NB: this is an ongoing piece of work, please feel free to message me if there are more terms you would like defined or you would like to add more content to a definition. 


Agender: Someone who experiences their gender as an absence of gender, being neither male nor female nor fluctuating between the two.

Asexual: Someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is a sliding scale and people identify on this spectrum and may describe someone who never feels sexual attraction, someone who sometimes feels sexual attraction and someone who feels sexual attraction to specific people or at specific times. Someone who identifies on this scale may call themselves ace. 

Bisexual: Traditionally this has been used to describe someone attracted to “both” genders (male and female). Many people still use this term to describe their sexual attraction however others feel it doesn’t adequately encompass all gender identities such as non binary, third gender and agender.

Cisgender: Often shortened to just Cis this is a person who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth.

Cisnormativity: (also Cisnomartive) The assumption by people, groups of people and institutions that everyone is cisgender and that cisgender people are superior to transgender people. This is also used to describe the erase of transgender identities by assuming people are cisgender.

Demisexual: Someone who experiences sexual attraction only after a strong emotional connection is formed.

FtM/F2M/M2F/MtF: A short way of identifying someone who is transgender and is transitioning i.e.Female TMale, Male TFemale. 

Femme: Used to describe someone who presents in a feminine way or identifies with femininity. This doesn’t describe gender or sexuality. Often used by feminine-presenting queer people.

Gender Binary: The belief that there are just two genders, male and female, with no gender identities outside of this.

Gender Expression: Refers to the outward expression of masculinity or femininity. Gender expression may relate to gender identiy but not always. E.G some women wear men’s clothes and prefer to appear masculine, they are still women so their expression doesn’t match their identity. 

Genderqueer: a person who does not conform to conventional gender distinctions. They may identify as neither male nor female or both. Genderqueer people may use any pronouns, not always they/them and not always the pronouns that you assume match their gender expression.

Heteronormativity: (Also Heternormative) Relating to the world view that promotes heterosexuality as normal and preferable. Manifests in both overt and unconscious ways.

Intersex: A general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.

Mx: A non gendered title to use in place of Mr/Ms. A recognised title for use in the UK, many people still do not offer this and insist patron uses gendered titles.

Non Binary: An umbrella term for being who identify outside of the gender binary or male and female. It may include people who are neither male nor female, people who switch between male and female or people who identify as a different gender entirely.

Passing: The ability of an individual to be regarded as their chosen gender, i.e. a trans man “passing” as male.

Presenting: (e.g Feminine Present/Masculine Presenting) Describes the physical presentation of an individual, often including clothes, hair, makeup etc. This can include androgyny as a way of presenting oneself. Presenting does not describe a person’s gender or sexuality. A straight man may present feminine, a queer woman may present feminine, a pansexual non binary person may present feminine.

Queer: Originally used as an insult for gay people this is now being reclaimed by many sexual and/or gender minorities. It is used as an umbrella term by people who are not heterosexual and/or not cisgender and is increasing being used to describe non-normative identities and politics. CAUTION: some people still associated the word queer with negative experiences and connotations.

Thirdgender: Used to describe a gender that is neither male nor female but lies outside of this binary. With different names this category has been used for centuries recognise three or more genders.

Transphobia: Behaviours, language and physical actions directed against trans people. This includes language that is exclusionary (i.e “Hi ladies” to a group of people including non binary people), slurs and sentiments that suggest a trans person is “less” of a person (i.e. you’re pretty for a trans girl) EURGH THERE’S NO EXCUSE PEOPLE JUST EDUCATE YOURSELVES!

Are there more terms you’d like to see defined here? comment on a blog post and I’ll add it in!