Glossary of Terms

Baklâ – noun : in the Philippines, a baklâ, bayot (Cebuano) or agi (Hiligaynon) is a person who was assigned male at birth, but usually, have adopted feminine mannerisms and usually dress as women. They are often considered a third gender. Many bakla are exclusively attracted to men, but are not necessarily gay. Some self-identify as women.

Cisgender – adj. : a gender description for when someone’s sex assigned at birth and gender identity correspond in the expected way (e.g., someone who was assigned male at birth, and identifies as a man). The word cisgender can also be shortened to “cis.” Down low – adj. : typically referring to men who identify as straight but who secretly have sex with men. Down low (or DL) originated in, and is most commonly used by, communities of color.

Gender Binary – noun : the idea that there are only two genders and that every person is one of those two. Gender Spectrum

Gôr Djiguène – noun : a Senegalese term that can designate a “homosexual” or a “transgendered” person as well as people with other gender and sexual identities.

Fluid(ity) – adj. : generally with another term attached, like gender-fluid or fluid-sexuality, fluid(ity) describes an identity that may change or shift over time between or within the mix of the options available (e.g., man and woman, bi and straight).

Hijra – noun : A broad term used in South Asia (particularly in India), which sometimes refers to individuals who identify as neither male nor female, and in other contexts to male-bodied individuals with a female gender identity. Also referred to as khawaja sara and zenana in Pakistan and northern India.

LGBTQ+ – abbr. : shorthand or umbrella terms for all folks who have a non-normative (or queer) gender or sexuality, there are many different initialisms people prefer.

Pronouns – noun : the pronoun or set of pronouns that a person would like others to call them by, when their proper name is not being used. Traditional examples include “she/her/hers” or “he/him/his”. Some people prefer gender-neutral pronouns, such as “ze/hir/hirs,” “zie/zir/zirs,” “ey/em/ eirs,” “per/per/pers,” “hu/hum/hus,” or “they/them/ theirs”. Some people prefer no pronouns at all.

Queer – adj. : an umbrella term to describe individuals who don’t identify as straight and/or cisgender. noun : a slur used to refer to someone who isn’t straight and/or cisgender. Due to its historical use as a derogatory term, and how it is still used as a slur many communities, it is not embraced or used by all LGBTQ people. The term “queer” can often be use interchangeably with LGBTQ (e.g., “queer people” instead of “LGBTQ people”).

Stonewall – noun : on June 28th, 1969, New York City Police attempted a routine raid on the Stonewall Inn, a working-class gay and lesbian bar in New York’s Greenwich Village. Unexpectedly, the patrons resisted, and the incident escalated into a riot that continued for several days. Most people look to this event (and similar events in San Francisco and other major cities in the days and weeks that followed) as the beginning of the American Gay Liberation Movement and other “pride” movements around the world. It is too often forgotten that the people on the frontline of this resistance were transgender women, drag queens and lesbians.

Third Gender – noun : for a person who does not identify with either man or woman, but identifies with another gender. This gender category is used by societies that recognise three or more genders, both contemporary and historic, and is also a conceptual term meaning different things to different people who use it, as a way to move beyond the gender binary.

Trans – adj. : an umbrella term covering a range of identities that transgress socially-defined gender norms.  Trans with an asterisk is often used in written forms (not spoken) to indicate that you are referring to the larger group nature of the term, and specifically including non-binary identities, as well as transgender men (transmen) and transgender women (transwomen).

Two-spirit – noun : refers to a person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit, and is used by some Indigenous people to describe their sexual, gender and/or spiritual identity. As an umbrella term it may encompass same-sex attraction and a wide variety of gender variance.

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