Glossary of LGBT Terms
People who don’t identify as LGBT but who support LGBT equality.
A rejection of the binary model (see below) and advocacy of gender fluidity.
Binary model (n)
A model that presupposes everyone to be exclusively male or female.
A sexual orientation in which an individual is sexually attracted to both males and females.
Bullying (n & vt)
behaviour designed to hurt someone. Can be physical, mental and/or emotional. A person does not need to be LGBT to be homophobically or transphobically bullied.
Cisgender (n & adj)
The term for someone whose gender as assigned by birth, and current gender expression are matched exactly.
The concept that all people should be treated as equals and be given the same political, economic, social and civil rights.
Female-to-male transsexual. Also known as Tran-man/men.
Gay (n & adj)
Emotionally/physically attracted to someone of the same gender.
Either male or female based on psychological and emotional characteristics. Gender affirmation See gender reassignment.
Genderqueer (n & adj)
Alternative term for trans person that rejects society’s binary model of assumptions about gender. See ‘Androgyny’.
The assumption that all people are heterosexual and that heterosexuality is the norm. Institutionalised heterosexism (n) means heterosexism that is embedded and systematic; making LGB people feel invisible or isolated.
Heterosexual (n & adj)
Attracted emotionally or physically to members of the opposite gender.
An irrational fear, hatred, intolerance or prejudice towards LGB people. It can manifest itself in verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse against LGB people. Internalised homophobia (n) means self-hatred by LGB people who are homophobic themselves. Institutional homophobia (n) means homophobia that is embedded and systematic.
Homosexual (n & adj)
A generic term for someone who is generally attracted physically/emotionally to someone of the same sex. It can refer to both lesbians and gay men. In English speaking countries the word is often used offensively and the terms Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) are preferred.
Having physical characteristics of both sexes. Many children are born intersex and their birth sex is usually defined by surgery. This often causes gender dysphoria.
Lesbian (n & adj)
The term used to describe a woman who is emotionally/physically attracted to women.
Abbreviation of Lesbian (L), Gay (G) or Bisexual (B). Commonly used abbreviation. Often T for Trans is also added to form LGBT. You may also see QQIA added this would stand for Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Allies.
Male-to-female (transsexual). Also known as Tran-woman/women.
The exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.
A preconceived belief, opinion or judgment toward a group of people.
Pride in this sense is an affirmation of one’s self and the community as a whole. The modern “pride” movement began after the Stonewall riots in 1969. Pride marches are common in western societies.
Alternative term to LGBT. The term has also been used in a derogatory way so not all lesbian and gay people are comfortable with it, but many young LGBT people use it as an affirmation.
Questioning (v int)
Describes a person who is not certain of his/her sexual orientation.
an adjective that often pre-fixes terms e.g. same-sex marriage, same-sex relationship.
Either male or female based on physical sexual characteristics.
Sexual Identity (n)
Describes the ways a person self-identifies sexually. For example, a person may have sex with members of the same gender without identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual. Therefore sexual identity is not the same as sexual orientation.
Sexual Orientation or Sexuality (n)
Emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attraction towards the same or opposite gender partners.
Straight (n & adj)
Colloquial term for people who are heterosexual.
Trans person or people (n)
Someone who does not conform to predominant gender roles.
Same as ‘Trans’.
Someone who lives in the sex/gender they were not assigned at birth but does not undergo gender reassignment surgery.
The irrational fear, hatred, intolerance or prejudice towards trans people. It can manifest itself in verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse against trans people.
Transsexual (n & adj)
A legal term for someone who is preparing to undergo/is undergoing/has undergone gender reassignment surgery. It is offensive to describe a person as a transsexual (like referring to a gay or lesbian as a homosexual) and one should always identify a person in the gender to which they identify. It is fine, however, to use transsexual as an adjective; e.g. ‘transsexual status’ or ‘transsexual conference’.
someone who dresses in clothes associated with the opposite sex to that in which they were born. This may be public or private; occasional or full- time. Also called cross-dressing.