National Coming Out Week - LGBTQ+ Vocabulary

National Coming Out Week - LGBTQ+ Vocabulary

By Tehya Wachuta, Feature Editor Originally published in Issue 3, Volume 30 of The University Register on Friday, October 20, 2017

This is a list of vocabulary supplied by the National LGBT Health Education Center. This list includes many gender identity and sexual orientation definitions, but does not necessarily include all identities/orientations a person may identify with, and may, in some cases, only provide one variation of a term.

A NOTE ON ACRONYMS: While the National LGBT Health Education Center uses the acronym LGBT, this is not the only acceptable acronym within the community. LGBTQ, LGBTQ+, LGBTQIAA2S, or LGBTQIAAP2S are also common. There are many variations of the acronym and of some identities themselves, which is why the “+” acknowledges that there are many identities which may not be listed in the acronym.

VOCABULARY

Agender: Describes a person who identifies as having no gender

Aromantic: An orientation that describes a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others and/or a lack of interest in romantic relationships.

Asexual: Describes a person who experiences little or no sexual attraction to others. Asexuality is not the same as celibacy.

Bigender: Describes a person whose gender identity is a combination of two genders.

Bisexual: A sexual orientation that describes a person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of their own gender and people of another gender.

Cisgender: A person whose gender identity and sex assigned at birth correspond.

Gay: A sexual orientation that describes a person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of their own gender. It can be used regardless of gender identity, but is more commonly used to describe men.

Gender Fluid: Describes a person whose gender identity is not fixed. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more like one gender some of the time, and another gender at other times.

Gender Non-conforming: Describes a gender expression that differs from a given society’s norms for males and females.

Genderqueer: Describes a person whose gender identity falls out of the traditional gender binary structure.

Heterosexual: A sexual orientation that describes women who are emotionally and sexually attracted to men, and men who are emotionally and sexually attracted to women.

Intersex: Group of rare conditions where the reproductive organs and genitals do not develop as expected. Some prefer to use the term ‘disorders (or differences) of sex development.’ Intersex is also used as an identity term by some community members and advocacy groups.

Lesbian: A sexual orientation that describes a woman who is emotionally and sexually attracted to other women.

Non-binary: Describes a person whose gender identity falls outside of the traditional gender binary structure.

Pangender: Describes a person whose gender identity is comprised of many genders.

Pansexual: A sexual orientation that describes a person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of all gender identities.

Polyamorous: Describes a person who has or is open to having more than one romantic or sexual relationship at a time, with the knowledge and consent of all their partners.

Queer: An umbrella term used by some to describe people who think of their sexual orientation or gender identity as outside of societal norms. Some people view the term queer as more fluid and inclusive than traditional categories for sexual orientation and gender identity. Due to its history as a derogatory term, the term queer is not embraced or used by all members of the LGBT community.

Transgender: Describes a person whose gender identity and assigned sex at birth do not correspond. Also used as an umbrella term to include gender identities outside of male and female.

Trans man/transgender man/female-to-male: A transgender person whose gender identity is male may use this term to describe himself. Some will just use the term man.

Trans woman/transgender woman/male-to-female: A transgender person whose gender identity is female may use this term to describe herself. Some will just use the term woman.

Transfeminine: Describes a person who was assigned male sex at birth, but identifies with femininity to a greater extent than masculinity.

Transmasculine: Describes a person who was assigned female sex at birth, but identifies with masculinity to a greater extent than femininity.

Two-Spirit: Describes a person who embodies both a masculine and a feminine spirit. This is a culture-specific term used among some Native American, American Indian, and First Nations people.