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Glossary of Terms

A Glossary of LGBT-related Terms

The following is, by far, not the most detailed or comprehensive descriptions that you may read. The reason for this page is to provide a basic vocabulary for discussing transgender-related topics.

Any non-LGBTIQ person who supports and stands up for the rights of LGBTIQ people.

Neither clearly masculine nor clearly feminine in appearance.

A person who has no physical attraction to either sex or gender.

Beard Cover
Makeup designed to minimize or eliminate the appearance of a beard shadow.

Being Read
When a person is presenting in their chosen gender, and someone recognizes they are not of that sex. Also called “Getting Clocked” and "Getting Read".

The tendency to flexibly shift between masculine and feminine gender-typed behavior depending on context. The bi-gendered person purposely changes their gender-role behavior for the situation.

Binary Gender System
A culturally defined code of acceptable behaviors and appearance which insists that there only two and only two sexes and two and only two genders that match them.

Intentional misspelling of the word "boy". Often used to signify a female-to-male transgender person or gender variant masculine person.

Bottom Surgery
Surgery that is "below the waist", to either create a vagina (for a male-to-female transsexual) or a penis and testicles (for a female-to-male transsexual).

Butch is a word commonly used in the lesbian and gay communities to identify masculine females or sometimes masculine gay men. The spectrum of identity within the lesbian community can include "soft butches" who identify masculine women, to transgender butches who often do not identify as "women" and are somewhat bi-gendered in their identity," to those who identify as transmen/FTM's but still retain an identity as "butch."

Abbreviation for crossdresser.

An adjective that means non-transgender. In other words, a cisgender woman is someone who was physiologically female at birth, raised as a girl, and who identifies as a woman.

Coming Out
Announcing to your family, friends or work associates some previously secret aspect of your sexual or gender identity.

A person who, on occasion, wears the clothes of and often acts as a member of the opposite sex usually to relieve gender discomfort, for emotional release, or sexual release. The out of date medical term for this type of person is “transvestite.”

Deep Stealth
Someone whose transgender status is not known by anyone they interact with on a daily basis. See "Stealth".

Slang term meaning DRessed As Boy.

Slang term meaning DRessed As Girl. Originally used in Shakespeare’s Globe Theater to refer to male actors (there were no actresses) playing female roles.

Drag King
The female version of a Drag Queen.

Drag Queen
A male who dresses as a woman in a flamboyant manner that over emphasizes or exaggerates traditionally female traits. Historically, drag queens were thought to be mostly gay men who dressed as women to attract men. This has been proven false. What makes a drag queen a drag queen is primarily the "look at me attitude" which motivates them rather than anything else. A drag queen may be gay, straight, bisexual, or asexual.

Abbreviation for the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" published by the American Psychiatric Association. It currently lists transsexuality (gender identity disorder), cross-dressing (transvestic fetishism), and BDSM (sado-masochism) as mental illnesses. It removed homosexuality from its list in 1973.

A process of permanently removing hair through the use of electricity to destroy hairs individually in the skin. Slow, but very effective.

En femme
Presenting oneself as a woman.

Often abbreviated as "Endo", a medical doctor specializing in the functions and diseases of the Endocrine System. People who undertake hormone therapy should do so under the supervision and guidance of an Endocrinologist or with an Medical Doctor who will consult with one.

The generic name for one of the main groups of sex hormones found in high levels in genetic women and relatively low levels in genetic men.

Abbreviation for "female to male transgender person." Synonymous to "FTM".

Facial Feminization Surgery
Surgery to change one’s face so that they appear more like a woman.

A person who identifies with being a woman.

Abbreviation for facial feminization surgery.

Abbreviation for “full time.” See Full Time.

Abbreviation for "female to male transgender person." Synonymous to "F2M".

Living 24 hours a day and seven days a week in one's chosen gender.

Gender is an internal sense of one's self with regards to being "male," "female," both or neither regardless of one's physical sex. Although "gender" is commonly misused to refer to the sexual distinction between males and females, it should not be viewed as a biological condition or confused with a person's attraction to sex partners.

Gender Cues
What human beings use to attempt to tell the gender/sex of another person. These cues may include such things as hairstyle, body shape, facial hair, and vocal inflection.

Gender Discomfort
Similar to gender dysphoria although less severe, where the person does not feel right about living in a particular gender role.

Gender Dysphoria
A medical term used to denote any person who strongly and persistently identifies with the opposite sex. Also called Gender Identity Disorder (GID).

Gender Euphoria
Feeling positive about one's cross-gender activities. The term arises in the transgender community as a pun playing on the psychological term "gender dysphoria".

Gender Identity
An inner sense that one is or belongs to a particular gender regardless of the actual physical body they inhabit. This is the individual’s innermost concept of self as "male or "female."

Gender Identity Disorder (GID)
A mental illness included in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" published by the American Psychiatric Association, which refers to a gender identity that is inconsistent with one's biological sex. Many transgender persons object to being considered mentally ill, arguing that it is a completely inaccurate diagnosis and serves to dehumanize and anthologize them.

Gender Queer
A term which is used by some people who may not fit on the spectrum of the what society considers “normal” gender behavior.

Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS)
The actual surgery required to physically change a person’s birth sex. Commonly called a Sex Change. More recently being referred to as "Gender Affirming Surgery".

A person who merges characteristics of all genders in subtle ways or intentionally flaunts merged/blurred cultural/stereotypical gender nouns for the purpose of shocking others, without concern for passing.

Abbreviation for Genetic Girl, which refers to a person born female. This term is sometimes considered somewhat condescending whereas "Genetic Woman" is increasingly more prefered. Synonymous to "Real Girl," "Natal Girl" and "Genetic Woman."

Abbreviation for Gender Identify Disorder.

Abbreviation of Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender. An overarching term for anyone outside gender norms.

Abbreviation for "Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender and Ally."

Abbreviation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersexed, and questioning. An even more broad overarching term for anyone outside gender norms.

An intentional misspelling of "girl", often used to signify a MTF transgendered person.

Abbreviation for Genetic Woman, which refers to a person born female. Synonymous to "Real Girl," "Natal Girl," and "Genetic Girl" although in recent years "Genetic Woman" has become more increasingly prefered over "Genetic Girl" which may be viewed as somewhat condescending.

Harry Benjamin
Harry Benjamin (January 12, 1885 – August 24, 1986) was a German-born sexologist who, in 1954 introduced the term transsexualism and was a pioneer in the field of treating transsexuals. In 1979 the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association was formed, using Benjamin's name by permission.

Harry Benjamin Standards of Care
A good intentioned but some controversial what set of rules dictating what is considered to be the appropriate way to treat transsexuals.

Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association
The organization of mental health professionals that maintains a standard of care for the treatment of transsexuals. Renamed The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) in 2006.

See Harry Benjamin Standards of Care.

See Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association.

Fear or hatred of lesbians and gay men and sometimes, by extension, of bisexuals and the transgender.

Hormone Replacement Therapy
Medical treatment using hormones, used by transsexuals to affect the development of secondary sex characteristics such as developing breasts. In non-transsexual individuals, the use of hormones is most-often used to treat the discomforts of menopause or to replace hormones (especially estrogen) lost after menopause.

Hormone Supplement Therapy
Synonym for Hormone Replacement Therapy, although more commonly used by female-to-male transsexuals.

See Hormone Replacement Therapy.

See Hormone Supplement Therapy.

Persons born with physical or hormonal anomalies that result in variance from standard sexual conformation. There are a wide variety of conditions, some of which may not be discovered until puberty.

Also spelled 'Katoey', which generally refers to a male-to-female transgender person or an effeminate gay male in Thailand. Often considered synonymous with "ladyboy", sao praphet song ("a second kind of woman"), or phet thee sam (third sex). The term "kathoey" may be considered pejorative by some, because it is often considered to to have a meaning similar to the English language "fairy."

Historically, a Thai m2f transgender or transsexual person. However, the term has since been widened to include persons of asian descent or appearance, not just those from Thailand.

Usually used to refer to a range of hair redcution processes that utilize high intensity light to destroy hair.

Abbreviation for "male to female transgender person." Synonymous to "MTF".

Abbreviation for "male to female transgender person." Synonymous to "M2F".

Short hand term for a female to male transsexual.

A transsexual person who has decided not to undergo gender reassignment surgery and yet lives full-time in the gender role they desire.

A person who is attracted to all people regardless of their sex or gender.

The involuntary disclosure of one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status.

To "pass" is to succeed at being perceived as a member of one’s preferred gender regardless of actual birth sex.

A transsexual who has completed gender reassignment surgery.

A transsexual who intends to complete but has yet to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

The totality of one's appearance when dressing, including voice, behavior, appropriateness of clothing for the situation, etc.

To purge is to get rid of all cross-gender related items such as clothing and makeup in an effort to giving up cross-dressing and the cross-gender identity in an attempt to "cure" their transgenderism. Repeated purging is sometimes an indicator that a person is suffering from a cyclic depression disorder and/or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

An umbrella term for any deviation from societal norms for gendered and sexual behavior.

A person is in the process of questioning their sexual identity or gender identity.

Synonomous to "Clock", which refers to not being perceived as being the gender in which one is trying to present as.

An unscientific online test for determining your gender which is widely considered too simplistic and flawed to be a good indicator of gender.

Real Girl
A person born female. This term is often considered rude since it could imply that a male-to-female transgender person was somehow "not real." Synonymous to "Genetic Girl".

Sexual Orientation
A term used to refer to a person's emotional, romantic and sexual attraction to individuals of a particular sex, i.e. whether one is heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. Although sometimes mistakenly equated with gender identity, sexual orientation is separate and distinct, from one's gender identity. For example, a person who is sexually attracted to men is not necessarily a woman.

Sexual Reassignment Surgery
See Gender Reassignment Surgery.

A rather crude term, often used in the porn industry, that referes to a non-op or pre-op transsexual.

Significant Other
Term representing a partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse.

Abbreviation for Significant Other.

See Harry Benjamin Standards of Care.

Abbreviation for Sexual Reassignment Surgery.

This term refers to when a person chooses to be secretive about their gender history, either after transitioning or while successfully passing.

The hormone that is essential for sperm production and the development of male characteristics, including muscle mass and strength, fat distribution, bone mass, facial hair growth, voice change and sex drive.

Abbreviation for Transgender.

Top Surgery
Surgery on the breasts. For male-to-female transgendered people, this is breast augmentation surgery. For female-to-male transgender people, this is breast removal surgery.

Slang for anyone who is transgender. Also, Tranny.

An abbreviation of the word transgender.

A gender-neutral term for transgender people collectively, regardless of gender.

An umbrella term referring to anyone who's behavior, thoughts, or traits differ from the societal expectations for their sex. This group includes cross-dressers, transsexuals, and intersexed individuals. While some community members object to the term, it is generally considered politically useful. The term transgender should be used as an adjective, not as a noun.

A person who lives full-time in the gender role they are most comfortable in without the intention or desire for GRS.

The period of time during which a transgendered person changes from one gender role to the other full time.

A female-to-male transgender person.

A transgender person.

A person who’s body and gender identity are not in sync with each other causing such severe emotional discomfort to the point that body alteration through hormones and/or surgery are usually required.

The out of date term for a person who wears the clothes of and often acts as a member of the opposite sex. This term is was invented by the medical community to describe a psychological disorder, and therefore is considered offensive by some who disagree that being transgendered implies having any sort of mental discorder. The preferred term is crossdresser.

A male-to-female transgender person.

Abbreviation for Transsexual.

Two Spirit
A Native American/First Nation term for people who blend the masculine and the feminine.

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