Ally | A person who is not LGBTQ but shows support for LGBTQ people and promotes equality in a variety of ways.
Androgynous | Identifying and/or presenting as neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine.
Asexual | The lack of a sexual attraction or desire for other people.
Biphobia | Prejudice, fear or hatred directed toward bisexual people.
Bisexual | A person emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to more than one sex, gender or gender identity though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree.
Cisgender | A term used to describe a person whose gender identity aligns with those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth.
Closeted | Describes an LGBTQ person who has not disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Coming Out | The process in which a person first acknowledges, accepts and appreciates their sexual orientation or gender identity and begins to share that with others.
Drag | Wearing the clothing typically associated with another gender, often involving the presentation of exaggerated, stereotypical gender characteristics. Individuals may identify as drag kings (in drag presenting as male) or drag queens (in drag presenting as female) when performing gender as parody, art or entertainment.
FTM or F2M (female-to-male) | An identity of a person who was assigned female at birth, and who identifies as male, lives as a male or identifies as masculine. Other related terms include: transgender male, transman and affirmed male.
Gay | A person who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to members of the same gender.
Gender | A social construct based on a group of emotional, behavioral and cultural characteristics attached to a person’s assigned biological sex. The gender construct then classifies an individual as feminine, masculine, androgynous or other. Gender can be understood to have several components, including gender identity, gender expression and gender role.
Gender Binary | The concept that everyone is of two genders: male or female. It also describes the system in which society divides people into male and female roles, identities and attributes.
Gender-Expansive | Conveys a wider, more flexible range of gender identity and/or expression than typically associated with the binary gender system.
Gender Expression | External appearance of one's gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.
Gender-Fluid | According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a person who does not identify with a single fixed gender; of or relating to a person having or expressing a fluid or unfixed gender identity.
Gender Identity | One’s innermost concept of self as 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 from their sex assigned at birth.
Gender Non-Conforming | A broad term referring to people who do not behave in a way that conforms to the traditional expectations of their gender, or whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category.
Gender Role | The social expectations of how an individual should act, think and/or feel based upon one’s assigned biological sex. A set of traditional and stereotypical roles, traits, dress, characteristics, qualities, mannerisms and behaviors that are associated with societal norms of what is male and what is female.
Genderism | The systematic belief that people need to conform to the gender role assigned to them based on a gender binary system which allows only female and male.
Genderqueer | Genderqueer people typically reject notions of static categories of gender and embrace a fluidity of gender identity and often, though not always, sexual orientation. People who identify as "genderqueer" may see themselves as being both male and female, neither male nor female or as falling completely outside these categories.
Gender Transition | The process by which some people strive to more closely align their internal knowledge of gender with its outward appearance. Some people socially transition, whereby they might begin dressing, using names and pronouns and/or be socially recognized as another gender. Others undergo physical transitions in which they modify their bodies through medical interventions.
Heterosexism | Applies to attitudes, bias and discrimination in favor of heterosexual sexuality and relationships. It includes the presumption that everyone is heterosexual or that male/ female attractions and relationships are the norm and therefore superior. It is the belief that everyone is or should be straight.
Heterosexual | A sexual orientation and/or identity of a person who is sexually and emotionally attracted to some members of another sex (specifically, a male who is attracted to some females or a female who is attracted to some males). Often referred to as “straight.”
Homophobia | The fear and hatred of or discomfort with people who are attracted to members of the same sex.
Homosexual | An identity of a person who is sexually and emotionally attracted to some members of their own sex; originated in the medical and psychological professions. Currently, many prefer the term lesbian or gay.
Intersex | An umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations. In some cases, these traits are visible at birth, and in others, they are not apparent until puberty. Some chromosomal variations of this type may not be physically apparent at all.
Lesbian | A woman who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to other women.
LGBTQIQ | An umbrella term referring collectively to people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and/or queer. In the past “gay” was used as a general, over-arching term, but currently the more inclusive terms LGBTQ and LGBTQIQ are regularly used and preferred by many LGBTQIQ people and allies.
Living Openly | A state in which LGBTQ people are comfortably out about their sexual orientation or gender identity – where and when it feels appropriate to them.
MTF or M2F (male-to-female) | An identity of a person who was assigned male at birth, and who identifies as female, lives as a female or identifies as feminine. Other related terms include: transgender female, transwoman, affirmed female.
Non-Binary | An adjective describing 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 as falling completely outside these categories. While many also identify as transgender, not all non-binary people do.
Outing | Exposing someone’s lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identity to others without their permission. Outing someone can have serious repercussions on employment, economic stability, personal safety or religious or family situations.
Pansexual | Describes someone who has the potential for emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to people of any gender though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree.
Queer | A term people often use to express fluid identities and orientations. Often used interchangeably with "LGBTQ."
Questioning | A term used to describe people who are in the process of exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Same-Gender Loving | A term some prefer to use instead of lesbian, gay or bisexual to express attraction to and love of people of the same gender.
Sex Assigned at Birth | The sex (male or female) given to a child at birth, most often based on the child's external anatomy. This is also referred to as "assigned sex at birth."
Sexual Behavior | What we do sexually and with whom.
Sexual Identity | What we call ourselves in terms of our sexuality. Such labels include “lesbian,” “gay,” “bisexual,” “queer,” “heterosexual,” “straight,” and many more.
Sexual Orientation | An inherent or immutable enduring emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to other people.
Transgender | An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.
Transition | The myriad of actions a person may take to transition from one gender identity to another. These may include social, psychological and/or medical processes. Transitioning is a complex process that occurs over a long period of time, it is not a one-time event.
Transphobia | The fear and hatred of, or discomfort with, transgender people.
Transsexual | A term, originated in the medical and psychological communities, which historically referred to people whose gender identity was not aligned with their sex assigned at birth.
Two-Spirit (also Two Spirit or Twospirit) | Used in many Native Americans to refer to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or gender non-conforming. The term usually implies a masculine spirit and a feminine spirit living in the same body and has been adopted by some contemporary lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Native Americans to describe themselves.