Terms and Definitions

LGBTQI+ Terms and Definitions

(L = Lesbian, G = Gay, B = Bisexual, T = Transgender, Q = Queer, I = Intersex)


Ally: A non-LGBTQI+ person who is supportive of and advocates for LGBTQI+ people. 

Asexual: People who experience little or no sexual attraction

Bisexual: People who are attracted to people of more than one gender

Cisgender: Someone whose gender identity corresponds with his/her/their sex assigned at birth

Lesbian: Women who are attracted to women

Gay: Men who are attracted to men OR anyone who is attracted to people of the same gender

Gender: Socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes relating to sexuality

Gender Binary: The social construct of there being only two genders.

Gender Expression: The way in which a person expresses their gender identity, typically through their appearance, dress, and behavior

Gender Identity: A person’s own experience of his/her/their gender, which can align with social gender norms

Intersex: People born with anatomy that is neither typically male nor typically female

Pansexual: People who are attracted to individuals of all gender identities and expressions

+ (Plus): Added to “LGBTQI” to include any orientation not represented by those letters

Transgender: People whose gender identity is different from the gender they were assigned at birth (physical sex); someone who has transitioned (or is transitioning) from living as one gender to living as another.

Queer: Umbrella term for all people with non-heterosexual or non-binary orientations; historically used as a derogatory term but reclaimed affirmatively by the LGBTQI+ community

Sexual Orientation: A person’s pattern of emotional, sexual or romantic attraction