An individuals’ gender self-identification, rather than the gender that was assumed based on the sex they were assigned at birth.
A person who does not identify with any gender.
An androgynous individual
A non-binary gender identity typically used to describe a person’s appearances or clothing.
The gender that is assigned to an infant at birth based on the child’s genitalia and other visible physical sex characteristics.
A term used to describe an individual whose gender identity aligns with the one typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth.
What is between your ears. A set of social, psychological, or emotional traits, often influenced by societal expectations, that classify an individual as male, female, a mixture of both, or neither.
GENDER-AFFIRMING SURGERY (GAS)
Surgical procedures that help people adjust their bodies in a way that more closely matches their innate or internal gender identity. Not every transgender person will desire or have resources for surgery. This should be used in place of the older and often offensive term “sex change.” Also sometimes referred to as sexual reassignment surgery (SRS), genital reconstruction surgery, or medical transition.
The concept that there are only two genders, male and female, and that everyone must be one or the other. Also implies the assumption that gender is biologically determined.
Also “gender creative,” (or medically, “gender variant”). An umbrella term sometimes used to describe children and youth that expand notions of gender expression and identity beyond what is perceived as the expected gender norms for their society or context. Some gender-expansive individuals identify with being either male or female, some identify as neither, and others identify as a mix of both. Gender-expansive people feel that they exist psychologically between genders, as on a spectrum, or beyond the notion of the male and female binary paradigm, and sometimes prefer using gender-neutral pronouns (see “Preferred Gender Pronouns”). They may or may not be comfortable with their bodies as they are, regardless of how they express their gender.
The manner in which a person communicates about gender to others through external means such as clothing, appearance, or mannerisms. This communication may be conscious or subconscious and may or may not reflect their gender identity or sexual orientation. While most people’s understandings of gender expressions relate to masculinity and femininity, there are countless combinations that may incorporate both masculine and feminine expressions—or neither—through androgynous expressions. The important thing to recognize is that an individual’s gender expression does not automatically imply one’s gender identity.
One’s deeply held core sense of being male, female, some of both, or neither. One’s gender identity does not always correspond to biological sex. Awareness of gender identity is usually experienced as early as 18 months old and reinforced in adolescence.
Not gendered. Can refer to language (including pronouns), spaces (like bathrooms), or identities (being genderqueer, for example).
A term (considered by some to be outdated) used to describe those who view their gender identity as one of many possible genders beyond strictly female or male. More current terms include “gender expansive,” “differently gendered,” “gender creative,” “gender variant,” “genderqueer,” “gender fluid,” “gender neutral,” “bigender,” “androgynous,” or “gender diverse.” PFLAG National uses the term “gender expansive.”
The concept that gender exists beyond a simple “male/female” binary model, but instead exists on an infinite continuum that transcends the two. Some people fall towards more masculine or more feminine aspects, some people move fluidly along the spectrum, and some identify off the spectrum entirely.
A term, often used by the medical community, to describe children and youth who dress, behave, or express themselves in a way that does not conform to dominant gender norms. (See “gender nonconforming.”) People outside the medical community tend to avoid this term because they feel it suggests these identities are abnormal, preferring terms such as “gender expansive” and “gender creative.”
To refer to someone, especially a transgender person, using a word, especially a pronoun or form of address, which does not correctly reflect the gender with which they identify.
PREFERRED GENDER PRONOUNS
A preferred gender pronoun, or PGP, is the pronoun or set of pronouns that an individual would like others to use when talking to or about that individual. In English, the singular pronouns that we use most frequently are gendered, which can create an issue for transgender and gender-nonconforming people, who may prefer that you use gender neutral or gender-inclusive pronouns when talking to or about them. In English, the most commonly used singular gender-neutral pronouns are “ze” (sometimes spelled “zie”) and “hir.” Some also use “they” and “their” as gender-neutral singular pronouns.
A term used by some people—particularly youth—to describe themselves and/or their community. Reappropriated from its earlier negative use, the term is valued by some for its defiance, by some because it can be inclusive of the entire community, and by others who find it to be an appropriate term to describe their more fluid identities. Traditionally a negative or pejorative term for people who are gay, “queer” is still sometimes disliked within the LGBTQIA community. Due to its varying meanings, this word should only be used when self-identifying or quoting someone who self-identifies as queer (i.e. “My cousin identifies as genderqueer.”)
The process of exploring one’s own gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation. Some people may also use this term to name their identity within the LGBTQIA community.
A term used to describe transgender or gender-expansive individuals who do not disclose their transgender or gender-expansive status in their public or private lives (or certain aspects of their public lives). The term is increasingly considered offensive by some as it implies an element of deception. The phrase “maintaining privacy” is often used instead.
Sometime shortened to “trans.” An umbrella term describing a person’s gender identity that does not necessarily match their assigned sex at birth. Other terms commonly used are “female to male” (FTM), “male to female” (MTF), and “genderqueer.” Transgender people may or may not decide to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically to match their gender identity. This word is also used as a broad umbrella term to describe those who transcend conventional expectations of gender identity or expression. Like any umbrella term, many different groups of people with different histories and experiences are often included within the greater transgender community—such groups include, but are certainly not limited to, people who identify as transsexual, genderqueer, gender variant, gender diverse, and androgynous.
A term sometimes used to describe the process—social, legal, or medical—one goes through to discover and/or affirm one’s gender identity. This may, but does not always, include taking hormone; having surgeries; and changing names, pronouns, identification documents, and more. Many individuals choose not to or are unable to transition for a wide range of reasons both within and beyond their control.
A less frequently used—and sometimes misunderstood—term (considered by some to be outdated or possibly offensive, and others to be uniquely applicable to them) which refers to people who are transgender who use (or consider using) medical interventions such as hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgeries (GAS), also called sex reassignment surgery (SRS) (or a combination of the two) or pursue medical interventions as part of the process of expressing their gender. Some people who identify as transsexual do not identify as transgender and vice versa.