The terms and definitions below are always evolving, changing and often mean different things to different people. They are provided below as a starting point for discussion and understanding. This Glossary has been collectively built and created by the staff members of the LGBTQIA Resource Center since the early 2000s. Are we missing a word or term? Let us know!

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Glossary of Terms


One definition of queer is abnormal or strange. Historically, queer has been used as an epithet/slur against people whose gender, gender expression, and/or sexuality do not conform to dominant expectations. Some people have reclaimed the word queer and self identify as such. For some, this reclamation is a celebration of not fitting into norms/being “abnormal.” Manifestations of oppression within gay and lesbian movements such as racism, sizeism, ableism, cissexism, transmisogyny as well as assimilation politics, resulted in many people being marginalized, thus, for some, queer is a radical and anti-assimilationist stance that captures multiple aspects of identities. (Source: UC Davis “LGBTQ+ Glossary”

Queer Baiting

Queer Baiting is when a piece of media hints at queer scenes or characters, but doesn’t actually include queer representation. It is usually used to draw (queer) audiences into the piece of media, without actually exploring queerness. Queer baiting is always negative, and causes harm to the queer community. It takes space from queer creators. (Source: Book Riot “What is Queerbaiting vs. Queer Coding?”)

Queer Coding

Queer Coding is when a character in media is not explicitly stated as queer, but they are coded as queer by giving the audience enough subtext to read them as such. Queer coding is not inherently positive or negative. Historically, queer characters were coded as queer because queer identities were not accepted. More recently, queer coding has been used in a negative way. Many villains have been queer coded, which negatively impacts queer people. (Source: Book Riot “What is Queerbaiting vs. Queer Coding?”)

Queerplatonic Relationship/Partnership (abbrev.: QPR, QPP)

A relationship that extends beyond what is expected from a platonic relationship. QPRs usually involve a deep connection that is similar to those associated with allosexual romantic relationships, but contextualized within the experiences of the ace-spec community. These relationships may include physical affection, sex, intimacy, co-habitation, and/or co-parenting. (Source: AUREA “Basic Terms”)


The process of exploring one’s own gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation. Some people may also use this term to name their identity within the LGBTQIA+ community.