanding or familial acceptance.
(Adj.) Refers to a match between gender identity and sex characteristics observed at birth, i.e., a person born with female anatomy who identifies as a girl/woman. Learn More
(Noun) The assumption that everyone is cisgender, and that cisgender people’s identities are more normal, valid, and worthy of respect than transgender people’s identities. Learn More
(Noun) Refers to prejudice or discrimination against persons who are transgender. Includes the assumption that being cisgender is more natural or legitimate than being transgender.
(Adj.) Another term for cisgender that is not frequently used as it confuses the use of the terms sex and gender. Characterized by a match between gender identity and sex characteristics observed at birth, i.e., a person born with female anatomy who identifies as a girl/woman. Learn More
(Adj.) Hiding one's sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, either totally or partially. Learn More
Coming in/Letting in
(Noun) The process of sharing one’s gender or sexual identity with a trusted friend or loved one; may more accurately represent the experiences of those in circumstances where it is unsafe to “come out."
(Noun or Verb) The process in which a person first acknowledges, accepts and appreciates their sexual identity or gender identity and begins to share that with others. Learn More
(Noun) A way to describe the arrangement or structure of a polyamorous relationship. Learn More
(Verb) To wear clothes typically associated with persons of a different gender for fun, self-expression, relaxation, etc. Cross-dressing is a form of gender expression and is not indicative of being transgender; persons who cross-dress are usually comfortable with their gender identity and do not wish to change it. Cross-dressing is distinct from drag in that it is not performative. Cross-dressing is not necessarily tied to erotic activity and is not a reflection of sexual orientation. Learn More
Cross-sex hormone therapy
(Noun) A treatment to help individuals with gender dysphoria transition from their biological gender to their desired gender. Therapy may include use of estrogen or testosterone treatments to develop female or male secondary sex characteristics. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes persons who do not experience romantic attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone. Learn More
(Adj.) A sexual orientation in which someone has little to no interest in sexual activity, although they may feel some degree of sexual attraction to people with whom they have a strong emotional bond. Someone who is demisexual is considered to be on the asexual spectrum, meaning they are closely aligned with asexuality. Learn More
Disorder of Sex Development (DSD)
(Noun) Clinical terminology first introduced in 2006 to describe variations in biological sex development. DSD acts an umbrella classification for more than twenty distinct variations. The term is controversial in part because the word “disorder” reinforces the view that variations in sex development are inherently problematic. Many prefer either the term intersex or "difference" or "variation" of sex development. Learn More
(Noun) Someone who experiences multiple, compounding disadvantages due to overlapping, systemic inequities.
(Adj.) An African American term that refers to men who identify as straight but secretly/discreetly have sex with other men.
Drag / Drag King / Drag Queen
(Noun) The theatrical performance of one or multiple genders via dressing in the clothing of a different gender, or in a manner different from how one would usually dress. Drag queens perform in distinctly feminine attire. Drag kings perform in distinctly masculine attire. Drag is a form of gender expression and is not an indication of gender identity. Individuals who dress in drag may or may not consider themselves to be transgender. They may identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight or some other sexual orientation. Learn More
(Noun) A capacity that evokes the desire to engage in emotionally intimate behavior, such as sharing, confiding, trusting, and inter-depending. Emotional attraction can be experienced in varying degrees. Learn More
(Noun) A slang term used for nonbinary. Enby is the phonetic pronunciation of “NB,” an abbreviation for nonbinary. Learn More
(Noun) Refers to a human male who has been castrated, typically to serve a specific social function. Eunuchs served in a variety of roles in ancient societies. Learn More
(Noun). Historically, a derogatory term used to describe gay men. Some gay men use the term "fairy" affirmatively to refer to themselves, but it is not a term that should be used by others to refer to gay men. Learn more
(Noun) Refers to qualities, behaviors and roles typically associated with girls and women.
(Adj./Noun) A (traditionally) feminine woman. Historically used in the lesbian community to refer to a feminine lesbian, and especially a feminine lesbian who is attracted to masculine or butch lesbians. This term is increasingly used by other LGBTQ+ people to describe gender expressions that claim and/or disrupt traditional constructs of femininity. Learn More
(Adj.) A phrase that indicates the gender identity and gender expression of persons who understand and present themselves in a generally more feminine way without necessarily identifying as women. Learn More
(Adj.) A way to describe someone who expresses gender in a more feminine way. Often confused with feminine-of-center, which generally include a focus on gender identity as well as expression. Learn More
(Adj.) Short for female-to-male. Refers to a transgender man, meaning a person who was assigned female at birth based on their outward appearance but who identifies as a man. FTM was sometimes used as a notation in medical and psychiatric literature in the mid-late 20th century. While it is still used sometimes today, FTM is considered inappropriate and offensive by some in the transgender community because it implies that transgender men were originally women, as opposed to men who just happen to be transgender.
(Adj.) Stands for Female To X. Describes a person who was assigned female at birth based on their outward appearance but who has a nonbinary gender identity, such as genderqueer or gender non-conforming. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes the sexual orientation of persons who are emotionally, sexually, and/or romantically attracted to persons of the same sex/gender. While the term is most often used to describe men, it can also be used more broadly to refer to both men and women (i.e., gay man, gay woman, gay people). Learn More
(Noun) A social construct used to classify a person as a man, woman, or some other identity and ascribe qualities of masculinity and femininity to people. Gender characteristics can change over time and vary between cultures. Learn More
(Noun) Refers to the interpersonal, interactive process whereby a transgender person affirms and receives recognition and support for their gender identity and expression. This may or may not include steps to align their outward appearance with their gender identity, and/or changing names, pronouns, identification documents, and more. Sometimes referred to as gender transition or simply as "transition." Learn More
(Adj.) Describes social recognition and support for a person's gender identity and expression. Learn More
Gender Affirming Surgery
(Noun) Surgical procedures that allow persons to match their physical bodies to their gender identity. These procedures can include “top surgery” (e.g. reshaping a chest or providing breast augmentation) and/or “bottom surgery” (e.g. reshaping genitals). Also referred to as gender-confirming surgery, gender reassignment surgery or medical transition. Learn More
(Noun) A socially constructed system that defines gender as consisting solely of two categories--masculine/man and feminine/woman. Learn More
(Noun) A discrepancy or misalignment between sex observed at birth and individual gender identity. Learn More
Gender confirmation surgery
(Noun) Refers to surgical procedures that alter a transgender person's physical appearance to more closely align with their gender identity. Also known as gender affirmation surgery.
An umbrella term that describes an array of gender identities and expressions that do not conform to the norms and stereotypes of an assigned sex. Learn More
(Noun) Clinically significant distress that can occur in persons whose gender identity differs from the sex they were thought to be at birth. Can also describe a desire to change the characteristics that are the source of the distress, such as physical anatomy. Learn More
(Noun) The ways that a person communicates a gender identity to others such as dress, behavior, hairstyle, voice, and/or mannerisms. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who identifies their gender as shifting within a spectrum of gender identities and expressions. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of two (or more) genders, but may feel more one gender some days, and another gender other days. Gender-fluid people may or may not also identify as transgender. Learn More
(Noun) One’s deeply held, core sense of being a man, woman, or some other gender. A gender identity can be a combination of two or more genders (such as gender fluid), and some individuals don't identify with any gender at all--described as being agender. Learn More
(Adj.) Not gendered. Examples include language to describe relationships, such as the terms "spouse" or "partner" instead of husband/boyfriend or wife/girlfriend. Similarly, gender-neutral restrooms are for use by all people, regardless of gender. The pronouns "they" and "ze" are gender neutral pronouns. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who does not behave in a way that conforms to traditional expectations for their gender, or whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category. Also known as gender variant. Learn More
How others interpret a person's gender identity based on their gender expression. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person whose gender identity is neither masculine nor feminine, is between or beyond gender, or is some combination of genders. Genderqueer people may or may not pursue any physical changes, such as hormonal or surgical intervention, and may or may not identify as transgender. Learn More
(Noun) The role or behavior learned by a person as appropriate to their gender, determined by the prevailing cultural norms. Learn More
(Noun) The concept that gender exists along a continuum beyond man/masculine and woman/feminine. Some people may be more aligned with masculine or feminine aspects, some move fluidly along the spectrum, and some exist outside the spectrum entirely. Learn More
(Noun) Refers to the interpersonal, interactive process whereby a transgender person outwardly affirms their gender identity. This may or may not include steps to align their outward appearance more closely with their gender identity, and/or changing names, pronouns, identification documents, and more. Sometimes simply referred to as "transition". See also gender affirmation. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who does not behave in a way that conforms to traditional expectations for their gender, or whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category. Also known as gender non-conforming. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes someone who rarely experiences sexual attraction. Sometimes spelled "greysexuality" and also known as gray asexuality. Someone who is graysexual is considered to be on the asexual spectrum, meaning they are closely aligned with asexuality. Learn more
(Adj.) Describes the attraction to females or femininity, regardless of one's own sex or gender identity (i.e., both heterosexual men and lesbian women could be described as gynephilic in their sexual attraction). Typically used within the field of behavioral science. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes the attraction to females or femininity, regardless of one's own sex or gender identity (i.e., both heterosexual men and lesbian women could be described as gynephilic in their sexual attraction). Learn more
(Noun) A previously used term for individuals with atypical sex anatomy that dates to the 14th century. The term hermaphrodite is no longer in use and considered offensive by many, due to its longtime association with the view that persons with atypical sex development are inherently problematic. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who identifies as primarily or "mostly" straight but who at times experiences same-sex attraction. A person who identifies as heteroflexible may or may not act on their same-sex attraction. Learn More
(Adj.) An (often subconscious) assumption, in individuals or in institutions, that everyone is heterosexual, and that heterosexuality is superior to all other sexual orientations. Learn More
(Noun) The assumption that everyone is straight and cisgender, or that being straight and cisgender is the “normal” way to be.
(Adj.) Describes a person who experiences romantic attraction to persons of the opposite gender. They may or may not experience sexual attraction to the persons they are romantically attracted to.
(Noun) The assumption that all people are or should be heterosexual. Assumes that other sexual orientations are substandard, inferior, abnormal, marginal or invalid. Learn More
Heterosexual / Heterosexuality
(Adj.) Primary or exclusive sexual, emotional, and/or romantic attraction to a gender other than one's own. Typically this means a woman who is primarily attracted to men and vice versa. Also referred to as "straight". Learn More
(Noun) Refers to a person in the Indian subcontinent who does not conform to conventional understandings of male and female. Legally recognized as a third gender today, hijras have been a part of Indian culture for centuries but have also suffered marginalization and abuse. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who identifies as primarily or "mostly" gay or lesbian but who sometimes experiences opposite-sex attraction. A person who identifies as homoflexible may or may not act on their opposite-sex attraction. Learn More
(Noun) The aversion towards, fear and hatred of, or discomfort with people who are attracted to their gender and/or the expression of such an attraction. Homophobia is often expressed as discrimination, hostility, harassment and violence. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who experiences romantic attraction to persons of the same gender. They may or may not experience sexual attraction to the persons they are romantically attracted to.
Homosexual / Homosexuality
(Noun) A term that describes a primary or exclusive sexual, emotional, and/or romantic attraction to persons of one's own sex/gender. The term is considered outdated by many in the LGBTQ+ community but is still used in some research contexts. Learn More
(Adj.) Refers to a person who identifies across or beyond male/female. Learn More
(Noun) A framework for understanding how social characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, and age combine together to shape individual identities and experiences, including experiences of privilege and/or discrimination.
(Adj.) An umbrella term for variations in biological sex traits such as genitalia, hormones, reproductive anatomy or chromosomes. Some of these variations are evident at birth while others manifest during puberty or later in life. Learn More
Latinx (adj.) Refers to a person of Latin American origin or descent; gender neutral alternative to Latino or Latina.
(Adj./Noun) Refers to the sexual orientation of women who are emotionally, sexually, and/or romantically attracted to women. Learn More
(Adj.) LGBTQ+ is an umbrella term used to refer to the community of sexual and gender minorities as a whole. The acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning, with the "+" representing additional sexual orientations and gender identities, such as persons who are intersex or asexual. Learn More
Promotion of the self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of LGBTQ+ people. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBTQ+ movements. Learn More
(Noun) Usually refers to a lesbian with a feminine gender expression. Can be used as an affirmative term or in a derogatory way, depending on who is using it. Is sometimes also used to refer to a lesbian who is passing for heterosexual. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a sexual orientation in which an individual feels romantic attraction to others but may not have a need for their affection to be reciprocated or may not have a need to engage in a relationship with that person. Also known as akoiromantic. Learn More
(Noun) Refers to qualities, behaviors and roles typically associated with boys and men.
(Adj.) A phrase that indicates the gender identity and gender expression of persons who understand and present themselves in a generally more masculine way without necessarily identifying as men. Learn More
(Noun) A man with a strong aesthetic sense who spends more time, energy, or money on his appearance and grooming than is considered gender normative. Learn More
(Noun) Brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral, or environmental exchanges, which, whether intentional or unintentional, communicate slights and insults toward marginalized identities. Learn More
(Noun) Refers to a situation in which a person uses multiple pronouns, such as she/they or they/he/she. Generally, mixed pronouns can be used interchangeably. However, the desired balance among different pronouns can be different for each person. Learn More
(Adj.)Describes a person who is romantically and/or sexually involved with only one person at a time. Learn More
(Noun) The belief that monosexuals are superior, including the assumption that everyone is attracted to only one gender, it is better to be monosexual than to be bisexual, only monosexual identities are real, or monosexual issues are the only ones deserving of attention. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who has romantic, sexual, or affectional desire for one gender only. May be used for people who identify as straight, gay, lesbian, etc. Learn More
(Adj.) Short for male-to-female. Refers to a transgender woman, meaning a person who was assigned male at birth based on their outward appearance but who identifies as a woman. MTF was sometimes used as a notation in medical and psychiatric literature in the mid-late 20th century. While it is still used sometimes today, MTF is considered inappropriate and offensive by some in the transgender community because it implies that transgender women were originally men, as opposed to women who just happen to be transgender.
Learn MoreTransgender People
(Noun) A third gender category. In the Zapotec culture of Southern Mexico, refers to a person who is assigned male at birth but whose gender identity and expression are not conventionally masculine. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a non-binary gender identity that falls under the genderqueer umbrella. There is no one definition of Neutrois, the idea being that each person that self-identifies as neutrois experiences their gender differently. The most common neutrois gender identities are: gender neutral, null-gender, neither male nor female, genderless and/or agender. Learn More
(Adj.) An identity that does not conform to traditional two-sided categories of sex, gender, and/or sexual orientation, such as male-female, man-woman, and gay-straight. Learn More
(Noun or verb) When someone discloses information about another’s sexual orientation, intersex status or gender identity without their knowledge and/or consent. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who can be romantically attracted to persons regardless of gender identity. Someone who identifies as panromantic may or may not be sexually attracted to the persons to whom they are romantically attracted.
(Adj.) A person who is pansexual is capable of experiencing emotional, romantic, and/or physical attraction to persons of all gender identities and gender expressions. Learn More
(Adj./Verb) Transgender people being accepted as, or able to “pass for,” a member of their self-identified gender identity (regardless of sex assigned at birth) without being identified as transgender; Also an LGB/queer individual who is perceived as straight. Learn More
(Noun) The practice of consensually being in/open to multiple romantic and/or sexual relationships at the same time (with knowledge and consent of all partners), including: open relationships, polyfidelity (which involves multiple romantic relationships with sexual contact restricted to those), and sub-relationships (which denote distinguishing between a primary relationship or relationships and various secondary relationships). Learn More
Polygender / Pangender
(Adj.) Describes a person whose gender identity is comprised of multiple genders. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who experiences romantic attraction towards multiple but not all genders. Learn More
(Adj.) Distinct from Pansexuality, polysexuality is the sexual or romantic attraction to multiple, but not all, possible genders. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who does not define their sexual orientation in terms of conventional labels or classifications (e.g., gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, etc.). Learn More
(Noun) A specific set of desires people have in romantic, emotional and/or sexual partners. It is important to note that sexual orientation is not a preference, but people of all sexual orientations can have preferences (physical, economic, etc.) for the people they are involved with. Learn More
(Noun) Traditional examples include “she/her/hers” or “he/him/his”. Some people prefer gender-neutral pronouns, such as “ze/hir/hirs,” or “they/them/ theirs”. Some people prefer no pronouns at all. Learn More
QPOC / QTPOC
(Abbreviation) Initialisms that stand for queer people of color and queer and/or trans people of color. Learn More
(Adj.) Alternative term to LGBTQ+. An umbrella term for anyone who does not identify as heterosexual. Historically a negative term and insult, queer is being reclaimed by many LGBTQ+ people—particularly youth—as a source of pride and political identity. The term is valued by some for its defiance, by some because it can be inclusive of the entire community, and by others who find it to be an appropriate term to describe their more fluid identities. “Queer” is still disliked by some people in the LGBTQ+ community and its use by straight people can be considered offensive. Due to its varying meanings, this word should only be used when self-identifying or quoting someone who self-identifies as queer (i.e. “My cousin identifies as queer.”) Learn More
(Adj.)Describes the process of discovery and exploration about sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or a combination thereof. Can be an aspect of adolescence as young people explore various facets of their identity.
(Noun) Refers to the desire to engage in romantic behavior such as dating and relationships with another person or persons. Can exist independently or alongside other attractions, such as emotional, sexual and/or aesthetic attraction. Learn More
(Noun) The way a person identifies in relation to their romantic attractions. For instance, a person might identify as heteroromantic, panromantic or aromantic. Learn more
(Noun) A way of characterizing a person's identity vis-à-vis romantic attractions, behavior and identity. Learn More
(Adj.) Originated in the 1990s as a culturally affirming Afrocentric alternative to gay or lesbian. Used by some members of the African American community to express a non-straight sexual orientation. Learn More
Same-sex attraction (SSA)
(Noun) A term used to describe attraction to persons of the same sex/gender. Same-sex attraction can take different forms, including sexual, romantic, physical, emotional, and/or aesthetic attraction. Learn More
(Noun) A person who finds intelligence romantically and/or sexually attractive. Learn More
Sex / Sex assigned at birth / Biological sex
(Noun) A person's sex (male, female, or intersex) is often determined based on the appearance of the genitalia, either in ultrasound or at birth. In reality, biological sex is more complicated, referring to a combination of anatomical, physiological, genetic, and physical attributes. These include genitalia, gonads, hormone levels, hormone receptors, chromosomes, genes, and secondary sex characteristics. The phrase "sex assigned at birth" is used by some to emphasize that genitalia alone are not always a sufficient indication of a person's sex, as well as the fact that a person's gender identity is not always aligned with the sex characteristics observed at birth. Learn More
(Noun) The components of a person that include their biological sex, sexual orientation, sexual behaviors, etc. Learn More
(Noun) Refers to the desire to engage in sexual behavior or make sexual contact with another person or persons. Learn More
(Noun) The way a person views and understands their sexual orientation, such as gay, straight, bisexual, or some other orientation. Learn More
(Noun) Commonly used to refer to who we are or are not attracted to -- sexually, romantically, and emotionally--the relationships we have, and how we personally identify. Sometimes used more narrowly to refer to sexual attraction, behavior and identity. Attraction and behavior do not always define a person's sexual orientation. (e.g. a man who has sex with men may not identify as gay). Learn More
(Adj.) Term describing an individual who may be sexually or romantically attracted to non-binary identified people. Learn More
(Adj.) A term to describe when a transgender person is not “out” as transgender, and is perceived or known by others as cisgender. Learn More
(Adj.) Another term for heterosexual. Refers to the sexual, emotional, and/or romantic attraction to a gender other than one's own. Typically this means a woman who is primarily attracted to men and vice versa. Learn More
(Noun) Societal conditions, cultural norms, and institutional policies that constrain or restrict the opportunities, resources, and wellbeing of a stigmatized community. Learn More
(Adj.) A non-binary gender identity that describes an individual shifting among three genders: male, female, and a nonbinary gender. Learn More
(Adj.) Relating to an individual who was born with male sex characteristics but whose gender identity is more feminine than masculine. Learn More
Transgender / Trans*
(Adj.) Describes a person whose gender identity does not match their sex characteristics observed at birth. People who identify as transgender (sometimes shortened to "trans") may or may not decide to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically to match their gender identity. This word is also sometimes used as a broad umbrella term to describe those who transcend conventional expectations of gender identity or expression, such as people who identify as genderqueer, gender variant, gender diverse, or androgynous. Learn More
(Adj.) Relating to an individual who was born with female sex characteristics but whose gender identity is more masculine than feminine. Learn More
(Noun) The aversion towards, fear and hatred of, or discomfort with people who are transgender or gender ambiguious. Transphobia is often expressed as discrimination, hostility, harassment and violence. Learn More
(Noun) The process by which some people strive to more closely align their outward appearance with their internal feelings/perceptions of their gender. This may, but does not always, include hormone therapy, surgical or other medical procedures, and changing names, pronouns, identification documents, and more. Often referred to as gender transition. Learn More
(Adj.) An older term that originated in the medical and psychological communities, the term transexual is still preferred by some people who have changed or seek to change their bodies permanently via medical intervention such as surgery and/or hormone treatments. Most transgender people do not identify as transexual and prefer the term transgender to avoid confusing gender identity with biological sex or sexual orientation. Learn More
(Noun) An outdated term that is now considered pejorative (the preferred term is cross-dresser). Describes individuals who regularly or occasionally wear clothes traditionally and culturally associated with people of a different gender for fun, self-expression, relaxation, etc. Transvestites/cross-dressers are usually comfortable with their anatomy and do not wish to change it; their gender expression is not necessarily tied to erotic activity, and is not a reflection of sexual orientation. Learn More
(Noun) A transgender person who was assigned female at birth but identifies as a man. Learn More
(Noun) A transgender person who was an assigned male at birth but identifies as woman. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person with a nonbinary gender identity who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to women. Learn more.
(Noun) An outdated clinical term used to describe an individual’s unequivocal and full presentation of both testicular and ovarian sexual organs. Today this condition is clinically referred to as “Ovo-Testicular Disorder of Sexual Differentiation” (OVO-DSD) under the DSD classification. See also Disorder of Sex Development (DSD). Learn More
(Adj.) "Two Spirit" is an umbrella term for people across hundreds of diverse Native American nations and tribes who embody both male and female spirits. Two Spirit people occupy distinct roles and traditions within their culture. The term reflects a long history of gender diversity, as well as complex Indigenous understandings of gender and spirituality, in Native American communities. Learn More