U V W X Y Z
Someone who advocates
for and supports members of a community other than their own, reaching across
differences to achieve mutual goals.
evident sex or sex organs. In usage, may refer to a person who is not sexually
active, or not sexually attracted to other people.
Anarquist - A queer anarchist. Also another name for the annual
Queeruption festival. See Queeruption.
Also called "Two-Spirit", or even one of the "third
gender." In many Native American cultures some individuals are respected and
looked upon as people who are both male and female, making them more complete,
more balanced than those who identify as men or women. Before those from Europe
came from across the waters and took over native land, these people were part
of the "norm", connected with the very heartbeat of the life force we are all
part of. Even today, beardaches are accepted in many American Indian societies
and in other settings. See Intersex, Transgender.
This can be considered our “packaging” and is determined by our chromosomes
(XX for females; XY for males); our hormones (estrogen/progesterone for females,
testosterone for males); and our internal and external genitalia (vulva,
clitoris, vagina, etc for females; penis, testicles, etc for males). About
1.7% of the population can be defined as intersexual—born with biological
aspects of both sexes to varying degrees. So, in actuality, there are more than
Biphobia - The
irrational fear and intolerance of people who are bisexual.
The sex an individual is assigned at birth,
determined by normalized categorize of genetic and physical characteristics.
Also bi. A person who is attracted to two
sexes or two genders, but not necessarily simultaneously or equally. This used
to be defined as a person who is attracted to both genders or both sexes, but
since there are not only two sexes (see intersex and transsexual) and there are
not only two genders (see transgender), this definition is inaccurate.
Coming Out (of the Closet)
To be “in the closet” means to hide one's
identity. Many LGBT people are “out” in some situations and “closeted” in
others. To “come out” is to publicly declare one's identity, sometimes to one
person in conversation, sometimes to a group or in a public setting. Coming Out
is a life-long process—in each new situation a person must decide whether or not
to come out. Coming out can be difficult for some because reactions vary from
complete acceptance and support to disapproval, rejection and violence.
To wear the
A person who cross dresses.
The act of dressing in gendered clothing as part of a performance. Drag Queens
perform in highly feminine attire. Drag Kings perform in highly masculine
attire. Drag may be performed as a political comment on gender, as parody or
simply as entertainment. Drag performance does not indicate sexuality, gender
identity, or sex identity.
Queen or Drag King
– See Drag.
En Travesti - (literally "cross-dressed") was the conventional theatrical
portrayal of women by male actors in drag. Up to the late 17th Century this was
necessary because the law considered performance on stage by actual women to
Colloquial term used to identify other LGBTIQ community members.
For example, an LGBTIQ person saying, "that person is family"
often means that the person they are referring to is LGBTIQ as well.
Family of Choice (Chosen
Persons or group of people can individual sees as
significant in his or her life. It may include none, all, or some members of his
or her family of origin. In addition, it may include individuals such as
significant others, domestic partners, friends, and coworkers.
Female to Male Transsexual. See Transsexual, MTF.
A term given to males who
are attracted sexually and emotionally to some other males. Colloquially used as
an umbrella term to include all LGBTQQI persons.
A socially constructed
system of classification that ascribes qualities of masculinity and feminity to
people. Gender characteristics can change over time and are different between
cultures. Words that refer to gender include: man, woman, transgender,
masculine, feminine, and gender queer.
One's sense of self as masculine or feminine regardless of external
genitalia. Gender is often conflated with sex. This is inaccurate because sex
refers to bodies and gender refers to personality characteristics.
Gender Binary - The
notion that everyone in our world is exclusively either male or female. Today we
recognize that people exist outside of this binary, with the transgendered and
intersexual included. This is commonly the basis for which transgendered and
intersexual persons become the victim of Genderism (see below).
Holding people to traditional
expectations based on gender, or punishing or excluding those who don't conform
to traditional gender expectations.
When your gender identity and
sex "match" (i.e. fit social norms). For example, a male who is masculine and
identifies as a man.
The gender that a person sees oneself as. This can include refusing to label
oneself with a gender. Gender identity is also often conflated with sexual
orientation, but this is inaccurate. Gender identity does not cause sexual
orientation. For example, a masculine woman is not necessarily a lesbian.
Our innermost concept of self as “male” or “female”—what we perceive and call
ourselves. Individuals are conscious of this between the ages of 18 months and 3
years. Most people develop a gender identity that matches their biological sex.
For some, however, their gender identity is different from their biological sex.
We sometimes call these people transsexuals, some of whom hormonally and/or
surgically change their sex to more fully match their gender identity.
– Refers to the ways in which people externally communicate their gender
identity to others through behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, and emphasizing,
de-emphasizing, or changing their bodies’ characteristics. Typically,
transgender people seek to make their gender expression match their gender
identity, rather than their birth-assigned sex. Gender expression is not
necessarily an indication of sexual orientation.
Identity Disorder –
The term used for a condition defined in the
DSM4 by the American Psychiatric Association.
Queer (or Genderqueer) –
A person who redefines
or plays with their gender, or who refuses gender altogether. A label for people
who bend/break the rules of gender and blur the boundaries.
expectations regarding behavior, mannerisms, dress, etc. as related to socially
How "masculine" or
"feminine" an individual acts. Societies commonly have norms regarding how males
and females should behave, expecting people to have personality characteristics
and/or act a certain way based on their biological sex.
This is the set of roles and behaviors
assigned to females and males by society. Our culture recognizes two basic
gender roles: masculine (having the qualities attributed to males) and feminine
(having the qualities attributed to females). People who step out of their
socially assigned gender roles are sometimes referred to as transgender. Though
transgender has increasingly become an umbrella term referring to people who
cross gender/sex barriers, many people find any umbrella term problematic
because it reduces different identities into one oversimplified category.
/ Gender Non-conforming
Displaying gender traits that are not normally associated with their
biological sex. "Feminine" behavior or appearance in a male is gender-variant as
is "masculine" behavior or appearance in a female. Gender variant behavior is
culturally specific, in that it
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered, this is a
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, Questioning, and Intersex, this is a
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Allied, this is a
– A colloquial term used to refer to a person who is intersexed. It is
generally no longer considered an acceptable term and is considered
offensive by many. See Intersex
Crime – Hate crime
often defines a hate crime as a crime motivated by the actual or perceived race,
color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual
orientation of any person.
– Sexual, emotional
and/or romantic attraction to a sex other than your own. Commonly though of as
"attraction to the opposite sex" but since there are not only two sexes (see
intersex and transsexual), this definition is inaccurate.
Assuming every person to be heterosexual therefore marginalizing persons who do
not identify as heterosexual.
2) Bias against non-heterosexuals based on a belief in the superiority of
heterosexuality. Heterosexism does not imply the same fear and hatred as
homophobia. It can describe seemingly innocent statements, such as “She’d drive
any man wild” based on the assumption that heterosexuality is the norm.
Privilege – Benefits derived
automatically by being (or being perceived as) heterosexual that are denied to
homosexuals, bisexuals or queers.
– Refers to a fear or hatred of homosexuality, especially in others, but also in
oneself (internalized homophobia).
Sexual, emotional, and/or romantic attraction to the same sex.
Arrangement of a society used to benefit one
group at the expense of another through the use of language, media education,
religion, economics, etc.
The process by which an oppressed person
comes to believe, accept, or live out the inaccurate stereotypes and
misinformation about their group.
Intersexuality is a set of medical conditions that feature congenital anomaly of
the reproductive and sexual system. That is, intersexual people are born with "sex
chromosomes," external genitalia, or internal reproductive systems that are not
considered "standard" for either male or female. The existence of intersexuals
shows that there are not just two sexes and that our ways of thinking about sex
(trying to force everyone to fit into either the male box or the female box) is
An intersexual or intersexed person (or animal of any
unisexual species) is one who is born with genitalia and/or secondary sexual
characteristics determined as neither exclusively male nor female, or which
combine features of the male and female sexes. (The terms hermaphrodite
and pseudohermaphrodite, which have been used in the past, are now
considered pejorative and inaccurate and are no longer used to refer to an
intersexual person.) Sometimes the phrase "ambiguous genitalia" is used.
"In The Closet"–
Keeping one's sexual orientation and/or
gender or sex identity a secret. See Coming Out.
A group whose minority status is not always
immediately visible, such as some disabled people and LGBTQQI people. This lack
of visibility may make organizing for rights difficult.
La Di Dah - Another
name for the annual Queeruption festival. See Queeruption.
The Gay Activist Alliance originally chose
the lambda, the Greek Letter "L", as a symbol in 1970. Organizer chose the
letter "L" to signify liberation. The word has become a way of expressing the
concept "lesbian and gay male" in a minimum of syllables and has been adopted by
such organizations as Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.
The sex assigned on an individual's
A term given to females who are attracted
sexually and emotionally to some other females.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, this term typically tries to encompass
all the members of queer society. There are many variations of this term
including GLBT, LGBTA, LGBTQ, LGBTQA, LGBTQI, LGBTQQIA, and perhaps more.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and straight Allies, this is a variant of LGBT.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Questioning, this is a variant of
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning and Intersex, this is a
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and
straight Allies, this variant of
LGBT is probably the most inclusive term for a member of queer society, but is
often shortened. Shorter variants such as LGBT also imply inclusion of all
these queer types.
– Excluded, ignored, or relegated to the outer edge of a
Who Have Sex With Men (MSM)
– Men who engage in same-sex behavior, but who may not necessarily
self-identify as gay.
– Male to Female Transsexual.
– When a MTF takes the hormone estrogen.
– When a FTM takes the hormone testosterone.
or "Out of the Closet"
– Refers to varying degrees of being open about one's sexual orientation and
/or sex identity or gender identity.
A person who is fluid in
sexual orientation and/or gender or sex identity. 2)
A person who is attracted to all of the
sexes and/or genders, but not necessarily simultaneously or equally.
This is different from bisexual since bi- implies our world consists of a
gender binary (that everyone is exclusively male and female), which is not
really true since some people are transgendered or intersexual.
stands for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. It is a national
organization which has become widespread and today has several thousand
chapters in every locale imaginable. See their website located in Resources
& Links for more information.
Polyamory is the practice of having
multiple open, honest committed/love relations.
colloquial term used to refer to a person who is intersexual. It is generally
no longer considered an acceptable term and is considered offensive by many.
– Historically a negative term used against people perceived to be LGBT, “queer”
has more recently been reclaimed by some people as a positive term describing
all those who do not conform to rigid notions of gender and sexuality. Queer is
often used in a political context and in academic settings to challenge
traditional ideas about identity (“queer theory”).
a cultural and social movement which arose in the mid
1980s. It is distinguished by discontent with society in general and a disavowal
of the mainstream gay and lesbian community in particular, expressing itself
through zines, music, art and film.
Queeruption - an annual international
Queercore festival and gathering where alternative/radical/disenfranchised
queers can exchange information, network, organize, inspire and get inspired,
self represent, and challenge mainstream society with DIY ideas and ethics.
Shows featuring queer punk bands, performance artists, and others are put on at
night, while workshops and demonstrations take place during Queeruption days.
Queeruption generally takes place in a different city in a different country
every year. Click here for the
Official Queeruption Website. Queeruption has also been called Anarquist, La
Di Dah, and Queer Mutiny.
- Another name for the annual Queeruption festival. See Querruption.
– Historically a negative term used against people perceived to be LGBT, “queer”
Queer Studies -
Queer studies is the study of issues relating to
sexual orientation and gender identity. In some universities, the field is
called sexual diversity studies.
Queer Theory is an anti-essentialist theory about sex and gender
within the larger field of Queer studies. It proposes that one's sexual identity
and one's gender identity are partly or wholly socially constructed, and
therefore individuals cannot really be described using broad terms like
"homosexual," "heterosexual," "man," or "woman." It challenges the common
practice of compartmentalizing the description of a person to fit into one
In particular, it questions the use of socially
assigned categories based on the division between those who share some habit or
lifestyle and those who do not. Instead,
suggest complicating all identity categories and groups.
Additionally, queer theory also analyzes the "queer"
aspects of a humanist work (such as in literature, music, art, etc.) that are
not necessarily sexual. In this regard, "queer" is used to mean "strange" or
"different" in the sense that a particular work does not fit within the general
rules of a particular genre or category, yet is still classified as being a part
of that genre or category.
Influences on queer theory include (among others)
Jonathan D. Katz,
Louis Althusser, and
Jacques Derrida, but the primary voices in the development of Queer theory
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick,
Thurer and several others.
Wikipedia's page on Queer Theory for more information.
– Refers to people who are uncertain as to their sexual orientation or gender
identity. They are often seeking information and support during this stage of
their identity development.
This is the medical procedure
Sexual Diversity Studies -
Queer studies is the study of issues relating to sexual orientation and
gender identity. In some universities, the field is called sexual diversity
This is how we perceive and what we call
ourselves. Such labels include “lesbian,” “gay,” “bisexual,” “bi,” “queer,”
“questioning,” “heterosexual,” “straight,” and others. Sexual Identity evolves
through a developmental process that varies depending on the individual. Our
sexual behavior and how we define ourselves (identity) can be chosen. Though
some people claim their sexual orientation is also a choice, for others this
does not seem to be the case.
– This is determined by our sexual and
emotional attractions. Categories of sexual orientation include homosexuals—gay,
lesbian—attracted to some members of the same sex; bisexuals, attracted to some
members of more than one sex; and heterosexuals, attracted to some members of
another sex. Orientation is influenced by a variety of factors, including
genetics and hormones, as well as unknown environmental factors. Though the
origins of sexuality are not completely understood, it is generally believed to
be established before the age of five.
A person who does not self-identify as LGBT, but who supports and stands up for the rights of LGBT people.
Refers to those whose gender expression at least sometimes runs contrary to
what others in the same culture would normally expect. Transgender is a broad
term that includes transsexuals, cross-dressers, drag queens/kings, and people
who do not identify as either of the two sexes as currently defined. When
referring to transgender people, use the pronoun they have designated as
appropriate, or the one that is consistent with their presentation of
themselves. See Transphobia, cross dress, drag queen, drag king, transsexual.
Transman/Transguy - A transgendered
man, meaning a person of the male gender who was not always male gendered.
Transwoman/Transgirl - A
transgendered woman, meaning a person of the female gender who was not always
Fear or hatred of transgender people;
transphobia is manifested in a number of ways, including violence, harassment,
- Individuals who do not identify with their birth-assigned genders and
sometimes alter their bodies surgically and/or hormonally. The Transition
(formerly called “sex change”) is a complicated, multi-step process that may
take years and may include, but is not limited to, Sex Reassignment Surgery.
Ze - a genderless pronoun. Typically used to refer to an intersexual
or transgender person, but can be used to refer to absolutely anyone.
Some definitions adapted from Warren
J. Blumenfeld, co-author of "Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life" and "Homophobia: How
We All Pay the Price"; and "Translating
Identities" by Chicora Martin, University of Oregon 2005.
Copyright © 2007; Gay
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