LGBTQ Culturally Sensitive Terminology

Post 10/8/18 – Beatrix 

LGBTQ Culturally Sensitive Terminology

Intersectionality is an analytic framework which attempts to identify how interlocking systems of power impact those who are most marginalized in society.

Gender identity is the personal sense of one’s own gender. Gender identity can correlate with assigned sex at birth or can differ from it. All societies have a set of gender categories that can serve as the basis of the formation of a person’s social identity in relation to other members of society.

Gender expression are the aspects of a person’s behavior, mannerisms, interests, and appearance that are associated with gender in a particular cultural context, specifically with the categories of femininity or masculinity.

Cisgender is a term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth. Cisgender may also be defined as those who have “a gender identity or perform a gender role society considers appropriate for one’s sex”.

Genderqueer, also known as non-binary, is a catch-all category for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine—identities which are outside the gender binary and cisnormativity.

Gender Fluid is a gender identity best described as a dynamic mix of boy and girl. A person who is Gender Fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more boy some days, and more girl other days. Being Gender Fluid has nothing to do with which set of genitalia one has, nor their sexual orientation.

Heterosexism is a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships.

Transphobia is a range of negative attitudes, feelings or actions toward transgender or transsexual people, or toward transsexuality.

Biphobia is aversion toward bisexuality and toward bisexual people as a social group or as individuals. It can take the form of denial that bisexuality is a genuine sexual orientation, or of negative stereotypes about people who are bisexual.

A lesbian is a homosexual woman. The word lesbian is also used to describe women in terms of their sexual identity or sexual behavior regardless of sexual orientation, or as an adjective to characterize or associate nouns with female homosexuality or same-sex attraction.

Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. Bisexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior toward both males and females, or romantic or sexual attraction to people of any sex or gender identity; this latter aspect is sometimes alternatively termed pansexuality.

Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex. Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another.

Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or cisgender. Originally meaning “strange” or “peculiar”, queer came to be used pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late 19th century. Beginning in the late 1980s, queer scholars and activists began to reclaim the word to establish community and assert an identity distinct from the gay identity. People who reject traditional gender identities and seek a broader and deliberately ambiguous alternative to the label LGBT may describe themselves as queer.

Questioning of one’s gender, sexual identity, sexual orientation, or all three is a process of exploration by people who may be unsure, still exploring, and concerned about applying a social label to themselves for various reasons.

Two-Spirit is a modern, pan-Indian, umbrella term used by some indigenous North Americans to describe certain people in their communities who fulfill a traditional third-gender ceremonial role in their cultures.

Intersex people are born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals that, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies”. Such variations may involve genital ambiguity, and combinations of chromosomal genotype and sexual phenotype other than XY-male and XX-female.

Non-Binary (see also genderqueer) describes any gender identity which does not fit within the binary of male and female.

A straight ally believes that LGBT people face discrimination and thus are socially and economically disadvantaged. They aim to use their position as heterosexual or cisgender individuals in a society focused on heteronormativity to fight homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. A straight ally or heterosexual ally is a heterosexual person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBT social movements, and challenges homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Despite this, some people who meet this definition do not identify themselves as straight allies.