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


Often used as an umbrella term to describe a sexual and affectional orientation toward people of the same gender. It can also be used by a man who is sexually or romantically attracted to other men. This term is preferred over them "homosexual" or "homosexuality," which is outdated. (Source: We Are Family “LGBTQI+ Glossary of Terms”)


A social construct used to classify a person as a man, woman, or some other identity. Fundamentally different from the sex one is assigned at birth, although someone's gender may correlate with their sex assigned at birth. (Source: UC Davis “LGBTQ+ Glossary”)

Gender Euphoria

Gender euphoria is the positive or blissful emotions some transgender people feel regarding their body or appearance. This is often felt when one’s gender expression aligns with their gender identity. This may be felt when someone accepts themselves and their gender identity when other people recognize their gender identity and call them by the right name and pronouns, and when someone feels “right” and comfortable in their body. Gender euphoria is the opposite of dysphoria, which is characterized by negative emotions. Not every transgender and gender non-conforming person experiences euphoria, and how it is experienced varies from person to person. (Source: Mayo Clinic “Gender dysphoria”) (See: Gender Dysphoria)

Gender Fluid (aka: Genderfluid, Gender-fluid)

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. (Source: St. Lawrence University “Common Terms and Vocabulary”)

Gender Identity

The felt and internal sense of gender. What our gender is, which may or may not correspond with the sex and gender one is assigned at birth. (Source: Stonewall “List of LGBTQ+ terms”)

Gender Non-conforming (abbrev.: GNC, gender nonconforming)

Gender non-conforming is an umbrella term for to people who do not follow society’s ideas or stereotypes about how they should appear or act based on the gender correlated with their sex assigned at birth. Gender non-conforming individuals may use any pronouns and be any gender identity. Some GNC individuals also identify as trans, but not all. (Source: Verywell Mind “What Does Gender Nonconforming Mean?”)

Gender Outlaw

A person who refuses to be defined by conventional definitions of male and female. (Source: Portland Gov. “Glossary of LGBTQ+ and Gender Terms”)

Gender Questioning

Gender questioning refers to a person that may be processing questioning, or exploring their gender identity. (Source: AACRAO “Term Glossary”)

Gender Variant

A person who varies from the expected characteristics of their assigned gender. This term is often used in the medical community. Some individuals may not identify with this term, because the word "variant" implies that these identities are abnormal. (Source: PFLAG “PFLAG National Glossary of Terms”)

Gender-Affirming Care

Gender-affirming care is a supportive form of healthcare. It consists of different services for transgender and gender-non-conforming individuals, such as medical (including hormone therapy), surgical, mental health, and non-medical service. Gender-affirming care improves the mental health and well-being of those who receive it. (Source: OASH “Gender-Affirming Care and Young People”)

Gender-Affirming Surgeries

Gender-affirming surgeries give transgender and gender non-conforming individuals a body that aligns with their gender. It may involve procedures on the chest (top surgery), face (facial reconstructive surgery), or genitalia (bottom surgery). Not all transgender and gender non-conforming individuals choose to have surgery, and all individuals are valid in their transition process. (Source: Cleveland Clinic “Gender Affirmation”) (See: Bottom Surgery and Facial Reconstructive Surgery and Top Surgery)


Genderflux is a gender identity where the gender that one identifies with varies in intensity. This might be gradual or rapid, depending on the individual. Genderflux may also be used as an umbrella term. Individuals may use -flux as a suffix with prefixes that define their gender identity. For example, they may use girlflux, agenderflux, boyflux, multiflux, and more! (Source: Queer in the World “What Does Genderflux Mean?”)


The pervasive system of discrimination and exclusion that oppresses people whose gender and/or gender expression falls outside of cis-normative constructs. This system is founded on the belief that there are, and should be, only two genders and that one’s gender or most aspects of it are inevitably tied to assigned sex. Within cissexism cisgender people are the dominant/agent group and trans/gender non-conforming people are the oppressed/target group. (Source: UC Davis “LGBTQ+ Glossary")


A person whose gender identity and/or gender expression falls outside of the dominant societal norm for their assigned sex, is beyond genders, or is some combination of them. (Source: UCSF “General Definitions”)

Graysexual (abbrev.: grey-ace, greysexual, gray asexuality, gray-a, gray-ace)

Graysexual is a sexual orientation in which someone experiences sexual attraction to a limited extent. They may feel sexual attraction rarely or with low intensity. Graysexual is often included under the ace/aro spectrum, however, some individuals do not identify under the ace/aro spectrum. (Source: Healthline “What exactly does graysexual mean?”)