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Many of these terms lead to stereotyping and can be accurate. These terms are intended provide the different aspects of a person's sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and sex and aspects of the LGBTI community. It is important to remember that sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and sex are not binary




An ally is a person who advocates for and supports LGBTI people, but are not LGBTI themselves.


Generally used to refer to a person who is not sexually active, or is not sexually attracted to other people.


Prejudice - an inclination or preference - and may be concious or unconcious. Bias causes a person to be unable to apply impartial judgment.


The irrational fear and intolerance of people who are bisexual.


A person who is attracted to other people of the same gender and opposite gender.  The level of attraction is not necessarily equal. Colloqually called "bi."

coming out

To process associated with disclosing a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.


The act of showing partiality or prejudice; a prejudicial act. Causing disadvantage to a person based upon a characteristic, bias or some other perception.

domestic partner


One who lives with their beloved and/or is at least emotionally and financially connected in a supportive manner with another. Another word for spouse, lover, significant other, etc.



The act of dressing in gendered clothing as part of a performance. Drag Queens perform in highly feminine attire. Drag Kings perform in highly masculine attire. Drag may be performed as a political comment on gender, as parody, or simply as entertainment. Drag performance does not indicate sexual orientation, or gender identity.

It is inappropriate and offensive to call transgender people drag queens or drag kings.



A colloquial term expression used by LGBTI people to identify other LGBTI people.


A transgender person who has transitioned gender from Female to Male. This term can be offensive and you should be cautious about using the term. A transgender person who has transitioned often prefers simply to be considered as male.



A person primarily attracted to people with the same gender as themselves. Most commonly used to describe men who are attracted to other men. 


A socially constructed system of classification that ascribes qualities of masculinity and femininity to people. Gender characteristics can change over time and are different between cultures. Words that refer to gender include: man, woman, transgender, masculine, feminine, and gender queer. A person's gender is related to how people think about themselves and how they wish others to percieve them. 

Gender is often confused with a person's sex, which is a matter of biology.

gender conformance or congruence

The degree to which a person's gender identity and biological sex are aligned.  

gender dysphoria

A person who experiences distress as a result of misalignment between their gender identity and biological sex.

gender identity

The gender that a person considers themselves to be. This can include a person considering themselves neither masculine or feminine, neither man or woman.

Gender identity is also often confused with sexual orientation or incorrectly considered to be related to sexual orientation. Gender identity bears no relationship with sexual orientation. For example, a masculine woman is not nescesarily attracted to other women.

gender-neutral language

Language where the gender of the person is hidden. This language is used to be inclusive of same-sex attracted people. This language is also used by same-sex attracted people when they do not wish to reveal the sex of their partner.

For example, “spouse” and “partner” are gender-neutral alternatives to the gender-specific words “husband,” “wife,” “boyfriend” and “girlfriend.”

gender queer 

A person who does not ascribe to societal definitions of gender, or who does not consider themselves to be a man or a woman, masculine or feminine.

gender role

How “masculine” or “feminine” an individual acts. Societies commonly have norms and expectations regarding how men and women should behave, expecting people to have personality characteristics and/or act a certain way based on their biological sex.

hate crime

Hate crime is a crime motivated by the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.


A person who has a sexual, emotional, and/or romantic attraction to a person of a sex differn from their own. Colloquially called "straight."

heterosexism or heteronormativity

Behaviour that assumes every person to be heterosexual. For example, assuming that a man you have just met is attracted to women is heterosexist and heteronormative behaviour. This type of behaviour can marginalise people who are not heterosexual and can be indicitave of an environment that is not inclusive.

heterosexual privilege

Benefits derived automatically by being (or being perceived as) heterosexual that are denied to same-sex attracted people.


The irrational fear and intolerance of people who are homosexual or of homosexual feelings within one's self. Behaviour assumes that heterosexual people are superior.


A person who with sexual, emotional, and/or romantic attraction for a person of the same sex.

institutional oppression

Arrangement of a society used to benefit one group at the expense of another through the use of language, media education, religion, economics, etc.

internalised oppression

The process by which an oppressed person comes to believe, accept, or live out the inaccurate stereotypes and misinformation about their group.


Intersex people are born with reproductive organs, external genitalia, or internal reproductive systems that may contain male and/or female biological components, or none at all.

Intersex people have healthy bodies, but often have their bodies modified by their parents at an early age before gender identity has formed. Intersex people are neither male nor female but can be unfairly forced to identify and live as a man or a woman.

in the closet

An expression that describes behaviour that keeps a person's sexual orientation and/or gender identity a secret.

invisible minority

A group whose minority status is not always immediately visible, such as deaf people and LGBTI people. This lack of visibility may make organizing for rights difficult.


A woman who has sexual, emotional and/or romantic attraction to other woman.


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Intersex.


People who are ecluded, ignored, or relegated to the outer edge of a group/society/community.


Men who have Sex with Men.  Men who engage in same-sex behavior, but who do not necessarily self-identify as gay.


A transgender person who has transitioned gender from Male to Female. This term can be offensive and you should be cautious about using the term. A transgender person who has transitioned often prefers simply to be considered as Female.

out (of the closet)

A person who has disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity to others. Note that a person may not necessarily be "out" publically or to others. You should not disclose someones sexual orientation or gender identity to others.

When used as a verb "outing" means disclosing someone elses sexual orientation or gender identity to others without permission. Outing can be very traumatic.


A person who is fluid in their sexual orientation. They fluidly change their sexual, emotional and romantic attraction to people of the same sex, different sex or no sex at all.


An umbrella term often used to refer to all LGBTI people

A political statement and a choice a person makes to describe their sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and sex. The term is intended break binary thinking about these aspects of a person. As there is a choice associated with electing to be considered Queer, it is not included in the LGBTI acronym.

Many older LGBTI people feel the word has been hatefully used against them for too long and are reluctant to embrace it. Many younger LGBTI people have embraced the term, particularly at universities.


Refers to a person biology and is based on their anatomy (sexual organs, external genitalia, chromosomes, and internal reproductive system). Sex terms are male, female, and intersex. Sex is a matter of biology

sexual orientation

The direction of one's sexual (erotic) attraction to other people. Every person has a sexual orientation. A person's orientation is on a continuum and not a set of absolute categories.


Acronym for Sex Reassignment Surgery, the surgery undertaken by people with gender dysphoria align their bodies with their gender identity. As there are risks with SRS, not all transgender people will undergo this surgery.

It is considered to be rude to ask whether someone had had SRS.


An exaggerated oversimplified belief about an entire group of people without regard for individual differences.


A person who is sexually, emotionally, or romantically attracted to a different sex other than their own.


Transgender people (sometimes shortened to trans or TG) have a different gender identity from the biological sex they were born with. Transgender people may experience gender dysphoria and may seek to align aspects of their biology with their gender identity.

Transgender people have a sexual orientation, it is incorrect to make assumptions about a transgender persons sexual orientation.

transition (or gender transition)

A complicated, multi-step process that can take years intended to relieve gender dysphoria by aligning a person's biology with their gender identity.  This process may include sex reassignment surgery (SRS), but is not always the case.


Fear or hatred of transgender people; transphobia is manifested in a number of ways, including violence, harassment and discrimination.


Individuals who regularly or occasionally wear the clothing and behave according to social norms of a  gender that is not their own - often for the purpose of entertainment. 

It is offensive and inappropriate to refer to transgender people as transvestites.