Recurring terms

There are some words and ideas that will refer to a lot on this website. For those familiar with these concepts already, it would be tedious (and unreadable) to go into detail every time we mention something. However, we are aware that these are important ideas that need to be established before more complicated ideas are to be understood.

Therefore, we have correlated this page, which you may have been linked to from another article, which will explain these key ideas.

Sexuality

A person’s sexuality is who they are sexually attracted to. This includes genders, how intense the feelings are, how the feelings fluctuate, and the conditions in which they are experienced.

Sexual attraction is sometimes understood as having a heightened interest in someone due to stimulating sexual desire or arousal. There are many different ways of explaining sexuality and sexual attraction, or even what constitutes a sexual act; this is merely a brief description.

Gender vs Sex

A lot of us are taught, from a young age, that sex and gender are the same thing. This is not true, as the rest of this site will explore. Let’s first of all make the distinction.

Examples of sex are male, female and intersex. Sex is expressed by organs, body and facial hair, chromosomes and hormones, to name but a few. Ideally we see those with facial hair, a penis and broad shoulders as male, but this is not necessarily the case. In terms of trans individuals, the phrase “sex at birth” is sometimes used.

Examples of gender are man, woman and non-binary. Gender is accepted to be a complicated subject but we hope this website goes a little way to helping you understand it better. Your gender identity is decided by you alone, and may or may not be related to gender norms expressed by society (clothing, interests, and income, to name but a few).

Pronouns

You may be familiar with he/him and she/her when referring to others (in the English language). However there are a multitude of other ways of referring to someone, from the more recognisable they/them, to a possibly more unfamiliar xe/hir.

He is watering the plants.
I saw them yesterday.
I like her cat.
Has xe been here?

When you meet someone, try asking for their pronouns! That way you’ll know how to refer to them in a way that makes them comfortable.

A to Z

Allo-
Also known as zed-, the opposite of “a”. For example, someone who is allosexual does experience sexual attraction.

Ally
Someone who does not identify as LGBTQ+, but actively supports the community. Or, someone who supports another branch of the community; for example “I’m a lesbian and I’m a trans ally.”

Binary
The way society divides sex and gender into only two categories: male/men and female/women. Seen as too rigid by many in the LGBTQ+ community.

Cisgender
A person whose gender identity is the same as their sex and/or gender assigned at birth.

Community
A collective group of LGBTQ+ people, either in a localised area or as a whole. This is typically expressed by everyone being united by common identities, cultures and/or social goals.

DFAB
Also AFAB: designated/assigned female at birth. A term most often used by trans and intersex people to actively disconnect their sex and gender.

DMAB
Also AMAB: designated/assigned male at birth. A term most often used by trans and intersex people to actively disconnect their sex and gender.

Dysphoria
Distress or unhappiness experienced because one’s gender does not match their sex and/or gender assigned at birth.

Enby
A colloquial term for a non-binary person (coming from NB being used as shorthand).

Erasure
When an identity is given insufficient representation, made invisible, or its existence is invalidated.

Heterosexual
Being attracted to the other binary gender. For example, a heterosexual man is interested in women.

Gender nonconforming
An umbrella term that refers to people who identify and/or express themselves in ways that are different from society’s binary norms.

LGBTQ+
Stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, plus other identities that are not straight and/or cisgender. There are other acronyms used, but this is the one this website uses as standard.

Questioning
Being unsure of one’s sexual or romantic orientation or gender identity.

SGL
Same gender loving. A term that mostly refers to black LGBTQ+ people.

Society
The dominant community of people, laws, traditions, values, and culture in a particular area.

Spectrum
Concepts and models of identities that challenge mainstream beliefs about the rigidity of sexuality and gender. Spectrums illustrate that people can exist in the spaces between the more commonly established identities.

Transitioning
The process of accepting oneself and/or pursuing changes in order to affirm one’s gender and/or alleviate dysphoria.

Umbrella term
A word or phrase that collectively describes or refers to more than one identity/orientation/group of people. Many of the umbrella terms included on the website can also double as specific, or stand-alone identities.

Zed
Also known as allo-, the opposite of “a”. For example, someone who is zedsexual does experience sexual attraction.