Glossary of Terms
We hope that these terms will serve as a resource for you when learning about the LGBTQ community. Please note, that some terms are loosely defined and some members of the LGBTQ community may disagree with how we've defined an identity.
LGBTQ – An acronym for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Queer/Questioning"
Gay – A word describing a man or a woman who is emotionally, romantically, sexually and relationally attracted to members of the same sex.
Lesbian – A woman who is emotionally, romantically, sexually and relationally attracted to other women.
Bisexual – A person emotionally, romantically, sexually and relationally attracted to both men and women, though not necessarily simultaneously; a bisexual person may not be equally attracted to both sexes, and the degree of attraction may vary as sexual identity develops over time.
Queer – A term that is inclusive of people who are not heterosexual.
Transgender – A term describing a broad range of people who experience and/or express their gender differently from what most people expect. It is an umbrella term that includes people who are transsexual, cross-dressers or otherwise gender non-conforming.
Gender Expression – How a person behaves, appears or presents him- or herself with regard to societal expectations of gender.
Gender Identity – The gender role that a person claims for his or her self — which may or may not align with his or her physical gender.
Genderqueer – A word people use to describe their own nonstandard gender identity, or by those who do not conform to traditional gender norms.
Same-Gender Loving – A term some prefer to use instead of "gay" or "lesbian" to express attraction to and love of people of the same gender.
Sexual Orientation – An enduring emotional, romantic, sexual and relational attraction to another person; may be a same-sex orientation, opposite-sex orientation or bisexual orientation.
Sexual Preference – What a person likes or prefers to do sexually; a conscious recognition or choice not to be confused with sexual orientation. This term can seem offensive.
Ally – A person who supports and honors sexual diversity, acts accordingly to challenge homophobic remarks and behaviors and explores and understands these forms of bias within him- or herself.
Homophobia – The fear and hatred of or discomfort with people who love and are sexually attracted to members of the same sex.
Transphobia – the fear and hatred of, or discomfort with, people whose gender identity or gender expression do not conform to cultural gender norms.