This glossary covers a wide range of terms and abbreviations used by or when talking about folks in the Trans* community. Some of these words are outdated terms and others are very new. We are constantly creating new language to describe our life experiences and as such, there may be some terms missing from this glossary. If you would like to add a word to our glossary, please email

Glossary of Terms

Name change/Legal name change

A name change is the process someone goes through to legally change their name. Requirements to do so vary by location. Generally the process involved filling out paperwork, paying a fee, and submitting it all to the courts. This process may be combined with legal change of gender. (Source: Trans Language Primer)


Prefixes to indicate whether someone was born with a body part/organ or had it surgically created. Neo means “new” and may be used when referring to a surgically-constructed neophallus or neovagina. Natal means “at birth” and may be used when referring to the genitals someone was born with, such as a cisgender woman’s natal vagina.


The misuse of neuroscientific facts to support the sexist notion that women and men are categorically different by virtue of brain anatomy and neurological functioning. Common examples include the traditionalist assertion that cisgender men are neurologically predisposed to have superior spatial reasoning to cisgender women, or that cisgender women are naturally inclined to be more “verbal,” or linguistically oriented, than cisgender men. (Source: Trans Lifeline Glossary of Terms and Definitions)


A non-binary gender identity that falls under the genderqueer or transgender umbrellas. There is no one definition of neutrois, since each person that self-identifies as such experiences their gender differently. The most common ones are: Neutral-gender, Null-gender, Neither male nor female, Genderless, and/or Agender.


Trans* individuals who have not attained and don’t desire to attain gender-affirming surgery, specifically bottom surgery. For many individuals, self-identification and self-expression alone achieve harmony between one’s body and one’s gender identity. (Source: USC Transgender Terminology)


Nonbinary (aka: non-binary, non binary, enby, nb)

Gender is often misrepresented as a binary of man or woman. However, there are a lot more genders that fall outside of that binary. Nonbinary people have a gender that is different than “woman” or “man.” For some, nonbinary is their chosen label. Others feel more comfortable using small, more specific labels that fall under the nonbinary umbrella (agender, genderqueer, genderfluid, etc.) Some nonbinary people also identify as trans, but not all. (Source: Trans Equality “Understanding Non-Binary People: How to Be Respectful and Supportive”)


Nullification/Gender Nullification

A gender-affirming surgery that can be performed on AMAB individuals to create a smooth appearing crotch. Nullification procedures typically include a complete penectomy, orchiectomy, reduction of the scrotal sac, and shortening of the urethra. The goal is to leave the area as a smooth unbroken transition from the abdomen to the groin.