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LGB&T glossary


A person who may be attracted to members of both the same and opposite sex, but is not sure.


Is a term used to describe a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards bisexuality and/or individuals who identify as bisexual.


A person who identifies as bisexual is sexually attracted to both men and women.


Describes the capacity for emotional, romantic and or physical attraction or behaviour towards more than one gender.

Civil Partnership

A legally-recognised union between two members of the same sex that is equivalent to marriage and in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

Coming out

Making public one's sexual orientation, sexuality or gender identity. Coming out can be difficult because reactions may vary from acceptance and support to disapproval and rejection.

Coming out (of the closet)

To be ‘in the closet’ means to hide one's sexual orientation, sexuality and/or gender identity. Some LGB&T people may be ‘out’ in some situations and ‘in the closet’ in others.


Gay is a word that commonly refers to a male or female whose sexual orientation is attraction to persons of the same sex.


Refers to a range of characteristics distinguishing male and female, particularly in the cases of men and women, and the masculine and feminine attributes assigned to them.

Gender Identity

Gender identity is the person's internal perception and experience of his or her gender. In law gender is binary and defined as male or female.

Gender Dysphoria

This is a recognised medical issue for which gender reassignment treatment is available on the National Health Service in Scotland, England and Wales. Gender Dysphoria is distress, unhappiness and discomfort experienced by someone about their physical body not fully matching their gender identity.

Gender Role

Refers to the set of roles and behaviours generally assigned to females and males by society.


A person who is attracted to members of the opposite sex.


The assumption that all people are heterosexual and that heterosexuality is the norm.


Homophobia is a term used to refer to a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards lesbian and gay and in some cases bisexual, transgender people.


A woman whose sexual orientation is towards other women.


An abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, it is an umbrella term used to refer to the LGB&T community as a whole.


Preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.


Refers to people who are uncertain about their sexual orientation or gender identity.


the fact of belonging to either the male or female sex.

Sexual Orientation

Describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to males, females, both genders, or neither.

Straight Ally

Any non-LGB person who supports and advocates for the rights of LGB people.


An umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from their birth gender.


This refers to the process and/or the period of time during which gender reassignment occurs (whether with or without medical intervention).


Is a term used to describe a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards individuals who identify as Transgender or Transsexual.


A person who feels a consistent and overwhelming desire to transition and live his or her life as a member of the opposite gender.

Transvestite (or Cross-Dresser)

This refers to a person who dresses in clothing typically worn by the opposite sex. A transvestite may not necessarily wish to alter his or her body.