Staying safe in warmer times
April 26 2021Read more
It’s Pride Month, and that’s always the perfect time to educate and inform people who may not be entirely familiar with a lot of LGBT+ terminology.
Here, we present a brief glossary of terms, which will help you to understand the perspectives of people celebrating themselves and others during Pride.
An umbrella term used specifically to describe experiences of a lack of, varying, or occasional experiences of sexual attraction. This encompasses asexual people as well as those who identify as demisexual and grey-sexual.
Ace people who experience romantic attraction and occasional sexual attaction might also use terms such as gay, bi, lesbian, straight and quer in conjunction with asexual to describe the direction of their romantic or occasional sexual attraction.
An umbrella term used specifically to describe experiences of a lack of, varying, or occasional experiences of romantic attraction. This encompasses aromantic people as well as those who identify as demiromantic and grey-romantic.
A (typically) straight and/or cis person who supports members of the LGBT community.
Bi is an umbrella term used to describe a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards more than one gender.
Bi people may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms, including, but not limited to, bisexual, pan, queer, and some other non-monosexual and non-monoromantic identities.
The fear or dislike of someone who identifies as bi based on prejudice or negative attitudes, beliefs or views about bi people. Biphobic bullying may be targeted at people who are, or who are perceived to be, bi.
Butch is a term used in LBT culture to describe someone who expresses themselves in a typically masculine way.
There are other identities within the scope of butch, such as ‘soft butch’ and ‘stone butch’. You shouldn’t use these terms about someone unless you know they identify with them.
Cisgender or Cis
Someone whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth. Non-trans is also used by some people.
When a person first tells someone/others about their orientation and/or gender identity.
Calling someone by their birth name after they have changed their name. This term is often associated with trans people who have changed their name as part of their transition.
Femme is a term used in LGBT culture to describe someone who expresses themselves in a typically feminine way.
There are other identities within the scope of femme, such as ‘low femme’, ‘high femme’, and ‘hard femme’. You shouldn’t use these terms about someone unless you know they identify with them.
Refers to a man who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards men. Also a generic term for lesbian and gay sexuality—some women define themselves as gay rather than lesbian. Some non-binary people may also identify with this term.
Often expressed in terms of masculinity and femininity, gender is largely culturally determined and is assumed from the sex assigned at birth.
Used to describe when a person experiences discomfort or distress because there is a mismatch between their sex assigned at birth and their gender identity.
This is also the clinical diagnosis for someone who doesn’t feel comfortable with the sex they were assigned at birth.
How a person chooses to outwardly express their gender, within the context of societal expectations of gender. A person who does not conform to societal expectations of gender may not, however, identify as trans.
A person’s innate sense of their own gender, whether male, female or something else (see non-binary below), which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth.
Another way of describing a person’s transition. To undergo gender reassignment usually means to undergo some sort of medical intervention, but it can also mean changing names, pronouns, dressing differently and living in their self-identified gender.
Gender reassignment is a characteristic that is protected by the Equality Act 2010, and it is further interpreted in the Equality Act 2010 approved code of practice. It is a term of much contention and is one that Stonewall's Trans Advisory Group feels should be reviewed.
Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC)
This enables trans people to be legally recognised in their affirmed gender and to be issued with a new birth certificate. Not all trans people will apply for a GRC and you currently have to be over 18 to apply.
You do not need a GRC to change your gender markers at work or to legally change your gender on other documents such as your passport.
A term used in medical law to decide whether a child (under 16 years of age) is able to consent to their own medical treatment, without the need for parental permission or knowledge.
Refers to a man who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards women or to a woman who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards men.
This might be considered a more medical term used to describe someone who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards someone of the same gender. The term ‘gay’ is now more generally used.
The fear or dislike of someone, based on prejudice or negative attitudes, beliefs or views about lesbian, gay or bi people. Homophobic bullying may be targeted at people who are, or who are perceived to be, lesbian, gay or bi.
A term used to describe a person who may have the biological attributes of both sexes or whose biological attributes do not fit with societal assumptions about what constitutes male or female.
Intersex people may identify as male, female or non-binary.
Stonewall works with intersex groups to provide its partners and stakeholders information and evidence about areas of disadvantage experienced by intersex people but does not, after discussions with members of the intersex community, include intersex issues as part of its current remit at this stage.
Refers to a woman who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards women. Some non-binary people may also identify with this term.
The fear or dislike of someone because they are or are perceived to be a lesbian.
The acronym for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace.
An umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Non-binary identities are varied and can include people who identify with some aspects of binary identities, while others reject them entirely.
Orientation is an umbrella term describing a person's attraction to other people. This attraction may be sexual (sexual orientation) and/or romantic (romantic orientation). These terms refers to a person's sense of identity based on their attractions, or lack thereof.
Orientations include, but are not limited to, lesbian, gay, bi, ace and straight.
When a lesbian, gay, bi or trans person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is disclosed to someone else without their consent.
Person with a trans history
Someone who identifies as male or female or a man or woman, but was assigned the opposite sex at birth. This is increasingly used by people to acknowledge a trans past.
Refers to a person whose romantic and/or sexual attraction towards others is not limited by sex or gender.
If someone is regarded, at a glance, to be a cisgender man or cisgender woman.
Cisgender refers to someone whose gender identity matches the sex they were ‘assigned’ at birth. This might include physical gender cues (hair or clothing) and/or behaviour which is historically or culturally associated with a particular gender.
Words we use to refer to people’s gender in conversation - for example, ‘he’ or ‘she’. Some people may prefer others to refer to them in gender neutral language and use pronouns such as they/their and ze/zir.
Queer is a term used by those wanting to reject specific labels of romantic orientation, sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It can also be a way of rejecting the perceived norms of the LGBT community (racism, sizeism, ableism etc). Although some LGBT people view the word as a slur, it was reclaimed in the late 80s by the queer community who have embraced it.
The process of exploring your own sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
A person’s romantic attraction to other people, or lack thereof. Along with sexual orientation, this forms a person’s orientation identity.
Assigned to a person on the basis of primary sex characteristics (genitalia) and reproductive functions. Sometimes the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ are interchanged to mean ‘male’ or ‘female’.
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.
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.
A term used to describe someone who is assigned female at birth but identifies and lives as a man. This may be shortened to trans man, or FTM, an abbreviation for female-to-male.
A term used to describe someone who is assigned male at birth but identifies and lives as a woman. This may be shortened to trans woman, or MTF, an abbreviation for male-to-female.
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.
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.
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.
This term is still used by some although many people prefer the term trans or transgender.
HIV medication (antiretroviral treatment, or ART) works by reducing the amount of the virus in the blood to undetectable levels. This means the levels of HIV are so low that the virus cannot be passed on. This is called having an undetectable viral load or being undetectable.
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