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Terminology

This is not an exhaustive list and can be amended at any time. 
Last updated January 26, 2023.

AFAB/AMAB: Acronyms for Assigned Female at Birth and Assigned Male at Birth; used to clarify the labeling or assignment done to people who do not have a choice in the matter; often used in relation to transgender experiences and identities.

Agender: Gender identity label, included under the transgender umbrella, for someone who does not have a particular gender; without gender.

Allosexual: Identity or descriptor for someone who experiences sexual desire and/or engages in sexual acts.

Asexual: Umbrella term for sexual orientation labels related to a partial or total lack of sexual attraction to other people or sex in general.

Bisexual: Sexual orientation label for someone who is attracted to multiple genders different and/or the same as their own; sometimes interchanged with pansexual.

BIQTPOC: Acronym for Black and Indigenous Queer and Transgender People of Color; pronounced “bye cutie pock.”

Boi: Sexual orientation and gender label used within queer communities of Color among people assigned female at birth; often refers to queer women who present with masculinity.

CAFAB/CAMAB: Acronyms for Coercively Assigned Female at Birth and Coercively Assigned Male at Birth; used to clarify the labeling or assignment done to newborns who present as intersex and have ambiguous genitals; often involves surgery to modify the genitals and subsequent socialization of the child as the sex and gender assigned.

Cisgender: Gender identity label for someone whose gender identity is aligned with how society expects someone who was assigned their sex at birth to identify.

Cishet: Shortening of cisgender and heterosexual; refers to people who identify as both.

Cisnormativity: Cultural system, repeated and reinforced over time, of being cisgender as the default, typical, and expected gender identity of all individuals that affects many aspects of society and structures.

Deadname: Name previously given to and/or used by a transgender person who has since started going by a name of their choosing; this name is not to be used unless given permission.

Demisexual: Sexual orientation label, included under the asexual umbrella, for someone who only experiences sexual attraction after establishing an emotional connection.

Enby: Shortening and nickname meaning non-binary (NB = “enby”)

Female: Biological sex label for someone who has some or all of the traits typically associated with the female sex related to chromosomes, hormones, secondary sex characteristics, and genitals.

Femininity: Gender expression consisting of various behaviors, mannerisms, preferences, and styles reinforced over time and subsequently taking on meaning as being explicitly tied to women.

Femme: Shortening of the word femininity and used as an identity label for anyone who feels or presents closely with traditional femininity.

Ftm/MtF: Acronyms for Female to Male and Male to Female; often used by transgender individuals who continue to identify within the sex binary.

Gay: Sexual orientation label typically for someone who is a man attracted to men; can be used as an umbrella term, sometimes interchanged with queer.

Gender Dysphoria: Feeling of unease or discomfort due to a misalignment between one’s physical body and gender identity/expression; common with transgender individuals.

Gender Euphoria: Feeling of ease, comfort, and satisfaction when one’s physical body matches how they understand their gender identity/expression.

Gender Expression: How one presents themselves related to their gender identity through a variety of choices such as clothing, hair style, voice, make up, etc.

Gender Identity: Labels used to describe what someone feels their gender is, regardless of assigned sex at birth or gender expression.

Genderfluid: Gender identity label, included under the transgender umbrella, for someone who does not have a fixed gender and instead moves between various gender expressions.

Genderqueer: Gender identity label, included under the transgender umbrella, for someone who does not feel connected to traditional gender identity distinctions and may feel like they embody all, some, or none of those gender characteristics.

Greysexual: Sexual orientation label, included under the asexual umbrella, for someone who experiences various degrees of sexual attraction and/or desire but does not identify as allosexual.

Heteronormativity: Cultural system, repeated and reinforced over time, of heterosexuality as the default, typical, and expected sexual orientation of all individuals that affects many aspects of society and structures.

Heterosexual: Sexual orientation label for someone who is cisgender and is attracted people who do not share their gender but are also cisgender.

Intersex: Biological sex label for someone who has some, a mix, or none of the traits typically associated with the female and/or male sex related to chromosomes, hormones, secondary sex characteristics, and genitals.

Latinx/Latiné: Gender-inclusive attempts at describing people of Latin American cultural or ethnic identity.

Lesbian: Sexual orientation label typically for someone who is a woman attracted to women.

Male: Biological sex label for someone who has some or all of the traits typically associated with the male sex related to chromosomes, hormones, secondary sex characteristics, and genitals.

Man: Gender identity label for someone who associates their understanding of self with masculinity; includes cisgender and transgender men.

Masc: Shortening of the word masculinity and used as an identity label for anyone who feels or presents closely with traditional masculinity.

Masculine of Center: Gender identity label for a queer person, typically assigned female at birth but not always, who presents masculinely; most often utilized by queer women of Color.

Masculinity: Gender expression consisting of various behaviors, mannerisms, preferences, and styles reinforced over time and subsequently taking on meaning as being explicitly tied to men.

Neopronoun: Category of pronouns to refer to someone in the third person sometimes without connection to gender; typically created by those individuals.

Nonbinary: Gender identity label, included under the transgender umbrella, for someone who does not identify on either end of the gender binary and instead identifies somewhere in between or outside of.

Pangender: Gender identity label, included under the transgender umbrella, for someone who embodies all of the various gender identities.

Panromantic: Romantic orientation label for someone who is romantically, or emotionally, attracted to anyone regardless of gender identity.

Pansexual: Sexual orientation label for someone who is attracted to people who have genders the same and different from their own; sometimes interchanged with bisexual.

Passing: Term sometimes used by queer people to describe how they are perceived by others; perceived as heterosexual, cisgender, or any other term which may or may not be how someone actually identifies.

Romantic Attraction: Feelings of emotional/romantic connection toward other people; related to but separate from sexual attraction.

Queer: Umbrella term that encompasses gender identity, expression, sexual orientation, and more – all deriving meaning from resistance to and movement against hetero- and cisnormativity.

Questioning: Stage in gender and sexuality identification is ambiguous or related to exploration with a potential outcome of finding a label that feels true to oneself.

QTPOC: Acronym for Queer and Transgender People of Color; pronounced “cutie pock.”

Sex Assigned at Birth: Based on genitals, label of male or female given by an adult or authority figure upon birth.

Sexual Attraction: Feelings of physical/sexual desire toward other people.

Sexual Orientation/Identity: Sexual attraction one feels for others, often labeled based on the gender relationship between the person and the people they are attracted to.

Stealth: Term sometimes used by transgender people seeking to be viewed by others as cisgender in the gender with which they identify, not as visibly transgender; can be controversial in that it implies sneaking and/or deception.

Stud/AG/Aggressive: Gender identity label for Black, masculine women or non-binary people; often similar to masculine of center identity.

TERF: Acronym for Transgender Exclusive Radical Feminist; someone who identifies as a feminist but does not include transgender people, particularly women, in their “fight” for women’s liberation.

Transgender: Gender identity label, often an umbrella term, for someone whose gender identity does not align with how society expects someone who has their sex assigned at birth to identify.

Transmisogynoir: Cultural and interpersonal systems of oppression affecting and against Black, transgender women.

Two-Spirit: Indigenous-specific umbrella term that can be related to gender identity and/or sexual orientation that is associated with the overlapping complexity of gender roles, spirituality, and sexuality.

Woman: Gender identity label for someone who associates their understanding of self with femininity; includes cisgender and transgender women.