The Vine Inter-Church

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LGBT+ Terminology

Key Term



Usually, this means a straight and/or non-transgender person who supports LGBT+ people. LGBT+ people can also be allies within the LGBT+ community to those who are different to them (e.g. a gay non-transgender person could be an ally to someone who is transgender).

Anti-LGBT+ language

Anti-LGBT+ language is harmful, especially for LGBT+ people. It can include slurs and phrases that compare being LGBT+ to something negative, like 'that's so gay' or 'you're so gay’.


Someone who does not have any, or strong, romantic feelings about others.


Asexual describes someone who doesn’t feel any or much sexual attraction to others. They might still feel romantic attraction and use words like gay, bisexual, lesbian or straight to describe themselves.

Bisexual / Bi

When someone is attracted to more than one gender.


When someone dislikes another person or treats them badly because they are bisexual. People can be treated badly for being seen as bisexual, whether they are or not.

Cisgender / Cis

Someone who is not transgender.

Coming out

When a person tells someone that they are LGBT+.


This word is usually used to describe a man who is attracted to men. It can also be a general term for gay and lesbian people.

Gender dysphoria

A word to describe when a person feels uncomfortable because the sex they are given at birth and their gender identity doesn’t match.

Gender expression

Gender expression is how a person shows their gender identity to others. This might be through what they wear, how they act, their appearance, as well as many other ways.

Gender identity

How a person sees their own gender. Gender identity relates to how you feel inside. It’s different from biological sex, or how you look or act.


When a person doesn’t conform to gender norms, such as a butch lesbian. Being gender-non-conforming does not necessarily mean a person is transgender.

Heterosexual (straight)

A man who is attracted to women, or a woman who is attracted to men.


When someone dislikes lesbian, gay or bisexual people or treats them badly. People who are, or who are thought to be, lesbian, gay or bisexual may experience homophobia.


A word used to describe someone who is attracted towards someone of the same gender. The term ‘gay’ is now more generally used.


A word used to describe a person whose biology (for example, their hormones) does not fit with assumptions about what is male or female. Intersex people may identify as male, female or non-binary.


A woman who is attracted to women. Some non-binary people also use this term.


When someone dislikes lesbians or treats them badly. People who are, or who are thought to be lesbian may experience lesbophobia.


Someone whose gender identity doesn’t match exactly with ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Some non-binary people identify with parts of being a man or woman, while others don’t at all.


When someone else knows that a person is LGBT+.


 A person whose attraction isn’t limited by gender: for example, they might be attracted to a man, a woman, or someone who doesn’t identify as either.


A pronoun is a word that refers to either the people talking (such as ‘I’ or ‘you’) or someone or something that is being talked about (such as she, it, them or this). Gender pronouns (such as she/her, he/him and they/them), specifically refer to the gender of the person you are referring to.


When someone thinks about their own sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and considers that they might be LGBT+.


Given to a person depending on their sex characteristics (genitalia and reproductive functions). 

Sometimes people are born with differences in sex characteristics that means they don’t fit the typical definitions for male or female. This is called intersex.

Sexual orientation

How a person describes who they’re attracted to. For example, a person’s sexual orientation could be bisexual, lesbian, straight or gay.


A fixed, oversimplified idea about a particular type of person or thing. Stereotypes are often harmful to the people or things they refer to.


Someone whose gender is not the same as, or does not match, the sex they were given at birth.


The steps a transgender person may take to live in the gender they identify as. Each person’s transition will be different.

Transitioning might involve things like telling friends and family, dressing in the clothes they feel comfortable in and changing official documents like passports.

For some adults, this involves medical treatment but not all transgender people want or are able to have this.


When someone doesn’t like another person because they are transgender. This can include denying who they are or refusing to accept it. People can be transphobic to people who are, or who are thought to be, transgender.