Ally – Anyone straight or LGBT who supports and stands up for the rights of LGBTQ people.

Asexual – A person who is not sexually attracted to anyone or does not have a sexual orientation.  Can experience libido or not, and may be aromantic or not.

Biological Sex – Our packaging, determined by our chromosomes, hormones, and internal and external genitalia.

Bisexual – A term given to people who are attracted sexually and emotionally to some males and females.

Cisgender – Describes someone who feels comfortable with the gender identity and gender expression expectations assigned to them at birth based on their physical sex.

Coming Out – To disclose one’s identity as a LGBTA person to others.

Dyke – Derogatory term referring to a masculine lesbian.  Sometimes adopted affirmatively by lesbians (not necessarily masculine ones) to refer to themselves.

Gay – A term given to males who are attracted sexually and emotionally to some other males.

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

Gender Expression – The ways in which people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, haircut, etc.

Gender Identity – Our innermost feeling of ourselves as “male”, “female” or somewhere in between.

Gender Role – Society’s expectations about our behavior and appearance based on our sex.

Genderqueer – A gender variant person whose gender identity is neither male nor female, is between or beyond genders, or is some combination of genders.  Often includes a political agenda to challenge stereotypes and the gender binary system.

Heterosexism – A bias against homosexuality rooted in belief that heterosexuality is superior or the norm.

In the Closet – Refers to a homosexual, bisexual, transperson or intersex person who will not or cannot disclose their sex, sexuality, sexual orientation or gender identity to their friends, family, co-workers, or society.  Also known as ‘down low’ or ‘DL’.

Intersex Person – Someone whose sex a doctor has difficult time categorizing as either male or female.  A person whose combination of chromosomes, gonads, hormones, internal sex organs, and/or genitals differs from one of the two expected patterns.

Lesbian – A term given to females who are attracted sexually and emotionally to some other females.

Outing – Involuntary disclosure of one’s own sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status.

Pansexual – A person who is sexually attracted to all or many gender expressions.

Privilege – A right or resource that one group has access to and from which other groups are denied.

Queer – A reclaimed word that was formerly used solely as a slur but that has been semantically overturned by members of the maligned group, who use it as a term of defiant pride. People who are in the process of figuring out their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Same-gender Loving – A term from the African American community used by people of color who may see gay and lesbian as terms of the white LGBTQ community.

Sexual Identity – This is what we call ourselves in terms of our sexuality (gay, straight, lesbian, bi, etc.)

Sexual Orientation – This is determined by the sex of the person one is attracted to and encompasses our sexual drives, desires, and fantasies.

Transgender – A broad term for all people who do not match society’s expectations regarding gender, including transsexuals and cross dressers.

Transphobia – The irrational fear of those who are gender variant and/or the inability to deal with gender ambiguity.

Transsexual – People whose sense of themselves as male or female is different from their biological sex.  Sometimes they hormonally and/or surgically change their bodies to more fully match their gender identity.

Two-spirit – Native American term for a person born with one biological sex and fulfilling at least some of the gender roles assigned to both sexes; considered to be part male and part female or wholly male and wholly female; often revered as a natural peace maker, healer and shaman.