Social Justice Advocates Handbook: A Guide to Gender Understanding

Comprehensive List of LGBTQ+ Term Definitions

by Sam Killermann · 83 comments

in Gender,Sexuality

Alphabet Soup Comic

Note: some definitions here may include words you aren’t familiar with, or have been taught a flawed or incomplete definition for; I’ve likely defined those words somewhere else in the list, but if I missed one bring it up in the comments below.  Also, be sure to correct me in the comments if I misstepped.

LGBPTTQQIIAA+: any combination of letters attempting to represent all the identities in the queer community, this near-exhaustive one (but not exhaustive) represents Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Intergender, Asexual, Ally

Advocate: a person who actively works to end intolerance, educate others, and support social equity for a group

Ally: a straight person who supports queer people

Androgyny: (1) a gender expression that has elements of both masculinity and femininity; (2) occasionally used in place of “intersex” to describe a person with both female and male anatomy

Androsexual/Androphilic: attracted to males, men, and/or masculinity

Asexual: a person who generally does not experience sexual attraction (or very little) to any group of people

Bigender: a person who fluctuates between traditionally “woman” and “man” gender-based behavior and identities, identifying with both genders (and sometimes a third gender)

Binary Gender: a traditional and outdated view of gender, limiting possibilities to “man” and “woman”

Binary Sex: a traditional and outdated view of sex, limiting possibilities to “female” or “male”

Biological sex: the physical anatomy and gendered hormones one is born with, generally described as male, female, or intersex, and often confused with gender

Bisexual: a person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of their own gender as well as another gender; often confused for and used in place of “pansexual”

Cisgender: a description for a person whose gender identity, gender expression, and biological sex all align (e.g., man, masculine, and male)

Cis-man: a person who identifies as a man, presents himself masculinely, and has male biological sex, often referred to as simply “man”

Cis-woman: a person who identifies as a woman, presents herself femininely, and has female biological sex, often referred to as simply “woman”

Closeted: a person who is keeping their sexuality or gender identity a secret from many (or any) people, and has yet to “come out of the closet”

Coming Out: the process of revealing your sexuality or gender identity to individuals in your life; often incorrectly thought to be a one-time event, this is a lifelong and sometimes daily process; not to be confused with “outing”

Cross-dressing: wearing clothing that conflicts with the traditional gender expression of your sex and gender identity (e.g., a man wearing a dress) for any one of many reasons, including relaxation, fun, and sexual gratification; often conflated with transsexuality

Drag King: a person who consciously performs “masculinity,” usually in a show or theatre setting, presenting an exaggerated form of masculine expression, often times done by a woman; often confused with “transsexual” or “transvestite”

Drag Queen: a person who consciously performs “femininity,” usually in a show or theatre setting, presenting an exaggerated form of feminine expression, often times done by a man; often confused with “transsexual” or “transvestite”

Dyke: a derogatory slang term used for lesbian women; reclaimed by many lesbian women as a symbol of pride and used as an in-group term

Faggot: a derogatory slang term used for gay men; reclaimed by many gay men as a symbol of pride and used as an in-group term

Female: a person with a specific set of sexual anatomy (e.g.,  46,XX phenotype, vagina, ovaries, uterus, breasts, higher levels of estrogen, fine body hair) pursuant to this label

Fluid(ity): generally with another term attached, like gender-fluid or fluid-sexuality, fluid(ity) describes an identity that is a fluctuating mix of the options available (e.g., man and woman, gay and straight); not to be confused with “transitioning”

FTM/MTF: a person who has undergone medical treatments to change their biological sex (Female TMale, or Male TFemale), often times to align it with their gender identity; often confused with “trans-man”/”trans-woman”

Gay: a term used to describe a man who is attracted to men, but often used and embraced by women to describe their same-sex relationships as well

Gender Expression: the external display of gender, through a combination of dress, demeanor, social behavior, and other factors, generally measured on a scale of masculinity and femininity

Gender Identity: the internal perception of an individual’s gender, and how they label themselves

Genderless: a person who does not identify with any gender

Genderqueer: (1) a blanket term used to describe people whose gender falls outside of the gender binary; (2) a person who identifies as both a man and a woman, or as neither a man nor a woman; often used in exchange with “transgender”

Gynesexual/Gynephilic: attracted to females, women, and/or femininity

Hermaphrodite: an outdated medical term used to describe someone who is intersex; not used today as it is considered to be medically stigmatizing, and also misleading as it means a person who is 100% male and female, a biological impossibility for humans

Heterosexism: behavior that grants preferential treatment to heterosexual people, reinforces the idea that heterosexuality is somehow better or more “right” than queerness, or ignores/doesn’t address queerness as existing

Heterosexual: a medical definition for a person who is attracted to someone with the other gender (or, literally, biological sex) than they have; often referred to as “straight”

Homophobia: fear, anger, intolerance, resentment, or discomfort with queer people, often focused inwardly as one begins to question their own sexuality

Homosexual: a medical definition for a person who is attracted to someone with the same gender (or, literally, biological sex) they have, this is considered an offensive/stigmatizing term by many members of the queer community; often used incorrectly in place of “lesbian” or “gay”

Hypersex(ual/-ity): a sexual attraction with intensity bordering on insatiability or addiction; recently dismissed as a non-medical condition by the American Psychiatric Association when it was proposed to be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 5.

Intersex: a person with a set of sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit within the labels of female or male (e.g., 47,XXY phenotype, uterus, and penis)

Male: a person with a specific set of sexual anatomy (e.g.,  46,XY phenotype, penis, testis, higher levels of testosterone, coarse body hair, facial hair) pursuant to this label

Outing [someone]: when someone reveals another person’s sexuality or gender identity to an individual or group, often without the person’s consent or approval; not to be confused with “coming out”

Pansexual: a person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction for members of all gender identities/expressions

Queer: (1) historically, this was a derogatory slang term used to identify LGBTQ+ people; (2) a term that has been embraced and reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community as a symbol of pride, representing all individuals who fall out of the gender and sexuality “norms”

Questioning: the process of exploring one’s own sexual orientation, investigating influences that may come from their family, religious upbringing, and internal motivations

Same Gender Loving (SGL): a phrase coined by the African American/Black queer communities used as an alternative for “gay” and “lesbian” by people who may see those as terms of the White queer community

Sexual Orientation: the type of sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction one feels for others, often labeled based on the gender relationship between the person and the people they are attracted to; often mistakenly referred to as “sexual preference”

Sexual Preference: (1) generally when this term is used, it is being mistakenly interchanged with “sexual orientation,” creating an illusion that one has a choice (or “preference”) in who they are attracted to; (2) the types of sexual intercourse, stimulation, and gratification one likes to receive and participate in

Skoliosexual: attracted to genderqueer and transsexual people and expressions (people who aren’t identified as cisgender)

Straight: a man or woman who is attracted to people of the other binary gender than themselves; often referred to as “heterosexual”

Third Gender: (1) a person who does not identify with the traditional genders of “man” or “woman,” but identifies with another gender; (2) the gender category available in societies that recognize three or more genders

Transgender: a blanket term used to describe all people who are not cisgender; occasionally used as “transgendered” but the “ed” is misleading, as it implies something happened to the person to make them transgender, which is not the case

Transitioning: a term used to describe the process of moving from one sex/gender to another, sometimes this is done by hormone or surgical treatments

Transsexual: a person whose gender identity is the binary opposite of their biological sex, who may undergo medical treatments to change their biological sex, often times to align it with their gender identity, or they may live their lives as the opposite sex; often confused with “trans-man”/”trans-woman”

Transvestite: a person who dresses as the binary opposite gender expression (“cross-dresses”) for any one of many reasons, including relaxation, fun, and sexual gratification; often called a “cross-dresser,” and often confused with “transsexual”

Trans-man: a person who was assigned a female sex at birth, but identifies as a man; often confused with “transsexual man” or “FTM”

Trans-woman: a person who was assigned a male sex at birth, but identifies as a woman; often confused with “transsexual woman” or “MTF”

Two-Spirit: a term traditionally used by Native American people to recognize individuals who possess qualities or fulfill roles of both genders

 

Written by Sam Killermann

Sam is a writer and performer who uses those skills as an ally to advance progress in the realms of LGBT equality and social justice. He tours the country speaking to college students about stereotypes, prejudice, and oppression, and writes for this site when he's at home in Austin, TX.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/fongay Francisco Leonardo Ongay

    While I understand the difference between FTM and Trans-Man and between MTF and Trans-Woman (FTM and MTF have already undergone the transition process), I don’t understand why Transexual Man and Transexual Woman are not to be confused with Trans-man and Trans-woman… What is the difference?

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Hi Francisco! Great question, and these are murky waters, as a lot of individuals will define themselves in ways that don’t necessarily follow the generalities I’m relying on here.

      The difference is that “trans-man” generally refers to a “transgender man,” not “transsexual man.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/gbroder Gail Broder

        This is the one term that bothered me (your definition, that is). I would argue that MTF and FTM describe people who may be in transition, as well as those who may have completed their transition. Additionally, not all people who transition choose to use biomedical interventions like surgery or hormone therapy. Once upon a time people used to refer to “pre-op” or “post-op”, but there are a growing number of people who are non-op, for a wide range of reasons. Among the trans people I have interacted with, I find that FTM/MTF are used as synonyms with transman and transwoman, and it is really just a matter of people’s own preference for the term they choose to describe themselves. And like your definition for “transition”, the key is to remember that it is true for SOME people.

        • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

          Hi Gail! Thanks for the comment.

          That’s the issue with so many of these terms, or any young terminology for that matter. There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules and the language shifts regularly, different cliques of people use different terms, and different regions the same.

          Here, I am going with what — from what I’ve been able to glean from my experiences at conferences, reading genderqueer websites, etc. — is true for 51 out of 100 people.

  • Korena

    I don’t understand why you need to specify “cis men and cis women” in the definition of bisexual. Also, bisexuals can be attracted to men and genderqueer people or women and genderqueer people.

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Hi Korena! While that’s certainly possible and is the case for some people who identify as bisexual, generally speaking bisexual = attraction to men or women, while pansexual = equal opportunity attraction to all genders (man, woman, genderqueer, etc.)

      • Korena

        The cis thing is bothering me though. Are you not bisexual if you’re attracted to both cis and trans people?

        • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

          You’re welcome to call yourself bisexual if you’re attracted to genderqueer people, and as I mentioned many people do, but typically that’s where the term “pansexual” is used. That’s the difference between pansexual and bisexual.

          • Korena

            Not all trans people are genderqueer, though. Many, if not most, identify as a binary gender.

          • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

            Haha — I’m well aware that’s possible, considering I just wrote this list of definitions :)

          • http://www.facebook.com/kaycheriward Theo Drake Ward

            Pansexual has a connotation of being “gender-blind” and for those where gender *does* affect their attraction, they don’t like to use pansexual to describe themself. So that’s why there’s another common definition of bisexual: “attracted to people of the same gender and different genders”.

          • Lw Nott

            As far as I’m aware, the concept of ‘gender blind’ is something that not many agree with, since it implies that the gender identity is being ignored, rather than not being a determinant factor in the attraction. The defitnition of pansexuality itself says it, ‘attracted to all genders’, not oblivious to it. And actually, there’s still a chance of a certain preference towards a specific group, just as bisexuals, although that is fluid in most cases, I think.

            Also, while the most common use of the term ‘bisexual’ does refer to those attracted to binary genders, it is also used in the strict etymological sense of the word (attracted to ‘two’ genders), refering to any pair of gender identities, which could be cis or not.

          • Korena

            I just find it a bit problematic and think it would be better if it said “attracted to men and women”. You said to correct you in the comments if you misstepped. The whole point generally is that thrans men are men and trans women are women and I thought you might want to emphasize that instead of having a separate category. Sorry.

          • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

            I find it a bit problematic, too. Most of this labeling stuff is. I revised it to, hopefully, get a better sentiment across.

          • Bailey

            Sam, I just came across this, and I beg to differ. I identify as bisexual, not pansexual, but I can be attracted to people of any gender identity. I actually got a bit angry reading your comments, which sucks, because I don’t want to be angry with you or with anyone, but I feel like my identity is being defined for me here.

            I’m generally attracted to people who fit broadly into masculine and feminine labels, but whether they are cis or trans is a small part of it for me. And while it’s generally who I consider myself attracted to, I find some genderqueer, agender, bigender, etc. people very attractive as well. I guess what I’m saying is that it isn’t quite okay to tell people that bisexual individuals only are attracted to cis people, and on a larger scale, it isn’t quite okay to define anyone’s sexuality, especially not being a part of that group yourself. Sorry.

          • KidddChrisss

            This is my take in it. To be technical, bisexual has the root word, “bi”, which is used to describe two. I am not trying to define your identity. But I agree that what you are describing is pansexual (having the root word that means “all”). This isn’t an attack but just an analysis how these words were formed.

    • Guest

      This is my take in it. To be technical, bisexual has the root word, “bi”, which is used to describe two. I am not trying to define your identity. But I agree that what you are describing is pansexual (having the root word that means “all”). This isn’t an attack but just an analysis how these root words all translate to their definition.

  • Lw Nott

    I believe the terms ‘closeted’, ‘coming out’ and ‘outing (someone)’ are used both to refer to sexuality and gender, not just to the former.
    Also, I’d like to ask something, is it valid to use ‘queer’ instead of the initials, to refer to any group of people who, as you said, falls out of the gender and identity traditional norms? In other words, is ‘queer’ a proper umbrella term, being more inclusive and exhaustive than say, the LGBPTTQQIIAA+ you mentioned? Thanks C:

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Ah, very good point. I’ll revise that. Thanks!

      And I generally use “queer community” or “people who are queer” instead of the initials, as I find it to be most inclusive, and least cumbersome, but there’s plenty of debate about this (a lot of folks who hold my perspective and others who don’t).

  • Samantha

    Sam, nice list. One thing that struck me is whether homo/hetro sexual should refer to being attracted to gender identity/expression rather than sex. For instance a XX-woman who is attracted to a XY-Woman (MTF) would be considered homosexual?

    • Lw Nott

      I think that that’s the main difference between gay/straight and homo/heterosexual. Since the latter are medical terms, they focus on the biological side of the question, thus talking about sex and not gender.
      I met someone who identified as agender but was attracted to women. They didn’t feel comfortable using the term lesbian to define themself, because it meant ‘woman attracted to woman’, and preferred to label themself as homosexual, because when it came to genitalia, they felt attracted to those who shared their biological sex (regardless of gender).

      • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

        I think this is a great way to spin the use of homo-/heterosexual in modern times, but it’s a bit confusing. This is why I like other-based terms for describing attraction so much. No confusion like this!

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Nope, I did not mean to imply that. I think homosexual or heterosexual are far more commonly understood to be gender terms, regardless of their etymology.

  • austin

    Its a pretty good list and im not trying to be confrontational but i think bisexual is defined here in a kinda binarist, cissexist way. Bisexual means attraction to two genders/sexes regardless of which one…and has nothing to do with attraction being towards cis or trans people specifically…. also some define bisexual as liking your same gender and a different one also….those are good non binarist ways to say it…the only other thing that could be improved is when defining trans women you said they express there gender femininly….not always as there are butch trans women and femme trans men….once again not trying to nit pick just some constructive criticism but besides that good list though!

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      AH! So helpful. Both fantastic points, and incredibly easy to implement. Love it. Fixed. Thanks!

  • Katelyn

    So, what is hypersexual? I read it in one of your other articles and chose to come here for a definition first, but there isn’t one. From basic etymology, I can guess at the definition, but I’m not really sure what I think is right.

    • http://www.samuelkillermann.com Sam Killermann

      Hey Katelyn! Great question, and something I should certainly add to the list.

      I’m guessing that you may have already guessed it, but hypersexual simply means an intense, insatiable sexual attraction. It is identity non-specific (can be gyne-, andro-, or even objectophilic), and was recently dismissed by the American Psychiatric Association as a non-medical condition in response to a proposal that it be included in the DSM-V.

      I’ll add it in. Also, in answering this I realized that I left out the terms for describing sexual attraction. Double thanks!

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Hey Katelyn! Great question, and something I should certainly add to the list.

      I’m guessing that you may have already guessed it, but hypersexual simply means an intense, insatiable sexual attraction. It is identity non-specific (can be gyne-, andro-, or even objectophilic), and was recently dismissed by the American Psychiatric Association as a non-medical condition in response to a proposal that it be included in the DSM-V.

  • Estraven

    You are the one who invented the “Platinum Rule,” yet you seem to be defining bisexuality without ASKING any actual bisexuals first. I hope you can understand how oppressive that is.

    Please read this piece on the true difference between bisexuality and pansexuality, written by someone with actual lived experience as a bsexual: http://radicalbi.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/why-i-identify-as-bisexual-and-not-pansexual/

  • Estraven

    And I like the new GSM for Gender and Sexual Minorities. The researchers have been using this for years, and it is spreading into common usage. It is neutral, short, simple, and does not make people’s brains explode.

    Similarly, instead of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, which gets long if you include them all, the researchers just say “sexual prejudice” or sexual prejudice against (particular group). Again, neutral language that make it clear it is a prejudice, not a disease.

  • Thalida Noel

    I feel as if GSM (Gender & Sexual Minorities) or GSMA (Gender/Sexual Minorities & Allies) should go up top with LGBPTTQQIIAA+ – while GSM(A) isn’t a widely used term, I’m advocating that it gets more use so that we have a general umbrella term for the entire community with out excluding anyone, lumping people together in the +, or giving some sort of preference to aspects of the community. Yes, it’s an entirely new acronym for people to get used to – but it’s the most inclusive and general term we have.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/zachary.rapport Zachary Rapport

    Hi Sam —

    Thank you for the wonderful work you have done and are doing. My professors are handing out the Genderbread Person at my college.

    1.) Since Kinsey’s research indicates that most people are bisexual, then bisexuality does not qualify as a minority sexuality. While a 100% heterosexual orientation is the pretended majority orientation, it’s actually a minoroty orientation. Thoughts?

    2.) What is the purpose of excluding “heterosexual” from the LGBTQQIAA? I understand those letters are meant to describe identities in the queer community. However, if we add “H” (for heterosexual) or “S” (for straight), we would have a comprehensive list of identities for human beings. Perhaps an inclusive list of all identities would serve a greater purpose than excluding heterosexuals. Then, everyone could find themselves on the list. Thoughts?

  • Zachary

    Hi Sam —

    Thank you for the wonderful work you have done and are doing. My professors are handing out the Genderbread Person at my college.

    1.) Since Kinsey’s research indicates that most people are bisexual, then bisexuality does not qualify as a minority sexuality. While a 100% heterosexual orientation is the pretended majority orientation, it’s actually a minoroty orientation. Thoughts?

    2.) What is the purpose of excluding “heterosexual” from the LGBTQQIAA? I understand those letters are meant to describe identities in the queer community. However, if we add “H” (for heterosexual) or “S” (for straight), we would have a comprehensive list of identities for human beings. Perhaps an inclusive list of all identities would serve a greater purpose than excluding heterosexuals. Then, everyone could find themselves on the list. Thoughts?

    • Moon

      Unfortunately, this is heteronormative thinking and a demonstration of heterosexual privilege. This alphabet soup is intended to address minority genders and sexual orientations, not be inclusive of “all” gender and sexual orientations. Want cigender heterosexual representation? Go anywhere else. You don’t get to abscond with this.

      • Gem

        Surely it would be better to have an all-inclusive term so as to prevent segregation, and eliminate any feeling of ‘them and us’?

      • Zachary

        You don’t have to be such a jerk about it, “moon”.

  • g.f.

    Just a small thing that needs to be addressed. I think that the word biphobia should be in there because of the amount of it from some sections of the LG community and from (mostly homophobic as well) straight people.

  • Aiden

    What about trigender? I don’t think there’s enough info out there about us, I was hoping that we’d be in here somewhere :(

  • Tel

    Thanks for making the list! A few suggestions:

    * At the top, you could put a note about how, while these are all good and clear definitions, some people use different ones so one should ask them what they mean by a word if one is unsure.

    * I think QUILTBAG(PIPE) should get a special mention under the LGBPTTQQIIAA+ section, since it is a different arrangement to the standard LGBTsomethingorother. And it’s fun.

    * “Ally” should probably be given a second definition to include cisgenders (of any sexuality) supportive of trans* people.

    * How obscure do you want to get with the sexualities? There are some constructed terms I have heard that are very rare but still used by a few people, and understandably not (yet) included on the list.
    ** Demisexual: A person who is only sexually attracted to people they are romantically attracted to (though they can be romantically attracted to someone without sexual attraction. This one is very obscure.
    ** Omnisexual: Sometimes the same as pansexual, sometimes meaning attraction to anyone or anything, human or nonhuman.
    ** Poly-anything: Whilst polyarmourous people may be gay, straight, pan, or of any orientation, issues surrounding them are often linked to LGBT+ items, so definitions about polyarmoury (and how it is distinct from polygyny) may or may not belong on this list.
    ** Romantic orientation: A more widespread idea, this is a measure of who you are romantically attracted to as being distinct from who you are sexually attracted to. A girl might be homosexual but panromantic, for instance, meaning that they only sleep with girls but they can be in a romantic relationship with someone of any gender.

    • Seamus

      I also vote for the inclusion of these lesser known terms (if this is a democratic stage :) ). Recognizing that sexual attraction and romantic attraction aren’t always the same is new but pretty important. I’m thinking about the “comedy” bit where the guy is young or drunk and sleeps with the other guy and then is totally freaked out, and it’s played for laughs. Yet plenty such people exist who feel sexual attraction for a gender that they would not want to commence a romance with and there is no good cultural framework at present for understanding those feelings.

    • Allie

      I may be wrong on this, I though Omnisexual meant the sexual attraction to all binary or non-binary genders with a few exceptions. So, it’s like pansexuality, minus one to several choice sexualities.
      Also, about the romantic orientation, there are also people who never have a romantic attraction, but may or may not feel a sexual attraction.

  • Maiya78

    I haven’t read through this all the way yet, but as a transperson, I feel a need to point out some flaws.
    First, “female” does not necessarily require XX. Besides the fact that there are transwomen (and how dare you exclude them from being females), cisgendered women are occaisionally born without XX (instead having XO, XY, XXX, etc). How dare you say none of them are real females?
    My next qualm (I stopped reading after this one, though I may continue later) is with your definitions of MtF and FtM. These are not just used for those who have transitioned, but also for those who plan to do so. I am on my phone right now and it’s a bit hard to scroll up to check, so on the off-chance you didn’t consider transpeople to legitimately be of their gender irrespective of their ability to acquire certain surgeries, I must say that you are wrong there as well (if you didn’t make this mistake, then kudos and many thanks to you!)
    You don’t seem like you intended to propogate such misinformation, so I just wanted to leave a comment that fixed some things. Please update the article with improved definitions! :3
    Thanks, and have a good day! :)

    • N.

      I think you may have confused “gender” with “sex”, as described in the above definitions. “Female,” as a biological sex category, does indeed mean the XX genotype, just as “male” means XY. This does not, however, mean that you must be XX to be considered a woman (where “woman” is a gender category, not a sex category). Except for rare and (often medically deleterious) aneuploidy (XXY, XO, XYY, etc.), the human species consists of two sexes: male and female, with genotypes XY and XX, similar to the vast majority (if not all) of our fellow mammals. HOW those sexes actually manifest themselves as genders is, of course, a completely different story.

      • Timothy David Cruise

        This is debatable. Some authorities, such as the APA, avoid defining sex by any one factor, so that an individual with all but one sex marker of “female” may still be classified as female, even if that one sex marker is the chromosones. The question to debate is whether it is useful to classify someone with all but one sex marker as “intersex” in formal terms.

        Note also that your definition of rare might be a little weird, given that intersex prevalence may be as high as 1.7% depending on how you define it. See http://www.isna.org/faq/frequency for a general breakdown.

      • Guest

        ok so now I am even more confused!! XO sex determination is used by grass hoppers, crickets, cockroaches etc. XO (or 1 X) is male is XX (or 2 X) is female, ok so I just googled it (this is what happens when environmental science meets medical science lol) I’m going to go educate myself on Turner syndrome right now :)

  • Dani

    Hi, great list! Big fan of everything you do. Also, I’m extremely impressed by you taking up this enormous and tangled web of definitions. This terminology is young and constantly shifting. So, good luck on defeating the Hydra!

    One thing I’d like to propose (and a side effect) as an addition is the term “Non-binary” (gender) as well as maybe a mention of pronoun choice? Non-binary is kind of a confusing term and I know it can probably be used for a few different things. The one big underpinning is a connotational opposition to binary genders (thus, sexualities). I’ve personally been using it to refer to myself as a simplification term for genderfluid and to imply the preference of non-gendered pronouns. Not sure exactly how you could implement this, but I think the idea of “simplification of fluidity/queerness with binary edges removed” is a good ticket.

    As for pronouns, I’ve seen you write about non-gendered pronouns before (I think? I read too much on the internet. If not, you totally need to!), so they deserve an inclusion in this list I’d say since the idea of a person defining their personal pronoun preference isn’t something that’s widely known. So maybe the terms “preferred gender pronouns (PGP)” and “non-gendered pronouns” (like singular they, ze/hir/etc.) could be added.

    One final thing that occurred to me when typing this… we kind of have a lot of ideas coming together when providing queer definitions (gender, sex, sexuality, romantic alignment, gender expression, and more!) so it can get amalgamated, I wonder if a color-coded tagging system or something might help improve understandability of each terms’ domain?

    Thanks for all you do. Keep being amazing! Cheers.

  • Ori

    I love this ^_^
    Was just kinda hoping information about romantic minorities and people who are demisexual would be in here…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Deanna.Hallmark Deanna Joy Hallmark

    Very comprehensive, thank you, but I think you left out “transphobia” which I believe can include people who are okay with the idea of being transgender and transitioning but are unwilling to see a particular person who they have known before transition in their preferred identity and/or form of expression even with the alteration of identity documents such as driver’s licenses which reflect the way in which the transitioning person wishes to be regarded with respect to gender. That’s a mouth full!

  • Sunny

    Girlfag: a person assigned female at birth who feels a strong attraction to gay and bisexual men. (Different from a fag hag or from the female equivalent to the stereotype of guys liking “lesbian” porn.)

    • Baddy Highskilled

      So you like gay porn. That is a fetish, not a gender specific affection.

  • Scott

    When I attempt to define my identity, I make no attempt to secure my being, my thoughts, my morality with gender or any other irrelevant and confining prejudicial tag. I think attempting to do so only provides a label by which we become grouped, in order to be scrutinized and be compared with others – and to what end? It becomes the stuff boarders are made of, and such delineation has proven to be harmful. Our differences should be celebrated like flavours are – every one of us being unique. Believer it or not, like snowflakes and fingerprints, not all strawberries taste the same, and even if they did – how would you know? As relationships go, the need to identify with a group becomes convenient, and as the basic human need to belong is “natural” – we should all embrace humanity as your family – and honestly leave any further defining of self, or identity as a discernible category or subcategory of being based on behavior, alone. Attempting to confuse the mind by separating it from the body and heart and soul is really an exercise in defining a group that you may not actually belong to, but conform to in order to belong. You are who you are – be proud. If you continue to identify people by groups with identifiable differences, eventually you will have a name for people like you and people like me: those names would boil down to simply: You and Me. There need not be anything more specific. So the next time someone asks you about who you are – don’t be so quick to answer, think about it a little and you will find – you change every so slightly, all of the time, and is there any real point to trying to answer that question in these terms in the first place? If a label helps you, pick a new name for yourself. If you really struggle with your body, seek help, but try not to identify yourself by limiting it to a term that defines you – only you can define you. These clinical definitions do not justify or otherwise validate how you should be feeling unless they actually do. But to let them define you is completely wrong and very harmful to our mutual coexistence and respect for each other as a whole group of people and a race of being.

  • Sam

    CFAAB: coercively female assigned at birth – an intersex person who was forced by doctors/parents to become exclusively female based upon the appearance of their genitalia which is often surgically altered

    CMAAB: coercively male assigned at birth – an intersex person who was forced by doctors/parents to become exclusively male based upon the appearance of their genitalia which is often surgically altered

  • Ellen

    what is the term for a person who doesn’t find physical/emotional attraction to anybody, unless they find just one person who they connect with? or basically someone who is waiting for one person

    • Noah Scott

      Once Single-Point Sexuality was used but Demisexual has taken its place colloquially.

  • Helen Acosta

    I’d like more representation of non-monosexual terms in this list:

    monosexism, non-monosexual, bi-erasure, biphobia

  • jack

    i have some problems with your definitions. Defining female as some one who has ovaries, breasts etc is not only (and obviously) insulting to trans women who may or may not have all those “parts” but also excluded women who may have had a hysto. Transsexuals do not live as the “opposite sex” they live as who they are. Transvestite is not used in English so much anymore, as it can be considered derogatory. trans man, ftm, transexual man are interchangeably used by many in the community and isn’t a “confused with” situation. I think it’s really important that if you are going to put these terms out in the world that you spend the time researching how the queer and especially the trans community defines them.

    • Noah Scott

      Typically when getting into in depth discussion Female is used to discribe sex not gender.

  • chelci

    Whats the term for not falling in love with any gender….like I’m not bill but I’m not straight either

    • Noah Scott

      Aromantic+any sexuality you are.

  • Anon

    GSRM is a good term and I would use it. But some straight people are trying to get included in that by saying kinky sex is a sexual minority and they should be included. Imo the acronym should be only for queer people, which lgbtqia+ does. GSRM could be a potential better acronym though there would just have to be some changes probably.

  • tennersherley_g

    Recently I was REALLY low on money and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money.. on the internet! I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills! I’m so glad, I did this! – s1qt

  • bobowitz

    this is gonna piss some people off REAL bad, so let me do some explaining before I lay down this comment. I belive in equal rights for men, women, gay, lesbian, transsexual, any one who is attracted to either or neither gender, or someone who identifies with neither gender. HOWEVER; I really dont understand the necessity for all these ‘terms’ to me, someone is either male, female, or neither. If someone starts out male, and gets a change to female, they are female. So when all these terms come into play it really just A.pisses me off. and B. confuses me. that is smaller then my second point, which will make people want to kill me; how the hell is third gender something. if nature started out with man or women, hoe can you be… something else. I have many more problems with many of the terms here, but neither enough time or patience to go through it all. call me a ____-phobic ass, but unless you can give me a good reason to use these terms, I dont care. Inb4 to account for others feelings, you cant please everyone.

    • Aline M

      If you don’t feel as though learning some new vocabulary is within your grasp, that’s your problem. I can lend you some children’s books, if you’d like, that ought not require you to pick up a dictionary.

  • dildosexual – only in love wit

    I don’t think you can put a definition on anyone’s sexual orientation because everyone has different experiences, feelings, desires, opinions etc etc. You could make up names and terms till the cows come home, but at the end of the day we shouldn’t need these labels because you just get hurt and confused – I’ve been identifying as Pansexual and this website says I’m wrong and that I’m something else. I can not wait till the day when people just live their lives rather then spending half of it confused and scared.

  • Vi

    Omnisexual, which is another name for pansexual people.

    • Anit

      Eeeeexcept that the definition clearly explains how it’s not? Thanks for the erasure though.

  • Dani

    Thanks for this, it really clears things up :)

  • Katie

    The definition for bisexual used by every major bisexual organization is “attraction to same and other genders”. Bi does not mean two. Having it defined here as attraction to same and another gender is wrong and misleading, and doesn’t describe all bisexuals. “Same and other” instead of “same and another” is much more accurate and inclusive. Thanks.

  • wells

    yay for including asexual! I would say that asexuals do NOT expirence sexual attraction. Some other terms you may want to add: Demisexual and greysexual.

  • The Order Of Chaos.

    Why can’t any of these be quantified properly? This is like saying 1+1+1+1=4 when it can simply be put as 2+2=4. Most of these mean the same thing as the other. And someone tell me why homosexual is offensive? That’s just stupid… It is a word that describes a fact. The sun shines, that’s a fact. Does anyone complain about that fact? No, didn’t think so…

  • Jarnsaxa

    Your list o wonders is missing polysexual =)

  • Belinda Hainge

    well that didn’t really clear things up for me hahaha. So a man that’s with drag queen only when they are in drag is a ??? and a man and woman couple that prefer anal is a ??? and last but not least 2 down-syndrome people doing it any style is ???

    • Belinda Hainge

      then reading through here someone mentions XO (how cockroaches, crickets etc. determine their sex) and I didn’t even realise that was an option in humans so now want to also know …. if someone with Down syndrome is with someone with Turner syndrome (I’m assuming it would be impossible for them to breed) would that just be considered a normal couple lol, this is some confusing stuff and I think I’m Bisexual and Bigender

  • Robert

    As a cis-man (I think, 2/3 at least) who wants to be an ally, let me just say THANK YOU for making this list. I often get lost in the terminology because I am not a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and thus unfamiliar with many of the words, and this is an invaluable guide to helping me sort it all out.

    • EFTROM

      DIE, CIS SCUM!

  • Jasper

    Look, it’s cissexist to classify anatomy as male or female. ovaries, penises, breasts, vaginas, and testicles do not have genders. To classify body parts as male or female implicitly classifies the people attached to them as male or female, which the individual may not identify as. Let individuals affix genders to their own genitalia. For example, I’m not female, so neither is my vagina, but other individuals with vaginas will identify otherwise.

    • Bob

      The most nonsensical gibberish I’ve ever read.

      • Jasper

        1) Gender and sex are not the same thing. Gender is how someone self-identifies. Sex is their reproductive anatomy and chromosomes.
        2) Female and male are gender identities. Reproductive anatomy does not have any relationship to gender identity.
        3) Some transgender people (including myself) are offended by implications that body parts have genders. (Other transgender people disagree.)
        4) Implying that a body part has a certain gender implies that the person attached to it has that gender. However, that person might not identify as the gender society has assigned to the body part attached to them.

        Does this help?

  • julesteacher

    how come there is no definition of lesbian?

  • Ann

    Can somebody help me out? I’ve got a few questions…
    1. What pronoun(s) are used/preferred for people who identify outside of the gender binary? Or how to get past the awkward English usage of he or she?
    2. How is gynesexual pronounced? (I think even as a ciswoman person I’d prefer this term)
    3. Does gynesexual imply an exclusive attraction toward females/women/femininity or does it relate to anyone who feels such attraction?
    4. (Perhaps not worth asking/answering)…Does sometimes feeling like a man or just not quite like a woman because of sexual attraction mean the possibility of a gender fluid identity or is it more likely that it is simply a symptom of internalized heterosexism?

    • Jasper

      1) If you don’t know an individual’s pronouns, use they/them/their/themself. There are many pronouns used by people outside the gender binary, and picking one is, for many people, a step in coming out. Ask the individual. The most common ones are listed here: http://askanonbinary.tumblr.com/post/74544202338/list-of-pronouns
      2 and 3 I don’t know
      4) Nobody can understand your gender or sexuality better than you. I honestly have no idea how you feel and, as a stranger on the internet, can’t understand your feelings by reading a paragraph you wrote. However, if you’re worried about your internalized heterosexism messing up your gender identity, keep in mind most people have WAAY more internalized cissexism than internalized heterosexism and that this won’t help your understanding of your gender either.
      Also note that queer transgender people (ie, transgender people with some romantic attraction to other members of the gender they are) exist.

  • Wtf

    Too many.