Let’s Talk Terminology

LGBTI+ terminology can feel like a minefield when you have no previous knowledge, and terms change over time. We have put together a glossary of common words to get you started. Please remember that the best way to determine someone’s preferred identity or pronoun is to simply ask them.

LGBTI+: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans+ and intersex people.


Lesbian: A woman who is attracted to other women. Some non-binary people may also identify with this term.


Gay: Someone who is attracted to people of the same gender.


Bisexual: Someone who is attracted to more than one gender e.g. both men and women.


Pansexual: Someone whose romantic and/or sexual attraction towards others is not limited by sex assignment, gender identity or gender expression.


Queer: An umbrella term used to describe people who are not heterosexual and/or
cisgender. Queer was used as a slur against the LGBTQ+ community for many
years and still can be. However, the word has been reclaimed by LGBTQ+
communities and many now embrace the term. Check if someone is comfortable
with this term before referring to them as queer.


Asexual/Ace: Someone who experiences limited or no sexual attraction.


Transgender: A term describing a person’s gender identity that does not match their assigned sex at birth. This word is also used as an umbrella term to describe some groups of people who transcend conventional expectations of gender identity or expression.


Intersex: This is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations that do not fit typical binary notions of male and female bodies, for example, variations in genetic, hormonal, or physical sex characteristics.


Sexual Orientation: Sexual and romantic attraction.


Gender identity:  Our deeply felt internal experience of our own gender.


Heterosexual: Someone who is attracted to people of a different gender.


LGBTQ+ bullying:  Bullying based on prejudice or discrimination towards LGBTI+ people.


Gender expression: How we show our gender through our clothing, hair, behaviour, etc.


Cisgender:  Someone who is not transgender or non-binary.


Non-binary: People whose gender identity is neither exclusively woman or man or is in between or beyond the gender binary.