LGBT+ glossary, and other words
Saying the wrong thing
Even if you are LGBT+, talking about LGBT+ issues can be bewildering, especially if you think you may say the wrong thing. Hopefully, this glossary will give you and others more confidence and better understanding, whether in conversation or reading.
Over time, identities can change and be fluid as people recognise and understand new things about themselves. This means words used at one point in their lives may change later, and that's OK. Everyone has the right to self-identify and may have differing relationships with the words they use. Be mindful, listen out, and respect a person’s self-identified terminology. Ask what it means if you hear a word or term you don’t recognise or feel someone is using it in a new way.
Not reinventing the wheel
Rather than reinvent the wheel we have pulled together definitions from several sources, also including links to some of these words and terms used elsewhere on the website. The primary sources are
- Stonewall UK (Glossary of terms)
- Purple Rain Collective UK (Glossary)
- Johns Hopkins University, Homewood Student Affairs USA (LGBTQ Glossary)
- We Are Family USA (LGBTQI+ Glossary of Terms)
We recognise that the UK and USA use some words differently, or not at all.
Do you have suggestions of words you would like to see added? Contact us here.
Outdated or offensive
We have included some words that have fallen out of use or may be regarded as offensive, but this is because they are still in use today - sometimes through ignorance, sometimes as a slur. These words include a warning symbol