LGBT+ Glossary

Agender

Someone who identifies as having no gender or being without a gender identity (also called genderless, non-gendered or ungendered).

Ally

A person who is not a member of a particular community (or sub-group within a community) but supports that community's rights, challenges negative or offensive attitudes and language, and encourages inclusivity. 

Aromantic (Aro)

Someone who experiences no, or very little, romantic attraction to others.

Asexual (Ace)

Someone who experiences no, or very little, sexual attraction to others.

Bear

A term used in gay culture to describe larger, hairier men who present themselves in a masculine way.

Bisexual

Someone who is attracted to both men and women.

Binding

When someone with breasts uses a binder or alternative material to push breasts tight to the chest, giving the appearance of a flatter chest. This can cause serious health problems if done incorrectly, or without a binder fit for purpose.

Cisgender/Cis

Someone whose gender identity matches with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Deadnaming

Using someone’s birth name after they’ve changed their name. This could be a crime if it’s done with an intent to distress.

Demiromantic

Someone who only experiences romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection with another person.

Demisexual

When someone needs to develop a deep meaningful connection with someone before sexual feelings can occur.

Gay

Someone who is attracted to the same gender as themselves (most commonly by men attracted to other men). 

Gender Binary

The concept of grouping people into two separate genders; male or female. Some things, like birth certificates in the UK, still require information in a gender binary.

Gender Dysphoria

When discomfort or distress are caused by someone’s gender identity not matching the sex they were assigned at birth. 

Gender Identity

A person’s internal sense of being male, female, some combination of male and female, or neither male nor female. Gender identities aren’t always fixed, and can be fluid.

Gender Spectrum

The concept of male and female being at either side of a spectrum, where people can have identify as male, female, somewhere in-between (non-binary, see definition below) or neither.

Grey-asexual

A sexuality where people rarely experience sexual attraction/desire, or only experience it under certain conditions.

Grey-aromantic

Someone who rarely experiences romantic attraction or desire for a romantic relationship, or may only experience it under certain conditions.

Intersex

When a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.

Lesbian

A woman who is attracted to other women.

Non-binary

Non-binary is a spectrum of gender identities which are not exclusively masculine or feminine; this may be a combination of both or neither. 

Pan

Someone who can be romantically and/or sexually attracted to anyone, regardless of gender (panromantic or pansexual). 

Pronouns

Words used when talking about something or someone (e.g. I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, us and them). Pronouns can form an important part in a person's gender identity; using gendered pronouns (he/she) is quite common in the UK. However, some people use different pronouns to the sex they were were assigned at birth, and others prefer gender neutral pronouns, like they and them. If you're unsure of someone's pronouns, you can use neutral pronouns, use their name, or ask them what their preferred pronouns are.

Queer

A term which has previously been used as an insult to LGBT+ people; some still consider it an offensive term. It can also be used by some people to describe their sexuality or gender identity. 

Sex

Decided by a health professional at birth based on someone’s genitals/genes. In the UK, the two options available at birth are “male” or “female”.

Sexuality

A person’s sexual orientation or preference.

Transgender/Trans

Someone whose gender identity does not match with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Transsexual

This was used in the past as a more medical term to refer to transgender people. This term is still used by some, although many people prefer the term trans or transgender and some find the term “transsexual” offensive and outdated.

LGBT Stoke is a service provided by the Sexual Health Prevention Team from Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust