LGBTQIA+ TERMS WE SHOULD ALL KNOW
We believe empathy and acceptance are two of the most important pillars of any community, so by educating ourselves (and each other), a more harmonious society can exist. With this in mind, we thought a list of inclusive terms would help to inform, clarify what is meant by these terms, and avoid any confusion that can arise.
The most valuable word you can learn - 'ALLY'.
To be an ally is to support the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Ally is also a verb - actions are more powerful than words.
This iteration stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and more.
An adjective used by some people, particularly younger people, whose sexual orientation is not exclusively heterosexual. Typically, for those who identify with queer, the terms lesbian, gay, and bisexual are perceived to be too limiting and/or fraught with cultural connotations they feel don't apply to the. Some people may use queer, or more commonly genderqueer, to describe their gender identity and/or gender expression.
...is the acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression and we must consider everything and anything that can marginalise people – gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc.
This term refers to a woman who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to other women.
This term refers to a man sexually and/or romantically attracted to other men.(It’s also sometimes used as a blanket term to refer to any person who is interested in the same gender as their own.)
This term refers to a person attracted to two or more genders. While “bi” does refer to two, as the community’s understanding of gender has grown, the term has expanded in its usage beyond the gender binary.
Similar to bisexual, a person attracted to many genders (usually more than two or any gender).
"Wait, aren't bisexual and pansexual the same thing?" you ask. Bisexual means attracted to multiple genders, and pansexual means attracted to all genders. These are different because “multiple” isn’t the same thing as “all.” Let’s say you ask your friends what their favourite flowers are. One friend might say, “Actually, I like more than one flower!” Another friend might say, “I like all flowers.” Bisexual is a broad term that means more than one — but it isn’t the same thing as Pansexual, because “all” isn’t the same as “multiple.”
STRAIGHT / HETEROSEXUAL
A man attracted to women, or a woman attracted to men. Cis and trans people can be heterosexual, as it’s about the gender you identify as and the gender you’re attracted to, not the one you were born with.
Asexuality is the term for people who don’t experience sexual attraction, and the spectrum refers to different ways in which people experience less sexual attraction than the 'norm'. Some people may only experience sexual attraction after many months or years of knowing someone, and some may never experience it. Some may be willing to engage in sexual activity even if it doesn’t interest them, and some may not.
A term used to refer to someone who is not sure what their gender identity or sexual orientation is, and who is in the process of figuring it out.
Your sex is the biological combination of your bodily organs, hormones, and chromosomes. Sex and gender are associated, but not the same nor interchangeable.
Your gender expression is how you present yourself to the outside world, and how that links to the way you experience your own gender.
GENDER ASSIGNED AT BIRTH
This is the gender that gets assigned to you when you’re born, based on your sex organs and chromosomes. "AFAB" and "AMAB": Acronyms meaning “assigned female/male at birth”
Your experienced gender aligns with the gender you were assigned at birth.
Your experienced gender is different than the one you were assigned at birth.
NONBINARY ( or NON-BINARY)
Someone who doesn't identify as a man or a woman, or solely as one of those two genders.
Broader than nonbinary, your gender expression doesn’t correspond to the gender you were assigned at birth. You may still identify as a woman, but you may dress only in men’s clothes, for example, or you may present in a way that doesn’t align with society’s idea of male or female.
You experience no attachment to any gender.
Your sexual organs don’t fall within the sexual binary.
The act of misgendering someone is the act of deliberately or accidentally referring to someone by the wrong gender assignation.
Transition, for a trans person, could start and end with coming out as a new gender—or it could mean a life of gender-affirming hormone replacement therapy and surgery. Transition is a process, and it’s different for every trans person. No one needs to complete a specific set of steps to have transitioned.
Native American identity in which one person contains female and male spirits within them.
The feeling of expanding in your gender experience beyond current notions of gender identity, and not wanting to limit your identity to one or another.
The feeling of your appearance or outside perception of yourself not matching your gender identity. This can be treated through transition, but trans people could experience this in different ways for their whole lives.
THEY / THEM / THEIRS
A set of gender-neutral pronouns used by some nonbinary or genderqueer people to identify themselves in the third person.