LGBT Glossary: ​​LGBTQ+ terms from A to Z (2023)

LGBT Glossary: ​​LGBTQ+ terms from A to Z (1)

PublishedDecember 17, 2021

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LGBT Glossary: ​​LGBTQ+ terms from A to Z (2)

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Are you new to the LGBTQ+ community and curious about terminology? Want to be a better ally to LGBTQ+ people but worried about saying the wrong thing? Flo is here to help with our guide to the most common LGBTQ+ terms in our LGBT Glossary.

Although lesbians, gays, bisexuals,Transand Queer (LGBTQ+) have been around for millennia, the evolution of language means community members continue to find more inclusive and more accurate terms to better describe themselves, such asStonewall's ever-evolving dictionarytest While these changes are positive, some people feel nervous if they say the wrong thing or use inaccurate terminology, especially if they are new to the community or allies.

That's why we've compiled a list of the most common LGBTQ+ terms with easy-to-understand definitions as a starting point. However, as a rule, it is always better to ask someone what wordsSheused to describe your gender identity orsexual orientationand take advantage of

Below is our guide to common LGBTQ+ dates. More comprehensive glossaries can be found on the websitebrick wall,campaign for human rightsWPFLAG.

LGBT Glossary: ​​Common LGBTQ+ terms and definitions

Zoom out:An ally is someone who actively supports and advocates for members of the LGBTQ+ community and equality. This is usually a heterosexual person, but can also be a member of the LGBTQ+ community who is standing up for another member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Asexual:An asexual person or "bait" is someone who is not sexually attracted to anyone. It's important to remember that sexuality is a spectrum, so it means different things to different people. Some people who identify as asexual, known as "gray asexuals", may experience an unusual feeling of sexual attraction to another person under certain circumstances. Asexuality is not the same as celibacy because celibacy is a choice while asexuality is not. Asexual people can still feel romantic attraction. They may also build long-term relationships and choose to have sex for reasons other than sexual attraction.

Romantic:While asexuals don't feel sexually attracted to other people, aromatic people differ somewhat in that they don't feel romantically attracted to other people. Aromatic people also fall into the lure category, and like asexual people, they may identify as gay, lesbian, straight, or queer to determine the direction of their attraction to others.

bisexual/bi:A bisexual person is a person who is attracted to more than one gender. Although "bi" means two, many bisexual people understand that bisexuality includes all genders. Best practice in the LGBTQ+ community is to use "bi" instead of "bisexual" as a generic identity designation, such as Mr. (below).

cisgender:A cisgender or cisgender person is a person whose gender identity matches the sex assigned to them at birth. For example, Beyoncé is a cis woman while Caitlyn Jenner is a trans woman whose gender identity is different from the sex assigned to them at birth. It is important to note that cis identity specifically refers to a person's gender identity, not their sexual orientation. Like trans (below), the word "cis" comes from the Latin meaning "on the same side as".

homo:The word "gay" is commonly used to describe someone who is sexually or romantically attracted to people of the same sex. In the past, the word was largely used to describe men who were attracted to other men, but now women, transgender people, and non-binary people can also use the label to describe their sexual orientation.

binary gender:Gender binary is a strict classification of people into two opposite categories: men and women. In this system, people are often expected to conform to traditional, cultural, or social expectations of what constitutes femininity or masculinity, such as female submission and male leadership. Many people see the gender binary as normative and restrictive, allowing people to be who they want to be.

gender dysphoria:Gender dysphoria is the distress a person feels when the gender they were assigned at birth does not match their gender identity. When gender dysphoria is particularly severe, it can seriously affect a person's life, leading to depression, anxiety, or traumatic reactions.

sexual fluid:A self-identified gender fluid person is someone who does not conform to an established gender identity, such as male or female. While a gender fluid person's identity may change over time, it remains fluid for others. It is important to note that gender fluidity refers to a person's gender and is distinct from sexual orientation.

gender identity:Unlike sex assigned at birth, which is based on a person's physical characteristics, gender identity is an internal sense of self. Your gender identity can be female, male, non-binary, queer or other. When someone's gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth, they are called "cisgender". When their gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth, they may identify as transgender, genderqueer, non-binary, or any other match.

Gender incompatible:The term is used to describe a person whose gender expression does not match the binary ideas of male or female.

homosexual:This obsolete term was historically used to refer to people who were attracted to people of the same sex, but is now rarely used. "Homosexual" also appears in outdated medical contexts that view same-sex attraction as a medically dangerous condition. Today, people who are attracted to the same sex often identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or queer.

intersectoral:Intersex is a general term that covers a range of variations that do not always fit into the masculine/feminine binary. This means that intersex people often have physical differences in sex characteristics and reproductive anatomy, including differences in genitals, chromosomes, hormone production, and gonads. Being intersex is not a medical problem, but sometimes medical staff perform surgeries on children to "adjust" their biological anatomy to the gender binary. This is extremely controversial: many people believe that intersex bodies should not be treated as a problem that needs to be "fixed". Not all intersex people have surgery, and many people spend their entire lives not knowing they are intersex. Being intersex does not define sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBT+:The term LGBTQ is short for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer. The + sign is used to indicate that this is not a complete list of people covered by the rainbow banner and may include multiple related identities such as intersex or aces.

Lesbian:A lesbian is a woman who is romantically or sexually attracted to people of the same sex. Some non-binary or gender-fluid people may also use the term to describe themselves.

non-binary:Nonbinary is a recognized gender identity used by people who do not identify as male or female. They may think of themselves as male and female, somewhere in between or completely beyond this binary. Other terms under the non-binary umbrella include genderqueer, genderfluid, and agender. Sam Smith and Demi Lovato are not binaries.

pansexy/pansexy:Pansexuality refers to people who are romantically or sexually attracted to other people, regardless of their gender. Best practice in the LGBTQ+ community is to use "pan" instead of "pansexual".

pronouns:Pronouns are words that we use instead of a person's name. In many languages, pronouns have gender (e.g. "she" or "he"). Some people, especially non-binary or gender-fluid people, use them as pronouns. Others use neopronouns such as ze/zir or e/eir. If you're unsure how someone relates to themselves, just ask "what are their pronouns?" instead of assuming. Most people like to explain themselves. Also, asking a question can make someone feel respected and involved. If you get someone's pronouns wrong, apologize quickly and move on instead of making a big deal out of it.

LGBT Glossary: ​​LGBTQ+ terms from A to Z (3)

foreign:Queer is an umbrella term that covers a range of identities outside the mainstream. They can refer to gender identity and sexual orientation, such as being a lesbian, but can also refer to people in the LGBTQ+ community who actively reject racism, sexism, size and ability. While the label has traditionally been a derogatory slur used against LGBTQ+ people, many parts of the community have reclaimed it.

Trans:Transgender people are people whose gender identity is different from the sex assigned to them at birth. The most recognized understanding of the transgender experience is the binary transition, where, for example, someone is assigned a female at birth who is actually a male (for example, actor Elliot Page), but there are many types of transgender experiences. These include being non-binary, being gender fluid, or any other appropriate term for that person. After all, the definition of "trans" in Latin is "through, over and beyond." Being transgender or transgender is separate from sexual orientation, so a transgender person can identify as gay, straight, lesbian, or whatever is appropriate for them in the same way as a cisgender person.

Transman:A transman is someone who identifies and lives as a male but was assigned female at birth. They are also known as FTM, short for female to male. Elliot Page and Chaz Bono are trans men.

transgender woman:A trans woman is someone who identifies and lives as a woman but was assigned male at birth. They are also known as MTF, short for male to female. Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner are transgender women.

Transsexualist:Like "homosexual", "transgender" is a largely obsolete historical term used to refer to a person whose sex is different from the sex assigned at birth. Today, it is widely considered offensive. Most trans people prefer "trans".

Transformation:Transition is the process by which a person moves from the gender assigned to them at birth to the gender or identity they actually have. This may include informing friends and family, dressing differently, and changing name or gender designations, either socially or on official records. While some people go through a so-called "medical transition," which may involve gender confirmation surgery or hormones, many transgender people don't want to do it. Keep in mind that a medical change does not make someone more or less important as a transgender person. Just as it is inappropriate to ask a cis person about their genitals, it is also impolite to ask a transgender or non-binary person about their genitals or to decide whether or not to have surgery.


"Glossary."BRICK WALL, Consultation October 14, 2021

"Glossary."campaign for human rights, Consultation October 14, 2021

"National PFLAG Glossary".PFLAG, Consultation October 14, 2021

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Current version (December 17, 2021)

Medically tested byCasey Tanner, mgr, Sekstherapeut, The Expansive Group, Illinois, VS

Scenariojoanna bezd

December 16, 2021


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