The Resource Center

Entertainment & Information

Ace — Someone who identifies as Asexual.

Ag/Agressive — A term originating within communities of color to describe a masculine lesbian. Also known as a ‘stud.’

Agender — A person without gender. An agender individual’s body does not necessarily correspond with their lack of gender identity: Genderless.

Ally — Someone who is a friend, advocate, and/or activist for the LGBTQ+ people. They confront heterosexism, anti-LGBTQIA biases, heterosexual and cisgender privilege. Ally in a general use is for any dominate group member being a friend, advocate, or activist for people in an oppressed group.

Androgyne — A person appearing and/or identifying as neither man nor woman. Some androgyne individuals may present in a gender neutral or androgynous way.

Androgynous — Term used to describe an individual whose gender expression and/or identity may neither be “man” or “woman,” usually based on appearance.

Aromantic — A person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others.

Asexual — Typically characterized by not feeling sexual attraction or desire for partnered sexuality. Asexuality is distinct from celibacy. Some asexual people do have sex. There are many diverse ways of being asexual.

Assigned at Birth — This term illustrates that an individual’s sex (and subsequently gender in early life) was assigned without involving the person whose sex was being assigned.

Bear — This is an LGBT slang term for men who are, but not always, overweight that have hairy bodies and facial hair. It is a subculture in the gay and bisexual male communities.

Bicurious — A person showing curiosity for a relationship or sexual activity with a person of a gender they do not usually engage with. [Related terms: Heteroflexible/homoflexible]

Binding — The process of flattening one’s breasts to have a more masculine or flat appearing chest.

Bio Queen — Otherwise known as a faux queen,  it is a female performance artist who adopts the style typical of male drag queens.

Biphobia — The fear of, discrimination against, or hatred of bisexuals, which is often times related to the current binary standard. Biphobia is thriving within the LGBTQ+ community as well.

Bisexual — A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of their own gender as well as other genders than their own.

Boi — A person assigned female at birth who expresses or presents themselves in a stereotypically masculine, particularly boyish way. Or one who enjoys being perceived as a young man.

Bottom — A person who is the receiving or penetrated partner during sexual activity.

Bottom Surgery — Surgery on the gentles designed to create a body in harmony with a person’s gender identity.

Brown Boi — A masculine of center person of color.

Butch — A person who identifies themselves as masculine, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally.

Cisgender — Someone who feels comfortable with the gender identity assigned to them based on their sex assigned at birth.

Cisgender Privilege — The set of privileges conferred to people who are believed to be Cisgeder. (Example: Having one’s personal pronouns correctly used, no harassment in public restrooms, no denial of expected access to health care, etc.)

Cisnormativity — The assumption, in individuals or in institutions, that everyone is cissexual, and that cisgender persons identities are more normal, valid, and worthy of respect than transgender people’s identities.

Closeted — A person who is not open about their sexuality.

Coming Out —  A lifelong process by which someone accepts and identifies with their gender identity or sexuality; and shares their identity willing with others. 

Demiromantic — A person who does not experience romantic attraction without a strong emotional bond with someone.

Demisexual — A person who does not experience sexual attraction without a strong emotional bond with someone.

Down Low — Originating within communities of color, used to describe men who identity as heterosexual but who are sexually active with men. Many avoid sharing this information even if they are sexually active with women as well.

Drag — A performative expression of gender.

Dyke — Sometimes adopted affirmatively by lesbians (not necessarily masculine ones) to refer to themselves. Derogatory term referring to (often masculine) lesbians.

Fag — Derogatory term for a gay or effeminate man which is  sometimes reclaimed by gay men as a self-identifier.

Femme — An individual of any assigned sex or gender identity who identifies with femininity as dictated by traditional gender roles.

FTM — An abbreviation for the term female-to-male.

Gay — The adjective used to describe men who are attracted to men, either romantically, sexually, and/or emotionally. Not all men who engage in relations with other men identify as gay. It is also used as an umbrella term for sexual orientations that fall outside of heterosexual.

Gender — A complex system of roles, expressions, identities, performances, and more that are given gendered meaning by a society and usually assigned to people based on the appearance of their sex characteristics at birth. How gender is embodied and defined varies from culture to culture and from person to person.

Gender Binary —  The idea that there are only two genders – man or woman – and that a person must be strictly gendered as either/or.

Gender Dysphoria — Discomfort or distress caused by one’s assigned sex and the desire to change the characteristics that are the source.

Gender Expression — How one presents oneself and one’s gender to the world via dress, mannerisms, hairstyle, facial hair etc.

Gender Identity — A person’s sense of self as masculine, feminine, both, or neither regardless of external genitalia.

Gender Non Conforming — A person who either by nature or by choice does not conform to gender-based expectations of society (e.g. transgender, transsexual, intersex, genderqueer, butch, cross-dresser,etc.). Also known as ‘Gender Variant.’

Genderqueer — An individual whose gender identity is neither male nor female, is between or beyond genders, or is some combination of genders. Sometimes this includes a political agenda to challenge gender stereotypes and the gender binary system. Genderqueer individuals may or may not pursue any physical changes, such as hormonal or surgical intervention, and may not identify as trans.

Grey Ace — Someone who identifies as part of the asexual community but does not identify as completely asexual. This differs from demisexuality in that being demisexual is a specific orientation and a gray ace is used as a catch all for any unspecified identity under the Ace umbrella.

Heteronormativity — The assumption, in individuals or in institutions, that everyone is heterosexual, and that heterosexuality is superior to homosexuality, bisexuality, and other sexual orientations.

Heterosexual — Men who experience sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to women, and vice versa. Also known as ‘straight.’

Heterosexual Privilege —  Those benefits derived automatically by being heterosexual or being perceived as heterosexual that are denied to homosexual and bisexual people. Also, the benefits homosexual and bisexual people receive as a result of claiming heterosexual identity or denying homosexual or bisexual identity.

Homosexual — An out of date term for a person who is primarily emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to members of the same sex. Many people view this term as offensive in that it is excessively clinical and sexualizes members of the LGBTQIA community.

Homophobia — The irrational fear, hatred, or intolerance of people who identify or are perceived as non-heterosexual, including the fear of being read as part of the “gay” community. Homophobic behavior can range from telling gay jokes, to verbal abuse, to acts of physical violence.

In the Closet — Refers to a Queer, Transgender, or intersex individual who will not or cannot disclose their sex, sexuality, or gender identity to their friends, family, co-workers, or society.  There are varying degrees of being “in the closet.” For example, a person can be out in their social life, but in the closet at work, or with their family.

Internalized Oppression — The process by which a member of an oppressed group comes to accept and live out the inaccurate stereotypes applied to the oppressed group.

Intersex — A person who is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of female or male.

Lesbian — Women who experience sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to other women. Some lesbians may prefer to identify as gay (adj.) or as gay women.

LGBTQQIAAAP / LGBT / LGBTQ — Acronym for the community most popularly seen as lgbt, glbt, lgbtq—extended could look like lgbtq2ia3p
Lesbian, gay, biesxual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, androgynous, ally, pansexual.

Lipstick Lesbian —  Usually refers to a lesbian with a feminine gender expression. Can be used in a positive or a derogatory way, depending on who is using it. Is sometimes also used to refer to a lesbian who is seen as automatically passing for heterosexual.

MTF — Abbreviation for the term male-to-female.

Neutrois — A person who identifies as being neither a man nor woman. This differs from androgyne, in that an androgyne sees themselves as a mix of two genders, while neutrois individual sees themselves as not having a gender.

Openly Gay — Describes people who self-identify as lesbian or gay in their personal, public and/or professional lives. Also openly lesbian, openly bisexual, openly transgender.

Outing — When someone publicly declares or discloses information revealing another’s sexual orientation or gender identity without their knowledge and/or consent. Considered inappropriate by a large portion of the LGBT+ community.

Packing —  Wearing a phallic device on the groin and under clothing for any purposes including: (for someone without a biological penis) the validation or confirmation of one’s masculine gender identity; seduction; and/or sexual readiness (for one who likes to penetrate another during sexual intercourse).

Panromantic —  Someone who has romantic feelings for a person regardless of their sex or gender.

Pansexual — A person who experiences attraction to people of all genders.

Passing —  Describes a person's ability to be accepted as their preferred gender/sex or to be seen as heterosexual.

Polyamory – Refers to having honest, non-monogamous relationships with multiple partners and can include: open relationships, polyfidelity (which involves multiple romantic relationships with sexual contact restricted to those), and sub- relationships (which denote distinguishing between a ‘primary’ relationship or relationships and various ‘secondary’ relationships).

Polysexual — Experience attraction to many, but not all, genders.

Queer — An umbrella term, under which are a bunch of identities; it covers all sexualities that are not heterosexual. Queer is also a term reclaimed by the community as it was formerly used solely as a slur. Nevertheless, it is still seen by many as an insult especially and use by heterosexual individuals is often considered offensive.

Questioning — An individual who is unsure of and/or exploring their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.

Sexual Orientation — The desire for intimate emotional and/or sexual relationships with people of the same gender, another gender, or multiple genders. Avoid the offensive term “sexual preference,” which is used to suggest that being gay or lesbian is voluntary and therefore “curable.”

Sexuality — Refers to a person’s exploration of sexual behaviors, practices and identities in the social world.

Stealth —  This term refers to when a person chooses to be secretive in the public sphere about their gender history, either after transitioning or while successful passing. Also referred to as ‘going stealth’ or ‘living in stealth mode.’

Stereotype — A preconceived or oversimplified generalization about an entire group of people without regard for their individual differences. Some stereotypes can be positive. However, they can have a negative impact, simply because they involve broad generalizations that ignore individual realities.

Stonewall Riots — On June 28th, 1969, New York City Police attempted a routine raid on the Stonewall Inn, a working-class gay and lesbian bar in New York’s Greenwich Village. Unexpectedly, the patrons resisted, and the incident escalated into a riot that continued for several days. Many people attribute this event as the catalyst for the American Gay Liberation Movement. It is often left out that the more frequent patrons of this bar were trans women such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, drag queens and butch lesbians.

Straight — Another term for heterosexual.

Straight-Acting — A term usually applied to gay men who readily pass as heterosexual. The term implies that there is a certain way that gay men should act that is significantly different from heterosexual men. Straight-acting gay men may be critiqued by members of the LGBTQIA community for seemingly accessing heterosexual privilege.

Stud — A term originating within communities of color to describe a masculine lesbian. Also known as ‘aggressive.’

Switch — A person who is both a ‘Top’ and a ‘Bottom;’ there may or may not be a preference for one or the other. Also known as Versatile/Vers

Top — A person who is the giving or penetrating partner during sexual activity.

Top Surgery — This term usually refers to surgery for the construction of a male-type chest, but may also refer to breast augmentation.

Transgender — An adjective used to describe a person who lives as a member of a gender different than what they were assigned at birth. Also used as an umbrella term to refer to the whole non-conforming community which may include (but is not limited to) Transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binary, genderf*ck, transexual, agedner, third gender, two spirit, hijra, bingender, trans man, trans woman, gender non-conforming, and gender questioning.

Transition — The term is primarily used to refer to the process of a gender variant person undergoes when changing their bodily appearance to be more congruent with the gender/sex with which they identify.

Transphobia — The irrational hatred of those who are transgender or gender non-conforming, sometimes expressed through violent and sometimes deadly means.

Trans Man — An identity label sometimes adopted by female to male trans people to signify that they are men while still affirming their transgender history.

Trans Woman — An identity label sometimes adopted by male to female trans people to signify that they are women while still affirming their transgender history.

Two-Spirit — A Native American term for people who blend the masculine and the feminine. It is commonly used to describe individuals who historically crossed gender. It is often used by contemporary LGBTQIA Native American people to describe themselves.

Versatile — A person who is both a ‘Top’ and a ‘Bottom;’ there may or may not be a preference for one or the other. Also known as ‘Switch.’

Ze/Hir — Alternate pronouns that are gender neutral. Pronounced /zee/ and /here/, they replace he/she and /his/hers respectively.