Describes a person who does not identify as male or female or some combination of male and female. Some agender individuals see themselves as genderless, while others see themselves as gender neutral.
Describes a person who supports, both publicly and privately, the LGBTQ community and equality in its many forms. Heterosexual and cisgender people can be allies, as well as individuals from within the LGBTQ community.
Describes a person who is not sexually attracted to others and has no desire to engage in sexual behavior. Asexuality differs from celibacy in that a person who is celibate is sexually attracted to others but chooses to abstain from sex. Sometimes, asexual is abbreviated as “ace.”
Describes a person who has two genders. People who are bigender may experience two gender identities at the same time or at different times. These gender identities can be binary — male and female — or include nonbinary identities.
Describes a person who is attracted to both men and women. A person does not need to have had specific sexual experiences — or any sexual experience — to identify as bisexual.
Describes a person whose gender identity matches the sex — male or female — originally identified on their birth certificate (i.e., people who are not transgender). Cisgender, which is pronounced sis-gender, describes only a person’s gender identity — not their sexual or romantic attractions. Sometimes, cisgender is abbreviated as “cis” in casual conversation.
Describes the process of a person first coming to understand their own sexual orientation, then revealing it to others. However, it is not necessary to have sexual experiences or to even tell others in order to come out. One may be out to just one’s self. Coming out is often correlated with rates of youth homelessness.
Describes a person who does not identify as exclusively male or exclusively female and usually prefers“they” as a pronoun. Enby is the phonetic pronunciation of“NB,” which stands for nonbinary. Not all nonbinary individuals prefer or use this term.
Describes a person who is attracted, emotionally and/or physically, to someone of the same gender. The term can be used by men, women or individuals who identify as nonbinary. A person does not need a specific sexual experience — or any sexual experience — to identify as gay.
A social construct used to classify a person as a man, woman or some other identity. Fundamentally different from sex assigned at birth, gender is often closely related to the role that a person plays or is expected to play in society.
GENDER AFFIRMING SURGERY
A surgical procedure that enables an individual’s body to be more congruent with their gender identity. Also referred to as sex reassignment surgery or gender confirming surgery.
Describes the extreme discomfort that a person feels because their assigned sex at birth does not match their gender identity. This sense of unease or dissatisfaction can cause depression and anxiety and negatively impact an individual’s daily life.
An adjective used by some people, particularly younger people, whose sexual orientation is not exclusively heterosexual. Queer was once used a pejorative term and has been reclaimed by some — but not all — members of the LGBTQ community.
Describes a person who is still discovering and exploring their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or some combination thereof. Using this term enables an individual to identify as part of the LGBTQ community while avoiding other labels and recognizing that their process of self-identification is still underway
The classification of a person as male or female. At birth, babies are assigned a sex that typically corresponds with their external anatomy. Yet an individual’s sex is influenced by a larger combination of factors, including their chromosomes, genes, hormones, reproductive organs and secondary sex characteristics.
An enduring emotional and/or physical attraction (or non-attraction) to other people. Sexual orientation is fluid and encompasses a variety of labels, including gay, lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual, pansexual and asexual.
An acronym for sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Every person has a sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
Describes a man who is attracted to women or a woman who is attracted to men. Can be used as a synonym for heterosexual.
Describes a person whose gender identity and/or gender expression do not match their assigned sex at birth. Transgender people may be straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer.
TRANSGENDER (OR TRANS) MAN
Describes a person who was assigned female sex at birth but identifies as male. This person may or may not actively identify as trans.
TRANSGENDER (OR TRANS) WOMAN
Describes a person who was assigned a male sex at birth but identifies as female. This person may or may not actively identify as trans.
A complex process by which transgender people align their anatomy (medical transition) and gender expression (social transition) with their gender identity. Transitioning is a multiple-step process that occurs over a long period of time. It can include such steps as using a different name, using new pronouns, dressing differently, updating legal documents, hormone therapy and surgery. The exact steps involved in a person’s transition varies.
Describes a person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit. It is used by some Native American and Alaska Native people to describe their sexual, gender and/or spiritual identity. It may encompass same-sex attraction and also include relationships that could be considered poly.
The Casey Foundation believes that all kids should grow up feeling supported, understood, safe and loved. Explore more Foundation resources focused on helping LGBTQ youth succeed:
Growing older presents challenges for millions of Americans, but members of the LGBTQ+ community are particularly hard-hit. According to the UCLA Williams Institute, LGBTQ+ older adults face many additional barriers to receiving health care. We created this guide to connect the elders of the LGBTQ+ community to the resources and information necessary to help them find the care that they need.
Understanding the Connection Between Cyberbullying and Social Media: A Comprehensive Guide
In years past, school bullies carried out their hazing on the playground. As many other activities have modernized and made their way online, bullies have increasingly begun utilizing the Internet to torment their victims. Social media and cyberbullying are now taking their toll on tweens and teens nationwide. Cutter Law can help parents, educators, and social media users understand the impact of cyberbullying and the legal recourse available to victims.