LGBT+ glossary, and other words
A working progress, our first pass at an A to Z of LGBT+ words, and related words. No single glossary can include everything, and people will understand them a little differently depending on their lived experience.
Saying the wrong thing
Even if you are LGBT+, it can be bewildering talking about LGBT+ issues, 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, 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 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)
- The Pride Trust UK (Glossary)
- 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Outdated or offensive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