a word describing a person who is not sexually and/or romantically active, or not sexually and/or romantically attracted to other persons.
a word describing a person whose significant sexual involvement is with oneself or a person who prefers masturbation to sex with a partner.
irrational fear or dislike of bisexuals. Bisexuals may be stigmatized by heterosexuals, lesbians and gay men.
the opposite of biphobia. A bi-positive attitude is one that validates, affirms, accepts, appreciates, celebrates and integrates bisexual people as unique and special in their own right.
a word describing a person whose sexual orientation is directed toward men and women, though not necessarily at the same time.
the process by which LGBTTTIQ people acknowledge and disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity, or in which transsexual or transgendered people acknowledge and disclose their gender identity, to themselves and others (See also “Transition”). Coming out is thought to be an ongoing process. People who are “closeted” or “in the closet” hide the fact that they are LGBTTTIQ. Some people “come out of the closet” in some situations (e.g., with other gay friends) and not in others (e.g., at work).
a person who dresses in the clothing of the other sex for recreation, expression or art, or for erotic gratification. Formerly known as “transvestites.” Crossdressers may be male or female, and can be straight, gay, lesbian or bisexual. Gay/bisexual male crossdressers may be “drag queens” or female impersonators; lesbian/bisexual female crossdressers may be “drag kings” or male impersonators.
a word traditionally used as a derogatory term for lesbians. Other terms include lezzie, lesbo, butch, bull dyke and diesel dyke. Many women have reclaimed these words and use them proudly to describe their identity.
a word traditionally used as a derogatory term for gay men. Other terms include fruit, faggot, queen, fairy, pansy, sissy and homo. Many men have reclaimed these words and use them proudly to describe their identity.
FAMILY OF CHOICE
the circle of friends, partners, companions and perhaps ex-partners with which many LGBTTTIQ people surround themselves. This group gives the support, validation and sense of belonging that is often unavailable from the person’s family of origin.
FAMILY OF ORIGIN
the biological family or the family that was significant in a person’s early development.
a word to describe a person whose primary sexual orientation is to members of the same gender or who identifies as a member of the gay community. This word can refer to men and women, although many women prefer the term “lesbian.”
the opposite of homophobia. A gay-positive attitude is one that affirms, accepts, appreciates, celebrates and integrates gay and lesbian people as unique and special in their own right.
abiding by society’s gender rules, e.g., a woman dressing, acting, relating to others and thinking of herself as feminine or as a woman.
a person’s own identification of being male, female or intersex; masculine, feminine, transgendered or transsexual. Gender identity most often corresponds with one’s anatomical gender, but sometimes people’s gender identity doesn’t directly correspond to their anatomy. Transgendered people use many terms to describe their gender identities, including: pre-op transsexual, post-op transsexual, non-op transsexual, transgenderist, crossdresser, transvestite, transgendered, two-spirit, intersex, hermaphrodite, fem male, gender blender, butch, manly woman, diesel dyke, sex radical, androgynist, female impersonator, male impersonator, drag king, drag queen, etc.
this very recent term was coined by young people who experience a very fluid sense of both their gender identity and their sexual orientation, and who do not want to be constrained by absolute or static concepts. Instead, they prefer to be open to relocate themselves on the gender and sexual orientation continuums.
the public expression of gender identity. Gender role includes everything people do to show the world they are male, female, androgynous or ambivalent. It includes sexual signals, dress, hairstyle and manner of walking. In society, gender roles are usually considered to be masculine for men and feminine for woman.
the period during which transsexual persons begin changing their appearance and bodies to match their internal identity.
the belief that the binary construct of gender, in which there are only two genders (male and female), is the most normal, natural and preferred gender identity. This binary construct does not include or allow for people to be intersex, transgendered, transsexual or genderqueer.
offences that are motivated by hatred against victims based on their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability or sexual orientation.
the assumption expressed overtly and/or covertly, that all people are or should be heterosexual. Heterosexism excludes the needs, concerns, and life experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, while it gives advantages to heterosexual people. It is often a subtle form of oppression that reinforces silence and invisibility for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
term used to describe a person who primary sexual orientation is to members of the opposite gender. Heterosexual people are often referred to as “straight.”
the unrecognized and assumed privileges that people have if they are heterosexual. Examples of heterosexual privilege include: holding hands or kissing in public without fearing threat, not questioning the normalcy of your sexual orientation, raising children without fears of state intervention or worries that your children will experience discrimination because of your heterosexuality.
irrational fear, hatred, prejudice or negative attitudes toward homosexuality and people who are gay or lesbian. Homophobia can take overt and covert, as well as subtle and extreme, forms. Homophobia includes behaviours such as jokes, name-calling, exclusion, gay bashing, etc.
a term to describe a person whose primary sexual orientation is to members of the same gender. Most people prefer to not use this label, preferring to use other terms, such as gay or lesbian.
how one thinks of oneself, as opposed to what others observe or think about one.
fear and self-hatred of one’s own sexual orientation that occurs for many lesbians and gay men as a result of heterosexism and homophobia. Once lesbians and gay men realize that they belong to a group of people that is often despised and rejected in our society, many internalize and incorporate this stigmatization, and fear or hate themselves.
a person who has some mixture of male and female genetic and/or physical sex characteristics. Formerly called “hermaphrodites.” Many intersex people consider themselves to be part of the trans community.
a female whose primary sexual orientation is to other women or who identifies as a member of the lesbian community.
a common acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgendered, two-spirit, intersex and queer individuals/communities. This acronym may or may not be used in a particular community. For example, in some places, the acronym LGBT (for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered/transsexual) may be more common.
refers to any man who has sex with a man, whether he identifies as gay, bisexual or heterosexual. This term highlights the distinction between sexual behaviour and sexual identity (i.e., sexual orientation). A person’s sexual behaviour may manifest itself into a sexual identity, but the reverse is not always true; sexual orientation is not always reflective of sexual behaviour. For example, a man may call himself heterosexual, but may engage in sex with men in certain situations (e.g., prison, sex work).
OUT OR OUT OF THE CLOSET
varying degrees of being open about one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
describes transgendered or transsexual people’s ability to be accepted as their preferred gender. The term refers primarily to acceptance by people the individual does not know, or who do not know that the individual is transgendered or transsexual. Typically, passing involves a mix of physical gender cues (e.g., clothing, hairstyle, voice), behaviour, manner and conduct when interacting with others. Passing can also refer to hiding one’s sexual orientation, as in “passing for straight.”
an orientation that does not limit affection, romance or sexual attraction to any one gender or sex, and that further recognizes there are more than just two sexes.
traditionally, a derogatory and offensive term for LGBTTTIQ people. Many LGBTTTIQ people have reclaimed this word and use it proudly to describe their identity. Some transsexual and transgendered people identify as queers; others do not.
people who are questioning their gender identity or sexual orientation and who often choose to explore options.
what people do sexually. Not necessarily congruent with sexual orientation and/or sexual identity.
one’s identification to self (and others) of one’s sexual orientation. Not necessarily congruent with sexual orientation and/or sexual behaviour.
include people who identify as LGBTTTIQ.
a term for the emotional, physical, romantic, sexual and spiritual attraction, desire or affection for another person. Examples include heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality.
a life partner, domestic partner, lover, boyfriend or girlfriend. It is often equivalent to the term “spouse” for LGBTTTIQ people.
a term often used to describe people who are heterosexual.
TRANS and TRANSPEOPLE
non-clinical terms that usually include transsexual, transgendered and other gender-variant people.
a person whose gender identity is different from his or her biological sex, regardless of the status of surgical and hormonal gender reassignment processes. Often used as an umbrella term to include transsexuals, transgenderists, transvestites (crossdressers), and two-spirit, intersex and transgendered people.
someone who is in-between being a transsexual and a transgendered person on the gender continuum, and who often takes sex hormones, but does not want genital surgery. Transgenderists can be born male (formerly known as “she-males”) or born females (one called he/shes”). The former sometimes obtain breast implants and/or electrolysis.
the process (which for some people may also be referred to as the “gender reassignment process”) whereby transsexual people change their appearance and bodies to match their internal (gender) identity, while living their lives full-time in their preferred gender role.
irrational fear or dislike of transsexual and transgendered people.
the opposite of transphobia. A transpositive attitude is one that validates, affirms, accepts, appreciates, celebrates and integrates transsexual and transgendered people as unique and special in their own right.
a term for a person who is primarily attracted to transgendered or transsexual people.
a term for a person who has an intense long-term experience of being the sex opposite to his or her birth-assigned sex and who typically pursues a medical and legal transformation to become the other sex. There are transmen (female-to-male transsexuals) and transwomen (male-to-female transsexuals). Transsexual people may undergo a number of procedures to bring their body and public identity in line with their self-image, including sex hormone therapy, electrolysis treatments, sex reassignment surgeries and legal changes of name and sex status.