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Queerink

Queer Lingo

Each community has attributes that make it what it is; one such attribute is its lingo. Language is a powerful medium of empowerment. It is responsible for how people relate to and perceive each other. Therefore, when it comes to such a complex and diverse community, it is essential to know the appropriate and correct terms and concepts that you ought to consciously choose to use in order to avoid or propagate any negativity, bias, or fuel the present stereotypes.

Note from the Publisher:

a) These terms and definitions may appear exclusive and incomplete, but this resource is to be used as a guide only. If you feel strongly about any definition and/or would like to add to these lists, please contact us.

b) Many images, illustrations and videos shown here are not-Indian. Please send us images, illustrations and videos of Indian origin to replace such content. We would be glad to replace them.

Email shobhna@QueerInk.com if you would like to share India-specific content and/or would like to develop your own content and showcase it here.

Here are a few terms related to sexuality, orientation, and expression, along with their meanings.

  • Abrosexual

    • Abrosexual

      Abrosexual is a person who’s orientation fluctuates between different orientations.

      Falls on the asexual spectrum identities.

  • Ambiphilia

    • Ambiphilia

      is the condition of being attracted towards men or masculinity and women or femininity. Androphilia, gynephilia and ambiphilia were coined to provide an alternative to heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality, by placing the focus on the gender of the person one is attracted to instead of one’s own gender identity. These terms are not much in common use.

      This Venn diagram helps in understanding the concept:

      Picture courtesy: Andrea James / Wikimedia Commons

      Picture courtesy: Andrea James / Wikimedia Commons

      Also see Gynephilia and Androphilia.

       

  • Apothisexual

    • Apothisexual

      Apothisexual is someone who identifies as asexual and is sex repulsed.

      Falls on the asexual spectrum identities.

  • Asexual

    • Asexual

      An Asexual person is an individual who feels no sexual attraction towards other individuals, irrespective of their romantic orientation.

      Some Asexual Spectrum Identities are Demisexual | Fraysexual | Cuplosexual | Graysexual | Lithosexual | Autochorissexual/Aegosexual | Placiosexual | Abrosexual | Apothisexual

      We found this amazing video about common misconceptions regarding asexual people from the following website: http://www.bustle.com.

      What NOT to say to Asexuals!

      This YouTube video is published by Kiki Vlogs on 1st October 2014.

  • Autosexual

    • Autosexual

      An Autosexual person is someone who is aroused without the help of any external erotic stimuli.

  • Beard

    • Beard

      A Beard is a person of the opposite sex who dates or marries a lesbian or gay person to cover up their homosexuality. The Beard may or may not know of their partner’s homosexuality and may or may not be a homosexual themselves.

  • Biphobia

    • Biphobia

      The irrational fear and intolerance of people who are bi-sexual.

  • Bisexual Erasure

    • Bisexual Erasure

      Bisexual Erasure is a term that refers to the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify or re-explain evidence of bisexuality and is a major and one of the most visible forms of biphobia.

      This video explains how bi-erasure works in pop culture:

       

  • Bulldyke Lesbian

    • Bulldyke Lesbian

      is a highly masculine lesbian as she no longer identifies with her feminine identity. When in a relationship, she plays the dominant and protective role.

  • Camp

    • Camp

      An aesthetic sensibility wherein something is appealing because of its ostentatious, exaggerated, theatrical and ironic value. The term also refers to the display of culturally defined feminine behaviours and mannerisms in entertainments and performances, especially by gay men. It is also used as a reclaimed derogatory slang word for gay men and can be sometimes offensive, depending on whom it′s used by or how it′s being used.

  • Cissexism

    • Cissexism

      Cissexism is the assumption that one’s gender identity depends on their genitalia and has to conform to the male-female gender-binary. This assumption then makes transpeople seem inferior to cispeople and perpetuates Transphobia.

  • Demisexual


    • Demisexual


      Demisexual refers to someone who feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have an emotional bond.

      Falls on the asexual spectrum identities.

  • Dyke

    • Dyke

      The term Dyke has been reclaimed by many lesbians and bisexual women as a positive label in describing self-confidence and independence in a woman. It is not representational of what they wear or whether they behave in a masculine or feminine manner.  It is reflective of a strong anti-normative stance and parallels the reclamation of the word ‘queer’.

      It is often wrongly confused with the sub-category ‘butch’.

  • Femme

    • Femme

      Femme is a feminine gender presentation describing feminine traits, behaviour, style, expression, self-perception, sexual role and so on.  The term is mostly used in the lesbian and gay male subcultures as a sub-identity, based on feminine or effeminate dress and behaviour.

      Femme lesbian women are often mistaken as heterosexual women and are also perceived in certain ways in the lesbian community itself. Here’s a video that explains this.

       

  • Gaff

    • Gaff

      a device used to secure male genitalia in a place to make the area appear that of a female.

  • Gay Community/Family

    • Gay Community Family

      Colloquial term used to refer to the LGBTQI community.

  • Graysexual

    • Graysexual

      Graysexual is a person who rarely has a sexual attraction and/or in a very specific circumstances.

      Falls on the asexual spectrum identities.

  • Heteroflexibility

    • Heteroflexibility

      is a situational sexual behaviour where a heterosexually-identified person has sex with someone of their own gender. It is not to be confused with Bisexuality or Bicuriosity.

  • Heterosexism

    • Heterosexism

      The societal/cultural, institutional, and individual beliefs and practices that privilege heterosexuals and subordinate and denigrate LGBTQI people. It refers to culturally and institutionally entrenched attitudes and practices, which serve to oppress and marginalize LGBTQI people and support prejudices and discriminatory behaviors against them. Heterosexism, an extension of ‘sexism,’ is a pejorative term designating the chauvinism that privileges heterosexuality to the detriment or exclusion of other sexualities.

      2809497_origCredit: feministactivism.com

  • Homoeroticism

    • Homoeroticism

      Homoeroticism refers to same-sex erotic expression that is subtler and less explicit than overt depictions of homosexual situations and behavior. The artist or author can either consciously or unconsciously intend homoerotic content in art and literature.

      350px-Swimming_hole

      ‘The Swimming Hole’ (1844) by Thomas Eakins (also known as ‘Swimming’ and ‘The Old Swimming Hole’), a masterpiece, is considered one of the earliest depictions of homoeroticism in American art.

      Do you have any such references for India?

  • Homosexual

    • Homosexual

      A homosexual person is emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted to the same sex. This term is often viewed as negative, overly clinical, or disempowering by members of LGBTQI/Sexual minority communities.

      Here’s a fun cartoon that explains homosexuality!

  • LesBiGay

    • LesBiGay

      Short form for Lesbians, Bisexuals and Gay people.

  • LGBTTQQIIAA+

    • LGBPTTQQIIAA+

      Any combination of letters attempting to represent all identities in the queer community. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pan-sexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Inter-sex, Inter-gender, Asexual, Ally

      Often shortened to LGBT or LGBTQ.

  • Lithosexual

    • Lithosexual

      Lithosexual is a person who does in fact experience sexual attraction, but they in no way want those feelings reciprocated. 

      Falls on the asexual spectrum identities.

  • Males who have sex with Males (MSM)

    • Males who have sex with Males (MSM)

      This is used as an umbrella term under which all biological males who have sex with other males are included, regardless of their sexual and gender identity. Thus, literally it also includes transgender and transsexual (male to female) persons since they are actually biological males.

  • Monogamy

    • Monogamy

      It is the state of having only one sexual partner at any one time.

  • Packing

    • Packing

      To pack is to wear a dildo, strap-on, penile prosthesis or an object to create the look and/or feel of the penis and is more commonly practised by transmen but also by crossdressers and some butch lesbians.

  • Patriarchy

    • Patriarchy

      Patriarchy refers to a male dominated society, where women are oppressed or marginalized and men are in a position of power just because of their sex and gender.

      Patriarchy also refers to social systems in which the father or eldest male is the head of the household, having authority over women and children. It refers to institutional systems governed by males, and to the dominance of men in social and cultural systems. The patriarchal control of major social, cultural and political institutions is the cause of several forms of discrimination against women.

      This video explains aspects of the Patriarchy.

  • Phallocentric

    • Phallocentric

      refers to the cultural and social organization of the wod fostered by the patriarchy.

  • Pillow Queen aka Bottom

    • Pillow Queen aka Bottom

      is someone who likes to be on the receiving end of a sexual act and not reciprocate.

  • Polyamory

    • Polyamory

      Polyamory translates into many loves and circumscribes a particular relationship philosophy that assumes that it is possible (and indeed desirable) to love many people and to maintain multiple relationships.

      Within polyamory, there is a strong emphasis on love, intimacy, commitment and honesty. Some have defined polyamory as responsible non-monogamy.

  • Polysexuality

    • Polysexuality

      Polysexuality is sexual and romantic attraction to multiple biological sexes and gender identities, not necessarily all of them.

      Bisexuality and Pansexuality are forms of Polysexuality and are commonly confused with one another.

  • Quiltbag

    • Quiltbag

      Quiltbag is an acronym.

      It stands for Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender/Transsexual, Bisexual, Allied/Asexual, Gay/Genderqueer.

      It is meant to be a more inclusive term than GLBT/LGBT and to be more pronounceable (and memorable) than some of the other variations or extensions on the GLBT/LGBT abbreviation. 

  • Sexual Activity

    • Sexual Activity

      It is a behavior and expression of one’s sexuality when the erotic component of sexuality is most evident. It is characterized by behaviors that seek eroticism and is synonymous to sexual behaviour.

  • Sexual Identity

    • Sexual Identity

      Sexual Identity is an inner sense of oneself as a sexual being, including how one identifies in terms of gender identity and sexual orientation. Some believe that sexual identities should never be assigned or ascribed, but only self-reported, with meanings determined by the person assuming that identity.

      A person’s sexual identity should not be confused with their sexual orientation or sexual behaviour.

      This video explains the difference between Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation

  • Sexuality

    • Sexuality

      Human sexuality encompasses the sexual knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviours of individuals. Its dimensions include the anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry of the sexual response system; identity, orientation, roles and personality; thoughts, feelings, and relationships. The expression of sexuality is influenced by ethical, spiritual, cultural, and moral concerns.

      It refers to the core dimension of the human personality that includes sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, emotional attachment, love and reproduction.

      It is experienced and expressed in thoughts, deeds, desire, or beliefs, attitudes, values, activities, practices, roles and relationships. Sexuality is the end result of the interplay of biological, psychological, socio-cultural factors.

      However while sexuality can include the entire above characteristics, not all these dimension needs to be expressed or experienced. The sum totality of our sexuality is experienced and expressed in all that we are, what we feel, think or do.

      This video does a great job of explaining the nuances of sexuality in a limited time.

  • Sodomy

    • Sodomy

      Coined around 1050 by St. Peter Damian to denote sexual activity between men, is a shortened form of the sin of Sodom, referring to the Genesis account of the men of Sodom who tried to have intercourse with two angels and were smitten with blindness.

      Historically, the exact meaning of sodomy has varied across time and place. Although in the early modern periods it often referred to undifferentiated vice, including heresy and treason, its meaning gradually became more specific, referring usually to sex between men, especially anal intercourse.

      But in some countries at varying times it has also been applied to oral sex, anal intercourse between men and women, sex between women, and even bestiality.

      The term is still used in the law codes of some countries, where it most often referred to sex between men, either anal or oral, but occasionally also to lesbian acts and anal and oral intercourse between men and women.

  • Stone Butch

    • Stone Butch

      is a lesbian who gets pleasure from satisfying her partner and does not like to be touched sexually.

  • TGBL

    • TGBL
      see GLBT, LGBT

  • Woman

    • Woman

      Woman is a term referring to someone who identifies as such, which may often exhibit culturally defined feminine or female characteristics. Popularly understood within a binary gender system to refer to someone who is female-bodied.

      A woman may be a cis- or a trans-gender person.

      We found this entertaining video which us explains Simone de Beauvoir’s understanding of what it means to be a woman using video games graphics.

  • Aggressive Femme

    • Aggressive Femme

      Assumes a dominant role (in actions) in a lesbian relationship and is agreeable to being submissive to her partner and typically dresses in a ‘feminine’ fashion.

  • Androphilia

    • Androphilia

      is the condition of being attracted towards men or masculinity. Androphilia, gynephilia and ambiphilia were coined to provide an alternative to heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality, by placing the focus on the gender of the person one is attracted to instead of one’s own gender identity. These terms are not much in common use.

      This Venn diagram helps in understanding the concept:

      Picture courtesy: Andrea James / Wikimedia Commons

      Picture courtesy: Andrea James / Wikimedia Commons

      Also see Gynephilia and Ambiphilia.

  • Aromantic

    • Aromantic

      An Aromantic is a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others. Where romantic people have an emotional need to be with another person in a romantic relationship, Aromantics are often satisfied with friendships and other non-romantic relationships.

      A person’s aromanticism does not influence their sexuality or sexual behaviour and hence, aromanticism should not be confused with asexuality.

       

       

  • Autochorissexual/Aegosexual

    • Autochorissexual-Aegosexual

      Autochorissexual/Aegosexual is someone who is disconnected between oneself and the sexual target of arousal.

      Falls on the asexual spectrum identities.

  • Baby Dyke

    • Baby Dyke

      Baby Dyke is a term used in the lesbian community to describe a young lesbian who is newly out or is just coming out of the closet.

      If you feel this describes you, then we at Queer Ink hope that these definitions would help in your discovery of yourself and the diverse queer community.

  • Bi-curious

    • Bi-curious

      A Bi-Curious person is one who questions and/or wants to explore one’s sexual orientation. A heterosexual bi-curious person may be curious about homosexual experiences and a homosexual bi-curious person may be curious about heterosexual experiences.

      Bicuriousity is distinct from bisexuality and heteroflexibility and homoflexibility and should not be confused with them.

  • Bisexual

    • Bisexual

      A Bisexual person is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to two sexes or two genders, but not necessarily simultaneously or equally. Colloquially, also called bi.

      There is an environment of biphobia that is present in both the heterosexual and queer arenas which is fostered by some false ideas about the bisexual community. Here is a video that addresses some of them.

  • Bottom

    • Bottom

      Bottom is the homosexual partner who gets penetrated by the penetrating partner during sex. Some men are ‘pure bottoms’, i.e. they are always penetrated and never penetrate their partners, while some are versatile, i.e. they both penetrate their partners and get penetrated by them.

       

  • Butch

    • Butch
      Being Butch is a masculine gender presentation, describing masculine traits, behaviour, style, expression, self-perception and so on. While the term is used in both the lesbian and gay subcultures as a sub-identity, based on a masculine or macho dress and behaviour, it is most commonly heard in the lesbian community and can also apply to women of other sexual orientations.

      Here is a video which talks about the different experiences of butch lesbian women.

  • Cis-privilege

    • Cis-privilege

      Cis-privilege is the privilege that cisgendered people experience in the society because of cissexism. Like most privileges, cis-privilege is invisible to those who have it. Even non-heterosexual cis-gendered people experience some or all of the cis-privileges that heterosexual cis-gendered people do.

      This video tells us the number of different cis-privileges that go unnoticed by cis-people:

       

  • Cuplosexual

    • Cuplosexual
      Cuplosexual is a person wanting sexual relationship but does NOT experience sexual attraction.

      Falls on the asexual spectrum identities.

  • Dildo

    • Dildo

      A dildo is a sex toy, usually phallic in appearance, intended for bodily penetration (vaginal and/or anal and/or oral) during masturbation or sex with a partner or partners. Dildos are often used by people of all genders and sexual orientations, for masturbation and for other sexual activities. There are many different types of dildos, of different materials and shapes. It becomes a vibrator dildo when containing vibrating devices, a strap-on dildo when designed to be worn in a harness and double-ended dildo, which allows for the simultaneous penetration of two bodily orifices at the same time.

  • Female

    • Female

      Traditionally, an individual’s biological status as female. The traditional definition of female is an individual of the sex that produces ova or eggs. The female’s genetic determination is based on the XY sex-determination system where generally males have an XY, as opposed to women’s XX, sex chromosome. However, things are not so simple today. Female can be defined by physical appearance, by chromosome constitution, or by gender identification.

  • Fraysexual

    • Fraysexual

      Fraysexual refers to a person who’s sexual attraction for someone fades after initially meeting with them (opposite of Demisexual)

      Falls on the asexual spectrum identities.

  • Gay

    • Gay

      Men who are emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted to other men. Also used as an umbrella term for LGBTQI people.

      Here’s a fun cartoon that explains homosexuality!

  • GLBT

    • GLBT

      An acronym, for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender/Transsexual. Other versions may add Q for Queer or Questioning, I for Intersex, and A for Allies or Asexual. These groups often jointly fight against discrimination and stigmatization based on one′s sexual orientation and/or gender identity and thus identify as a common community. Also used as a term to denote the entire community of sexual minorities irrespective of identities. Some may prefer to list the acronym as TBLG to place trans-people in a position of importance and to rectify the way trans has historically been omitted, devalued or excluded. The same happens with the LGBT version of the acronym, which lists lesbians first, since historically they have received less visibility.

  • Gynophilia

    • Gynophilia

      is the condition of being attracted towards women or femininity. Androphilia, gynephilia and ambiphilia were coined to provide an alternative to heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality, by placing the focus on the gender of the person one is attracted to instead of one’s own gender identity. These terms are not much in common use.

      This Venn diagram helps in understanding the concept:

      Picture courtesy: Andrea James / Wikimedia Commons

      Picture courtesy: Andrea James / Wikimedia Commons

      Also see Androphilia and Ambiphilia.

  • Heteronormativity

    • Heteronormativity

      Heteronormativity refers to a set of lifestyle norms that compels people to fall into rigid notions of what it means to be a man or a woman (as distinct and complementary gender roles), how the two should relate and the family unit that should result from such a relationship.

      A heteronormative view is one that promotes a binary alignment of biological sex (female/male), gender identity (feminine woman/masculine man), and sexual orientation/behaviour (heterosexual).

      Heteronormativity is the assumption that heterosexuality and heterosexual norms are universal or at least the only acceptable conditions.

      Closely related to Heterosexism, Heteronormativity negatively affects both Heterosexual and LGBTQI people in a host of ways, from actively oppressing those who do not fulfil heterosexual expectations to rendering sexual dissidents invisible.

  • Heterosexual

    • Heterosexual

      A person who is emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted to the opposite sex. Also called straight.

  • Homoflexibility

    •  

      Homoflexibilityis a situational sexual behaviour where a homosexually-identified person has sex with someone of the opposite gender. It is not to be confused with Bisexuality or Bicuriosity.

  • Lesbian

    • Lesbian

      Women who are emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted other women.

  • LGBT

    • LGBT
      Combination of letters attempting to represent identities in the queer community.  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender

  • Lipstick Lesbian

    • Lipstick Lesbian

      Lipstick Lesbian describes a very feminine lesbian who is attracted to other feminine lesbians and if in a relationship, both partners will be considered equally feminine.

      While they should not be confused with Femmes, who are feminine lesbians usually attracted towards Butch lesbians, they face the same invisibility that Femmes do.

  • Male

    • Male

      Traditionally, an individual′s biological status as male.

      A traditional definition of male was an individual of the sex that produces sperm.

      The male′s genetic determination is based on the XY sex-determination system where generally males have an XY, as opposed to women′s XX, sex chromosome.

      However, things are not so simple today. Male can be defined by physical appearance, by chromosome constitution, or by gender identification.

  • Man

    • Man

      refer to someone who identifies as such, who may often exhibit culturally defined masculine or male characteristics (see masculine and male). Popularly understood within a binary gender system to refer to someone who is male-bodied.

  • Monosexuality

    • Monosexuality

      is the sexual attraction to members of one sex or gender only. A monosexual person maybe heterosexual or homosexual or maybe attracted towards any one of the non-binary gender identities. This term can be seen as derogatory.

  • Pansexual

    • Pansexual

      A Pansexual person is sexually and romantically attracted to people irrespective of their sex or gender identity.

      By definition, they reject the gender binary system because they are also attracted to people who are neither male nor female.

      Pansexuality is a form of Polysexuality and is not to be confused with Bisexuality.

      This video explains the difference in meaning between the terms:

  • Penile prosthesis

    • Penile prosthesis

      It is a medical device implanted in the genital area requiring a surgical procedure. The device is often used for men who suffer from erectile dysfunction.

      A penile prosthesis is also used in the final stage of plastic surgery phalloplasty to complete female to male gender reassignment surgery.

  • Phallocentricism

    • Phallocentricism

      Phallocentricism refers to the cultural and social organisation of the world fostered by the patriarchy.

  • Placiosexual

    • Placiosexual

      Placiosexual refers to a person who feels little to no desire to receive sexual acts but expresses interest/desire in performing them on someone else.

      Falls on the asexual spectrum identities.

  • Polysexual

    • Polysexual

      sexual and romantic attraction to multiple biological sexes and gender identities, not necessarily all sexes and genders.

  • Power Dyke aka Power Lesbian aka Suit

    • Power Dyke aka Power Lesbian aka Suit

      is a lesbian who has gained a position of power, either within the LGBTQI communities or in the mainstream.

  • Sex

    • Sex

      Distinct from gender, this term refers to the cluster of biological, chromosomal, and anatomical features associated with maleness and femaleness in the human body. It is a person′s biological identity as male or female that one is assigned at birth. In reality, as the existence of intersex people point out, a multiplicity of sexes exist in the human population. Biological sex is determined by:

      • Chromosomes (XX for females & XY for males),
      • Hormones (estrogen & progesterone for females, testosterone for males),
      • Internal and external genitalia (vulva, clitoris, vagina for females; penis and testicles for males).

      One′s sex is often thought of as a much more concrete matter than it actually is; about 1.7% of the population can be defined as intersexual – born with biological aspects of both sexes to varying degrees. A person′s assigned sex may or may not be the same as their present anatomical sex, which may or may not be the same as their sex of identity. Sex, like gender, is a more complex issue than what it is believed to be. Sex terms are male, female, transsexual, and intersex.

  • Sexual Behaviour

    • Sexual Behaviour

      Sexual Behaviour determines with whom one has sex with. It could be with people of the same sex, the opposite sex, or both sexes. Behaviours are not necessarily translated into a conscious sexual identity and not necessarily reflect the sexual orientation.

  • Sexual Orientation

    •  

      Sexual Orientation

      One′s emotional, physical and/or sexual attraction and the expression of that attraction.

      It could be to people of the same sex (homosexuality), to the opposite sex (heterosexuality), to either sexes (bisexuality, multi-sexual, pansexual, omni sexual), or none (asexuality).

      Trans and gender-variant people may identify with any sexual orientation, and their sexual orientation may or may not change before, during or after gender transition.

  • Situational Bisexual Men

    • Situational Bisexual Men

      These individuals have sexual relations with men when sex with females is not available. They may be migrant laborers, jail inmates, remand home inmates, and police personnel in male quarters, hostels and orphanages.

      It is important to take into account migration patterns across state and nation boundaries and also living conditions where they share a single room with many other men.

      These men usually don’t identify themselves as bisexuals and their situations make their sexual behaviour come in variance with their sexual orientation.

  • Soft Butch

    • Soft Butch

      is a lesbian who is viewed as masculine in attitude and feminine in appearance.

  • TBLG

    • TBLG

      see GLBT

  • Transsexual

    • Transsexual

      A Transsexual is a person who was assigned a sex at birth, based on their reproductive organs, that is at variance with their gender identity.

      This term refers exclusively to those who identify with the opposite sex, based on the male-female gender binary.

      A Transsexual person may or may not undergo a Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) to align their body with the gender they internally identify with.

      Transsexual and Transgender are commonly confused with each other; while the former refers to people who identify themselves with the opposite sex. the latter is an umbrella term which includes all gender identities which are not cis-gender.

      Transsexual people may choose to identify themselves as either transsexual or transgender or both and in some places, the term ‘transsexual’ is seen as out-dated and even offensive.

  • Straight

    • Straight

      slang term for heterosexual

Here is a list of multiple terms that deal with gender identity and expression.

  • Agender

    • is the gender identity of people who feel that they have no gender or don’t identify with any gender identity. They can present themselves as masculine, feminine and androgynous.

      This is a video of a young person explaining their own personal journey being an agender person:

      This YouTube video is published by Gender Pool on Apr 30, 2015

       

  • Androgyne

    • is a person who does not fit into the societal notions concerning gender roles and expression and considers both feminine and masculine traits to be present in them at the same time. Androgyny is often expressed through a person’s gender expression and typically takes elements from both masculine and feminine fashion to create a look where it is difficult to assume their gender identity. It is not to be confused with bigender.

  • Bigender

    • is the gender identity where a person alternates between identifying themselves between female and male gender identities, behaviours and expression. This ‘switch’ between gender identities is involuntary. At times, a person can simultaneously feel that they have both female and male identities within themselves. Bigender people should not be confused with androgynous people.

      This video explains how being a Bigender feels like to a Bigender person:

      This YouTube video is uploaded by bigenderdotnet on Jul 18, 2011.

       

  • Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM)

    • A catalogue of mental and psychological disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association that includes the pathologisation of transpeople through the diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder (GID.)

  • Feminine/Femininity

    • An often ambiguous term that refers to self-expression, performance, actions, behaviors, dress, grooming, adornment and speech popularly associated with someone who is female-bodied within a binary gender system. People of all genders can self-identify as feminine or as having feminine characteristics.

  • Gaff

    • Gaff

      a device used to secure male genitalia in a place to make the area appear that of a female.

  • Gender Bender

    • is a person who very consciously ‘bends’ socially laid gender roles and norms. A gender-bender may be cis or trans and can belong to any sexual orientation. Genderbending, also known as Genderfucking, is not a gender identity as much as it is a form of gender performance, in Butlerian terms. It is often a form of political protest where a person purposefully eschews the gender roles expected of them to protest against them and it can be done in the form of gender expression or behaviour.

  • Gender Continuum/Binary

    • Gender Continuum or Binary refers to a system that defines and makes room for two and only two distinct and opposite genders (male and female). These two genders are defined in opposition to each other, such that masculinity and femininity are seen as mutually exclusive. In this system, there is no room for any ambiguity or intermingling of gender traits and these two opposite poles (male and female) are supposed to attract each other only: heterosexual relationships between men and women being the only recognized norm. The gender binary view does not include many other non-normative expressions: the existence of lesbian, gay and bisexual people throughout history and across cultures shows that sexual attraction can have different forms. And the existence of transgender, transsexual and intersex people demonstrates that biological sex and gender are more of a broad spectrum with many points than a bar with two poles.

  • Gender Dysphoria

    • A psychiatric term that refers to a radical incongruence between an individual′s birth sex and his/her gender identity. A Gender Dysphoric person feels an irrevocable disconnect between his/her physical body and mental sense of gender. Many in the trans-community find this term offensive or insulting as it often pathologises the transgendered individual due to its association with the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM).

  • Gender Expression

    • Gender Expression is how a person expresses themselves as in terms of their appearance and behaviour, based loosely on the societal notions of gendered appearances. Sometimes, a person’s Gender Expression might be in variance with their Gender Identity, as explained in this video:

  • Gender Identity

    • Gender Identity is how a person identify their gender as, irrespective of their biological sex. Their Gender Identity may or may not be in variance with their Gender Expression, as explained in this video:

  • Gender Neutral/Gender Inclusive

    • Inclusive language and spaces that can be used by all genders. E.g.: spouse/partner instead of girlfriend/wife & boyfriend/husband and gender neutral restrooms.

  • Gender Outlaw

    • A term popularized by Trans-activists such as Kate Bornstein and Leslie Feinberg, a gender outlaw refers to an individual who transgresses or violates the law of gender (i.e. one who challenges the rigidly enforced gender roles) in a trans phobic, heterosexist and patriarchal society.

  • Gender Roles

    • represent the set of characteristics and behaviors that a given society assigns to females and males and how individuals are supposed to perform normative masculine or feminine roles to be recognized a male or female identity.

  • Gender Variant/Diverse/Non-conforming

    • Displaying gender traits that are normatively more typical of the opposite biological sex. Feminine behavior or appearance in men is gender-variant as is masculine behavior or appearance in women. Gender-variant behavior is culturally specific.

  • Genderfuck

    • refers to efforts to mock or confuse traditional, standard or stereotypical gender expectations.

  • Genderqueer or Non-Binary

    • is a category of gender identities which are outside of the gender binary and cis-normativity i.e. neither male or female. It is an umbrella term that incorporates a number of gender identities, such as agender, gender-fluid and bigender.

      This video shines some light on what it means to be Genderqueer:

      This YouTube video is published by Ashley Wylde on Published on Apr 22, 2014

  • Heteronormativity

    • Heteronormativity

      Heteronormativity refers to a set of lifestyle norms that compels people to fall into rigid notions of what it means to be a man or a woman (as distinct and complementary gender roles), how the two should relate and the family unit that should result from such a relationship.

      A heteronormative view is one that promotes a binary alignment of biological sex (female/male), gender identity (feminine woman/masculine man), and sexual orientation/behaviour (heterosexual).

      Heteronormativity is the assumption that heterosexuality and heterosexual norms are universal or at least the only acceptable conditions.

      Closely related to Heterosexism, Heteronormativity negatively affects both Heterosexual and LGBTQI people in a host of ways, from actively oppressing those who do not fulfil heterosexual expectations to rendering sexual dissidents invisible.

  • Intersex

    • Intersex is a biological condition which makes it difficult to identify a person’s sex based on their genitalia. While a lot of intersex infants and children are made to undergo ‘corrective surgeries’ to align them with one distinct sex, recently it is seen as an infringement of their human rights. Intersex people can identify themselves as female, male or gender-conforming and have different sexual orientations.

  • Male

    • Male

      Traditionally, an individual′s biological status as male.

      A traditional definition of male was an individual of the sex that produces sperm.

      The male′s genetic determination is based on the XY sex-determination system where generally males have an XY, as opposed to women′s XX, sex chromosome.

      However, things are not so simple today. Male can be defined by physical appearance, by chromosome constitution, or by gender identification.

  • Man

    • Man refers to someone who identifies as such, who may often exhibit culturally defined masculine or male characteristics (see masculine and male). Popularly understood within a binary gender system to refer to someone who is male-bodied.

      A man maybe a cis- or a trans-person.

  • Packing

    • Packing

      To pack is to wear a dildo, strap-on, penile prosthesis or an object to create the look and/or feel of the penis and is more commonly practised by transmen but also by crossdressers and some butch lesbians.

  • Pansexual

    • Pansexual

      A Pansexual person is sexually and romantically attracted to people irrespective of their sex or gender identity.

      By definition, they reject the gender binary system because they are also attracted to people who are neither male nor female.

      Pansexuality is a form of Polysexuality and is not to be confused with Bisexuality.

      This video explains the difference in meaning between the terms:

  • Penile prosthesis

    • Penile prosthesis

      It is a medical device implanted in the genital area requiring a surgical procedure. The device is often used for men who suffer from erectile dysfunction.

      A penile prosthesis is also used in the final stage of plastic surgery phalloplasty to complete female to male gender reassignment surgery.

  • Polysexuality

    • Polysexuality

      Polysexuality is sexual and romantic attraction to multiple biological sexes and gender identities, not necessarily all of them.

      Bisexuality and Pansexuality are forms of Polysexuality and are commonly confused with one another.

  • Queer

    • Originally a synonym for odd, this term – as both noun and adjective- became a derogatory epithet for gay men and lesbians in the twentieth century, especially in the United States, where it emphasized the alleged unnaturalness of homosexuality. The term has been reclaimed by members of the LGBTQI communities to refer to people who transgress culturally imposed norms of heterosexuality and gender traditionalism. A term of political currency, Queer might be broadly defined as a resistance to regimes of heterosexism. It is an inclusive umbrella term to refer to all non-normative experiences, both in terms of gender identities and of sexual practices/identities. Many lesbians and gay men, transgender, transsexuals, bisexuals, and even heterosexuals whose sexuality does not fit into the cultural standard of monogamous heterosexual marriage have adopted the queer label.

  • Sexual Orientation

    •  

      Sexual Orientation

      One′s emotional, physical and/or sexual attraction and the expression of that attraction.

      It could be to people of the same sex (homosexuality), to the opposite sex (heterosexuality), to either sexes (bisexuality, multi-sexual, pansexual, omni sexual), or none (asexuality).

      Trans and gender-variant people may identify with any sexual orientation, and their sexual orientation may or may not change before, during or after gender transition.

  • TGBL

    • TGBL
      see GLBT, LGBT

  • Tomboy

    • a term for a young girl who dressed like a boy regardless of sexual orientation.

  • Transman

    • A Transman is a person who was assigned female at birth and identifies as male.

      A Transman may or may not undergo medical intervention, in the form of surgeries and/or hormones, to change his body to be more masculine in appearance.

      Irrespective of that, Transman should be referred to as ‘men’ only, just as cis-men are.

      However, they themselves may want to use the terms ‘transman’ or ‘transgender’ to increase trans-visibility.

  • Transsexual

    • Transsexual

      A Transsexual is a person who was assigned a sex at birth, based on their reproductive organs, that is at variance with their gender identity.

      This term refers exclusively to those who identify with the opposite sex, based on the male-female gender binary.

      A Transsexual person may or may not undergo a Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) to align their body with the gender they internally identify with.

      Transsexual and Transgender are commonly confused with each other; while the former refers to people who identify themselves with the opposite sex. the latter is an umbrella term which includes all gender identities which are not cis-gender.

      Transsexual people may choose to identify themselves as either transsexual or transgender or both and in some places, the term ‘transsexual’ is seen as out-dated and even offensive.

  • Trigender

    • is where one changes between or among the behaviors of male, female and a third gender (genderless, a mix of male & female, and/or any other Genderqueer identities) conditional on their moods or situation.

  • Ze

    • Gender neutral pronouns that can be used instead of he/she.

  • Ambiguous Genitalia

    • Ambiguous genitalia is a birth defect where the outer genitals do not have the typical appearance of either a boy or a girl.

  • Androgynous

    • is being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior.

  • Cis-gender

    • is a condition where a person’s gender identity aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth. This has nothing to do with a person’s sexual orientation. Cis-gender people have cis-privilege in the society and cissexism is used against transpeople as a form of transphobia.

      While people who identify themselves as men or women should ideally be referred to just as men or women respectively, when talking about trans-men or trans-women, one should refer to cis-people with the adjective ‘cis’ and not just as men or women, otherwise a false assumption comes up where trans-men or trans-women have to have the adjective ‘trans’ in front of their gender identity but cis-people can just be defined as men or women.

      This video explains this:

      This Youtube video is published by My Genderation on Mar 25, 2015.

  • Dysphoria

    • the constant feeling by gender-variant people that they are not in the right body.

  • Femme

    • Femme

      Femme is a feminine gender presentation describing feminine traits, behaviour, style, expression, self-perception, sexual role and so on.  The term is mostly used in the lesbian and gay male subcultures as a sub-identity, based on feminine or effeminate dress and behaviour.

      Femme lesbian women are often mistaken as heterosexual women and are also perceived in certain ways in the lesbian community itself. Here’s a video that explains this.

       

  • Gender

    • Gender is how a person perceives themselves to be like. A person’s gender does not always correspond to their biological sex. Gender is best understood as a spectrum, much like sexuality, and is not limited to just the feminine and masculine genders. There are other forms of gender identities, like genderqueer, androgynous, bi-gender etc.

      This video explains a bit about how we should not assume one’s gender based on the societal notions of gendered expressions.

  • Gender Conformity

    • where one’s gender identity, gender expression and sex match as per societal expectations.

  • Gender Diverse

    • A person who does not conform (by choice or nature) to gender-based expectations of the society.

  • Gender Euphoria

    • A term coined by the trans-community members to refer to the happiness and joy of openly and proudly living in one’s preferred gender role. A term to answerback the pathologising connotations of the term Gender Dysphoria.

  • Gender Fluid

    • is someone whose gender identification and gender expression shifts within or outside societal expectations.

  • Gender Identity Disorder

    • is a formal diagnosis of persons who do not identify with the sex they were born with and/or gender roles that are associated with that sex.

  • Gender Non-conforming

    • A person who does not align with societal expectations of gender expression based on gender identity.

  • Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS)

    • It is a misnomer but is used to refer to the sex-change operation, known as Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS.)

  • Gender Transition

    • The period of time in which a person begins to live in a gender role which is in accordance with their internal gender identity. This could include, for instance, the period of time when a person assigned female at birth who has a male gender identity begins to live in role by dressing as a man, taking testosterone therapy, or undergoing surgery.

  • Gender-specific & Gender-neutral pronouns

    • Gender-specific pronoun is a pronoun associated with a particular gender, such as a pronoun denoting female or male. Referring to a person on the basis of gender, traditionally he, him, his, himself and she, her, hers, herself.

      Gender-neutral pronouns A subset of pronouns are “gender neutral”: examples include ze; hir and hirs; ey, em, eirs; ze, zir and zirs, or singular they, them, their, theirs and themself.

  • Genderism

    • the belief system that gender is inherently tied to one’s sex assigned at birth.

  • GLBT

    • GLBT

      An acronym, for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender/Transsexual. Other versions may add Q for Queer or Questioning, I for Intersex, and A for Allies or Asexual. These groups often jointly fight against discrimination and stigmatization based on one′s sexual orientation and/or gender identity and thus identify as a common community. Also used as a term to denote the entire community of sexual minorities irrespective of identities. Some may prefer to list the acronym as TBLG to place trans-people in a position of importance and to rectify the way trans has historically been omitted, devalued or excluded. The same happens with the LGBT version of the acronym, which lists lesbians first, since historically they have received less visibility.

  • Heterosexism

    • Heterosexism

      The societal/cultural, institutional, and individual beliefs and practices that privilege heterosexuals and subordinate and denigrate LGBTQI people. It refers to culturally and institutionally entrenched attitudes and practices, which serve to oppress and marginalize LGBTQI people and support prejudices and discriminatory behaviors against them. Heterosexism, an extension of ‘sexism,’ is a pejorative term designating the chauvinism that privileges heterosexuality to the detriment or exclusion of other sexualities.

      2809497_origCredit: feministactivism.com

  • Intersex Persons

    • Persons who have the characteristics of both male and female biological organs and/or genitalia. Formally termed hermaphrodites, intersex people are born with the condition of having physical sex markers (genitals, hormones, gonads or chromosomes) that are not exclusively male or female as defined by the medical establishment in our society.

      For instance, some children are born with an enlarged clitoris that looks like a penis; some are born with a penis, but may develop hips and breasts during adolescence due to hormone levels. In most cases, these children are at no medical risk. Regardless, most intersex babies/children receive surgical intervention (without their consent and sometimes without their knowledge) to make their sex characteristics conform to binary expectations.

      These procedures sometimes damage the child’s reproductive organs and can emotionally scar them by forcing on them a gender and/or sex role that may not feel natural. Intersex people do not necessarily identify as trans. According to statistics, at least one in 2,000 children is intersex.

  • Males who have sex with Males (MSM)

    • Males who have sex with Males (MSM)

      This is used as an umbrella term under which all biological males who have sex with other males are included, regardless of their sexual and gender identity. Thus, literally it also includes transgender and transsexual (male to female) persons since they are actually biological males.

  • Masculine/masculinity

    • An often-ambiguous term that refers to self-expression, performance, actions, behaviors, dress, grooming, adornment, and speech popularly associated with someone who is male-bodied within a binary gender system. People of all genders can self-identify as masculine or as having masculine characteristics. The term masculinities is more accurate because at a given time in a given place, there can be many forms of masculinities. There may however be one dominant form of masculinity that influences the behavior and attitudes of men and women.

  • Pangender

    • A person who chooses identifies as a man, woman and third gender.

  • Patriarchy

    • Patriarchy

      Patriarchy refers to a male dominated society, where women are oppressed or marginalized and men are in a position of power just because of their sex and gender.

      Patriarchy also refers to social systems in which the father or eldest male is the head of the household, having authority over women and children. It refers to institutional systems governed by males, and to the dominance of men in social and cultural systems. The patriarchal control of major social, cultural and political institutions is the cause of several forms of discrimination against women.

      This video explains aspects of the Patriarchy.

  • Phallocentricism

    • Phallocentricism

      Phallocentricism refers to the cultural and social organisation of the world fostered by the patriarchy.

  • Power Dyke aka Power Lesbian aka Suit

    • Power Dyke aka Power Lesbian aka Suit

      is a lesbian who has gained a position of power, either within the LGBTQI communities or in the mainstream.

  • Quiltbag

    • Quiltbag

      Quiltbag is an acronym.

      It stands for Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender/Transsexual, Bisexual, Allied/Asexual, Gay/Genderqueer.

      It is meant to be a more inclusive term than GLBT/LGBT and to be more pronounceable (and memorable) than some of the other variations or extensions on the GLBT/LGBT abbreviation. 

  • Sexuality

    • Sexuality

      Human sexuality encompasses the sexual knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviours of individuals. Its dimensions include the anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry of the sexual response system; identity, orientation, roles and personality; thoughts, feelings, and relationships. The expression of sexuality is influenced by ethical, spiritual, cultural, and moral concerns.

      It refers to the core dimension of the human personality that includes sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, emotional attachment, love and reproduction.

      It is experienced and expressed in thoughts, deeds, desire, or beliefs, attitudes, values, activities, practices, roles and relationships. Sexuality is the end result of the interplay of biological, psychological, socio-cultural factors.

      However while sexuality can include the entire above characteristics, not all these dimension needs to be expressed or experienced. The sum totality of our sexuality is experienced and expressed in all that we are, what we feel, think or do.

      This video does a great job of explaining the nuances of sexuality in a limited time.

  • Third Gender

    • is a gender category that encompasses within it a host of gender identities that are outside of the western notion of gender-binary of male and female. What ‘Third Gender’ means in a region is culturally specific and in South Asia, the term usually means the Hijra/Aravani/Kinnar/Khawaja Sara community.

  • Transgender (TG)

    • A Transgender person’s gender is at variance with the sex they were assigned at birth.

      Transgender is an umbrella term which includes gender identities such as transsexual, genderqueer, bigender, androgyne, agender etc. This relates to a person’s gender identity and is independent of their sexuality.

      This should not be confused with Transsexualism; the former is an umbrella term which includes the latter.

      This video explains the term and some other related concepts:

  • Transphobia

    • Transphobia is the irrational disgust for or hate or fear of transgender people because of their gender identity.

      It is sometimes grouped under Homophobia, but they are distinct from each other; Homophobia relates to one’s sexual identity while Transphobia relates to one’s gender identity.

      Transphobia is fuelled by cis-sexism.

  • Transwoman

    • A Transwoman is a person who was assigned male at birth and identifies as female.

      A transwoman may or may not undergo medical intervention, in the form of surgeries and/or hormones, to change her body to be more feminine in appearance. Irrespective of that, transwomen should be referred to as ‘women’ only, just as cis-women are.

      However, they themselves may want to use the terms ‘transwoman’ or ‘transgender’ to increase trans-visibility.

  • Woman

    • Woman

      Woman is a term referring to someone who identifies as such, which may often exhibit culturally defined feminine or female characteristics. Popularly understood within a binary gender system to refer to someone who is female-bodied.

      A woman may be a cis- or a trans-gender person.

      We found this entertaining video which us explains Simone de Beauvoir’s understanding of what it means to be a woman using video games graphics.

  • Zir

    • Gender neutral pronouns that can be used instead of his/her.

It is vital to understand the terms and attributes associated with the many forms of gender. Following is a list of terms associated with them and their meanings.

  • Binding

    • the practice of binding the chest by some FTMs to create the appearance of a flatter chest.

  • Castration

    • The removal of testicles.

  • Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM)

    • A catalogue of mental and psychological disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association that includes the pathologisation of transpeople through the diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder (GID.)

  • FTM (Female to Male)

    • A person who is born female and subsequently adopts the identity or appearance of a male, especially one who has undergone gender reassignment.

  • Gender-specific & Gender-neutral pronouns

    • Gender-specific pronoun is a pronoun associated with a particular gender, such as a pronoun denoting female or male. Referring to a person on the basis of gender, traditionally he, him, his, himself and she, her, hers, herself.

      Gender-neutral pronouns A subset of pronouns are “gender neutral”: examples include ze; hir and hirs; ey, em, eirs; ze, zir and zirs, or singular they, them, their, theirs and themself.

  • Heteronormativity

    • Heteronormativity

      Heteronormativity refers to a set of lifestyle norms that compels people to fall into rigid notions of what it means to be a man or a woman (as distinct and complementary gender roles), how the two should relate and the family unit that should result from such a relationship.

      A heteronormative view is one that promotes a binary alignment of biological sex (female/male), gender identity (feminine woman/masculine man), and sexual orientation/behaviour (heterosexual).

      Heteronormativity is the assumption that heterosexuality and heterosexual norms are universal or at least the only acceptable conditions.

      Closely related to Heterosexism, Heteronormativity negatively affects both Heterosexual and LGBTQI people in a host of ways, from actively oppressing those who do not fulfil heterosexual expectations to rendering sexual dissidents invisible.

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

    • This refers to the process of introducing the female hormone estrogen into the bloodstream by trans-females or introducing the male hormone testosterone by trans-males. HRT helps to affect development of secondary sex characteristics and enhance the ability to physically resemble another.   Hormones should be strictly taken under the guidance of an Endocrinologist only.

  • Intersex

    • Intersex is a biological condition which makes it difficult to identify a person’s sex based on their genitalia. While a lot of intersex infants and children are made to undergo ‘corrective surgeries’ to align them with one distinct sex, recently it is seen as an infringement of their human rights. Intersex people can identify themselves as female, male or gender-conforming and have different sexual orientations.

  • Intersex Persons

    • Persons who have the characteristics of both male and female biological organs and/or genitalia. Formally termed hermaphrodites, intersex people are born with the condition of having physical sex markers (genitals, hormones, gonads or chromosomes) that are not exclusively male or female as defined by the medical establishment in our society.

      For instance, some children are born with an enlarged clitoris that looks like a penis; some are born with a penis, but may develop hips and breasts during adolescence due to hormone levels. In most cases, these children are at no medical risk. Regardless, most intersex babies/children receive surgical intervention (without their consent and sometimes without their knowledge) to make their sex characteristics conform to binary expectations.

      These procedures sometimes damage the child’s reproductive organs and can emotionally scar them by forcing on them a gender and/or sex role that may not feel natural. Intersex people do not necessarily identify as trans. According to statistics, at least one in 2,000 children is intersex.

  • MTF (male to female)

    • A person who is born male and subsequently adopts the identity or appearance of a female, especially one who has undergone gender reassignment.

  • Packing

    • Packing

      To pack is to wear a dildo, strap-on, penile prosthesis or an object to create the look and/or feel of the penis and is more commonly practised by transmen but also by crossdressers and some butch lesbians.

  • Passing

    • Passing refers to a person’s ability to be regarded at a glance to be either a man or woman. Typically, passing involves a mixture of physical gender cues (for example, hair style or clothing) as well as certain behavioral attributes that tend to be culturally associated with a particular gender.

  • Penile prosthesis

    • Penile prosthesis

      It is a medical device implanted in the genital area requiring a surgical procedure. The device is often used for men who suffer from erectile dysfunction.

      A penile prosthesis is also used in the final stage of plastic surgery phalloplasty to complete female to male gender reassignment surgery.

  • Post-operative Transsexual (Post-op TS)

    • Refers to someone who has undergone SRS.

  • Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS)

    • The term given to an operation and procedure which physically transforms the genitals using plastic surgery, often called a sex change operation in popular culture. MTF SRS is called a vaginoplasty while FTM SRS is termed either a genitoplasty or a phalloplasty.

  • She-male

    • a derogatory term to refer to MTF transpersons by the sex industry.

  • TGBL

    • TGBL
      see GLBT, LGBT

  • Transerasure

    • is a term that refers to the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify or re-explain evidence of transpeople and is a major and one of the most visible forms of transphobia.
      Transerasure is one of the components that go on to form Transphobia and is exhibited by both the heterosexual and LGB communities. This video explains how it works in conjecture with Transphobia’s other components.


      This YouTube video is published by OutOfThisBinary on Feb 28, 2015

  • Transition

    • The coming-out process of a transgender man or woman; may be continual or deemed to be a set period of time or series of events.  To physically change the appearance, body, self-describing language or life to accord with gender identity. May involve social transition (language, clothing, behavior or legal documents) and physical transition (medical care such as hormones and/or surgery).

  • Transmisogyny

    • is the form of misogyny that transwomen face, which is compounded by transphobia and misogyny. This attacks both their trans and female identities. Transwomen are one of the most vulnerable and discriminated communities within the queer community.

      Misgendering and verbal abuse are forms of violence too and this video explains what not to call a transwoman by. We at Queer Ink think that the best way to go about this is to call a person what they want to be called as and be respectable, it is that simple.

      This YouTube video is published by Raquel Devoe on Jan 26, 2015.

  • Transsexual

    • Transsexual

      A Transsexual is a person who was assigned a sex at birth, based on their reproductive organs, that is at variance with their gender identity.

      This term refers exclusively to those who identify with the opposite sex, based on the male-female gender binary.

      A Transsexual person may or may not undergo a Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) to align their body with the gender they internally identify with.

      Transsexual and Transgender are commonly confused with each other; while the former refers to people who identify themselves with the opposite sex. the latter is an umbrella term which includes all gender identities which are not cis-gender.

      Transsexual people may choose to identify themselves as either transsexual or transgender or both and in some places, the term ‘transsexual’ is seen as out-dated and even offensive.

  • Transwoman

    • A Transwoman is a person who was assigned male at birth and identifies as female.

      A transwoman may or may not undergo medical intervention, in the form of surgeries and/or hormones, to change her body to be more feminine in appearance. Irrespective of that, transwomen should be referred to as ‘women’ only, just as cis-women are.

      However, they themselves may want to use the terms ‘transwoman’ or ‘transgender’ to increase trans-visibility.

  • Bottom Surgery

    • Typically refers to options by FTMs or gender-variant persons in which the genitals are altered to fit the sex he/she/they seeks to identify with.

  • Chest or Top surgery

    • Typically refers to a surgical procedure by some FTMs or gender-variant persons in which the breast tissue is removed or reconstructed to fit the sex they seek to identify with.

  • Eunuch

    • Originally, this term is referred to males who have undergone emasculation/castration not by choice, but by accident, coercion or as a punishment. Typically this would happen early in a male person’s life to impact major hormonal changes. It may also refer to men who are not castrated and are impotent, celibate or may not want to marry and procreate.

  • Gender Dysphoria

    • A psychiatric term that refers to a radical incongruence between an individual′s birth sex and his/her gender identity. A Gender Dysphoric person feels an irrevocable disconnect between his/her physical body and mental sense of gender. Many in the trans-community find this term offensive or insulting as it often pathologises the transgendered individual due to its association with the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM).

  • Hermaphrodite

    • An old medical term describing intersex people. Many intersex activists reject this word due to the stigmatization arising from its mythical roots and the abuse that medical professionals inflicted on them under this label. Some intersex people use this word as a pride word like queer and dyke, but non-intersex people should avoid this term.

  • Heterosexism

    • Heterosexism

      The societal/cultural, institutional, and individual beliefs and practices that privilege heterosexuals and subordinate and denigrate LGBTQI people. It refers to culturally and institutionally entrenched attitudes and practices, which serve to oppress and marginalize LGBTQI people and support prejudices and discriminatory behaviors against them. Heterosexism, an extension of ‘sexism,’ is a pejorative term designating the chauvinism that privileges heterosexuality to the detriment or exclusion of other sexualities.

      2809497_origCredit: feministactivism.com

  • Hysto

    • Hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove ovaries by some trans-men.

  • Intersex Genital Mutilation

    • The Intersex Society of North America estimates that about five intersex infants have their genitals cut into in U.S. hospitals every day for cosmetic reasons. Drawing a parallel with female genital mutilations, these surgical interventions on intersex children′s genitalia have been called intersex genital mutilations to raise awareness on the fact that they are often medically unjustified and based on socio-cultural norms and beliefs.

  • Man

    • Man refers to someone who identifies as such, who may often exhibit culturally defined masculine or male characteristics (see masculine and male). Popularly understood within a binary gender system to refer to someone who is male-bodied.

      A man maybe a cis- or a trans-person.

  • Non-Op

    • a self-identified trans-person who may not have undergone SRS.

  • Pansexual

    • Pansexual

      A Pansexual person is sexually and romantically attracted to people irrespective of their sex or gender identity.

      By definition, they reject the gender binary system because they are also attracted to people who are neither male nor female.

      Pansexuality is a form of Polysexuality and is not to be confused with Bisexuality.

      This video explains the difference in meaning between the terms:

  • Patriarchy

    • Patriarchy

      Patriarchy refers to a male dominated society, where women are oppressed or marginalized and men are in a position of power just because of their sex and gender.

      Patriarchy also refers to social systems in which the father or eldest male is the head of the household, having authority over women and children. It refers to institutional systems governed by males, and to the dominance of men in social and cultural systems. The patriarchal control of major social, cultural and political institutions is the cause of several forms of discrimination against women.

      This video explains aspects of the Patriarchy.

  • Phallocentricism

    • Phallocentricism

      Phallocentricism refers to the cultural and social organisation of the world fostered by the patriarchy.

  • Pre-operative Transsexual (Pre-op TS)

    • Refers to someone who has not yet had SRS, but who intends and is actively planning to undergo such surgery.

  • Sexuality

    • Sexuality

      Human sexuality encompasses the sexual knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviours of individuals. Its dimensions include the anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry of the sexual response system; identity, orientation, roles and personality; thoughts, feelings, and relationships. The expression of sexuality is influenced by ethical, spiritual, cultural, and moral concerns.

      It refers to the core dimension of the human personality that includes sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, emotional attachment, love and reproduction.

      It is experienced and expressed in thoughts, deeds, desire, or beliefs, attitudes, values, activities, practices, roles and relationships. Sexuality is the end result of the interplay of biological, psychological, socio-cultural factors.

      However while sexuality can include the entire above characteristics, not all these dimension needs to be expressed or experienced. The sum totality of our sexuality is experienced and expressed in all that we are, what we feel, think or do.

      This video does a great job of explaining the nuances of sexuality in a limited time.

  • Testosterone (T)

    • refers to the male hormone testosterone that is injected in the blood stream by Trans-men.

  • Trans

    • An umbrella term that refers to cross-dressers, transgenderists, transsexuals and others who permanently or periodically dis-identify with the sex they were born into/assigned at birth. Trans is preferable to ‘transgender’ to some in the community because it does not minimize the experiential specificities of transsexuals.

  • Transgender (TG)

    • A Transgender person’s gender is at variance with the sex they were assigned at birth.

      Transgender is an umbrella term which includes gender identities such as transsexual, genderqueer, bigender, androgyne, agender etc. This relates to a person’s gender identity and is independent of their sexuality.

      This should not be confused with Transsexualism; the former is an umbrella term which includes the latter.

      This video explains the term and some other related concepts:

  • Transman

    • A Transman is a person who was assigned female at birth and identifies as male.

      A Transman may or may not undergo medical intervention, in the form of surgeries and/or hormones, to change his body to be more masculine in appearance.

      Irrespective of that, Transman should be referred to as ‘men’ only, just as cis-men are.

      However, they themselves may want to use the terms ‘transman’ or ‘transgender’ to increase trans-visibility.

  • Transphobia

    • Transphobia is the irrational disgust for or hate or fear of transgender people because of their gender identity.

      It is sometimes grouped under Homophobia, but they are distinct from each other; Homophobia relates to one’s sexual identity while Transphobia relates to one’s gender identity.

      Transphobia is fuelled by cis-sexism.

  • Transvestite

    • An older term, synonymous with the more politically correct term cross-dresser, which refers to individuals who have an internal drive to wear clothing associated with a sex other than the one which they were assigned at birth. The term transvestite has fallen out of favor due to its psychiatric and clinical connotations.

  • Vaginoplasty

    • plastic surgery procedure where a vagina is created.

These are the terms officially used in reference to the LGBTHQIA+ community. Click on each term to know its correct meaning.

  • Ally

    • In its verb form, ally means to unite or form a connection between. In the queer community, allies are all those people who have attempted to educate themselves about gender issues, who work to reduce transphobia and homophobia in themselves, families, and communities, and try their best to support queer people in the political, social and cultural arenas. Allies actively supports queer struggles though they may/may not be queer themselves.

      Chitra Palekar, as parent of a lesbian, is a fantastic ally as she supports other Parents with gay sons and daughters to better understand and accept them

  • Chauvinism

    • Its original and primary meaning is a bellicose and blind patriotism. The term Male Chauvinism became widely used by the feminist movement in the 1960s to describe men′s sexist or anti-feminist behaviors.

  • Coming Out

    •  

      Coming-Out

      The process by which LGBT people recognize, acknowledge, accept, and typically appreciate their sexual/gender identities. To come out is to publicly declare one′s identity, sometimes to one person in conversation, sometimes to a group or in a public setting. Coming Out is a life-long process in each new situation a person must decide whether or not to come out. Coming out can be difficult because reactions vary from complete acceptance and support to disapproval, rejection and violence.

  • Discrimination

    • Differential treatment that favors one individual or group over another based on prejudice.

  • Drag King

    • A biological female who performs a masculine role in appearance and manner, wears masculine or male-designated clothing but may or may not have any masculine expression in her/his everyday life; generally Drag Kings cross-dress for pay, entertainment and stage performance, and not necessarily because the person identifies as a man or as transgender.

  • Drag Queen

    • A biological male who performs a feminine role in appearance and manner, wears feminine or female-designated clothing but may or may not have any feminine expression in his/her everyday life. Generally Drag Queens cross-dress for pay, entertainment and stage performance, and not necessarily because the person identifies as a man or as transgender.

  • Family of Choice

    • Chosen individuals who a person sees as significant in their life and serves all the functions (love, nurture, support, etc) of a biological family

  • Gatekeepers

    • Used by gender communities to refer to the medical and psychiatric system that controls access to transition-related resources and health care.

  • Herstory

    • Refers to the interpretation of historical events from a feminist perspective and/or to history written by and for women, instead of by and for men.

  • Heterosexual Privilege

    • The benefits and advantages that heterosexuals receive in a heterosexist culture. Also, the benefits that lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals receive as a result of claiming a heterosexual identity and denying a lesbian, gay, or bisexual identity.

  • Internalized oppression

    • A term to describe the way in which a member of an oppressed group may accept the negative social and moral judgments of others and may live in hiding and shame. People suffering from internalized oppression may often be suicidal or depressed and anxious. They may also seek social acceptance by vilifying visible members of the oppressed group.

  • Invisible Minority

    • a group with unknown and unorganized members with similar conflicts and constraints, whose minority status in not immediately visible.

  • Misogyny

    • refers to hatred or contempt of women or girls. In feminist theory, the term is used to describe a negative attitude towards women simply based on their sex/gender. A misogynist attitude implies prejudice, hatred and violence against all women or against women who do not fall into one or more acceptable categories of virgin, wife, mother, daughter etc.

  • Oppression

    • The systematic exploitation of one social group by another for its own benefit. It involves institutional control, ideological domination, and the promulgation of the dominant group′s culture on the oppressed.

  • Patriarchy

    • Patriarchy

      Patriarchy refers to a male dominated society, where women are oppressed or marginalized and men are in a position of power just because of their sex and gender.

      Patriarchy also refers to social systems in which the father or eldest male is the head of the household, having authority over women and children. It refers to institutional systems governed by males, and to the dominance of men in social and cultural systems. The patriarchal control of major social, cultural and political institutions is the cause of several forms of discrimination against women.

      This video explains aspects of the Patriarchy.

  • Polyamory

    • Polyamory

      Polyamory translates into many loves and circumscribes a particular relationship philosophy that assumes that it is possible (and indeed desirable) to love many people and to maintain multiple relationships.

      Within polyamory, there is a strong emphasis on love, intimacy, commitment and honesty. Some have defined polyamory as responsible non-monogamy.

  • Power Dyke aka Power Lesbian aka Suit

    • Power Dyke aka Power Lesbian aka Suit

      is a lesbian who has gained a position of power, either within the LGBTQI communities or in the mainstream.

  • Queer

    • Originally a synonym for odd, this term – as both noun and adjective- became a derogatory epithet for gay men and lesbians in the twentieth century, especially in the United States, where it emphasized the alleged unnaturalness of homosexuality. The term has been reclaimed by members of the LGBTQI communities to refer to people who transgress culturally imposed norms of heterosexuality and gender traditionalism. A term of political currency, Queer might be broadly defined as a resistance to regimes of heterosexism. It is an inclusive umbrella term to refer to all non-normative experiences, both in terms of gender identities and of sexual practices/identities. Many lesbians and gay men, transgender, transsexuals, bisexuals, and even heterosexuals whose sexuality does not fit into the cultural standard of monogamous heterosexual marriage have adopted the queer label.

  • Rainbow Flag

    • was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978 to reflect the diversity of LGBTQI communities. It has been recognised by the International Flag Makers Association as the official flag of the LGBTQI civil right movement.

      The colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple are used to symbolize equality and diversity among all people. A black stripe along the bottom honors those who have died of AIDS.

  • Sexual Behaviour

    • Sexual Behaviour

      Sexual Behaviour determines with whom one has sex with. It could be with people of the same sex, the opposite sex, or both sexes. Behaviours are not necessarily translated into a conscious sexual identity and not necessarily reflect the sexual orientation.

  • Socialization or Gender education

    • Socialization means that people are taught to accept and perform the roles and functions that society has given them. Men and women are socialized into accepting different gender roles from birth. Establishing different roles and expectations for men and women is a key feature of socialization in most societies.

  • Stereotype

    • are false, overly simplistic or unfounded images and beliefs about a group, which are attributed to all members of that social group irrespective of their individual characteristics. Stereotypes serve to justify, confine or privilege a particular group of people based on their belonging to that group. They also disregard individual differences among group members. They can be both, positive or negative.

  • Transphobia

    • Transphobia is the irrational disgust for or hate or fear of transgender people because of their gender identity.

      It is sometimes grouped under Homophobia, but they are distinct from each other; Homophobia relates to one’s sexual identity while Transphobia relates to one’s gender identity.

      Transphobia is fuelled by cis-sexism.

  • Assigned Sex

    • The sex that one is labeled at birth, generally by a medical or birthing professional, from an examination of genitalia. Another term is designated sex.

  • Closeted or In the Closet

    • An LGBTQI person who is unable to or cannot tell the people around them about their true identity.

  • Cross-dresser aka CD

    • An individual who dresses in clothing that is culturally associated with members of the other sex. Many cross-dressers are heterosexual and conduct their cross-dressing on a part-time basis. Cross-dressers cross-dress for a variety of reasons apart from work, including pleasure and a desire to express behaviors and aesthetics associated to the opposite sex. Cross-dresser has replaced the term transvestite, which is considered outdated and offensive.

  • Domestic Partner

    • is an interpersonal relationship between two mutually-supportive individuals who live together and are connected emotionally, spiritually and financially. Other terms are: spouse, lover, significant other etc.

  • Drag or In Drag

    • Wearing clothes and behaving in a manner not associated with one’s gender usually for performative effects. Drag may be performed as a political comment on gender, as parody, or simply as entertainment. Drag performance does not indicate sexuality, gender identity, or sex identity. It can often be very glamorous or outrageous in appearance.

  • Fag/Faggot

    • The word faggot originally comes from Latin, meaning a bundle of sticks. Throughout history when witches were burned this was done to faggots too. During the inquisition, the term came to be applied to the bodies of LGBTQI people that were used for kindling and burned along with witches. Overall, the term fag or faggots is used derogatorily as a slur against gay men; however, many men within the gay community have reclaimed the term as a word of pride and affection towards other gay men.

  • Feminism

    • Refers to political, cultural, and social movements aimed at promoting equal rights for women. Though issues related to feminism may differ for different societies, cultures and times, they are broadly tied together with the underlying philosophy of achieving social, cultural, political and economic equality and independence for women. Feminism is not a monolithic reality and includes many different strands, theories and political practices. Although reductive, an encompassing and effective short definition is: “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people” (Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler).
      Over the years Feminism is seen through periods of change and is classified as:

      • First-wave feminism which secured basic civil rights
      • Second-wave feminism centered on workplace equality, reproductive choice, etc.
      • Third-wave feminism incorporates LGBTQI rights, class oppression, etc and seeks practical equality for women.

       

      Parmoita Vorha on feminism.

  • Gay Pride

    • Is a common name for the celebrations commemorating the Stonewall riots and for the marches and public demonstrations of the LGBTQI community in general.

  • Heterosexism

    • Heterosexism

      The societal/cultural, institutional, and individual beliefs and practices that privilege heterosexuals and subordinate and denigrate LGBTQI people. It refers to culturally and institutionally entrenched attitudes and practices, which serve to oppress and marginalize LGBTQI people and support prejudices and discriminatory behaviors against them. Heterosexism, an extension of ‘sexism,’ is a pejorative term designating the chauvinism that privileges heterosexuality to the detriment or exclusion of other sexualities.

      2809497_origCredit: feministactivism.com

  • Homophobia

    • Originally an intolerance or irrational fear of sexual attraction to the same sex, it developed into a term for the oppression of homosexual people. This oppression ranges from not including LGBTQI persons in one′s circle of friends and into media reports and representations, to discrimination, verbal harassment, prejudice, disgust, contempt of homosexual people or violence, assault, rape, and murder based on the target person′s (perceived) sexual identity.

  • Intersex Movement

    • A movement that seeks to halt medically unnecessary pediatric surgeries and hormone treatments, which attempt to normalize infants into the dominant male and female system. Surgeons often assign the infant as a sex that does not match their gender identity. In addition, many surgeries affect the sexual functioning of intersex adults, which may include causing the inability to receive pleasure or reach orgasm.

  • Marginalized

    • Ignored, deemed as not part of mainstream and relegated to outer fringes of society.

  • Monogamy

    • Monogamy

      It is the state of having only one sexual partner at any one time.

  • Passing

    • Passing refers to a person’s ability to be regarded at a glance to be either a man or woman. Typically, passing involves a mixture of physical gender cues (for example, hair style or clothing) as well as certain behavioral attributes that tend to be culturally associated with a particular gender.

  • Phallocentricism

    • Phallocentricism

      Phallocentricism refers to the cultural and social organisation of the world fostered by the patriarchy.

  • Polysexuality

    • Polysexuality

      Polysexuality is sexual and romantic attraction to multiple biological sexes and gender identities, not necessarily all of them.

      Bisexuality and Pansexuality are forms of Polysexuality and are commonly confused with one another.

  • Prejudice

    • A set of negative beliefs or feelings that are generalized to apply to a whole group of people and any member of that group. Anyone can be prejudiced toward another individual or group.

  • Questioning

    • Refers to someone who does not yet know his/her sexual orientation and/or identity and may be in an exploratory period. Questioning people may need information and support free of judgment during this stage of their identity development.

  • Sexism

    • The societal and cultural, institutional, and individual beliefs and practices that privilege men and subordinate and denigrate women. The oppression and/or exploitation of women based on gender.

  • Sexual Minorities or Sexual Minority Community

    • Refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered & transsexual persons as well as persons with other identities (such as Kothis and Alis/Hijras) as a minority group in a predominantly heterosexual population.

  • Sodomy

    • Sodomy

      Coined around 1050 by St. Peter Damian to denote sexual activity between men, is a shortened form of the sin of Sodom, referring to the Genesis account of the men of Sodom who tried to have intercourse with two angels and were smitten with blindness.

      Historically, the exact meaning of sodomy has varied across time and place. Although in the early modern periods it often referred to undifferentiated vice, including heresy and treason, its meaning gradually became more specific, referring usually to sex between men, especially anal intercourse.

      But in some countries at varying times it has also been applied to oral sex, anal intercourse between men and women, sex between women, and even bestiality.

      The term is still used in the law codes of some countries, where it most often referred to sex between men, either anal or oral, but occasionally also to lesbian acts and anal and oral intercourse between men and women.

  • Stonewall

    • on June 28th, 1969, New York City Police attempted a routine raid on Stonewall Inn, a working-class gay and lesbian bar in New York′s Greenwich Village. Unexpectedly, the patrons resisted, and the incident escalated into a riot that continued for several days. Most people look to this as the beginning of the American Gay Liberation Movement and the 28th of June has become the date of the ‘gay pride’ in many parts of the world. It is too often forgotten that the people on the frontline of this resistance were transgender women, drag queens and lesbians.

  • Transsexual

    • Transsexual

      A Transsexual is a person who was assigned a sex at birth, based on their reproductive organs, that is at variance with their gender identity.

      This term refers exclusively to those who identify with the opposite sex, based on the male-female gender binary.

      A Transsexual person may or may not undergo a Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) to align their body with the gender they internally identify with.

      Transsexual and Transgender are commonly confused with each other; while the former refers to people who identify themselves with the opposite sex. the latter is an umbrella term which includes all gender identities which are not cis-gender.

      Transsexual people may choose to identify themselves as either transsexual or transgender or both and in some places, the term ‘transsexual’ is seen as out-dated and even offensive.

Each region has its own terms/words that are used to refer to the LGBTHQIA+ community. Here is a list of such terms commonly used across various Indian regions.

  • Aiwa

    • means in preparation for castration after rites between guru and chela.

  • Bairupi or Bairupiya

    • Males mimicking Hijras by dressing in feminine attire. This is usually done to earn easy money by begging and clapping. Hijras claim that these fake Hijras (Bairupi) damage the reputation of Hijras by their indecent behavior in public spaces and transportation

  • Dhaaman

    •  refers to breasts, especially in the Hijra communities that have been enhanced by surgery.

  • Hijra Gharana

    • is a house that is ruled by the Nayak (leader) with many Gurus (teachers) who, in turn, have many Chelas (Disciples.) There are seven distinct Gharanas in India and each has its own traditions and rituals.

  • Jogti

    • refers to the female servant of Goddess Yellamma. One is initiated into this discipline as part of their family tradition or if they find a temple Pujari/Guru who will accept them as their Chela or disciple.

  • Kinnar

    • Term for Hijras in Delhi.

  • Masti

    • A colloquial term describing a sexual practice between men for fun and pleasure.

  • Nirvan or Nirvan Kothi

    • Process of undergoing Nirvana or salvation, as castration is known. It is the removal of both testes and penis (voluntarily/willingly) and such individuals choose to dress in feminine attire.

  • Panthi

    • The term is used by Kothis and Hijras to refer to those persons who are real men, in the sense that those who only penetrate. It is also used by Kothis and Hijras to denote heterosexual persons as well as any man who is masculine and who also has sex with women. This term is also used to denote special boy friend or the husband. Sometimes the husband or the steady partner is also referred to simply as my/your mard.

  • Satla

    • refers to a man who cross-dresses, wearing saris.

  • Shakkar ka Bimari

    • Phrase used in hijra sub-cultures for HIV infection.

  • Aravanis

    • Hijras in Tamil Nadu identify as Aravanis and some Aravani activists prefer the term Thirunangai.

  • Chapti

    • Inserting penis between both thighs in imitation of penile-vaginal sex.

  • Hijra

    • are biological males who reject their masculine identity to identify either as women, or not-men, or in-between man and woman, or neither man nor woman and live within the traditions of Hijra Gharanas. Each Gharana has formal reets (rituals) to admit a new member. The term Hijra is used in North India, Kinnar in Delhi, Kojja in Andhra Pradesh, Chakka in Karnataka and Aravani and Thirunangai are used in Tamil Nadu.

  • Jogta/Jogappa

    • are males who serve Goddess Yellamma in temples in Maharashtra and Karnataka. One is initiated into this discipline as part of their family tradition or if they find a temple Pujari/Guru who will accept them as their Chela or disciple. The men are heterosexual and may wear women’s clothing to worship the Goddess, as tradition dictates.

  • Jogti Hijra

    • are disciples of Goddess Yellamma from the Hijra communities.

  • Kothi

    • Biological males who show obvious and varying degrees of feminine mannerisms and who involve mainly, if not only, in receptive anal/receptive oral intercourse with men. Some Kothis are married to women and live as husbands within their extended heteronomative family structures. Not all Kothis identify themselves as transgender or Hijras nor do all Hijras identify as Kothis.

  • Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)

    • This term is used to denote all those men who have sex with other men regardless of their sexual identity. These is because a man may have sex with other men but still consider himself to be a heterosexual or may not have any specific sexual identity at all.

  • Nirwaan Hijra

    • Men who are castrated (emasculated) as per rituals of the Hijra Gharana they are to become part of.

  • Reet

    • A ritual or offerings made to the Nayak and Guru by a man who undertakes to become a member of a Hijra Gharana.

  • Satla-Kothi

    • is an effeminate homosexual who cross-dresses.

  • Shepu

    • Vagina, used as code by hijras.

There are various terms used globally when referring to the LGBTHQIA+ community. However, most people are not aware of the meaning, and correct usage of many such terms. Mind Your Language is a reminder that it is important to use appropriate terminologies in order to avoid creating bias and reinforcing negative stereotypes.

  • Etiquette

    • Always use a transgender person’s chosen name. Use the name that the person has chosen as part of his/her gender identity.

      If possible, ask the person which pronoun he/she would prefer. If a person has opted for a transition in gender identity, it is better to ask the person on his/her preferred pronoun choice.

      If not possible to ask the person on the preferred pronoun, use the pronoun appropriate to his/her name and appearance. If a person has opted for a transition in gender identity and uses the name Rani and dresses feminine, it would be appropriate to use the feminine pronoun.

  • Pansexual

    • Pansexual

      A Pansexual person is sexually and romantically attracted to people irrespective of their sex or gender identity.

      By definition, they reject the gender binary system because they are also attracted to people who are neither male nor female.

      Pansexuality is a form of Polysexuality and is not to be confused with Bisexuality.

      This video explains the difference in meaning between the terms:

  • Polyamory

    • Polyamory

      Polyamory translates into many loves and circumscribes a particular relationship philosophy that assumes that it is possible (and indeed desirable) to love many people and to maintain multiple relationships.

      Within polyamory, there is a strong emphasis on love, intimacy, commitment and honesty. Some have defined polyamory as responsible non-monogamy.

  • Quiltbag

    • Quiltbag

      Quiltbag is an acronym.

      It stands for Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender/Transsexual, Bisexual, Allied/Asexual, Gay/Genderqueer.

      It is meant to be a more inclusive term than GLBT/LGBT and to be more pronounceable (and memorable) than some of the other variations or extensions on the GLBT/LGBT abbreviation. 

  • Sexual Orientation

    •  

      Sexual Orientation

      One′s emotional, physical and/or sexual attraction and the expression of that attraction.

      It could be to people of the same sex (homosexuality), to the opposite sex (heterosexuality), to either sexes (bisexuality, multi-sexual, pansexual, omni sexual), or none (asexuality).

      Trans and gender-variant people may identify with any sexual orientation, and their sexual orientation may or may not change before, during or after gender transition.

  • Situational Bisexual Men

    • Situational Bisexual Men

      These individuals have sexual relations with men when sex with females is not available. They may be migrant laborers, jail inmates, remand home inmates, and police personnel in male quarters, hostels and orphanages.

      It is important to take into account migration patterns across state and nation boundaries and also living conditions where they share a single room with many other men.

      These men usually don’t identify themselves as bisexuals and their situations make their sexual behaviour come in variance with their sexual orientation.

  • Terms to avoid

    • These terms are offensive and problematic to use:

      • Gandu:
        The term gandu or gaand is a highly offensive term used as a curse. It is a Hindi word meaning arsehole and has no connection with homosexuality. It should not be used to refer to a gay man/person.
        Preferred: gay man/person
      • Eunuch, Hermaphrodite
        The term hermaphrodite is confusing and offensive because it refers to a plant/animal which has both female and male reproductive organs. Equally the term ” is offensive. It is better to check with the person on the preferred term to be used.
        Preferred: transgender person or trans man or trans woman or intersex person
      • Offensive: homosexual, homo, faggot, fag
        The term homosexual is offensive because of its clinical associations where being attracted to a person of the same sex was thought of as a pathological disease/mental disorder.
        Preferred: gay or gay man or lesbian; gay person/people
      • Sex change
        Using the term sex change focuses on the surgical factor in transitioning whereas a person may or may not choose surgery as part of the transition. The term transition is preferred as it does not emphasise the necessity of a surgery to make a shift to a gender of choice.
      • Transgenders or a transgender
        Transgender should be used as an adjective and not a noun. Instead of saying, ‘Raj is a transgender’, it is better to say, ‘Raj is a transgender man.’
        Preferred: transgender people or a transgender person
      • Transgendered
        Transgender should not be used with an -ed. This is incorrect and adds to unnecessary confusion.
        Preferred: transgender
  • Transman

    • A Transman is a person who was assigned female at birth and identifies as male.

      A Transman may or may not undergo medical intervention, in the form of surgeries and/or hormones, to change his body to be more masculine in appearance.

      Irrespective of that, Transman should be referred to as ‘men’ only, just as cis-men are.

      However, they themselves may want to use the terms ‘transman’ or ‘transgender’ to increase trans-visibility.

  • Transsexual

    • Transsexual

      A Transsexual is a person who was assigned a sex at birth, based on their reproductive organs, that is at variance with their gender identity.

      This term refers exclusively to those who identify with the opposite sex, based on the male-female gender binary.

      A Transsexual person may or may not undergo a Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) to align their body with the gender they internally identify with.

      Transsexual and Transgender are commonly confused with each other; while the former refers to people who identify themselves with the opposite sex. the latter is an umbrella term which includes all gender identities which are not cis-gender.

      Transsexual people may choose to identify themselves as either transsexual or transgender or both and in some places, the term ‘transsexual’ is seen as out-dated and even offensive.

  • Woman

    • Woman

      Woman is a term referring to someone who identifies as such, which may often exhibit culturally defined feminine or female characteristics. Popularly understood within a binary gender system to refer to someone who is female-bodied.

      A woman may be a cis- or a trans-gender person.

      We found this entertaining video which us explains Simone de Beauvoir’s understanding of what it means to be a woman using video games graphics.

  • Heterosexism

    • Heterosexism

      The societal/cultural, institutional, and individual beliefs and practices that privilege heterosexuals and subordinate and denigrate LGBTQI people. It refers to culturally and institutionally entrenched attitudes and practices, which serve to oppress and marginalize LGBTQI people and support prejudices and discriminatory behaviors against them. Heterosexism, an extension of ‘sexism,’ is a pejorative term designating the chauvinism that privileges heterosexuality to the detriment or exclusion of other sexualities.

      2809497_origCredit: feministactivism.com

  • Phallocentricism

    • Phallocentricism

      Phallocentricism refers to the cultural and social organisation of the world fostered by the patriarchy.

  • Polysexuality

    • Polysexuality

      Polysexuality is sexual and romantic attraction to multiple biological sexes and gender identities, not necessarily all of them.

      Bisexuality and Pansexuality are forms of Polysexuality and are commonly confused with one another.

  • Sexual Identity

    • Sexual Identity

      Sexual Identity is an inner sense of oneself as a sexual being, including how one identifies in terms of gender identity and sexual orientation. Some believe that sexual identities should never be assigned or ascribed, but only self-reported, with meanings determined by the person assuming that identity.

      A person’s sexual identity should not be confused with their sexual orientation or sexual behaviour.

      This video explains the difference between Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation

  • Sexuality

    • Sexuality

      Human sexuality encompasses the sexual knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviours of individuals. Its dimensions include the anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry of the sexual response system; identity, orientation, roles and personality; thoughts, feelings, and relationships. The expression of sexuality is influenced by ethical, spiritual, cultural, and moral concerns.

      It refers to the core dimension of the human personality that includes sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, emotional attachment, love and reproduction.

      It is experienced and expressed in thoughts, deeds, desire, or beliefs, attitudes, values, activities, practices, roles and relationships. Sexuality is the end result of the interplay of biological, psychological, socio-cultural factors.

      However while sexuality can include the entire above characteristics, not all these dimension needs to be expressed or experienced. The sum totality of our sexuality is experienced and expressed in all that we are, what we feel, think or do.

      This video does a great job of explaining the nuances of sexuality in a limited time.

  • Sodomy

    • Sodomy

      Coined around 1050 by St. Peter Damian to denote sexual activity between men, is a shortened form of the sin of Sodom, referring to the Genesis account of the men of Sodom who tried to have intercourse with two angels and were smitten with blindness.

      Historically, the exact meaning of sodomy has varied across time and place. Although in the early modern periods it often referred to undifferentiated vice, including heresy and treason, its meaning gradually became more specific, referring usually to sex between men, especially anal intercourse.

      But in some countries at varying times it has also been applied to oral sex, anal intercourse between men and women, sex between women, and even bestiality.

      The term is still used in the law codes of some countries, where it most often referred to sex between men, either anal or oral, but occasionally also to lesbian acts and anal and oral intercourse between men and women.

  • Transgender (TG)

    • A Transgender person’s gender is at variance with the sex they were assigned at birth.

      Transgender is an umbrella term which includes gender identities such as transsexual, genderqueer, bigender, androgyne, agender etc. This relates to a person’s gender identity and is independent of their sexuality.

      This should not be confused with Transsexualism; the former is an umbrella term which includes the latter.

      This video explains the term and some other related concepts:

  • Transphobia

    • Transphobia is the irrational disgust for or hate or fear of transgender people because of their gender identity.

      It is sometimes grouped under Homophobia, but they are distinct from each other; Homophobia relates to one’s sexual identity while Transphobia relates to one’s gender identity.

      Transphobia is fuelled by cis-sexism.

  • Transwoman

    • A Transwoman is a person who was assigned male at birth and identifies as female.

      A transwoman may or may not undergo medical intervention, in the form of surgeries and/or hormones, to change her body to be more feminine in appearance. Irrespective of that, transwomen should be referred to as ‘women’ only, just as cis-women are.

      However, they themselves may want to use the terms ‘transwoman’ or ‘transgender’ to increase trans-visibility.

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