Acronyms that are used to refer to a particular group or the entire queer community. They include the terms Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and may include other terms such as Transsexual, Transvestite, Intersex, Undecided, Questioning, Queer, Asexual, Pansexual, Polyamorous, amonth others. This is often referred to as “alphabet soup.”


One who feels they fit any combination of any of the labels above or all of the above.

Gender Identity

Gender Identity
One’s internal gender, which may or may not match the physical sex, the GAAB, or the presenting gender.
Gender Assigned at Birth (GAAB)
The gender a person is born as. This is referred to as gender assigned at birth because it is not and/or never was the person’s true gender – they were born as Z, but were assigned X/Y, due to bio-typical or closely matching genitalia of one of the pre-existing binary genders: male (MAAB) or female (FAAB).
People whose internal gender matches the physical sex and/or gender assigned at birth.
Transgender / Transexual
A person whose gender identity does not match their assigned gender or sex. This may include identifying entirely as the opposite gender, to a slight inclination towards another gender, to a slight deviation from the current gender, to anything in between.
A physical condition in which the individual is born with biological characteristics that are divergent from typical female and male. This may include variations in chromosomal, physical, gonadal, hormonal, or other attributes, and may include a combination, rearrangement, or lack of biological male or female features.
FTM / MTF / FTN / MTN / FT* / MT*
Acronyms to describe a transgender or transsexual individual. The first letter is the assigned birth sex; the second letter is “to” signifying transition; and the third letter is the destination gender, the person’s affirmed gender. The * indicates inclusivity of all variations of trnaspeople, as not all identify with a particular gender.
Transman / Transwoman / Transboy / Transgirl / Trans*
A transman is a transgender person who transitioned to male, a transwoman transitioned to female, and so forth. The * indicates inclusivity of all variations of trnaspeople, as not all identify with a particular gender signifier.
The Gender Binary
The assumption that sex and gender is a binary – that is, that there are two and only genders – male and female – which are distinct and disconnected. This is a false dichotomy, given the existence of intersex and transgender people.
The Gender Spectrum
A model of gender that breaks the gender binary and takes into account the infinite variations of gender. It is often described as a two-dimensional coordinate plane (male x female), or more inclusively a multi-dimensional web.
Non-Binary Gender
A non-binary gender is one that sits outside of, beside, next to, or just a far ways off from the gender binary.
Genderqueer is an umbrella term for any person that is not strictly male or female. It can serve as a standalone gender identity, or can encompass non-binary gender identities like neutrois, people with non-standard gender expressions like butch, or people who identify with a binary identity with some reservations, like genderqueer transwoman. For more information, visit Genderqueer Identities.

Sexual Orientation

Sexual Orientation
Sexual orientation is the label to one’s primary sexual attraction, although it often refers to sexual, romantic, and emotional feelings. Usually it indicates the gender to which a person is attracted to, and may also imply the gender of the person expressing the attraction. It may be constant throughout one’s life, or it can be fluid and flexible, although the breadth and depth of that change varies with each person.
Sexual Attraction
The desire to engage in some form of sexual act with a particular person, the recipient of the attraction.
Romantic Attraction
The desire to engage in some form of romantic attachment or deep emotional invovlement with a particular person, the recipient of the attraction.
Heterosexual / Straight
One whose primary attraction is to those of the opposite gender.
Homosexual / Gay
One whose primary attraction is to those of the same gender.
Androphilic and Gynephilic
Describe an attraction to males or masculinitiy (andro) or females or femininity (gyno). Alternative terms used in place of homosexual or heterosexual so as to avoid gendering the person while expressing their attraction to a particular gender.
One whos primary attraction is to people of either gender – male and female. Given the increased recognition of more than two genders, many people have adopted bisexuality to mean attraction to people of any gender.
A person who does not experience sexual attraction. Asexuals can and do experience other forms of attraction and intimacy, such as aesthetic, emotional, platonic, or romantic, and they can describe their romantic attraction in terms of hetero/homo/bi/pan, etc. For more information, visit AVEN: The Asexual Visibilty and Education Network.
One whose primary attraction is to a person, regardless of their gender. Because the labels heterosexual and homosexual imply the gender of both the person and the object of their attraction, it is often difficult or irrelevant to identify with these labels when a person’s gender is non-binary. For this reason many people opt for the label pansexual or omnisexual.
Engaging in more than one consensual intimate relationship at a time, or being non-monogamous. Not to be confused with pansexual.