GLOSSARY OF TERMS
These definitions were copied from the Ruth Ellis Center website. They were adapted from resources made available by A Silent Crisis | Creating Safe Schools for Sexual Minority Youth and The Ali Forney Center.
Terms & Definitions
An out-of-date and offensive term for an intersex person. more accurately used to describe plants.
If a transperson is “out”, it means that people know that they are trans and they are open about it. When you “out” someone, it means that you expose someone to the information that a person is trans.For a transperson who usually passes as their correct gender, they “out” themselves by telling someone that they used to be assigned to a different gender than the one they transitioned to. for a transperson who usually does not pass as their correct gender, they “out” themselves by telling someone that they identify as a gender other than the one they were assigned and are commonly perceived as.
a term used in the African American Queer community to refer to someone who is butch/stud (masculine presenting women) or may refer to topping in the bedroom
Neither butch nor femme, or both. Sometimes used as a prefix, like “andro-dyke” – short for androgynous.
neither masculine or feminine, or both masculine and feminine.
The gender that one was assigned at birth based on their genitals.
The way that someone’s gender is perceived based on gender cues / expression. e.g. a butch woman being read as a man. Also refers to a transperson being read as trans, or as their biological sex.
Someone who identifies as both female and male at the same time.
Compressing one’s breasts to create the appearance of a flat chest.
Bio Boys/Bio Girls
Short for biological boy/girl. A slang term for a non-trans boy or girl.
See cisgendered or genderstraight.
The sum of the biological (chromosomal, hormonal, and anatomical) factors that make one male, female, or intersex. Terms include male, female, and intersex.
Bisexual or Bi-attractional
Someone who is attracted physically and emotionally to persons of the same and different genders. Bisexual people are not necessarily attracted equally to both men and women and are not always attracted to both men and women at the same time.
A young butch woman or transboy.
Surgical operation on the genitals to make them appear more like a penis or a vulva a.k.a. vagina.
Stereotypically masculine clothes or characteristics.
A term typically used in the African American queer community to refer to a masculine gay man or a feminine trans man / intergender person.
The terms butch and femme often are used to describe lesbians, but can be used to describe anyone. they can be used to describe someone’s personality or the way they dress based on sterotypical roles of masculinity or femininity. (*note: obviously people don’t always fit into one category or another.)
Opposite of transgender. Someone who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth.
Coming out (as in Coming out of the Closest) is the process through which LGBTQ people acknowledge and express their sexual orientation to themselves and/or others.
One who wears clothing considered “inappropriate” by society for one’s gender for comfort, performance, sexual gratification, or any other purpose(s). An older term, transvestite, is now considered offensive and inappropriate. It should not be used unless a person self-identifies using it. A drag queen/drag kingis an individual who dresses in an exaggerated, over-the-top, or realistic feminine or masculine manner in order to perform.
Someone who dresses in clothes that are commonly associated with another gender.
A person who does dance or musical performance in a male identity (may or may not identify as female, male, or trans).
A person who does dance or musical performance in a female identity (may or may not identify as female, male, or trans)
Laser hair removal, performed on many MTF transwomen.
The hormone used by some male-assigned TG/GV people to look and feel more female. taking estrogen can cause breasts to develop, skin to soften, body hair to decrease, and muscle mass to weaken, among other things.
Stereotypically feminine clothes characteristics.
A term used in the African American ball room community that refers to someone who was assigned male at birth but lives their life full-time or mostly as a women.
Commonly used to describe men, this term refers to people who form physical and emotional relationships with persons of the same gender. The term gay can be used to refer to both men and women or, more generally, to the gay community.
Gender Binary System
The system that defines gender as a binary: boy or girl, man or woman, and refuses to see the spectrum of genders beyond or in between those two genders.
The ways in which one expresses their gender, such as the way they speak, the way they dress (makeup, hair, clothing), their posture, the way they walk, etc.
Gender IdentityA person’s self-identified sense of being male or female (or neither or both). Gender identity refers to how people think and express their gender. A person’s gender identity may or may not correspond with their biology sex.
Gender Identity Disorder
(GID)/Gender DysphoriaAs identified by psychologists and physicians, a condition in which a person has been assigned one gender on the basis of their biological sex at birth, but identifies as belonging to another gender, and feels significant discomfort or being unable to deal with this condition. *note: just as homosexuality was once considered a mental illness, transsexualism is now considered a mental illness, and to be eligible for any gender-related medical treatment, it is often a requirement to be diagnosed with GID by a psychiatrist before a doctor will treat you.
A person who may or may not identify as transgender, but who has a gender identity, gender expression, and/or gendered behavior(s) that are outside of the binary of masculine male and feminine female. For example, a butch lesbian or a flamboyant gay man could be described as gender nonconforming. This term does not require a person to identify as such to be applied appropriately.
Gender Role refers to characteristics attached to culturally defined notions of masculinity or femininity.
A person who’s gender varies from the accepted norms of society.
One whose gender identity lies outside of the binary male/female, often somewhere on the continuum between male and female or entirely outside of the gender binary system, sometimes changing on a regular basis.
Not genderqueer. a.k.a. cisgendered.
The assumption that everyone is, or should be, heterosexual and that heterosexuality is the only normal, natural expression of sexuality. It implies that heterosexuality is superior and therefore preferable to being gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Someone who is physically and emotionally attracted to people of opposing genders; also referred to as straight.
Homophobia & TransphobiaHomophobia
is a fear or hatred of LGBTQ people that can be expressed through prejudice, discrimination, harassment, or acts of violence. There are many different kinds of homophobia, including internalized homophobia, which is often what happens to LGBTQ people who grow up internalizing the prejudices of the world around them. Violence against transsexual and transgender people is known as transphobia. Homophobia and transphobia are not just experienced by people who are LGBTQ, but people who are perceived to be LGBTQ.
Someone who is physically and emotionally attracted to people of the same gender. Because the term homosexual has been (and is) used medically and psychologically in derogatory and marginalizing ways, the terms lesbian, gay and bisexual (bi-attractional) are more appropriate.
Also known as hormonal replacement therapy. The process of taking hormones in order to acquire the physical traits of one’s gender. Hormones can be taken orally in pill form, injected, received through a patch on the skin, etc. herbal concoctions are also available, but their effectiveness is questionable.
Surgical removal of ovaries and uterus
A person whose gender identity is between genders or a combination of genders.
One born with anatomy and/or physiology that differs from the cultural and medical “ideals” of male and female, including genitals, gonads, hormone production, and/or genotypes that are considered non-standard. Most individuals who are intersex do not identify as transgender and the intersex community is not part of the transgender community. An older term, “hermaphrodite”, is now considered inappropriate.
A person whose sex chromosomes, hormones, genitalia, and/or reproductive organs are determined to be neither exclusively male nor female. a person who is intersex may have biological characteristics of both the male and female sexes.
A woman who forms physical and emotional relationships with some women.
shortened acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual (Bi-attractional), Transgender, Questioning.
The surgical removal of the breasts. Also known as top surgery.
Someone who has multiple genders. similar to bigender and intergender.
Short for non-operation. a trans person who does not plan on having surgery.
The surgical removal of the testicles.
s the act of stuffing your pants to create the illusion of having a penis. Tucking is the act of tucking one’s penis back to create the illusion of having a vulva/vagina.
Refers to the gender you are being read as. if you “pass as a man” it means that most people perceive you as male.
The surgical construction of a penis.
Short for post-operation. a trans person who has had transitional surgery.
Short for pre-operation. a trans person who is planning on or preparing for transitional surgery.
Developed primarily for social/political/intellectual purposes, this umbrella term seeks to encompass rather than compartmentalize a broad range of sexual identities, behaviors and expressions. Although this term has historically been used as an insult, it is also an identity that has been reclaimed by some LGBTQ people. Sometimes queer is used to refer to all people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual (bi-attractional,) transgender, and questioning.
Sex Reassignment Surgery/Gender Reassignment Surgery
The term for a surgical sex-change operation. surgeries can cost between $4,000 to $60,000 and are usually not covered by any health insurance plans.
Is what we do with these individuals to whom we are attracted, or alone.
Is what we call ourselves. In our society, there are currently three common labels for sexual orientation and identity: Heterosexual, Lesbian or Gay, and Bisexual (Bi-attractional). You may also hear the term “queer” as an identity.
Sexual Minority Youth
(SMY)A term used to refer to lesbian, gay, bisexual (bi-attractional), transgender, or questioning youth. Can be used to reflect sexual identity and/or behavior.
Sexual orientation is how a person identifies sexually- meaning the physical and emotional ways we are attracted to persons of the same gender, another gender, or all genders. Sexual orientation and sexual behavior are not necessarily the same. For example, not everyone acts on their attractions.
Standards of Care
Medical protocol for treating people with “gender identity disorder” (transpeople). clinical guidelines based on the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association. states that, in order for a transperson to be considered eligible for hormones or surgery, multiple letter from mental health professionals are required. (*note: a transperson’s legally protected right to proper medical care and treatment is often unjustly and unduly withheld or even denied based on the SOC.)
a transgender person who has gotten to a point in their physical transition where they are able to pass as a non-transgender person and keeps it a secret that they are/were trans. may not identify with being trans.
Trans girl or trans boy
the hormone used by some female-assigned TG/GV people to look and feel more male. taking testosterone can cause one’s voice to deepen, muscle mass to increase, menstruation to stop, and body hair to grow, among other things.
Third Gender/Third Sex
Individuals who are considered to be neither women nor men, as well as the social category present in those societies who recognize three or more genders.
The surgical removal of the breasts. also known as mastectomy.
The surgical removal of the adam’s apple.
A popular slang term for someone who is transgendered.
An umbrella term for anyone who gender identity(s) and/or gender expression(s) don’t fit social ideas and norms of gender, which can include transsexuals, crossdressers, genderqueer people, and other gender nonconforming individuals. In order for the term to be applied appropriately, a person must self-identify as transgender (trans).
This term is primarily used to refer to the process a gender diverse person undergoes when changing their bodily appearance either to be more congruent with the gender/sex they feel themselves to be and/or to be in harmony with their preferred gender expression.
Individuals assigned one gender at birth, who now identify and lives as what most people would consider the “opposite” gender. They may or may not use hormones and surgical procedures to help bring their bodies, voices, and other physical “cues” more in line with cultural expectations for the gender in which they’re living. This includes Male-to-Female (MTF) individuals, assigned male at birth who now identify at woman; Female-to-Male (FTM) individuals, assigned female at birth who no identify as men.
someone who dresses in clothing generally identified with the opposite gender/sex. also known as “cross-dresser”.
The term for native American people who identify as transgender. It may include gay, lesbian, or bisexual people, but the term does not definitively refer to sexual orientation. Two-Spirit people had positive and elevated status among Native American tribes prior to the arrival of Europeans.
the surgical construction of a vulva/vagina.
Gender-neutral pronouns used by people who are third gender, bigender,
Intergender, multigender, androgynous, genderqueer, etc. other neutral pronouns include: they/them, e/er, and “s/he”.