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The Ultimate LGBTQ+ Glossary: Understanding Key Terms

In today’s diverse and evolving world, understanding the terminology associated with the LGBTQ+ community is more important than ever. Whether you’re an ally seeking to educate yourself or someone exploring their identity, this comprehensive glossary is designed to provide clarity. Optimized for those searching for “LGBTQ glossary terms”, this guide aims to be both informative and respectful.


An acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning. The plus sign symbolizes the inclusion of various sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions not explicitly mentioned.


A woman who feels attraction towards other women.


Refers to individuals attracted to members of the same gender. While it can be a general term, it often denotes homosexual men.

Bisexual (Bi)

Individuals who experience attraction to both men and women.

Transgender (Trans)

People whose gender identity doesn’t align with the sex they were assigned at birth.


Historically used pejoratively, this term has been reclaimed by some in the LGBTQ+ community. It describes a fluid and non-normative sexual orientation or gender identity.


Refers to individuals who are in the process of exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Cisgender (Cis)

Individuals whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth.

Non-Binary (NB)

A gender identity that doesn’t conform to the traditional binary of male or female.


People whose gender identity exists outside of, is not related to, or goes beyond the male/female binary.


Individuals whose gender identity can shift or change over time.

Asexual (Ace)

People who experience minimal to no sexual attraction.


Individuals attracted to people regardless of their gender or gender identity.


Persons born with sex characteristics that don’t align with typical definitions of male or female.


A term from some Indigenous North American cultures. It describes individuals who embody both masculine and feminine spirits.


People who, although may not identify as LGBTQ+ themselves, support and advocate for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.


The fear, hatred, or discrimination directed against LGBTQ+ individuals.


The fear, hatred, or discrimination against transgender or gender non-conforming individuals.


The fear, hatred, or discrimination against bisexual individuals.

Coming Out

The deeply personal process of self-acceptance and revealing one’s LGBTQ+ identity to others.

Gender Dysphoria

The distress some transgender individuals feel due to a mismatch between their gender identity and the sex they were assigned at birth.

Gender Expression

The external presentation of one’s gender, evident through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, voice, and more.

Gender Identity

An individual’s internal sense and understanding of their gender.


Words like he/him, she/her, and they/them used to refer to individuals. Respecting and using correct pronouns is crucial.


People who identify as having no gender.