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LGBT+ glossary, and other words




  • "Assigned to a person at birth on the basis of primary sex characteristics (genitalia) and reproductive functions." | Purple Rain Collective
  • "Organisms of many species are specialized into male and female varieties, each known as a sex. Sex is the biological distinction of an organism between male and female." | Wikipedia

Sexism/ Gender discrimination

  • "Prejudice, stereotyping and/or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender. Although sexism can in theory affect any gender, it is particularly documented as affecting self-identifying women and girls." |  Purple Rain Collective
  • "Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex or gender. Sexism can affect anyone, but it primarily affects women and girls. It has been linked to stereotypes and gender roles, and may include the belief that one sex or gender is intrinsically superior to another." | Wikipedia

Sexual orientation

  • "A person’s sexual attraction to other people, or lack thereof. Along with romantic orientation, this forms a person’s orientation identity. Stonewall uses the term ‘orientation’ as an umbrella term covering sexual and romantic orientations." | Stonewall
  • "The scientifically accurate term for an individual’s enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction to members of the same and/or opposite sex, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and heterosexual (straight) orientations. Avoid the offensive term “sexual preference,” which is used to suggest that being gay or lesbian is voluntary and therefore “curable.” | We Are Family 
  • "An enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, and/or affectional attraction. Terms include gay, lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual, pansexual, and asexual. Sexual orientation is fluid, and people use a variety of labels to describe their own." | Johns Hopkins University
  • "Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender. These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, while asexuality (the lack of sexual attraction to others) is sometimes identified as the fourth category." | Wikipedia

Sexual behaviour

  • "Refers to an individual’s sexual activities or actions (what a person does sexually). Though often an individual’s sexual orientation is in line with their sexual behavior, it is not always the case." | We Are Family 
  • "Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts, ranging from activities done alone (eg: masturbation) to acts with another person (eg: sexual intercourse, non-penetrative sex, oral sex, etc) in varying patterns of frequency, for a wide variety of reasons." | Wikipedia


  • "To perceive, view, interpret or experience something in a sexual context." | Purple Rain Collective 
  • "Sexualization (or sexualisation) is to make something sexual in character or quality or to become aware of sexuality, especially in relation to men and women. Sexualization is linked to sexual objectification." | Wikipedia

Sexual minority

  • "An all inclusive, politically oriented term referring to individuals who identify with a minority sexual orientation, sex identity, or gender expression/gender identity." | We Are Family 
  • "A sexual minority is a group whose sexual identity, orientation or practices differ from the majority of the surrounding society. Primarily used to refer to LGB or non-heterosexual individuals, it can also refer to transgender, non-binary (including third gender) or intersex individuals." | Wikipedia

Sexual preference

  • "This term refers to an individual’s choice in regards to attraction. Sexual preference can be based on gender/sex, physical appearance (height, weight, race, ethnicity), or emotional connection. It is important to note that sexual preference denotes a “choice” and has a negative connotation when used to describe the LGBTQ population." | We Are Family


  • Side describes someone who doesn't practice anal sex. It's a newish term (this century) which is we have includes our own words here as references are few. It's an alternative to the traditional binary classification which describes the preferred sexual position; eg: top, bottom, or versatile. The term was coined for gay men to have the language to express this sexual and erotic preference. | MEN R US 
  • A homosexual male who does not enjoy anal penetration (giving or receiving), but will engage in other forms of same sex activity (fellatio, frottage, mutual masturbation, etc). | Urban Dictionary 
  • Side describes someone who doesn't practice anal sex and therefore doesn't define himself as topbottom or versatile. | Wikipedia 


  • "Pop culture term used to refer to individuals who identify as a heterosexual, meaning having a sexual, emotional, physical and relational attraction to individuals of the “opposite” gender/sex. The term “straight” often has a negative connotation within the LGBTQ population, because it suggested that non-heterosexual individuals are “crooked” or “unnatural." | We Are Family 
  • "Heterosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between persons of the opposite sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, heterosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions" to persons of the opposite sex; it "also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions." Someone who is heterosexual is commonly referred to as straight." | Wikipedia


  • "A fixed idea that people have about what someone or something is like, often based on assumption and myth." | The Proud Trust
  • "Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) stereotypes are conventional, formulaic generalizations, opinions, or images based on the sexual orientations or gender identities of LGBT people. Stereotypical perceptions may be acquired through interactions with parents, teachers, peers and mass media, or, more generally, through a lack of firsthand familiarity, resulting in an increased reliance on generalizations." | Wikipedia

Transgender/ Trans

  • "An umbrella term to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth. Trans people may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms, including (but not limited to) transgender, transsexual, gender-queer (GQ), gender-fluid, non-binary, gender-variant, crossdresser, genderless, agender, nongender, third gender, bi-gender, trans man, trans woman, trans masculine, trans feminine and neutrois." | Stonewall
  • "An abbreviation for transgender or transsexual." | Purple Rain Collective 
  • "An umbrella term (adj.) for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term may include but is not limited to: transsexuals, cross-dressers and other gender-variant people. Transgender people may identify as female-to-male (FTM) or male-to-female (MTF). Use the descriptive term (transgender, transsexual, cross-dresser, FTM or MTF) preferred by the individual. Transgender people may or may not decide to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically." | We Are Family
  • "Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from the sex that they were assigned at birth. Some transgender people who desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another identify as transsexual." | Wikipedia

Transitioning/ Transition

  • "The steps a trans person may take to live in the gender with which they identify. Each person’s transition will involve different things. For some this involves medical intervention, such as hormone therapy and surgeries, but not all trans people want or are able to have this. Transitioning also might involve things such as telling friends and family, dressing differently and changing official documents." | Stonewall
  • "A term that refers to changes a person might make to affirm their gender. These changes might be medical and/ or social. E.g. a person might change their name, pronoun or clothing. A person might start to take prescribed hormones or make surgical changes to their bodies. Everyone’s transition will be different." The Proud Trust
  • "Altering one’s birth sex is not a one-step process; it is a complex process that occurs over a long period of time. Transition includes some or all of the follow­ing personal, legal and medical adjustments: telling one’s family, friends and/or co-workers; changing one’s name and/or sex on legal documents; hormone therapy; and possibly (though not always) one or more forms of surgery." | We Are Family
  • "Gender transitioning is the process of changing one's gender presentation and/or sex characteristics to accord with one's internal sense of gender identity – the idea of what it means to be a man or a woman, or to be non-binary or genderqueer." | Wikipedia

Transsexual/ Transexual

  • "This was used in the past as a more medical term (similarly to homosexual) to refer to someone whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth." | Stonewall
  • "This term is still used by some although many people prefer the term trans or transgender. "An older term which originated in the medical and psychological communities. While some transsexual people still prefer to use the term to describe them­selves, many transgender people prefer the term transgender to transsexual. Unlike transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term, as many transgender people do not identify as transsexual. It is best to ask which term an indi­vidual prefers." | We Are Family
  • "Term referring to a person whose gender identity consistently differs from what is culturally associated with his/her biological sex at birth. Some choose to physically change their body so it matches their gender identity. Use caution with this term as many trans people do not identify with it." | Johns Hopkins University
  • "Transsexual people experience a gender identity that is inconsistent with their assigned sex and desire to permanently transition to the sex or gender with which they identify, usually seeking medical assistance (including sex reassignment therapies, such as hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery) to help them align their body with their identified sex or gender. Transsexual is a subset of transgender, but some transsexual people reject the label of transgender." | Wikipedia


  • "The fear or dislike of someone based on the fact they are trans, including denying their gender identity or refusing to accept it. Transphobia may be targeted at people who are, or who are perceived to be, trans." | Stonewall
  • "Discrimination against and/or fear or dislike of people whose gender identity does not align with the gender they are assigned at birth, or whose gender identity or expression doesn’t appear to align. This also includes the perpetuation of negative myths and stereotypes through jokes and/or through personal negative thoughts about trans people." | The Pride Trust
  • "Transphobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes, feelings or actions towards transgender people or transness in general. Transphobia can include fear, aversion, hatred, violence, anger, or discomfort felt or expressed towards people who do not conform to social gender expectations. It is often expressed alongside homophobic views and hence is often considered an aspect of homophobia. Transphobia is a type of prejudice and discrimination, similar to racism and sexism, and transgender people of color are often subjected to all three forms of discrimination at once." | Wikipedia

Transvestism/ Transvestite

  • "Transvestism is the practice of dressing in a manner traditionally associated with the opposite sex. In some cultures, transvestism is practiced for religious, traditional, or ceremonial reasons." | Wikipedia
  • "Transvestites (also called cross-dressers) are people who choose to wear clothes which are associated with a different gender identity to their own. This typically means a man (by sex)who dresses in feminine clothes, or a woman (by sex) who dresses in masculine clothes. Although this can include dressing androgynously and wearing both "men's" and "women's" clothes." | Gender Wiki
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