Key terminology related to the LGBTQ community
Ally: A person who is actively supportive of the LGBTQ community.
Asexual: a broad term for people who experience little to no sexual attraction to other people.
Bisexual: A person who is physical, romantic, and/or emotionally attracted to more than one gender or gender identity. Sometimes interchangeable with Pansexual.
Cisgender: A person whose gender identity aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Gay: A person who identifies as a man who is physical, romantic, and/or emotionally attracted to other men.
Gender: Characteristics of a person that society constructs and associates with perceived biological sex. This includes social and societal norms, roles, and characteristics assigned to being a man or woman.
Gender Attribution: The gender society assigns a person based on perceived gender.
Gender Expression: How a person externally expresses their gender identity, through clothes, hairstyles, and physical appearance.
Gender Identity: A person's internal understanding of their own gender.
Heterosexual: A person who is physical, romantic, and/or emotionally attracted to the opposite gender/gender identity.
Intersex: An umbrella term for people born with reproductive anatomy, and/or chromosome abnormalities that cannot be classified as typical male or female.
Lesbian: A person who identifies as a woman who is physical, romantic, and/or emotionally attracted to other women.
LGBTQ: Acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer used to describe the LGBTQ community as a whole. It can also be referred to as LGBT, or LGBTQ+.
Nonbinary: A umbrella term for a person whose gender identity is not exclusively defined as a man or woman. A nonbinary person may identify as both a man and a woman, somewhere in the middle, or completely outside the gender binary. Can also be referred to as Genderqueer.
Pansexual: A person who is physical, romantic, and/or emotionally attracted to a person regardless of gender or gender identity. Sometimes interchangeable with Bisexual.
Queer: A umbrella term for anyone who is not cisgender and heterosexual. Queer was once a slur but has since been reclaimed by the community.
Questioning: A person who is unsure of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Sex assigned at birth: The sex, often male, female, or intersex, that a medical professional assigns to a person when they are born based on their external anatomy.
Sexual Orientation: A person's inherent and enduring emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attraction to another person. Interchangeable with Sexuality
Transgender: A umbrella term for people whose gender identity conflicts with the sex they were assigned at birth. Many transgender people transition to align their gender expression with their gender identity.
Transitioning: The social, legal, or medical process transgender individuals take in order to align their gender expression, gender attribution, or sex with their gender identity.
Last Reviewed: November 2023