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LGBTQIA+

WELCOME TO A SAFE SPACE

Helpful terms

Binary: A way of viewing gender as either male or female. The way that gender was viewed up until recent years. 

Cisgender: A term used to describe someone whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned to them at birth. 

Dead Name: How some transgender people refer to their given name at birth. 

Gender dysphoria: Clinically defined as significant and durational distress caused when a person’s assigned birth gender is not the same as the one with which they identify. 

Gender expression: The external appearance of a person’s gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined masculine or feminine behaviors and characteristics. 

Gender fluid: A person who does not identify with a single fixed gender, and expresses a fluid or unfixed gender identity. One’s expression of identity is likely to shift and change depending on context. 

Gender identity: A person’s innermost concept of self as man, woman, a blend of both, or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. Gender identity can be the same or different from one’s sex assigned at birth. 

Gender questioning: A person who may be processing, questioning, or exploring how they want to express their gender identity. 

Misgender: Referring to or addressing someone using words and pronouns that do not correctly reflect the gender with which they identify. 

Passing: A term used by transgender people which means that they are perceived by others as the gender with which they self-identify.  

Sex: The classification of a person as male or female at birth. Infants are assigned a sex, usually based on the appearance of their external anatomy. 

Transitioning: The social, legal, and/or medical process a person may go through to live outwardly as the gender with which they identify, rather than the gender they were assigned at birth. Transitioning can include some or all of the following: telling loved ones and co-workers, using a different name and pronouns, dressing differently, changing one’s name and/or sex on legal documents, hormone therapy, and possibly one or more types of surgery. 

 Two-spirit: A term that refers to historical and current First Nations people whose individual spirits were a blend of male and female. This term has been reclaimed by some in Native American LGBT communities to honor their heritage and provide an alternative to the Western labels of gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.