We’ve gathered a list of common words used to describe people’s identities in relation to gender and sexual orientation. There are many more words than we have listed and people’s relationship with these words may differ and so we have tried to just cover the basics.
Agender – A person who feels that they do not have a gender.
Asexual – A person who experiences no, or little sexual attraction towards other people.
Bisexual – A person who is attracted to people of the same gender as themselves, and other genders.
Cis(gender) – A person who feels like their gender is the same as the one given to them when they were born.
Gay – A person who is attracted to people of the same gender as themselves.
Genderfluid – A person who experiences their gender as shifting, or changing over long and/or short periods of time.
Intersex – A person who is born with biological characteristics that cannot be easily categorised as “female” or “male”.
Heteronormativity – the normalising of heterosexual relationships and the assumption that everyone is attracted to the ‘opposite’ gender.
Lesbian – A woman who is attracted to other women.
Non-binary – A person who feels that their gender identity does not fit into the “gender binary” of “men” and/or “women”.
Pansexual – A person who is attracted to people of many genders.
Queer – Historically used as an insult, however some people feel they have reclaimed the word and it has a positive meaning. Some still feel it’s an insulting term. Some people use it as a collective term for LGBT+ people, and some to explain their gender, sexual or political identity.
Questioning – A person who is currently re-assessing or exploring their thoughts about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Straight – A person who is attracted to people of a different gender.
Trans(gender) – A person who feels like their gender is different to the one given to them when they were born.