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Glossary of Common LGBQTT Language

Ally: A person who supports and honours diversity, acts accordingly to challenge homophobic and heterosexist remarks and behaviours, and is willing to explore and understand these forms of bias within him or herself.

Bisexual: A person who is romantically/sexually attracted to or involved with both men and women.

Gay/Homosexual: A man who is romantically/sexually attracted to or involved with other men; also used as an umbrella term for everyone who has same-sex romantic/sexual attractions or relations.

Heterosexism: The cultural assumption that heterosexuality is the “norm” and that all people are heterosexual, unless they state otherwise. Heterosexism, while not overtly demonstrating fear or hatred of homosexuality or bisexuality, does perpetuate discrimination by institutionalizing heterosexuality as the only option.

Heterosexual: A person who is romantically/sexually attracted to or involved with members of the opposite sex.

Hir: A singular, gender-inclusive pronoun (like “her” or “his”, without the gendered connotations), pronounced like “here”.

Homophobia: Literally, homophobia is a fear of homosexuality and/or homosexuals, but the term also extends to include hatred and mistrust of homosexuals.

Inter-sexed: A person who is born with both male and female sex characteristics.

Lesbian: A woman who is romantically/sexually attracted to or involved with other women.

LGBQTT: An acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Transgendered, inter-sexed or trans-identified and Two-spirited.

Queer: A once derogatory term reclaimed by some LGBQTT persons, often used as an umbrella term to encompass all of LGBQTT, or to refer to political activism or academic inquiry on LGBQTT issues, or as a self-identifying label for persons who experience their sexuality as more fluid than the individual LGBQTT labels imply.

Transgendered, Trans or Trans-identified: A person who identifies with a gender identity other than the one that was ascribed to the biological sex of hir birth; or a person who views hir gender as more fluid than the strictly male or female gender category allows. Also used as an umbrella term for transsexual, transgendered, cross-dressing and inter-sexed people. Trans persons may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, two-spirited or heterosexual.

Transphobia: Transphobia, like homophobia, refers to fear, hatred, or mistrust of people who are transgendered, transsexual, or trans-identified.

Two-spirited: An aboriginal term used by some First Nations persons who have same-sex attractions/desires. Traditionally, two-spirited persons are considered to be visionaries and healers who possess both male and female spirits.

Adapted from UBC’s Equity Office’s “Recognizing Heterosexism and Homophobia”