Glossary

Most terms have been provided by QMUNITY.

Cisgender: A term used to describe someone whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth.

Gender Binary: The view that there are only two distinct, opposite and static genders (man/woman; masculine/feminine; male/female; boy/girl) to identify with and express. While many societies view gender through this lens and consider this binary system to be universal, a number of societies recognize more than two genders.

Gender Identity: One's internal and psychological sense of oneself as a man, woman, in between, both or neither. Gender identity is explicitly different than one's sex assigned at birth (which is based on biological considerations including genitalia and genetic make-up).

Gender Expression: How one outwardly expresses gender. For example: name and pronoun choice; style of dress; voice modulation; etc. How one expresses gender might not reflect one's actual gender identity.

LGBTQ2+: Acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer & 2-Spirit. The + denotes that there are many other identities and communities within the LGBTQ2+ population that are not represented in these six words. Making fun of the length of this acronym can have a trivializing or erasing effect on the group(s) that longer acronyms seek to actively include. 

Non-Binary: May describe someone who identifies as trans, and whose gender identity is neither male nor female, but outside of or beyond the binary. i.e. genderqueer; genderfluid; gender non-conforming; trans non-binary; etc.

Trans: An umbrella term that describes a wide range of people whose gender identity and/or expression differs from conventional expectation based on their assigned biological birth sex. Some of the many people who may or may not identify as trans include people on the male-to-female and female-to-male spectrums; people who identify/express their gender outside of the male/female binary; people whose gender identity/expression is fluid; and many more. Identifying as trans is something that can only be decided on by an individual for themselves and does not depend on criteria such as surgery or hormonal therapy.

Trans Man: May describe someone who identifies as trans and who identifies as a man.

Trans Woman: May describe someone who identifies as trans and who identifies as a woman.

Two-Spirit (2-Spirit): A term used by many Indigenous societies in North America to describe people with diverse gender identities, expressions, roles and sexual orientations. Two-Spirit people have been and are viewed differently in different Indigenous communities but were historically revered and understood as blessings bestowed unto communities. More recently, as a result of colonization and homophobia, Two-Spirit individuals have experienced marginalization and oppression within settler and indigenous communities.

Queer: A term becoming more widely used among LGBT communities because of its inclusiveness. ‘Queer’ can be used to refer to the range of non-heterosexual and non-cisgender people and provides a convenient shorthand for ‘LGBT’. It is important to note that this is a reclaimed term that was once and is still used as a hate term and thus some people feel uncomfortable with it. Not all trans* people see trans* identities as being part of the term ‘queer’.