LESBIAN: Women who experience sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to other women.
GAY: Used in some cultural settings to represent men who are attracted to men in a romantic, erotic and/or emotional sense. Not all men who engage in same gender sexual behavior identify as gay, and as such this label should be used with caution.
BISEXUAL or BI: A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of their own gender as well as other genders, not necessarily at the same time, in the same way, or to the same degree.
TRANSGENDER: A person who lives as a member of a gender other than that expected based on sex or gender assigned at birth. Sexual orientation varies and is not dependent on gender identity.
TRANS WOMAN: An identity label sometimes adopted by male to female trans people to signify that they are women while still affirming their transgender history.
TRANS MAN: An identity label sometimes adopted by female to male trans people to signify that they are men while still affirming their transgender history.
QUEER: A political statement, as well as a sexual orientation, which advocates breaking binary thinking and seeing both sexual orientation and gender identity as potentially fluid. The term is a simple label to explain a complex set of sexual behaviors and desires. For example, a person who is attracted to multiple genders may identify as queer. Many older LGBT people feel the word has been hatefully used against them for too long and are reluctant to embrace it. "Queer" can be used as an umbrella term to refer to all LGBTQI people.
QUESTIONING: An individual who is unsure of and/or exploring their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.
INTERSEX: Intersex is a set of medical conditions that feature congenital anomaly of the reproductive and sexual system. That is, intersex people are born with "sex chromosomes," external genitalia, or internal reproductive systems that are not considered "standard" for either male or female. The existence of intersexuals shows that there are not just two sexes and that our ways of thinking about sex (trying to force everyone to fit into either the male box or the female box) is socially constructed.
ASEXUAL: A person who does not experience sexual attraction. They may or may not experience emotional, physical, or romantic attraction. Asexuality differs from celibacy in that it is a sexual orientation, not a choice. People who are asexual may call themselves ace.
AROMANTIC: A person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others.
HETEROSEXISM: Prejudice against individuals and groups who display non-heterosexual behaviors or identities, combined with the majority power to impose such prejudice. Usually used to the advantage of the group in power. Any attitude, action, or practice" backed by institutional power that subordinates people because of their sexual orientation.
CISGENDER: someone who feels comfortable with the gender identity assigned to them based on their sex assigned at birth.
LGBTQ+ ALLY: Someone who confronts heterosexism, anti- LGBTQIA biases, heterosexual and cisgender privilege in themselves and others; believes that heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are social justice issues.
Adapted from Vanderbilt University