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Rainbow Glossary

LGBTQIAP+ stands for:

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic, Pansexual, and all other queer identities

This glossary is a resource for you to refer to in order to familiarise yourself with terms you might not know already that are in common use within/about the LGBTQIAP+ community. Terms that are red and italicised are considered offensive or outdated.

With the best will in the world, we are only human, and we sometimes get things wrong. If you'd like to raise an issue, suggest an alteration or addition, or flag up something, please do get in touch via the contact page.

 

A- : A prefix that means “none”, can be attached to –sexual, -romantic, -gender, -alterous, etc., e.g.… 

Agender: Refers to a person who identifies as having no gender 

Aromantic: Refers to a person who does not experience romantic attraction. Aromanticism exists on a spectrum with some people experiencing a little romantic attraction (see Demi- and Grey- prefixes) 

Asexual: Refers to a person who does not experience sexual attraction. Asexuality exists on a spectrum with some people experiencing a little sexual attraction (see Demi- and Grey- prefixes) 

Abrosexual/Abroromantic: An orientation that is fluid/constantly changing 

Ace: A common abbreviation for asexual 

Aesthetic Attraction: Finding someone aesthetically pleasing but not necessarily being attracted to them in any other way 

AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, the name used to describe a number of potentially life-threatening infections and illnesses that happen when your immune system has been severely damaged by the HIV virus 

Alloromantic: The opposite of aromantic, therefore refers to someone who does experience romantic attraction 

Allosexual: The opposite of asexual, therefore refers to someone who does experience sexual attraction 

Ally: A person who is straight and cisgender, but supports the LGBTQIAP+ community 

Alterous Attraction: A type of attraction best described as wanting emotional closeness without necessarily being (at all or entirely) platonic and/or romantic 

Amatonormativity: The assumption that everyone wants a romantic relationship or that having a romantic relationship is the norm/default 

Androgyne: Refers to someone whose gender identity is androgynous 

Androsexual: Refers to someone who is sexually attracted to males and masculinity (see also Masexual) 

Assigned Female at Birth (AFAB): Refers to someone who was assigned a female sex at birth based on physical anatomy and/or karyotyping (the pairing and ordering of chromosomes), usually used to refer to people who no longer identify as female 

Assigned Male at Birth (AMAB): Refers to someone who was assigned a male sex at birth based on physical anatomy and/or karyotyping (the pairing and ordering of chromosomes), usually used to refer to people who no longer identify as male  

Autigender: a neurogender used when autism affects how someone perceives or experiences gender

Bi- : A prefix that means “two”/”two or more”, can be attached to –sexual, -romantic, -gender, -alterous, etc., e.g.… 

Bialterous: Refers to a person who is alterously attracted to two or more genders 

Bigender: Refers to a person who identifies as two genders 

Biromantic: Refers to a person who is romantically attracted to two or more genders 

Bisexual: Refers to a person who is sexually attracted to two or more genders 

Bottom Surgery: Gender reassignment/gender confirmation surgery that alters someone’s genital area to match their true gender 

Butch: Usually used to describe a queer woman or non-binary person who expresses themselves in a typically masculine way

Ceterosexual: Refers to a non-binary person who is attracted to other non-binary people 

Cisgender/Cissexual/Cis: A gender identity that matches one’s assigned gender at birth 

Cishet: A person who is cisgender and heterosexual 

Cisnormativity: The assumption that everyone is cisgender, or that being cisgender is the norm/default 

Cissexism: Prejudice or discrimination against trans or non-binary people (see also transphobia)

Closeted/In the Closet: Refers to someone who chooses not to disclose that they are LGBTQIAP+ 

Coming Out: Revealing to a person or people that you identify as LGBTQIAP+ 

Dead-naming: The act of referring to a trans person by the name they were assigned at birth, rather than their chosen name if they have chosen to take one 

Demi- : A prefix that means “half”, denoting halfway between asexual and allosexual, or aromantic and alloromantic 

Demigender: Refers to someone who identifies 50% or more as one gender and the rest as another/other genders 

Demiromantic: Refers to someone who experiences romantic attraction to someone only after a close emotional bond has been formed with them (part of the aromantic spectrum) 

Demisexual: Refers to someone who experiences sexual attraction to someone only after a close emotional bond has been formed with them (part of the asexual spectrum) 

Demiboy: Someone who identifies as mostly male, but partially another or other genders. 

Demigirl: Someone who identifies as mostly female, but partially another or other genders. 

Drag: Refers to the culture of cross-dressing which is prevalent in the gay community (an outdated term for drag queens or kings is “transvestite” and is now deemed offensive, especially towards the trans community) 

Dysphoria/Dysphoric: The extreme negative and uncomfortable feelings that trans and gender non-conforming people may have with regards to their body/the way they look 

Enby: an informal shortening of "non-binary" derived from the phonetic sound of "N-B"

Femme: Usually used to describe femininity within queer people

FTM: Stands for “female-to-male”, used to signify a trans person who was AFAB but now identifies as male 

Galactian Alignment System: a gender system created for non-binary people to describe their gender without using binary terms (see the Galactian Alignments Wikia for more information.)

Gay: Refers to someone who is sexually attracted to people of the same sex/gender, sometimes also used as an umbrella term for all people who do not identify as heterosexual 

Gender Dysphoria/Dysphoric: The extreme negative and uncomfortable feelings that trans and gender non-conforming people may have with regards to their body/the way they look 

Gender Euphoria/Euphoric: The positive and comfortable feelings that trans and gender non-conforming people may have with regards to their body/the way they look 

Gender Expression/Presentation: The way in which someone projects their gender identity, through the way they self-define, act, dress, etc 

Genderfluid: Refers to a person whose gender identification and presentation shifts, whether within or outside of societal, gender-based expectations; being fluid in motion between two or more genders 

Gender Identity: The way someone self-identifies their gender, which is defined by their own personal/internal feelings and perceptions 

Gender Neutral: Something that does not fit in with a single gender, e.g. gender neutral toilets

Gender Non-Conforming: Refers to a person whose gender does not conform to society’s standards of male and female (can be shortened to “GNC”)

Genderqueer: Refers to a person whose gender identity and/or gender expression falls outside of the dominant societal norm for their assigned sex 

Gender Reassignment: A person's transition between genders, which can include surgery, but also the changing of names, pronouns, gender presentation etc.

Gender Recognition Certificate/GRC: A certificate that allows people to legally be recognised as their true gender and be issued a new birth certificate.

Gillick Competence: A term used in the medical world to assess whether or not a child can consent to their own medical treatment without parental permission or knowledge.

Grey- : A prefix that means “only a little/in a grey area”, can be attached to –sexual, -romantic, -alterous, etc., e.g.… 

Greyromantic: Refers to a person who experiences very little romantic attraction towards other people 

Greysexual: Refers to a person who experiences very little sexual attraction towards other people 

GSRM: Stands for “Gender, Sexual and Romantic Minorities”, another way of saying LGBTQIAP+ 

Gynesexual: Refers to someone who is attracted to women and femininity (see also Womasexual)

Hetero- : A prefix meaning “different”, referring to people who are attracted to different genders/sexes than their own, e.g....

Heteroflexible: A word to describe someone who usually identifies as straight, but is not closed off to the possibility of sex/a relationship with someone of the same gender to them 

Heteronormativity: The assumption that everyone is straight or that being straight is the norm/default 

Heteroromantic: Being romantically attracted to someone of a different gender to you

Heterosexual: Being sexually attracted to people of a different gender to you (see also straight)

HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus, a virus that damages the cells in your immune system and weakens your ability to fight everyday infections and disease 

Homo- : A prefix meaning “same”, referring to people who are attracted to the same gender/sex as themselves, e.g....

Homoflexible: A word to describe someone who usually identifies as gay, but is not closed off to the possibility of sex/a relationship with someone of a different gender to them 

Homophobia: Discrimination against people who are homosexual

Homoromantic: Being romantically attracted to someone of the same gender to you

Homosexual: Being sexually attracted to someone of the same gender to you

HRT: Stands for “Hormone Replacement Therapy”, a common practice used within a trans person’s medical transition, involving the taking or application of testosterone/oestrogen 

Intersectionality: The inter-connected nature of social categories such as sexuality, gender, race, ability etc. 

Intersex: Refers to people who naturally (that is, without any medical intervention) develop primary or secondary sex characteristics that do not fit into society's definitions of male or female (an outdated term for intersex is “hermaphrodite” and is now usually deemed offensive) 

Lesbian: A woman who is attracted to other women 

LGBTQIAP+: Stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic, Pansexual, and all other queer identities 

Masexual: Refers to someone who is sexually attracted to males and masculinity (see also Androsexual) 

Misgender: the act of referring to someone as the wrong gender, or with the wrong pronouns

MLM: Stands for “Men who Love Men”, used as an umbrella term for any man who experiences same sex attraction 

MOGAI: Stands for “Marginalized Orientations, Gender Alignments, and Intersex”, another way of saying LGBTQIAP+ 

Monogamous: Someone who is committed to being in a relationship with one person at a time 

Monosexual: Refers to being attracted to one gender only 

MTF: Stands for “male-to-female”, used to signify a trans person who was AMAB but now identifies as female 

MSM: Stands for “Men who have Sex with Men”, used to include those who engage in homosexual behaviour, but do not necessarily identify as gay 

Neopronouns: Pronouns which are not she, he, or they, e.g. xe, hir, fae

Neurogender: This describes when someone's gender is linked to their neurodivergency

Neutrois: A non-binary gender identity that can also be described as neutral-gender, null-gender, neither male nor female, genderless, or agender 

Non-Binary: A gender identity which is outside of the gender binary of male and female, sometimes written as “enby” 

Outed: Being outed refers to someone revealing that someone is LGBTQIAP+ without their permission 

Pan- : A prefix that means “all”, can be attached to –sexual, -romantic, -gender, -alterous, etc., e.g.… 

Panalterous: Refers to a person who is alterously attracted to all genders 

Pangender: Refers to a person who identifies as all genders at once 

Panromantic: Refers to person who is romantically attracted to all genders 

Pansexual: Refers to a person who is sexually attracted to all genders 

Passing: A term used to refer to a trans person who is recognised as their correct gender identity, or used to refer to non-heterosexual people who can pass as straight 

Philadelphia Pride Flag: A version of the rainbow pride flag first used in Philadelphia with two extra stripes - black and brown - as a message of solidarity with LGBTQIAP+ people of colour and as a reminder of the need for inclusivity within the LGBTQIAP+ community 

Phobia: In this context, the suffix –phobia is used to denote prejudice or discrimination against LGBTQIAP+ people, e.g. homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, etc 

Platonic Attraction: A kind of attraction that is defined as strongly wanting someone to be your friend 

Poly- : A prefix that means “many”, can be attached to –sexual, -romantic, -alterous, etc., e.g.… 

Polyalterous: Refers to a person who is alterously attracted to multiple genders 

Polyamory/Polyamorous: A polyamorous person is someone who is consensually in or open to multiple loving relationships at the same time (non-monogamous) 

Polyromantic: Refers to a person who is romantically attracted to multiple genders 

Polysexual: Refers to a person who is sexually attracted to multiple genders 

Pride: A positive stance towards the LGBTQIAP+ community, also refers to events celebrating LGBTQIAP+ culture and pride. The events also at times serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage. Most pride events occur annually, and many take place around June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots 

Pronouns: Words substituted for names, some trans and non-binary people will sometimes specify which pronouns they prefer to go by, and sometimes these exist outside of the gender binary (he/she), e.g. they/ze/hir/fae 

Quoiromantic: Refers to a person who cannot differentiate between platonic and romantic attraction 

Queer: An umbrella term for people whose gender and/or sexuality do not conform to dominant expectations. Still sometimes used as a slur, but many people are now happy using it as a general descriptive 

Queerplatonic Relationship: A relationship that is more intense than a normal friendship but not fitting the traditional romantic couple model. Often associated with alterous attraction, asexuality, and aromanticism. (Can be shortened to QPR) 

Questioning: The process of exploring one’s own gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual or romantic orientation 

Rainbow Capitalism: the marketisation of LGBTQ+/rainbow products or culture for profit, and in order to appear inclusive, regardless of real inclusive action 

Rainbow Flag: also referred to as the pride flag, the rainbow flag has different variations

Representation: In this context, this refers to media representation of LGBTQIAP+ people/groups, which is often poor. An example is the “bury your gays” trope, which is a prevalent trope where LGBTQIAP+ characters in film and television are killed off, which enforces the idea that LGBTQIAP+ people cannot live a long and happy life 

Romantic Attraction: Being attracted to a person romantically, wanting a romantic relationship with someone, but not necessarily wanting to have sex with them 

Sapiosexual: describes someone who self-defines as being attracted to intelligence. This term is considered ableist, and can be mistakenly considered part of the LGBTQIAP+ community when it is not a queer identity

Sapphic: Refers to women who are sexually or romantically attracted to other women

Sexual Attraction: Being attracted to a person sexually, wanting to have sex with a person 

Skoliosexual: Refers to a person who is attracted to people who identify as nonbinary or to anyone who doesn’t identify as cisgender 

Split-Attraction Model: A model of thinking whereby someone’s sexual attraction and romantic attraction may be different, e.g. homoromantic asexual 

Straight: A person who is heterosexual 

TERF: Stands for "Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist", a "feminist" who excludes the rights of trans people from their "feminism"

Titles: Words such as “Mr” and “Miss”, which may be different for trans and non-binary people, e.g. “Mx”, “Ser”, etc. As with pronouns, this is specified by each individual 

Top Surgery: Gender reassignment/gender confirmation surgery that alters someone’s chest area to match their true gender 

Trans- : A prefix that means “in another state”, can be used before multiple words in this context to refer to gender and gender-related terms 

Trans Man: A person who now identifies as male, but was assigned female at birth 

Trans Woman: A person who identifies as female, but was assigned male at birth 

Transgender: Describes a wide range of identities of people whose gender identity and/or expression differs from conventional expectations based on their assigned sex at birth 

Transfeminine: Refers to someone who was AMAB, but has chosen to dissociate from having a male gender identity. A transfeminine person may identify more with the female gender identity, or just that particular end of the spectrum 

Transitioning: The act of making changes within a trans person’s life to reflect their gender identity, through either social transition or medical transition.  Transitioning is not essential to be trans 

Transmasculine: Refers to someone who was AFAB, but has chosen to dissociate from having a female gender identity. A transmasculine person may identify more with the male gender identity, or just that particular end of the spectrum 

Transphobia: Discrimination against trans or non-binary people (see also cissexism)

Transsexual: An outdated term to describe a trans person who has medically transitioned. Now not in use as it is inappropriate to separate trans people by whether they have medically transitioned or not 

Transvestite: Refers to someone (usually cis) who likes to dress as a different gender for fun. Also an outdated term to describe a trans person, or a drag queen or king, no longer in use in this definition as it is deemed offensive to the trans community.

WLW: Stands for “Women who Love Women”, used as an umbrella term for any woman who experiences same sex attraction 

Womasexual: Refers to someone who is attracted to women and femininity (see also Gynesexual) 

WSW: Stands for “Women who have Sex with Women”, used to include those who engage in homosexual behaviour, but do not necessarily identify as gay/lesbian

Xenogender: an umbrella term that falls within the non-binary spectrum that describes gender identities that can't be fully described by typically gendered concepts like masculinity and femininity, but instead are better related to things, beings, objects, or other concepts

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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