The ABC's of LGBTQIAP+
AFAB/AMAB are acronyms for Assigned Female At Birth/Assigned Male At Birth. These terms are used to describe the assignment and classification of people as male, female, intersex, or another sex assigned at birth. These assignments and classifications are most often based on a person's physical anatomy at birth and/or karyotyping (source).
Agender [Gender identity]
A gender identity wherein a person does not identify as having any gender, or may be gender neutral. This is an umbrella term for many identities.
A person who is not a member of the LGBTQIAP+ community but is supportive of the community.
Androgynous [Gender identity, Gender presentation]
Identifying and/or presenting as neither masculine nor feminine.
Asexual [Sexual orientation]
A person who has a lack of desire for, or sexual attraction to, other people.
Bisexual [Sexual orientation]
A person who has the capacity to form enduring physical, romantic, and/ or emotional attractions to those of the same gender or to those of another gender. People may experience this attraction in differing ways and degrees over their lifetime. Bisexual people need not have had specific sexual experiences to be bisexual; in fact, they need not have had any sexual experience at all to identify as bisexual (source). Prejudice, hatred or fear which is directed at bisexual people is called Biphobia.
Cisgender [Gender identity]
Identifying as the gender which corresponds to gender assigned at birth (AFAB/AMAB). Cissexism is prejudice in the favour of cisgender people, and is often systemic.
The name given to a transgender person at birth, which is often changed by the person in the process of transitioning. Do not use this name.
Gay [Sexual Orientation]
The adjective used to describe people whose enduring physical, romantic, and/ or emotional attractions are to people of the same gender (e.g., gay man, gay people) (source). Usually used to describe physical, romantic and emotional attraction between people who identify as male, but can be used to describe the same between people who identify as female.
Gender describes general roles and behaviours which society attributes to people, thereby making gender a social construct. For example, “masculine” and “feminine” describe gender traits. Gender attributes may be different in different societies or cultures.
The outward expression of one's feelings of gender. The external appearance which a person cultivates which is related to their gender. According to the Human Rights Campaign, gender expression is "usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine." Gender expression is visible to others.
Gender Identity is a person's own perception and feeling of their own gender. Gender Identity cannot be prescribed to a person by others, and it may or may not be visible to others, depending on whether a person's gender identity is congruous with their gender expression.
Gender Nonconforming [Gender Identity, Gender Expression]
Someone whose gender identity or expression does not conform to what may socially or culturally be expected from someone of their particular gender.
The belief or assumption that everybody is heterosexual and that heterosexuality is superior to any other form of sexuality.
Heterosexual/Straight [Sexual Orientation]
Primary attraction (physical, romantic and sexual) to people of the opposite gender.
Homosexual [Sexual Orientation]
Primary attraction (physical, romantic and sexual) to people of the same gender.
An umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations. In some cases, these traits are visible at birth, and in others, they are not apparent until puberty. Some chromosomal variations of this type may not be physically apparent at all. (source).
Lesbian [Sexual Orientation]
The adjective used to describe women whose enduring physical, romantic, and/ or emotional attractions are to people of the same gender. Usually used to describe physical, romantic and emotional attraction between people who identify as female.
The acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual, and more. This acronym is used to encompass a community of sexually and gender diverse individuals.
Using the incorrect gender pronoun for a person.
Non-Binary [Gender Identity]
An adjective describing a person who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman. Non-binary people may identify as being both a man and a woman, somewhere in between, or as falling completely outside these categories. While many also identify as transgender, not all non-binary people do (source).
Pansexual [Sexual Orientation]
A person who has the capacity to form enduring physical, romantic, and/ or emotional attractions to any person, regardless of gender identity.
Queer [Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity]
An adjective used by some people, particularly younger people, whose sexual orientation is not exclusively heterosexual (source), or whose gender identity is not necessarily their gender assigned at birth. Queer is a reclaimed slur which many LGBTQIAP+ people claim and use to describe themselves, but it may still be considered offensive to some and can be polarising. Because it is a reclaimed slur, it is still considered offensive for someone who is not a member of the LGBTQIAP+ community to use it as a descriptor without permission.
Used to describe people who are in the process of questioning or exploring one's sexual orientation or gender identity.
The classification of a person as male or female. At birth, infants are assigned a sex, usually based on the appearance of their external anatomy. (This is what is written on the birth certificate.) A person's sex, however, is actually a combination of bodily characteristics including: chromosomes, hormones, internal and external reproductive organs, and secondary sex characteristics (source).
An inherent or immutable enduring emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to other people.
Transgender [Gender Identity]
An umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term transgender is not indicative of gender expression, sexual orientation, hormonal makeup, physical anatomy, or how one is perceived in daily life. Note that transgender does not have an “ed” at the end (source).