The LGBTQ+ community has a lot of vocabulary but this guide should help.

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Abroromantic/Abrosexual – fluid romantic or sexual attraction.


Advocate – A person or group that aims to influence political and public policies and opinions of a group.


Aegosexual (Autochorissexual) - Feels arousal but does not want to participate.


AFAB/AMAB – Assigned Female/Male at birth.


Agender – Someone who identifies without a gender.


Aggressive – A person who is female-bodied and identified, who prefers presenting as masculine. This term is commonly used in urban communities of color.


Akoisexual/Akoiromantic – Feels sexual or romantic attraction but does not want it reciprocated (lithrosexual/lithroromantic).


Allosexism – The system of discrimination and exclusion that oppresses asexual people.


Allosexual – Sexual people opposite of asexual


Ally/Allyship – Someone who advocates for and supports members of a community other than their own.


Androgyny – A person appearing and/or identifying as neither a man nor woman, presenting as gender neutral or a mix of gender.


Androsexual/Androphilic -  An attraction to men or masculine presenting people.


Aromantic (Aro) - Having no romantic attraction to any gender.


Asexual – Having no sexual attraction to any gender



Bear – a gay man who is often larger and has more body hair.

Bicurious – a heterosexual person who is interested in having a sexual experience with a partner of the same sex.

Bigender – a person whose gender identity is a combination of masculine and feminine.

Binder – A piece of clothing that people wear to flatten their chest. Mostly used for transmasculine and androgynous identifying people.

Biological Aex/SAAB/ Sex Assigned At Birth – an individual’s anatomy as female, male or intersex. Gender is usually assigned by biological sex at birth.

Biphobia – dislike or prejudice against bisexual people.

Bisexual/Biromantic – (bi) a person attracted to two genders, but not necessarily simultaneously or equally.

BlaQ/BlaQueer – A person who is of Black/African descent and/or from the African diaspora who recognize their queer identity as a salient identity attached to their blackness.

Boi - Transmen, studs, doms, butches, tomboys, queens, and all self-identified bois and queers of color.

Boydyke - A cisgender boy or man who is primarily attracted to women who identify as lesbians

Butch – Typically a lesbian whose appearance and behavior is more masculine. Also refers to having the appearance or other qualities seen as traditionally masculine.


CDFAB/CDMAB – Coercively assigned female/male at birth.


Celibacy – Abstinence from sexual activity. A person who is celibate is not necessarily asexual and vice versa.


Cetesexual/Ceteromantic – Attraction to non-binary people exclusively (Skoliosexual/Skolioromantic).


Cisgender – Someone who agrees with their gender assigned to them at birth. The opposite of transgender.


Cis-het – A person that is cisgender and heterosexual or heteroromantic


Cissexism/Cisgenderism/Cisnormativity – The assumption that all people are cisgender. Also, the belief that cisgender people are superior, and holding people

 to traditional gender roles and gender expectations.


Civil Union – A legally recognized union of a same-sex couple, with rights like those of marriage.


Closeted – Someone who has not told others about their gender identity or sexual orientation.


Cruising – The act of walking or driving around a locality in search of a sex partner, usually of the anonymous, casual, one-time variety.


Coming Out – The process an individual goes through when telling another about their gender identity or sexual orientation.


Consent - When someone agrees, gives permission, or says "yes" to activity with other persons. Consent is always freely given and all people in a situation must feel that they can say "yes" or "no" or stop the activity at any point.


Constellation – A term used to describe the connections of a polyamorous relationship.


Cross-dresser – Someone who wears clothes associated with another gender part of the time.


Cub – A young bear.


Cultural Humility – An individual’s ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is open to other cultural identities that are important to an individual


Cupliosexual/Cuplioromantic- Desire for a relationship despite lack of any attraction



Demiboy / Demigirl – Describing someone who identifies partially as male/female or masculine/feminine but not wholly.


Demiromantic – Only experiences romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection.


Demisexual –  A person who does not experience sexual attraction until after developing an emotional connection.


DFAB/DMAB – Designated Female/Male at Birth


Discrimination – Prejudice toward a group or community.


Down Low – An individual who identifies as heterosexual and cisgender but has a queer relationship or or engages in queer sexual behaviors.


Drag – The act dressing in gendered clothing and adopting gendered behaviors as part of a performance. Drag performances usually mock political and social ideas of gender through parody or simply as entertainment. Drag does not indicate and individuals gender identity or sexuality.


Drag King – Performs masculinity theatrically.


Drag queen – Performs femininity theatrically.


Dyke – A lesbian. This word can be considered offensive. However, some lesbians use it to identify themselves so just ask.



Emotion Attraction – When you feel intense emotions about an individual.


En Drab – A heterosexual man who likes wearing woman’s clothes, but is not currently wearing women’s clothes.


En Femme – A heterosexual man wearing women’s clothes.


Enby/Enbies/Enbie– Non-binary partner, instead of wife or boyfriend



F2M/FTM – Female to male. An individual who was assigned female at birth who is transitioning to male.


Fag/Faggot – A slur for a gay person.


Family – The group of people that an individual identifies as family for themselves.


Family of Choice (Chosen Family) – A person or group of people chosen to be a part of one’s family. This may include significant others, domestic partners, friends, and co-workers.


Feminine-of-Center/ Masculine-of-Center – One who has changed, or is planning to change, their anatomy to reflect their gender identity. Feminine-of-center = transfeminine.


Feminine-Presenting – An individual who present as traditionally feminine through appearance and mannerisms.


Finromantic/Finsexual/ Gynesexual/Gynephilic – Romantic/Sexual attraction to feminine identifying people.



Gaff – An article of clothing used by an individual with a male body for tucking their bulge. Help support Transvivor with our Amazon link.

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Gay – A person who identifies as LGBT. This term is usually for homosexual men.


Gender Assignment – A classification of an infant at birth as either male or female.


Gender Bender – A person who merges characteristics of gender for the purpose of shocking others, without concern for passing.


Gender Binary – The concept that gender is solely male and female.


Gender Confirmation Surgery/ Gender Reassignment Surgery/ Sex Reassignment Surgery (GCS, GRS, SRS)- Refers to a large list of surgeries that transgender people may choose to have to align their body more closely with that of which is typically associated with their gender identity. For a transman, this could mean undergoing top surgery to remove breast.


Gender Diverse -  A person who either by nature or by choice does not conform to gender expectations (i.e. transgender, intersex, genderqueer, ect.) preferable to “gender variant” because it does not imply a standard normativity.


Gender Dysphoria – A feeling of discomfort or distress that is associated with a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and assigned gender. Also, a diagnostic class that focuses on the possible distress arising from a sense of mismatch, that may have about one’s experienced gender versus the one assigned to them at birth.


Gender Expansive/ Gender Creative– An umbrella term used to describe youth that expand gender expression and identity beyond what is expected as gender norms for their society or context.


Gender Expression – The way a person expresses their gender identity through clothing, behavior, posture, mannerisms, speech patterns, activities, and more.


Genderfluid/Gender Fluid – A person whose gender identity shifts whether within or outside of societal gender-based expectations.


Gender Identity – An individual’s sense of their own gender. This can align with their gender assigned at birth (cisgender) or not (transgender). Some gender identities include “womyn” “transman” and “agender”.


Gender Neutral/Gender Inclusive – Inclusive language to describe relationships (partner instead of husband or boyfriend.), spaces(gender-neutral bathroom), and pronouns (they/them and ze/zer) among other things.


Gender Non-Conforming – A person who does not conform to society’s expectation of gender norms based on the gender binary. Also: gender outlaws


Gender Normative/Gender Straight – A person who identifies with the expectations of the gender binary.


Gender Norms – The assignment of gender roles to an individual based on their biological sex.


Gender Roles/Expectations –  A social role/expectation associated with the perception of masculinity or femininity.


Gender Spectrum - The concept that gender exists beyond a simple “male/female” binary model, but instead exists on an infinite continuum that transcends the two. Some people fall towards more masculine or more feminine aspects, some people move fluidly along the spectrum, and some identify off the spectrum entirely.


Gender – The feeling of being male, female, or neither.


Gender variant – A term used in the medical community to describe youth whose gender expression does not align to their assigned gender. People outside of the medical community instead use “gender expansive” or “gender creative”.


Genderf*ck – The idea of playing with “gender cues” to purposely confuse stereotypical gender expression.


Genderism – The bias of one gender to another.


Genderless – An individual who identifies without a gender.


Genderqueer/Non-Binary - An individual who identifies as between or beyond or a combination of genders. Some genderqueer people identify under the transgender umbrella while others do not. Some gender queer identities include: Having an overlap or indefinite line between gender identity, having two or more genders (bi-gender, tri-gender, pangender), having no gender (agender, nongendered, genderless, genderfree, neutrois.) moving between genders or having a fluctuating gender identity (gender fluid), being third gender or other-gendered, a category which includes but does not place a name to their gender.


Graysexual/Greyromantic – A person who may feel sexual attraction but usual does not. The may also experience sexual attraction but have a low drive.



Hate crime – A crime motivated by the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity of any person.


Heteroflexible – Usually attracted to the “opposite” gender but occasionally feels attraction to the same gender.


Heteronormativity/Heterosexism - The assumption that everyone is straight therefore marginalizing people who identify as anything other than heterosexual


Heterosexual Privilege - Benefits derived automatically by being (or being perceived as) heterosexual that are denied to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, queers and all other non-heterosexual sexual orientations.


Heterosexuality/Heterosexual – A person who identifies as straight


Homophobia – Intolerance towards queer people or the homosexual feelings within oneself. The assumption that heterosexuality is superior.


Homosexual – A person who has sexual, emotional, and/or romantic attractions to the same gender.


HRT/ Hormone Replacement Therapy – A medical transition some transgender people go through to help their bodies align with the gender they identify as. A transmasculine person may choose to seek testosterone.


Inclusive Language – Using language that is inclusive of all genders and sexualities. Such as saying all instead of guys and gals.


Internalized homophobia – The fear that one’s self is queer.


Internalized oppression – When an oppressed person comes to believe, accept or live out stereotypes and misinformation about their group.


Intersex - A medical condition in which a person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not seem to fit the definition of female or male.

Invisible minority – a group whose minority status is not recognized in the larger community.


Jock –A muscular and athletic gay man with or without body hair.


Keyhole – A surgical procedure to remove a female-bodied individuals breast. If you are looking for types of transgender surgeries check out the transgender medical resources page.


LatinX – A gender neutral alternative to Latino, Latina and Latin@.


Lesbian – A woman attracted to a woman. Transwoman can also identify as lesbian.


Lesbian Baiting - The heterosexist notion that any woman who prefers the company of woman, or who does not have a male partner, is a lesbian.


LGBTQ/ GSM/DSG/MOGAI–  Initialisms that represent the queer community. LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning) GSM (Gender & Sexual Minorities), and DSG (Diverse Sexualities and Gender) MOGAI (Marginalized Orientations, Genders, and Intersex).


Lifestyle – An offensive term used against the LGBT community to degrade their lives. Making it seem as if the LGBT community chooses to be queer.


Lipstick Lesbian/Femme - A woman who likes or has sex with woman but favors glam and traditionally feminine style.


Lithromantic – A person who feels romantic love but does not want their feelings to be reciprocated.


M2F/MTF – Male to Female.


Marginalized- Excluded, ignored, or relegated to the outer edge of a group/society/community.


Masculine presenting – A presentation of masculine features and/ or mannerisms.


Meta/Metoidioplasty – A gender confirmation surgery for female-bodied people to appear more masculine. For more information look here.


Metrosexual – A young, urban, heterosexual male with liberal political views, an interest in fashion, and a refined sense of taste.


Microaggressions - Indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group.


Minromantic/ Minsexual – Romantic/sexual attraction to masculine identifying people.


Misgendering – Using the wrong gender or gender pronouns for an individual.


Monogamy – The practice or state of being married to one person at a time.


Monosexism – The belief that heterosexuality or homosexuality is superior to bisexuality or other non-monosexual orientation.


Monosexual/monoromantic – An individual who is only attracted to one gender. Typically, heterosexual or homosexual.


MSM – Medical term. Men who have sex with men. This is a sexual behavior and can be separate from sexual identities. MSM usually refers to biological men.


Multisexual/Romantic – Feeling attraction towards multiple genders.


Mx. / “mix” or “schwa” – The gender-neutral title for an individual instead of Mr. Mrs. or Ms


Neutrois (new-twah)– There is no one definition of neutrois, the most common ones are usually: neutral-gender, null-gender, neither male not female, genderless, and agender.


Ninromantic/Ninsexual – Romantic/Sexual attraction to androgynous or neutral identifying people


Non-gestational mom - A mother who is biologically related to the child but is not the carrier of the child.


Nonmonosexual -  People who are attracted to more than one gender


Non-op/non-operative – A transgender person choosing not to undergo gender confirmation surgery


Packer/Packing – An object used to create the shape of a bulge on an individual born with a female body.


Pangender/ Omnigender– A non-binary gender expression that refers to a wide range of gender expression in an individual.


Pansexual/Omnisexual – Not limiting oneself to a sexual choice regarding biological sex, gender, or gender identity.


Partner – A gender inclusive way of referring to a person’s significant other.


Passing – A transgender person appearing as a cisgender man or woman in public spaces


Patch (testosterone patch or estradiol patch) - Testosterone or estrogen hormone therapy as applied transdermally via a patch adhered to the skin.


Patriarchy – A system of society that men hold more power and all other genders are excluded.


PFLAG – Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays


PGPs/Preferred Gender Pronouns – The pronouns an individual used when an individual is being referred to. IE. Jane uses female pronouns because she identifies as feminine.


Polyamourous – Can be an open relationship or a relationship with multiple partners (see constellation)


Polygender – A person whose gender expression contains more than two genders either simultaneously or varying between them.


Post-op - A transgender person after undergoing gender confirmation surgery.


Pre-op – A transgender person before undergoing gender confirmation surgery, implying that they plan on undergoing surgery.


Pronouns - The pronouns an individual uses to be referred to. Such as He/Him/His or They/Them/Their. See a list of pronouns here.


On T – A transgender person taking testosterone.


Oppression – Mistreatment or unjust control of an individual or group for a prolonged time


Outercourse – Sexual stimulation beyond penetrative intercourse


Outing – Revealing a queer person’s queer identity usually without consent.


QPOC/QTPOC – Queer people of color. Queer transgender people of color.


Queer – An umbrella term for a person who identifies as a part of the LGBT community. This can also be derogatory.  A political statement, as well as a sexual orientation, which advocates breaking binary thinking and seeing both sexual orientation and gender identity as potentially fluid. A simple label to explain a complex set of sexual behaviors and desires. For example, a person who is attracted to multiple genders may identify as queer.


Queerplatonic Relationship – Relationships that are not sexual in but involve very close emotional connections usually more so than a traditionally friendship.


Questioning – A person who is questioning their gender or sexual identity.


Quoisexual/Quiromantic – Not identifying with any existing labels.


Reciprosexual/Reciproromantic – Only experiencing sexual or romantic attraction to someone after realizing they are attracted to you.


RLT/ Real Life Test – A period that a transgender person must identify as their gender before starting hormone replacement therapy or HRT.


Romantic Attraction – An emotional response to be in a romantic relationship with a person. This attraction can be separate from sexual attraction.


Sex – The anatomy that an individual is gendered from at birth. Not to be confused with gender as the two can be separate.


Sexual attraction – Sexual desire for an individual.


Sexual Behavior – The sexual acts that an individual participates in. See MSM and WSW.


Sexual orientation/Sexual Identity/ Sexuality – A person’s identity in relation to the gender to which they are attracted. Such as bisexual, and heterosexual.


Sexual preference – A gender or expression that one prefers to engage with sexually. A person can identify as straight and still prefer “gay sex” as sexual orientation is different than sexual behavior.


SGL/ Same Gender Loving – Homosexuals and bisexuals in the African American community. Coined by Cleo Manago.


Skoliosexual/Skolioromantic – An individual who is attracted to transgender and/or gender nonconforming people (Cetesexual/Ceteromantic).


Sodomy Laws – Were historically used to selectively persecute gay people.


SOFFA – Significant others, friends, family, and allies.


Squish – Platonic/friend crush. When you really want to be close friends with someone.


Stealth – A transgender person who may be out to close friends but is not out in public spaces.


Stem - A person whose gender expression falls somewhere between a stud and a femme


Stonewall – An Inn in New York City that has become the landmark, of the LGBT Riots that began the modern gay civil rights movement.


Straight – A person who identifies as heterosexual.


Stud – Soft butch.



T -Testosterone


Third Gender – A gender that is neither man nor woman. Individuals can categorize themselves or can be categorized by society.


Top Surgery – A gender confirmation surgery that transgender people may choose to have. For transmen, it is the removal of breast.


Trans* -  Used as an umbrella term for the transgender genderqueer and gender nonconforming communities.


Transgender Man/ Transmale/Transman/ Transboy – An individual who was not assigned male at birth but identifies as a male.


Transgender Woman/Transwoman/Transfemale/Transgirl- An individual who was not assigned female at birth but identifies as a female.


Transgender/Trans/TG – A person who identifies as something other than their gender assigned at birth.


Transition/Transitioning – The process of changing from one gender to another as either a social or medical change to align their gender expression with their gender identity.


Transphobia – An irrational fear or hatred of transgender people.


Transsexual – A person who experiences a mismatch of the sex assigned at birth and how they identify. This term can be considered derogatory.


Triangle - A symbol of remembrance. Gay men in the Nazi concentration camps were forced to wear the pink triangle as a designation of being homosexual. Women who did not conform to social roles, often believed to be lesbians, had to wear the black triangle. The triangles are worn today as symbols of freedom, reminding us to never forget.


Tucking – Concealing one’s masculine bulge with the use of a gaff.


Twink –A slender young gay man with no body hair.


Twunk – A slender but muscular gay man with no body hair.


Two-spirit – (American Indian/First Nations/Native American) - A male-bodied or female-bodied person with a masculine or feminine essence. Two Spirit can cross social gender roles, gender expression, and sexual orientation.



Ursula- Lesbians, in bear culture referring to themselves.


Wolf – A lean, muscular, semi-hairy gay man.


Womyn/Womxn – A form of empowerment to move away from “men” in the “traditional” spelling of women


WSW – Medical term. a woman who has sex with women. This is a sexual behavior and can be separate from sexual identities. WSW usually refers to biological females.




Zucchini – A partner in a queerplatonic relationship.

Help support Transvivor with our Amazon link.

A portion of the proceeds will be used to help LGBTQ+ youth in need.