Who we are physically, emotionally, spiritually attracted to.
Some common sexual orientations:
Lesbian: women who are attracted to women
Gay: men who are attracted to men
Bisexual: a person attracted to two sexes or genders, not necessarily simultaneously or equally.
Heterosexual: (or Straight) attracted to those of a sex other than your own, commonly “the opposite sex”
Pansexual: attracted to people, regardless of sex, gender, or gender identity
Asexual: low or absent sexual attraction to anyone
Queer: used to more broadly indicate a sexual attraction other than heterosexual, preferred by many younger people in the LGBT community. Formerly derogatory, use by the LGBTQ person’s choice.
A person’s understanding, definition, or experience of their own gender. May be inconsistent with identified gender at birth. May be different from how we appear to others.
How we demonstrate our gender (based on traditional gender roles) through the ways we act, dress, behave and interact.
Biological sex is determined by the anatomy, chromosomes, and hormones which make up a person’s body. At birth, a child is declared an assigned gender based on physical characteristics:
Female: bearing “female” genitalia
Male: bearing “male” genitalia
Cisgender or Cis: When a person identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth, the person is Cisgender or Cis.
Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth. Common identities related to transgender include but are not limited to: transsexual, third gender, drag king, drag queen, androgynous, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming. Transvestite and tranny are in almost all cases derogatory.
These are self-defined terms, and there is quite a bit of controversy, even within the trans community, over which terms are preferred. Do not assume, ask, or call someone any of these terms unless invited to do so. Transgender or the shorthand “trans*” are sensitive words for cisgender people to use when discussing trans topics. Always use these terms with respect.
Being transgender is separate from sexual orientation. Transgender people identify straight, queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, etc.
People do not change their gender. We change our perceptions based on what the person has expressed to us.
Transgender Woman, trans woman, MtF—a person who was assigned male at birth and identifies as female.
Transgender Man, trans man, FtM—a person who was assigned female at birth and identifies as male.
Agender, Genderqueer or Pangender—beyond the gender binary
In all cases, we affirm the gender identity of the individual.
Someone who advocates for and supports members of a community beyond their own. Reaching across differences to achieve mutual goals.