«Ace: A sexual orientation label referencing asexuality. Sometimes called the “Ace Umbrella” to represent the wide spectrum of asexual identities ...»
A note from the editor: Thank you for reading this list of terms! I would like to mention a few points to keep in
mind while reading this list. Language is continuously changing. All the terms offered here are intended as
flexible, working definitions. Culture, economic background, region, race, and age all influence how we talk
about others and ourselves. Because of this, all language is subjective and culturally defined and most identity labels are dependent on personal interpretation and experience. This list strives to use the most inclusive language possible while also offering useful descriptions of community terms.
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Ace: A sexual orientation label referencing asexuality. Sometimes called the “Ace Umbrella” to represent the wide spectrum of asexual identities and experiences. See also: Asexuality.
Ag / Aggressive: A term used to describe a female-assigned and -identified person who prefers presenting as masculine. This term is most commonly used in black and African American communities of color.
Agender (Also Non-gender): not identifying with any gender, the feeling of having no gender.
All-Gender: Descriptive phrase denoting inclusiveness of all gender expressions and identities.
All-Gender Pronouns: Any of the multiple sets of pronouns which create gendered space beyond the he, him, and his/she, her, and hers binary. Sometimes referred to as gender neutral pronouns, but many prefer third gender as they do not consider themselves to have neutral genders. Examples: ze, hir, and hirs; ey, em, eirs; ze, zir, and zirs, or singular they. See also: Spivakian Pronouns.
Ally: Someone who confronts heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, heterosexual and cisgender privilege in themselves and others; 2) A concern for the well being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and intersex people; 3) A person who believes that heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are social justice issues; A person who identifies with the privileged group.
Androgyne: 1) A person whose biological sex is not readily apparent; 2) A person who is intermediate between the two binary genders; 3) A person who rejects binary gender roles entirely.
Androgynous: A person who may appear as and exhibit traits traditionally associated as both male and female, or as neither male nor female, or as in between male and female.
Asexual: 1) A sexual orientation where a person does not experience sexual attraction or desire to partner for the purposes of sexual stimulation; 2) a spectrum of sexual orientations where a person may be disinclined towards sexual behavior or sexual partnering. See also: Ace.
Assigned Sex (Assigned Sex at Birth): The process of sex designation. See also: Designated Sex.Atypical Gender Role. A person who exhibits a gender role at odds with the norm for their assigned gender and social position.
BDSM (Bondage, Discipline/Domination, Submission/Sadism, Masochism): The terms “submission/sadism” refer to deriving pleasure from inflicting pain, often in a sexual context. “Masochism” refers to deriving pleasure from receiving pain, often in a sexual context. The terms “bondage” and “domination” refer to playing with various power roles, in both sexual and social contexts. These practices are often misunderstood as abusive, but when practiced in a safe, sane, and consensual manner, can be part of a healthy sex life.
Bisexual: A person emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to males/men and females/women. This attraction does not have to be equally split between genders, and there may be a preference for one gender over others.
Bio-Boy/Man: See Cisgender.
Bio-Girl/Woman: See Cisgender.
Bio-Queen: A person who identifies as a woman dressing as a “man” who dresses as a “woman”; 2) Or a person who identifies as a woman performing as a drag queen.
Bi-phobia: The fear, hatred, or intolerance of people who identify or are perceived as bisexual.
Bottom Surgery: Term used to describe medical genital surgery for the purpose of better aligning a person’s physical body to their gender identity and expression. Types include Hysterectomy, Labiaplasty, Metoidioplasty,Opherectomy, Penectomy, Phalloplasty, Scrotoplasty and Vaginectomy.See also: Gender Affirming Surgery.
Butch: A person, usually female identified, who identifies themselves as masculine, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. Most frequently claimed as an affirmative identity label among lesbian women, and gender non-conforming people designated female at birth.
Cisgender: A person whose gender identity is aligned to what they were designated at birth, based on their physical sex; 2) A non-trans* person.
Closeted (In the Closet): Refers to a homosexual, bisexual, queer, trans* person, or intersex person who does not or can not disclose their identity or identities to others.
Coming Out: The process by which one accepts one’s own sexuality, gender identity, or intersex status (to come out to oneself); 2)The process by which one shares one’s sexuality, gender identity, or intersex status with others (to come out to friends, etc.). This can be a continual, life-long process for homosexual, bisexual, trans*, and intersex people.
Crossdresser (CD): A person who wears clothes, makeup, etc. that is considered to be appropriate for another gender but not one’s own (preferred term rather than “transvestite”). Considered part of the greater transgender umbrella community, cross-dressing may be considered “full time” or “part-time.” Designated Sex (Designated Sex at Birth): The sex one is labeled at birth, generally by a medical or birthing professional, based on a cursory examination of external and/or physical sex characteristics such as genitalia and cultural concepts of male and female sexed bodies. Sex designation is used to label one’s gender identity prior to self-identification. See also: Assigned Sex.
Designated Female at Birth (DFAB): A phrase describing a person who was deemed to be the female sex at birth via the subjective viewing and labeling of the body's characteristics; 2) having been labeled female at birth because the body possessed traits culturally recognized as female sex; 3) representing the wide spectrum of identities and bodies that were labeled as female when born; 4) In the cases of those who are within the intersex spectrum, the word "assigned" is more frequently used to recognize the subjective labeling of non-binary sexed bodies which may then be surgically altered to reflect culturally constructed female sexed bodily traits (to be written Female Assigned at Birth).
2 Designated Male at Birth (DMAB): A phrase describing a person who was deemed to be the male sex at birth via the subjective viewing and labeling of the body's characteristics; 2) Having been labeled male at birth because the body possessed traits culturally recognized as male sex; 3) Representing the wide spectrum of identities and bodies that were labeled as male when born; 4) In the cases of those who are within the intersex spectrum, the word "assigned" is more frequently used to recognize the subjective labeling of non-binary sexed bodies which may then be surgically altered to reflect culturally constructed male sexed bodily traits (to be written Male Assigned at Birth).
Disorders of Sex Development (DSDs): A medical classification for intersex people within both the medical community and some intersex communities. See also: Intersex.
Drag or In Drag: Wearing clothes considered appropriate for someone of a different gender. Most often used in performance contexts but also commonly used as an identity label, especially within gender variant communities of color.
Drag King: A person who identifies as a woman or female who dresses in masculine or gender-marked clothing, makeup, and mannerisms for the purpose of performance. Many drag kings perform by singing, dancing or lip-synching; 2) A person who feels connection to a male or masculine identity while wearing masculine clothing, either in a performance space or in everyday life; 3) A person of any gender identity that identifies with masculine drag “king” performance communities.
Drag Queen: A person who identifies as a man or male who dresses in feminine or gender-marked clothing, makeup, and mannerisms for the purpose of theater or performance. Many drag queens perform by singing, dancing or lip-synching; 2) A person who feels connection to a female or feminine identity while wearing feminine clothing, either in a performance space or in everyday life; 3) A person of any gender identity that identifies with feminine drag “queen” performance communities.
Down Low (D/L): A term primarily used in homosexual/queer male communities of color, particularly those of African descent, denoting non-disclosure of homosexual desire, behavior, or identity. See also Closeted.
Female Assigned At Birth (FAAB) Spectrum: See DFAB (Designated Female at Birth) Female-Bodied: A term used to recognize a person who was designated or assigned female sex at birth; 2) A person who identifies themselves as having had or currently having a female body.
Femme: A person who expresses and/or identifies with femininity; 2) A community label for people who identify with femininity specifically through a queer and/or politically radical and/or subversive context; 3) A feminine-identified person of any gender/sex.
Fluid: A gender identity where a person identifies as 1) neither or both female and male; 2) Experiences a range of femaleness and maleness, with a denoted movement or flow between genders; 3) Consistently experiences their gender identity outside of the gender binary. See also: Genderqueer.
FTM or F2M (Female-to-Male): Term used to identify a person who was designated a female sex at birth and currently identifies as male, lives as a man, or identifies predominantly as masculine. This includes a broad range of experiences, from those who identify as men or male to those who identify as transsexual, transgender men, transmen, female men, new men, or FTM. Some reject this terminology, arguing that they have always been male internally and are now making that identity visible, where others feel that such language reinforces an either/or gender system. Some individuals prefer the term MTM (male-to-male) to underscore the fact that although they were assigned female at birth, they never had a female gender identity.
3 Gatekeepers (Gatekeeper System): Term used by gender communities to refer to the medical and psychiatric system that controls trans* people’s access to transition-related resources and health care; 2) Refers to health providers (doctors, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and related providers) who can effectively block or limit trans* people’s ability to obtain transition resources such as hormones, surgery or related services needed for physical gender affirming transition.
Gay: Term used to refer to homosexual / same gender loving communities as a whole, or as an individual identity label for anyone who does not identify as heterosexual; 2) Term used in some cultural settings to specifically represent male identified people who are attracted to other male identified people in a romantic, erotic, and/or emotional sense.
Gender: A social combination of identity, expression, and social elements related to masculinity and femininity. Includes gender identity (self-identification), gender expression (self-expression), social gender (social expectations), gender roles (socialized actions), and gender attribution (social perception).
Gender Affirming Surgery: Surgical procedures that alter or change physical sex characteristics in order to better express a person’s inner gender identity. May include removal of the breasts,augmentation of the chest, or alteration or reconstruction of genitals. Also called Gender Confirming Surgery or Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS). Preferred term to “sex change surgery.” Gender Bender: An individual who bends, changes, mixes, or combines society’s gender conventions by expressing elements of masculinity and femininity together (Also see GenderFuck).