LGBTQIA+ The acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Agender/Asexual/Aromantic, etc. The "+" includes all other identities and this acronym can sometimes be shortened to just LGBT or LGBTQ.
Sex The label you are assigned at birth (male or female) based on your anatomy, chromosomes, and/or hormones.
Gender Relates to both identity (how we see ourselves) and expression (how we present ourselves to others).
Sexual Orientation How someone categorizes their sexuality (i.e. gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, etc.)
Pronouns Words used instead of a noun to refer to a person without using their name, often signaling a person's gender. Some of the most commonly used pronouns are she/her, he/him, and they/them. Never assume someone's pronouns if you are unsure what they are. It is always better to ask.
Transgender A person whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.
Cisgender A person whose gender identity aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Gender Dysphoria The psychological distress that occurs when a person's gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.
Transphobia The fear, hatred, or discrimination of transgender people.
Genderqueer Someone who rejects the gender binary and whose gender identity can be both male and female, neither male nor female, or a combination of male and female. They can identify as agender, gender nonconforming, gender fluid, or nonbinary (to name a few).
Ally A person who is not LGBTQ+ but uses their privilege to support LGBTQ+ people and promote equality.
Heteronormativity A cultural bias that assumes heterosexuality is the norm.
Cisnormativity A cultural bias that assumes being cisgender is the norm.
Intersectionality The understanding of how a person's overlapping identities - including race, class, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and disability status - impact the way they experience oppression and discrimination.
Asexual A person who does not feel the need to have sex very often, or at all.
Bisexual A person who is romantically or sexually attracted to more than one gender.
Queer While originally a slur, this term has evolved to become an umbrella term for all forms of gender and sexual orientation.
Non-Binary Most people are either male or female, but some people don't fit into the categories of "man" or "woman," or “male” or “female.” Some people don't identify with any gender and some people's gender changes over time. People whose gender is not male or female use many different terms to describe themselves, with non-binary being one of the most common. Other terms include genderqueer, agender, bigender, and more.
Pansexual Someone who finds themselves attracted to people from all the different genders.
Questioning Someone who is not so sure they are heterosexual or “straight”.
Drag King / Drag Queen Someone who dresses in the clothing of the “opposite” gender for performance.