Image by Cecilie Johnsen

Lexic

- A -

Ally

The ally is usually a heterosexual and cisgender person who supports people of different sexual orientations, identities and gender expressions with the aim of contributing to their well-being or a greater acceptance of their realities. The ally can, however, also be an LGBTQ + person who supports communities other than his own (e.g. a lesbian ally of trans people).

 

Androgynous

Person whose gender expression lies between the male and female poles.

 

Asexual

Person who feels little or no sexual attraction for anyone. Asexuality comes on a spectrum. A person who is on the spectrum of asexuality is commonly called an "ace".

 

Aromantic

Person who feels little or no romantic attraction for anyone. Aromanticism comes on a spectrum. A person who is on this spectrum is commonly called “aro”.

 

- B -

Bicurious

Person who is interested in having emotional and / or sexual relations with people of a gender other than that of the people with whom they usually have these relations, but who does not identify as bisexual.

 

Biphobia

Negative attitudes towards bisexuality, bisexual people, or people perceived as such, which can lead to discrimination, direct or indirect. Biphobia is often based on misunderstanding and prejudices such as the idea that bisexual people are promiscuous, unfaithful, or that they don't know what they want. This discrimination can come from heterosexual people as well as from people belonging to other communities of sexual and gender diversity.

 

Bisexual

Person who feels emotional and / or sexual attraction for two genders (generally men and women). This words is used by some as a synonym or umbrella term for pansexual. 

 

- C -

Cisgender

Person whose gender identity matches the gender and sex assigned at birth (see sex). Most people are cisgender. The opposite of cisgender is transgender.

 

Coming out

To "come-out", " is the act of disclosing one's sexual orientation or gender identity to certain people. It is usually a gradual process that begins with a small group of close people (family or friends). It is important to respect the person's choice and never reveal their orientation or gender identity without their consent.

 

- D -

Sexual and gender diversity

Term encompassing all sexual orientations and the plurality of gender identities and expressions. This term brings together lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people as well as other communities such as queer, intersex, asexual, two-spirited people, etc. (LGBTQIA2S +).

 

Drag king / queen

Person who performs a genre other than their own through a character. This genre is often performed in a stereotypical and humorous way. This is an artistic performance, entertainment and / or parody, and not a gender identity or sexual orientation.

 

Dysphoria

Intense sense of unease felt by a trans person, caused by the discrepancy between the sex assigned at birth, society's expectations regarding gender, their body and their gender identity. Dysphoria is not experienced by all trans people.

 

- F -

Family

“Homoparental family: Refers to any form of family in which at least one of the parents is lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). Homoparental families exist in various forms: they can be two-parent, single-parent, blended, adoptive, foster, multi-ethnic, biracial, etc. LGB parents can be cisgender or trans.

Transparent family: Any form of family in which at least one of the parents is trans. A trans person can become a parent before or after entering a transition process, and can be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or of any other orientation. " (Definition from the LGBT Family Coalition)

 

Fluid

Person whose gender identity or sexual orientation fluctuates or is not limited to the traditional definition of female or male gender.

 

- G -

Gay

Synonymous with homosexual, most often used to refer to a man. Preferred by some to the word "homosexual" because the latter can have a medical and sexual connotation.

Gender identity

It's how you define you gender based on a deep, personal knowledge of belonging (or lack of belonging) to one or several genders : man, woman, somewhere in between, both or neither. This intimate experience is unique to each person. It is not determined by a person's biological sex and can be at odds with the sex assigned at birth (see trans).

Gender plurality

Term encompassing all possible gender identities and gender expressions.

Gender binary

A system which divides humanity into two mutually exclusive genders: male and female. This system does not take into account the diversity found in human beings and excludes intersex people, trans people and non-binary people.

Gender expression

Gender expression is the way a person publicly presents their gender (e.g. behavior, clothing, hairstyle, makeup, etc.). A person's name and pronoun can also be ways of expressing gender. It is important to remember that gender identity and gender expression are two separate things, and that what is considered "masculine" or "feminine" can vary depending on time and cultures. A person's gender expression can be masculine, feminine, androgynous or neutral, and that, no matter their gender. 

 

- H -

Heterosexism

Heterosexism or heteronormativity is the assumption that everyone is heterosexual "by default" and that heterosexuality is inherently better or preferable because it fits the social norm. This belief is often the root cause of homophobia.

 

Heterosexual.

Person who is only attracted to people of a gender other than their own (eg. man attracted to women, or woman attracted to men).

 

Homophobia

Negative attitudes towards homosexuality, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, or towards people perceived as such, which can lead to discrimination, direct or indirect. There are also variants of homophobia such as lesbophobia or biphobia when this aversion is more particularly addressed to lesbians or bisexual people.

Homosexual

Person who feels emotional and / or sexual attraction to people of the same gender.

 

- I -

 

Intersex

Intersex people are born with sexual characteristics (genital, hormonal, gonadal or chromosomal) which are not all exclusively "male" or "female" according to current medical standards. In these cases, doctors usually decide the sex of the baby and reinforce that choice with surgery (considered by the United Nations to be mutilations) and / or hormones. Some intersex variations may not show any outward signs. In total about 1.7% of the world's population are born with intersex traits. Intersex people can be of any sexual orientation and of any gender expression or identity.

 

Intersectionality

Analytical perspective according to which the condition of a person is to be considered by taking into account the different categories of identities to which this person belongs (e.g .: sex, gender, skin color, ethnicity, class social, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, body shape, nationality, religion, belief, etc.) and how these identities interact with each other to form a separate discrimination.

 

Intimidation

"Any behavior, word, act or gesture, deliberate or not, of a repetitive nature, expressed directly or indirectly, including in cyberspace, in a context characterized by unequal power relations between the people concerned, having the effect of generating feelings of distress and of harming, hurting, oppressing or ostracizing ”(Gouvernement du Québec, 2012).

 

- L -

Lesbian

Woman who is emotionally and / or sexually attracted to women. Preferred by some to the word "homosexual", because the latter can have a medical and sexual connotation and often refers to men.

 

LGBTQ +

This acronym has several variations, including LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQ +, LGBTQIA + or LGBTQIA2S + (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, aromantic or allied and two-spirit (2S)). The "+" sign refers to any other community that is part of sexual and gender diversity not mentioned in the first letters (eg. pansexual, non-binary, etc.).

 

- M -

Misgender

Using the wrong pronouns or gender mentions when talking about a person, intentionally or not (eg : Using "she" instead of "he" or "they"; saying "sir" to a (trans) woman)

 

- N -

Non binary

Spectrum of gender identities that do not correspond exclusively to one of the two binary genders (male or female). Person whose gender identity is neither exclusively male nor exclusively female. Agender, bigender, and genderfluid are some non binary identities. 

 

- O -

Sexual Orientation

Term used to describe attraction to one type of person (men, women, both, all genders). Although it understands the word "sexual", sexual orientation often refers to a combination of several types of attraction, among which may be aesthetic attraction (finding that person beautiful), sensual (wanting physical contact this person), sexual (wanting to have sex with this person), intellectual (feeling a connection with that person on an intellectual level) and romantic (having romantic feelings for this person).

- P -

Pansexual.

Person who feels emotional and / or sexual attraction to individuals of all genders (women, men and non-binary people).

 

Pronouns

Pronouns are used to refer to someone, eg : he, she or they. Someone might ask to be refered to different pronouns than the ones they used to use in order to match their gender identity. 

 

- Q -

Queer

Person who identifies with a gender identity or sexual orientation outside the norm or fluid. This word can also be used to encompass different LGBTQ + identities (eg “queer culture”).

Note: This term was originally an insult to LGBTQ + people, it has been claimed back by many, but some people (especially people who have known this term primarily as an insult) remain uncomfortable with the word. It is best to avoid using this term unless the person uses it to describe themselves.

 

Questioning

Person wondering about their sexual orientation or gender identity. This exploration can be done at any age.

 

- S -

Sex 

Sex is assigned at birth by the medical profession, often based on a visual examination of the external genitalia. But biological sex can be established according to several criteria, such as hormones produced by the body, chromosomes and internal and external reproductive organs. A person's sex can be male, female or, when the different criteria are not all aligned, intersex.

 

- T -

Trans

Generic term that designates a person whose gender identity does not correspond to the one assigned to them at birth. The word trans encompasses the words "transgender" and "transsexual", considered obsolete today. Not to be confused with transvestite.

 

Transidentity

Identity of a trans person. Ex : Homosexuality and transidentity are not diseases.

 

Transition:

The process of affirming a gender different to the one the person used to be perceived as. Transition can involve on different dimensions: social (e.g. change of pronouns), physical (change of hairstyle or dress style), legal (change of name and gender markers on ID) and / or medical (taking hormones or gender affirmative surgery). This process differs among people and can take different forms. All are valid.

 

Transphobia

Negative attitudes that can lead to rejection and discrimination, direct or indirect, towards trans people, transvestites, or towards anyone who transgresses gender norms and representations related to sex and gender.

 

Transvestite

(Also known as "crossdresser") Person who, on occasion, takes the appearance of a gender other than their own, but who does not necessarily identify with that gender. Eg: a man who sometimes dresses up as a woman. This is a question of behavior, not necessarly of gender identity.

Two-Spirit

In some Indigenous communities, a person who embodies characteristics and qualities considered to be both masculine and feminine. It can be both a question of gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. Two-Spirit is symbolized by the "2S" in the acronym LGBTQI2S +.

 

Note : The definitions given in this glossary are indicative only and are not exhaustive. The vocabulary associated with sexual and gender diversity is constantly evolving. It is therefore important to take into account and respect the words a person uses to identify.