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 Some of these words are outdated terms and others are very new.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


Possessing all genders. The term is used specifically to refute the concept of only two genders. This falls under the nonbinary umbrella


Surgical removal of the ovaries. Sometimes combined with hysterectomy (removal of uterus) or salpingectomy (removal of fallopian tubes).


Surgical removal of the testes. Sometimes performed before or in combination with vaginoplasty (surgical creation of a vagina).

Orientation (aka: sexual orientation, romantic orientation, etc.)

One’s attraction or non-attraction to other people. An individual’s orientation can be fluid and people use a variety of labels to describe their orientation. Some, but not all types of attraction include: aesthetic, emotional, intellectual, physical/sensual, platonic, romantic, and sexual. (Source: UNC-Chapel Hill “Asexuality, Attraction, and Romantic Orientation” | Healthline “What are the Different Types of Attraction”)

Out (“being out”)

"Being out" means not concealing one's sexual orientation or gender identity. Not all LGBTQIA+ folks are out, for a variety of reasons. Their decisions to "be out" or not to "be out" should be respected. (Source: UC Davis “LGBTQ+ Glossary”)


Revealing a person’s sexual or gender identity, HIV status, or immigration status without the person’s express consent or permission. Outing someone is a violation of privacy and an inherently harmful act. It removes the person’s choice to come out and potentially puts their safety at risk. (Source: LGBTQ and ALL “What is Outing and Why is it Harmful?”)