LGBTIQ terminology

Below are definitions of some terms we use throughout this section of the website. Words matter, and can make a big difference.

affirming gender means affirming the gender that matches a person's gender identity. For example, if a person was assigned male at birth and identifies as female, the person affirms their gender as female.

ally: usually a non- LGBTIQ person who supports and stands up for the rights of LGBTIQ people.

asexual: a person who generally does not feel sexual attraction or desire to any group of people. Asexuality is not the same as celibacy.

bisexual: This word is used in the definition of sexuality in the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991. The dictionary meaning of bisexuality is attraction to both men and women as sexual partners. Also called bi.

cisgender is a term used to describe people whose gender is the same as that assigned to them at birth. ‘Cis’ is a Latin term meaning ‘on the same side as’.

coming out: the process through which a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or intersex person comes to recognise and acknowledge, both to self and to others, their sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status.

gay: a person who is primarily attracted to members of the same sex. Although it can be used for any sex (for example: gay man, gay woman, gay person) lesbian is sometimes the preferred term for women who are attracted to women. It is preferable to homosexual.

gender diverse refers to people who identify as gender fluid, gender questioning, or genderqueer.

gender dysphoria is a recognised medical condition in which a person's sex assigned at birth does not match their gender identity or expression, resulting in impaired functioning in daily life. One treatment for gender dysphoria is for the person to undergo a transition. Not all trans and gender diverse people have gender dysphoria and of those who have dysphoria, for many it ceases with access to gender affirming health care.

gender expression is the way in which a person communicates their gender identity to others through behaviour, clothing, appearance, voice and other forms of presentation.

gender fluid means that a person’s gender identity is not fixed. Some gender fluid people feel very masculine on some days, and feminine on others, while some live free from definition entirely.

gender identity means a person's innermost concept of self as male or female — both or neither, how an individual perceives themself, and what they call themself.

Note: For the purpose of unlawful discrimination under the Anti-Discrimination Act:
gender identity, in relation to a person,under the Queensland  Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, means that the person:
(a) identifies, or has identified, as a member of the opposite sex by living or seeking to live as a member of that sex; or
(b) is of indeterminate sex and seeks to live as a member of a particular sex.

Note that the definition is based on self-identification rather than legal paperwork including identification documents.

gender non-conforming: having or being perceived to have gender characteristics and/or behaviours that do not conform to traditional or societal expectations. The person may or may not identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or intersex. For example, in the case of Norrie, the High Court of Australia unanimously held that the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995 (NSW) permits the Registrar to register that a person's sex is non-specific.

heterosexual: This word is used in the definition of sexuality in the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 . The dictionary meaning of heterosexuality is sexual feeling for a person (or persons) of the opposite sex. Also called straight.

homosexual: This word is used in the definition of sexuality in the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 . The dictionary meaning of homosexuality is sexual feeling for a person (or persons) of the same sex. Some people find this term offensive.

intersex:Intersex people are born with physical sex characteristics that don't fit medical norms for female or male bodies.

lesbian: a woman who is primarily attracted to other women.

lgb: lesbian, gay, bisexual.

lgbtiq: people who have identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or questioning.

non-binary is used to describe genders that do not fall into binary definitions of male or female.

queer: an umbrella term sometimes used by LGBTI people to refer to the entire LGBTI community. It is important to note that the word queer is an in-group term, and a word that can be considered offensive to some people, depending on their generation, geographic location, and relationship to the word (because of its historically derogatory use).

questioning: those who are unsure of, or exploring and discovering their sexual orientation or gender identity.

sex refers to a person’s biological and hormonal sex characteristics. Sex is different from gender.

sexual orientation: a person's emotional, physical, or romantic attractions to another person or people. Note: sexual orientation and gender identity are two different contructs. If a person identifies as transgender, they may also identify their sexual orientation as straight, gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

sexuality, under the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 , means: heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality.

SOGI: sexual orientation and gender identity.

SOGII: sexual orientation,gender identity, and intersex.

straight is sometimes used to refer to a heterosexual person.

trans: On these web pages we use the word trans to acknowledge that there are many identities in the gender diversity spectrum. Trans is an umbrella term that includes all identities within the gender identity spectrum, including (but not limited to) people who identify as transgender, transsexual, gender queer, gender fluid, non-binary, sistagirl, brotherboy, transman or transwoman.

transgender means that a person does not identify with the biological sex they assigned at birth.

transitioning is the process by which a person changes their gender expression to better match their gender identity. A medical transition is the process by which a person changes their physical sex characteristics via hormonal intervention and/or surgery to more closely align with their gender identity. A social transition is the process of making others aware of one’s gender identity, changing name and pronoun in social settings, and changing gender expression.

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