Part of building a respectful, affirming, and inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community means understanding and using the correct terminology. We understand it can all be confusing. That's why we've put together a glossary of common terms to help you out! Click on the words below to reveal their definition.
An identity used by individuals whose gender identity/expression differs from the gender they were assigned, but is not a binary "male" or "female." Similar terms include "Genderqueer," and "Agender." These identities are unique from person to person, and benefit from questions such as "how can I address you?" or "What are your pronouns?"
A sexual orientation used for men who experience attraction to other men. Not all men who engage in sexual behaviors with other men will identify with this term.
This term can also be used by women who experience attraction to other women, or as an umbrella term to (inaccurately) refer to the entire LGBTQ community.
Historically used as a slur, this term is used by some individuals as an umbrella term for any person who is non-heterosexual and/or non-cisgender. This term can also be used as a sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
A procedure (or series procedures) used to modify a person's body to be more congruent with one's gender identity. Also known as Gender Confirming Surgery. Previously called "Sex Reassignment Surgery" (not a preferred term, often used related to health insurance).
Some phrases can be unintentionally insensitive or offensive to members of the LGBTQ+ community. Click on the words or phrases to reveal more inclusive options.
Better: Sexual Orientation, Gay/Lesbian
A person's identity is valid, even if it does not persist.
Better: Legal name, Name on your insurance card
Better: Transgender person, Transgender people
Better: Ask about identity, Use a person's preferred name and pronouns
There is no reason to use these words.
Better: Identifies as a man, Identifies as a woman
Using gender-inclusive language respects other peoples' gender identities and removes assumption.
"good morning, folks!"
"and for you?"
"can I get you all something?"