Glossary of Terms
Agender - Refers to a person who does not identify with any particular gender.
Ally - Refers to anyone who is openly supportive of LGBTQI+ people.
Asexual - Not romantically or sexually attracted to people of any gender.
Bisexual - A person who is romantically or sexually attracted to more than one gender.
Cisgender - Refers to a person whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth (identifies as a woman and was assigned female sex at birth, OR Identifies as a man and was assigned male sex at birth). Generally thought of as not transgender.
Gay - A man who is romantically or sexually attracted to other men. Men and non-binary people may use this term to describe themselves.
Gender affirmation - The process by which someone’s gender identity is recognized and validated, whether by themselves or by others.
Gender-affirming care - Refers to health care that recognizes diverse gender identities and assists individuals in defining, exploring, and fulfilling their gender identity (for example, a doctor correctly using a patient’s chosen name or prescribing hormone replacement therapy for a transgender patient).
Gender-affirming surgery - A process by which a transgender person undergoes a surgical procedure(s) to change their physical appearance and/or function of their existing sexual anatomy to resemble those generally associated with their identified gender (for example, facial reconstructive surgery, chest or “top” surgery”, and genital or “bottom” surgery).
Gender expression - The ways in which a person expresses their gender identity (typically associated with being either masculine or feminine) through clothing, roles, mannerisms, etc.
Gender identity - Refers to one’s sense of self as a male, female, a blend of both or neither - how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different than their sex assigned at birth.
Gender transition - The process by which someone changes their external appearance so that it matches more closely with their gender identity. Transition looks different for every person, but it may involve modifying clothing choices, hairstyles, cosmetic use, vocal patterns, behavior, and mannerisms. For some, it may involve medical procedures. Not every transgender person’s goal is transitioning, and it should never be assumed that a person wishes to undergo medical transition.
Heterosexual or Straight - A person who is romantically or sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex or gender.
Homosexual - A person who is romantically or sexually attracted to members of the same gender. Men, women, and non-binary people may use this term to describe themselves.
Intersex - A general term that is used to describe people who are born with genitals, reproductive organs, and/or chromosome patterns that do not fit typical definitions for male and female.
Lesbian - A woman who is attracted (romantically or sexually) to other women. Women and non-binary people may use this term to describe themselves.
LGBTQI+ - An acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and more” with a “+” sign to recognize the limitless sexual orientations and gender identities used by members of the community.
Men attracted to men - Refers to male-identified people who are attracted (romantically or sexually) to other male-identified people.
Non-binary - Refers to a person who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman. Non-binary people may identify as being both a man and a woman, somewhere in between, or somewhere outside of these binary (two) categories of gender.
“Out” - Refers to someone who accepts their sexual orientation or gender identity, and shares that identity with others.
Pansexual - A person who is romantically or sexually attracted to people of any gender(s).
Queer - A term often used generally among many sexual and gender minority people, including those who do not identify as heterosexual and/or people who have non-binary gender identities. Queer is also often used to describe identities and orientations that differ from the mainstream. This term was previously used as an offensive term, but has been reclaimed by some parts of the LGBTQI+ movement.
Questioning (gender identity) - Refers to a person who is exploring their gender identity.
Questioning (sexual orientation) - Refers to a person who is exploring their sexual orientation.
Sex assigned at birth - The sex (male, female, or intersex) that a medical professional uses to describe a child at birth based on their external anatomy.
Sexual or gender minority people (SGM) - An additional way to refer to LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, plus more) communities.
Sexual orientation - Refers to someone’s sexual or romantic attraction to others.
Transgender - Refers to a person who identifies as a gender that differs from their sex assigned at birth.
Transgender man - Refers to a person who identifies as a man and was assigned female sex at birth.
Transgender woman - Refers to a person who identifies as a woman and was assigned male sex at birth.
Women attracted to women - Refers to female-identified people who are attracted (romantically or sexually) to other female-identified people.