Other LGBT Topics
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• Issues Facing LGBTQI Youth • Rights of LGBT Students (LAD, ABR, Policies) •
•Guidance to Minimize Adverse Effects of ABR Reporting on LGBT Students •

LGBTQI GLOSSARIES:
BEGINNER'S, FUNDAMENTAL, AND ADVANCED GLOSSARIES

Click on the tabs below each term to access Beginner's and Fundamental Definitions, and Advanced Information, about each vocabulary term. Tab content is cumulative, and accumulated information is italicized; for example, the content of an "Advanced" tab includes both the Beginner's and Fundamental Definitions in italicized text, followed by the Advanced Information which is not italicized. The Beginner's Definitions can also be found on the Beginner's Glossary page on this site.

The Beginner's Glossary contains only the most basic terms that are needed to describe sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression diversity. This glossary is a good place to start, but once these terms are learned, any individual who wishes to be able to discuss LGBT issues or diversity with awareness and respect should move on to the Fundamental Glossary. The Fundamental Glossary contains terms that are in common usage and which are recommended knowledge for people who seek minimal LGBTQI cultural competence, or who work with LGBTQI populations in service professions. The Advanced Glossary contains more than 70 terms, and the definitions and explanations for many of these terms are extensive, designed to provide the user with historical and cultural information about each term as well as the definition, so that this glossary can be used to increase one's LGBTQI cultural competency.

Words beginning with: A-F G-L M-Q R-Z

Ally
Anatomical Sex 
  • Fundamental
  • See also

Androgyne
  • Fundamental
  • Advanced
  • See also
A type of gender variance characterized by “neutral” gender expression.  An androgyne, or androgynous person, is a  person whose gender expression is either sufficiently mixed feminine/masculine as to be unclassifiable as either, or whose gender expression contains elements of neither feminine or masculine elements as defined by the person’s society. An androgynous person might or might not be considered transgender, depending on whether the broad, or the specific, definition of transgender is used.
cf. Transgender
see also: Gender, Gender variant, Gender expression, Gender markers,

Asexual 
  • Beginner
  • Fundamental
  • See also
A sexual orientation category or identity referring to a person who is not sexually attracted to anyone, who does not have a desire for partnered sexuality, or who self-defines as asexual. Asexuality is distinct from celibacy, which is the deliberate abstention from sexual activity.
see also: Sexual orientation, LGBTQQI

Assigned Gender
Assigned Sex
  • Fundamental
  • Advanced
  • See also
The “sex of record” of an individual.  This is typically an individual’s sex as noted on a birth certificate.  For individuals who are not transsexual or intersex, birth sex and assigned sex are the same.  For intersex individuals, assigned sex might differ from birth sex if the person was mis-classified at birth, or if the individual has taken hormones or hormone blockers, or undergone surgical procedures. For transgender individuals who have undergone surgical treatment to bring their anatomical sex into line with their gender identity (see Sex Reassignment Surgery, Gender Confirming Surgery), assigned sex might be different from birth sex, particularly if legal procedures have re-classified the individual’s legal sex. Most states allow birth certificates to be altered to reflect the assigned sex of an individual who has undergone sex reassignment surgery, hormonal treatments, or medical certification as transsexual.  State requirements for legal re-classification of assigned sex vary.
cf. Assigned gender, Gender
see also: Anatomical sex, Birth sex, Intersex, Sex, Sex identity, Transsexual

Biological Sex
Biphobia
  • Beginner
  • Fundamental
  • Advanced
  • See also
Fear or hatred of, or discomfort with, people who are bisexual or who do not fit neatly into “gay/lesbian” or “heterosexual” social categories. Analogous to “homophobia,” the term “biphobia” is often misused when the broader term “monosexism” would be more accurate.
see also: Heterosexism, Homophobia, Monosexism, Oppression

Birth Sex
  • Fundamental
  • Advanced
  • See also
A person's biological sex at birth.
A person's biological sex at birth. Birth sex is the same as anatomical sex at birth, although for individuals who later undergo gender confirming surgery, post-surgical anatomical sex is not identical to birth sex.
cf. Gender
see also: Anatomical sex, Assigned sex, Biological sex, Gender confirming surgery, Intersex, Sex, Sex identity, Transition, Transsexual

Bisexual
  • Beginner
  • Fundamental
  • Advanced
  • See also
A sexual orientation category, or a sexual orientation identity, referring to a person who is romantically and/or sexually attracted to both women and men, to either women or men, or to people regardless of their gender (or sex), or whose sexual history includes sexual experiences with both women and men, or who feels s/he has the potential to be attracted to or sexually active with either/both women and men. The attraction does not have to be felt equally for members of the two genders, i.e., the individual might have stronger feelings toward one gender or the other.
A sexual orientation category, or a sexual orientation identity, referring to a person who is romantically and/or sexually attracted to both women and men, to either women or men, or to people regardless of their gender (or sex), or whose sexual history includes sexual experiences with both women and men, or who feels s/he has the potential to be attracted to or sexually active with either/both women and men. The attraction does not have to be felt equally for members of the two genders, i.e., the individual might have stronger feelings toward one gender or the other. Some individuals who feel that they are attracted to people regardless of gender find the term “bisexual” objectionable because it reinforces the gender binary and implies that their feelings are split or bifurcated into attractions toward women vs. attractions toward men. Bisexuality does not imply non-monogamy.  “Technical bisexuality” refers to a person whose lifetime sexual behavior includes both same- and other-sex sexual contact, but who is not otherwise bisexual in attractions or identity.  Some individuals who have feelings or sexual histories that might be classified as “bisexual” by others do not identify themselves as bisexual for a variety of reasons including disagreement over “how much” attraction to both sexes distinguishes gayness/lesbianism and heterosexuality from bisexuality; in such cases, an individual’s own sexual orientation identity should be respected and treated as the proper reflection of the individual’s sexual orientation. A person does not have to have had sexual experiences with both women and men to identify as “bisexual.”
cf. Gender expression, Gender identity, Sex
see also: Biphobia, Gay, Heterosexual, Lesbian, LGBTQQI, Sexual orientation

Cisgender
  • Fundamental
  • Advanced
  • See also
A person whose gender identity and expression are aligned with the gender they were assigned at birth, in the manner expected by society.  For example, a person born female who identifies as a girl/woman, and who conforms within acceptable limits to the feminine gender role of her society, or a person born male who identifies as a boy/man, and who conforms within acceptable limits to the masculine gender role of his society. This term is not in common usage outside the LGBT community, and it is used primarily for academic purposes and policy language.
cf. Gender variant, Transgender
see also: Assigned gender, Gender expression, Gender identity,

Closet, to be in the
  • Fundamental
  • Advanced
  • See also
Refers to an LGBTQQI person who will not or cannot disclose their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity to their family, friends, work associates, or acquaintances, or general public. An individual might be “in the closet” in some aspects of their life, but “out” in other aspects, for example, a person might be out to their family, but not to their coworkers.
see also: Coming out, Gender Identity, LGBTQQI, Passing, Sexual orientation

Coming Out:
  • Beginner
  • Fundamental
  • Advanced
  • See also
The process in which one acknowledges and accepts one’s own sexual orientation.  It also encompasses the process in which one discloses one’s sexual orientation to others.  The term closeted refers to a state of secrecy or cautious privacy regarding one’s sexual orientation.  Related terms are “being out,” i.e., revealing or not concealing one’s sexual orientation, and “outing,” which refers to the revelation of one’s sexual orientation by someone else, usually without one’s permission and against one’s wishes.  “Coming out” may also refer to the process of recognizing and revealing to others one’s transgender identity or intersex status. Coming out is a lifelong process, as one continually encounters new individuals and new social situations in which one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status is not already known.
see also: Closet, Gender Identity, Intersex, Passing, Sexual orientation, Transgender

Cross-dressers
Discrimination
  • Fundamental
  • See also
cf. Prejudice, Stereotype
see also: Heterosexism, Heterosexual assumption, Heterosexual privilege, Interpersonal discrimination, Institutional discrimination, Internalized oppression, Monosexism, Oppression, Structural discrimination

Dyke
Fag
FTM / F2M
  • Fundamental
  • See also
cf. MTF/M2F
see also:Trans man, Transgender, Transgender female-to-male, Transsexual