PRIDE Alliance at Georgia College

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LGBT Terms and Definitions

Posted by PRIDE GC on February 4, 2014 at 11:30 AM



Advocate – (noun) (1) a person who actively works to end intolerance, educate others, and support


social equity for a marginalized group. (verb) (2) to actively support/plea in favor of a particular cause,


the action of working to end intolerance, educate others, etc.


Ally – (noun) a straight identified person who supports, and respects for members of the LGBTQ




Androgyny/ous – (adj) (1) a gender expression that has elements of both masculinity and femininity; (2)


occasionally used in place of “intersex” to describe a person with both female and male anatomy


Androsexual/Androphilic – (adj) attraction to men, males, and/or masculinity


Aromantic - (adj) is a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others and/or a lack of


interest in forming romantic relationships.


Asexual – (adj) having a lack of (or low level of) sexual attraction to others and/or a lack of interest or


desire for sex or sexual partners


Bigender – (adj) a person who fluctuates between traditionally “woman” and “man” gender-based


behavior and identities, identifying with both genders (and sometimes a third gender)


Bicurious – (adj) a curiosity about having attraction to people of the same gender/sex (similar to




Biological Sex – (noun) a medical term used to refer to the chromosomal, hormonal and anatomical


characteristics that are used to classify an individual as female or male or intersex. Often abbreviated to


simply “sex”.


Biphobia – (noun) a range of negative attitudes (e.g., fear, anger, intolerance, resentment, or


discomfort) that one may have/express towards bisexual individuals. Biphobia can come from and be


seen within the queer community as well as straight society.. Biphobic (adj) a word used to describe an


individual who harbors some elements of this range of negative attitudes towards bisexual people


Bisexual – (adj) a person emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to males/men and


females/women. This attraction does not have to be equally split between genders and there may be a


preference for one gender over others.


Butch – (noun & adj) a person who identifies themselves as masculine, whether it be physically,


mentally or emotionally. ‘Butch’ is sometimes used as a derogatory term for lesbians, but is also be


claimed as an affirmative identity label.


Cisgender – (adj) a person whose gender identity and biological sex assigned at birth align (e.g., man and




Cisnormativity – (noun) the assumption, in individuals or in institutions, that everyone is cisgender, and


that cisgender identities are superior to trans* identities or people. Leads to invisibility of non-cisgender




Closeted – (adj) an individual who is not open to themselves or others about their (queer) sexuality or


gender identity. This may be by choice and/or for other reasons such as fear for one’s safety, peer or


family rejection or disapproval and/or loss of housing, job, etc. Also known as being “in the closet.”


When someone chooses to break this silence they “come out” of the closet. (See coming out)


Coming Out – (1) the process by which one accepts and/or comes to identify one’s own sexuality or


gender identity (to “come out” to oneself). (2) The process by which one shares one’s sexuality or


gender identity with others (to “come out” to friends, etc.).


Cross-dresser – (noun) someone who wears clothes of another gender/sex.


Demi-sexual – (noun) an individual who does not experience sexual attraction unless they have formed


a strong emotional connection with another individual. Often within a romantic relationship.


Drag King – (noun) someone who performs masculinity theatrically.


Drag Queen – (noun) someone who performs femininity theatrically.


Dyke – (noun) a term referring to a masculine presenting lesbian. While often used derogatorily, it can is


adopted affirmatively by many lesbians (and not necessarily masculine ones) as a positive self-identity




Fag(got) – (noun) derogatory term referring to a gay person, or someone perceived as queer.


Occasionally used as an self-identifying affirming term by some gay men, at times in the shortened form




Femme – (noun & adj) someone who identifies themselves as feminine, whether it be physically,


mentally or emotionally. Often used to refer to a feminine-presenting lesbian.


Fluid(ity) – generally with another term attached, like gender-fluid or fluid-sexuality, fluid(ity) describes


an identity that is a fluctuating mix of the options available (e.g., man and woman, bi and straight)


FTM / F2M – abbreviation for female-to-male transgender or transsexual person.


Gay – (adj) (1) a term used to describe individuals who are primarily emotionally, physically, and/or


sexually attracted to members of the same sex. More commonly used when referring to males, but can


be applied to females as well. (2) An umbrella term used to refer to the queer community as a whole, or


as an individual identity label for anyone who does not identify as heterosexual.


Gender Binary – (noun) the idea that there are only two genders – male/female or man/woman and


that a person must be strictly gendered as either/or.


Gender Expression – (noun) the external display of one’s gender, through a combination of dress,


demeanor, social behavior, and other factors, generally measured on scales of masculinity and




Gender Fluid - (adj) gender fluid is a gender identity best described as a dynamic mix of boy and girl. A


person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more


man some days, and more woman other days.


Gender Identity – (noun) the internal perception of an one’s gender, and how they label themselves,


based on how much they align or don’t align with what they understand their options for gender to be.


Common identity terms include man, woman, genderqueer...


Gender Normative / Gender Straight – (adj) someone whose gender presentation, whether by nature


or by choice, aligns with society’s gender-based expectations


Genderqueer - (adj) is a catch-all term for gender identities other than man and woman, thus outside of


the gender binary and cisnormativity (sometimes referred to as non-binary). People who identify as


genderqueer may think of themselves as one or more of the following:


 both man and woman (bigender, pangender);


 neither man nor woman (genderless, agender);


 moving between genders (genderfluid);


 third gender or other-gendered; includes those who do not place a name to their gender


 having an overlap of, or blurred lines between, gender identity and sexual and romantic orientation.


Gender Variant – (adj) someone who either by nature or by choice does not conform to gender-based


expectations of society (e.g. transgender, transsexual, intersex, gender-queer, cross-dresser, etc.).


Gynesexual/Gynephilic – (adj) attracted to woman, females, and/or femininity


Hermaphrodite – (noun) an outdated medical term previously used to refer someone who was born


with both male and female biological characteristics; not used today as it is considered to be medically


stigmatizing, and also misleading as it means a person who is 100% male and female, a biological


impossibility for humans (preferred term is intersex)


Heteronormativity – (noun) the assumption, in individuals or in institutions, that everyone is


heterosexual, and that heterosexuality is superior to all other sexualities. Leads to invisibility and


stigmatizing of other sexualities.


Heterosexism – (noun) behavior that grants preferential treatment to heterosexual people, reinforces


the idea that heterosexuality is somehow better or more “right” than queerness, or makes other


sexualities invisible


Heterosexual – (adj) a person primarily emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to members of


the opposite sex. Also see straight.


Homophobia – (noun) an umbrella term for a range of negative attitudes (e.g., fear, anger, intolerance,


resentment, or discomfort) that one may have towards members of LGBTQ community. The term can


also connote a fear, disgust, or dislike of being perceived as LGBTQ.


Intersex – (adj) someone whose combination of chromosomes, gonads, hormones, internal sex organs,


and genitals differs from the two expected patterns of male or female. Formerly known as


hermaphrodite (or hermaphroditic), but these terms are now considered outdated and derogatory.


Lesbian – (noun) a term used to describe women attracted romantically, erotically, and/or emotionally


to other women.


Lipstick Lesbian – (noun) Usually refers to a lesbian with a feminine gender expression. Can be used in a


positive or a derogatory way. Is sometimes also used to refer to a lesbian who is assumed to be (or


passes for) straight.


Metrosexual – (noun & adj) a straight man with a strong aesthetic sense who spends more time, energy,


or money on his appearance and grooming than is considered gender normative.


MTF/ M2F – abbreviation from male-to-female transgender or transsexual person.


Outing – (verb) involuntary or unwanted disclosure of another person’s sexual orientation, gender


identity, or intersex status.


Pansexual – (adj) a person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction for


members of all gender identities/expressions


Passing – (verb) (1) a term for trans* people being accepted as, or able to “pass for,” a member of their


self-identified gender/sex identity (regardless of birth sex). (2) An LGB/queer individual who can is


believed to be or perceived as straight.


Polyamory – (noun) refers to having honest, usual non-possessive, relationships with multiple partners


and can include: open relationships, polyfidelity (which involves multiple romantic relationships with


sexual contact restricted to those), and sub-relationships (which denote distinguishing between a


‘primary’ relationship or relationships and various “secondary” relationships).


Queer – (adj) used as an umbrella term to describe individuals who identify as non-straight. Also used to


describe people who have non-normative gender identity or as a political affliliation. Due to its historical


use as a derogatory term, it is not embraced or used by all members of the LGBTQ community. The term


queer can often be use interchangeably with LGBTQ.


Questioning (verb, adjective) - an individual who is unsure about or is exploring their own sexual


orientation or gender identity.


Same Gender Loving / SGL – (adj) a term sometimes used by members of the African-American / Black


community to express an alternative sexual orientation without relying on terms and symbols of


European descent.


Sexual Orientation – (noun) the type of sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction one feels


for others, often labeled based on the gender relationship between the person and the people they are


attracted to (often mistakenly referred to as sexual preference)


Sexual Preference – (1) the types of sexual intercourse, stimulation, and gratification one likes to


receive and participate in. (2) Generally when this term is used, it is being mistakenly interchanged with


“sexual orientation,” creating an illusion that one has a choice (or “preference”) in who they are


attracted to


Sex Reassignment Surgery / SRS – A term used by some medical professionals to refer to a group of


surgical options that alter a person’s biological sex. In most cases, one or multiple surgeries are required


to achieve legal recognition of gender variance.


Skoliosexual – (adj) attracted to genderqueer and transsexual people and expressions (people who


don’t identify as cisgender)


Straight – (adj) a person primarily emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to members of the


opposite sex. A more colloquial term for the word heterosexual


Stud – (noun) an African-American and/of Latina masculine lesbian. Also known as ‘butch’ or




Top Surgery – (noun) this term refers to surgery for the construction of a male-type chest or breast


augmentation for a female-type chest.


Trans* – (noun) an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs


from the sex they were assigned at birth. Trans* people may identify with a particular descriptive term


(e.g., transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, FTM).


Transgender – (1) An umbrella term covering a range of identities that transgress socially defined


gender norms. (2) A person who lives as a member of a gender other than that expected based on


anatomical sex.


Transition(ing) – (noun & verb) this term is primarily used to refer to the process a trans* person


undergoes when changing their bodily appearance either to be more congruent with the gender/sex


they feel themselves to be and/or to be in harmony with their preferred gender expression.


Transman – (noun) An identity label sometimes adopted by female-to-male transgender people or


transsexuals to signify that they are men while still affirming their history as females. (sometimes


referred to as transguy)


Transphobia –(noun) the fear of, discrimination against, or hatred of trans* people, the trans*


community, or gender ambiguity. Transphobia can be seen within the queer community, as well as in


general society.


Transsexual – (noun & adj) a person who identifies psychologically as a gender/sex other than the one


to which they were assigned at birth. Transsexuals often wish to transform their bodies hormonally and


surgically to match their inner sense of gender/sex.


Transvestite – (noun) a person who dresses as the binary opposite gender expression (“cross-dresses”)


for any one of many reasons, including relaxation, fun, and sexual gratification (often called a “cross-

dresser,” and should not be confused with transsexual)


Transwoman – (noun) an identity label sometimes adopted by male-to-female transsexuals or


transgender people to signify that they are women while still affirming their history as males.


Two-Spirit – (noun) is an umbrella term traditionally used by Native American people to recognize


individuals who possess qualities or fulfill roles of both genders


Ze / Hir – alternate pronouns that are gender neutral and preferred by some trans* people.


Pronounced /zee/ and /here/ they replace “he” and “she” and “his” and “hers” respectively.


Alternatively some people who are not comfortable/do not embrace he/she use the plural pronoun


“they/their” as a gender neutral singular pronoun.

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