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LGBT+ Terms and Definitions

Asexual is an umbrella term used to describe a variation in levels of romantic and/or sexual attraction, including a lack of attraction.

Bi or Bisexual is an umbrella term used to describe an emotional, romantic and/or sexual orientation towards more than one gender.

Biphobia is 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.

Cisgender or cis is someone whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth.

Gay refers to a man who has an emotional, 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.

Gender identity is a person’s innate sense of their own gender whether male, female or something else, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth.

Homophobia is 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.

Intersex is 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.

Lesbian refers to a woman who has an emotional, romantic and/or sexual orientation towards women.

LGBT+ is the acronym for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people.

Non-binary is 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.

Pansexual is a term used to describe a person whose romantic and/or sexual attraction towards others is not limited by sex or gender.

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, 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.

Sexual orientation is a person’s sexual attraction to other people, or lack thereof. Along with romantic orientation, this forms a person’s orientation identity.

Trans is 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), genderfluid, non-binary, gender variant, crossdresser, genderless, agender, nongender, third gender, two-spirit, bi-gender, trans man, trans woman, trans masculine, trans feminine and neutrois.

Transphobia is the fear or dislike of someone based on the fact they are trans, including the denial of/refusal to accept their gender identity.

1 Sexual orientation and gender identity terms reflect the definitions provided by Stonewall (www.stonewall.org.uk/help-advice/glossary-terms) [accessed 24 April 2021], which have been accepted and used by Galop across its services and programs.