LGBTQ2+ – The vocabulary of sexual diversity and gender pluralism

The increasingly elaborate vocabulary related to sexual diversity and gender pluralism occasionally uses neologisms. The LGBTQ2+ acronym and certain terms are widely known. However, some of the letters in the acronym are more recent, and not as well known. Several resources list the terms and their definitions as they relate to diversity. We extracted the following from different sources. To consult them, see the links below.

Bisexual – an individual who is attracted to, and may form sexual and romantic relationships with women and men.

Cisgender – identifying with the same gender that one was assigned at birth.

Coming out – is the process of becoming aware of one’s queer sexual orientation, one’s 2-Spirit or trans identity, accepting it and telling others about it.

Gender dysphoria – is a medical diagnosis of distress and dysfunctions experienced by some trans individuals with respect to their transition paths (family, work, etc.) and the transphobia they encounter.

Gender non-confirming – people who do not conform to society’s expectations for their gender roles or gender expression. Some people prefer the term “gender-variant” among other terms.

Homophobia – fear or hatred of, aversion to, and discrimination against homosexuals or homosexual behaviours.

Homosexual – a person who is mostly attracted to people of their own gender. Because this term has been widely used negatively and/or in a cold and clinical way, most homosexuals prefer the terms “lesbian”, “gay” or “queer”.

Intersex – intersex people have a set of sex characteristics or intersex traits (chromosomes, gonads, hormones or genitalia) that do not match the binary medical definition of a male or female body.

Non-binary – a person whose gender identity falls outside the bounds of male-female binary. Such people often prefer to use gender-neutral pronouns such as “they” in reference to themselves.

Questioning – those in the process of exploring personal issues of sexual orientation and gender identity as well as choosing not to identify with any other label.

Transfeminine – people who identify as trans, and who identify their gender expression as feminine.

Trans man – someone who identifies as trans and whose gender identity is male.

Transphobia – encompasses all negative attitudes that can lead to discrimination (harassment, rejection, violence, etc.) against a trans individual or people who don’t conform to stereotypes of masculinity or femininity.

Two-spirit – A term used by Indigenous People to describe from a cultural perspective people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or intersex. It is used to capture a concept that exists in many different Indigenous cultures and languages. For some, the term two-spirit describes a societal and spiritual role that certain people played within traditional societies; they were often mediators, keepers of certain ceremonies; they transcended accepted roles of men and women, and filled a role as an established middle gender.

Queer – someone who has chosen this term as a reflection of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.