Gender Identity- Your intuitive sense of who you
are, in terms of gender. It can incorporate how you want other people to see you, how you relate to others, and how you see
Sexual Orientation- Based on gender. In other words, sexual orientation
is about the gender of the people you tend to find sexually attractive.
- An umbrella term for the LGBTQ+ community (ex: the queer community).
- A sexual orientation that is intentionally left vague. Many people identify as queer because they feel that no other
sexuality term applies to them. People who identify as queer might also do so for political reasons: to specifically and publically
reject society’s prevailing view of sexuality. Some people experience “queer” as a slur, so use this term
Questioning- Being unsure of your gender identity, being
unsure of your sexual orientation, or both. Many people go through a stage of questioning during their lives, sometimes several
times. This can be because they learn new words that fit them better, or it can be that their actual feelings of gender or
attraction change over time.
Coming Out- Letting someone know what your
sexual orientation or gender identity is. Coming out can be a continuous process
as you encounter new people and gain new understanding of your own identity. In mainstream American culture, people tend to
assume that you are heterosexual and cisgender unless you tell them otherwise. This is why LGBTQ+ people tend to “come
out” and heterosexual and/or cisgender people do not.
Intersex- A general
term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem
to fit the typical definitions of female or male. (from Intersex Society of North America)
Two-Spirit- A term for LGBTQ members of the Native American community, first coined in 1990 by a
Native American group in Winnipeg. The term references a tradition common to several tribes, where some individuals possessed
and manifested a balance of both feminine and masculine energies, making them inherently sacred people. (Derived from
Bay Area American Indian Two Spirits)
Gender Non-Conforming- Anyone who does not fit neatly into a gender role.
Transgender- Transgender people have a gender identity or expression different from the one they
were assigned at birth or are expected to exhibit in adulthood.
Is an umbrella term derived from a contraction of “transgender” or “transsexual”. The asterisk is
a “wildcard” that stands for the multitude of ways that trans* people identify. The prefix “trans”
can mean beyond, across, between, through, transcending, or changing. Many trans* people have a gender identity that is different
from the one they were assigned at birth. Some people identify as trans* if their gender expression is different than what
is expected for their gender.
Cisgender- Someone who identifies as the gender
that society assigns to them; someone who is not transgender. “Cis” is a latin prefix meaning “on the same
side”. You are cisgender if you do not feel conflict with the gender assigned to you at birth. Cis people can still
be gender nonconforming.
- Any person with a “queer” gender identity or gender expression.
- The act of transgressing gender norms.
- A specific non-binary gender.
Non-Binary- A person whose gender identity does not fit the strict man/woman dichotomy. Some non-binary
people feel that their gender identity is between man and woman, is simultaneously fully man and fully woman, changes from
man to woman and back, is a separate entity without connection to man or woman, is similar to either man or woman but is not
quite either, is entirely neutral, or does not exist at all.
A set of behaviors and expectations that society associates with a gender.
Expression- The visual, interpersonal, and behavioral methods that people use to express their gender identity. This
can include personal grooming, clothing, body language, vocabulary, intonation, vocal pitch, and other behaviors.
Typically, a woman who is romantically and sexually attracted to other women.
A person who is romantically and sexually attracted to other people of their own gender. “Gay” is usually used
by men, but not always.
Bisexual- A person who is romantically and sexually
attracted to two (or all) genders.
Pansexuality- Pansexuality is often confused
with bisexuality. People who identify as pansexual define it in multiple ways. Some people identify as pansexual because they
see “bisexual” as not including non-binary trans* people. Other pansexual people explain it as a sexual attraction
to people irrespective of gender or sex.
Heterosexual- A person who is romantically
and sexually attracted to people of the other binary gender; “straight”.
A person who does not experience sexual attraction under most circumstances. An asexual person may or may not experience romantic
Gray-asexuality- The space between asexuality and other sexual
orientations; experiencing sexual attraction only very rarely.
Exists in the spectrum on gray-asexuality. It involves sexual attraction only to people one has developed a close emotional
Romantic Orientation- A person’s romantic orientation has
to do with who they tend to form romantic bonds with, based on gender. For many people, romantic and sexual orientations overlap
- Biromantic- Being romantically
attracted to two genders (or all genders)
- Homoromatic- Being
romantically attracted to people of your own gender
Being romantically attracted to people of a gender other than your own
Being romantically attracted to all genders
- Aromantic- Not
experiencing romantic attraction