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Vocabulary

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  • Ally Training Terminology – Addendum A:

    • An individual's gender self-identification, rather than the sex they were assigned at birth.

    • Agender is a term which can be literally translated as 'without gender'. It can be seen either as a non-binary gender identity or as a statement of not having a gender identity. People who identify as agender may describe themselves as one or more of the following:

      • Genderless or lacking gender.
      • Gender neutral. This may be meant in the sense of being neither man or woman yet still having a gender.
      • Neutrois or neutrally gendered.
      • Having an unknown or undefinable gender; not aligning with any gender.
      • Having no other words that fit their gender identity.
      • Not knowing or not caring about gender, as an internal identity and/or as an external label.
      • Deciding not to label their gender.
      • Identifying more as a person than any gender at all.

      *** http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Agender. “Agender”. Gender Wiki is a Fandom Lifestyle Community. 2017.

    • Androgyne is a non-binary gender identity associated with androgyny. Androgynes have a gender which is simultaneously feminine and masculine, although not necessarily in equal amounts. Western society currently recognizes no set gender roles for androgynes.

      Because androgynes have a non-binary gender identity, they might also identify as genderqueer and/or transgender. Androgynes (as well as any other gender) can be of any sexual or romantic orientation.

      Physical Presentation

      Some androgynes are comfortable with their body "as is", but some experience gender dysphoria and may wish to undergo a physical transition. The degree of physical transition can vary depending on the person: for instance, one androgyne might wish to go on hormone replacement therapy but have no surgical alterations, while another might desire top surgery but no other changes.

      In terms of social gender roles, most androgynes feel various degrees of discomfort with the social expectations of the gender binary. Androgynes may use a combination of feminine and masculine clothes to better communicate their non-binary status, but in general there is no "correct" way to present as an androgyne.

      The following terms have been suggested to further describe and categorize androgynes:

      • femandrogyne - (feminine androgyne) an androgyne who feels more feminine than masculine
      • mascandrogyne - (masculine androgyne) an androgyne who feels more masculine than feminine
      • versandrogyne (versatile androgyne) or neutrandrogyne (neutral androgyne) - an androgyne who might feel a relatively even mixture of femininity and masculinity, or even none at all

      Legal and Social Issues

      In the United States, non-binary genders are not currently recognized, so legal documentation will reflect the gender that the androgyne was assigned at birth, however if they feel more feminine and are AMAB they may wish to change it and vice versa.

      Androgynes, like many other non-binary people, may experience transphobia. They may feel uncomfortable using gender-segregated spaces. This can include school and community organizations and even public bathrooms. They may experience celebration in the media, by their peers online and offline and even parents helping them with their struggle. All of these issues can have a severe impact on an androgyne's mental health.

       *** http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Androgyne. “Androgyne “. Gender Wiki is a Fandom Lifestyle Community. 2017.

    • 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. What distinguishes romantic relationships from a non-romantic relationship can vary diversely, but often includes physical connection (holding hands, cuddling, etc.) The aromantic attribute is usually considered to be innate and not a personal choice, just as the lack of sexual attraction is innate to asexuals. It is important to note that aromantics do not lack emotional/personal connection, but simply have no instinctual need to develop connections of a romantic nature. Aromantics can have needs for just as much empathetic support as romantics, but these needs can be fulfilled in a platonic way.

      It is possible for an aromantic individual to be involved in, and enjoy, a devoted relationship with another person, but these relations are often closer friendships, naturally reflecting the closeness of the two individuals and not a purposely initiated monogamous separation as is often found in romantic couples. Aromantics may experience squishes which are the aromantic or platonic equivalent of a romantic crush. When an aromatic gets into a relationship that's more than friends - but less than romantic - that is known as a queerplatonic relationship.

      Like all romantic identities aromatics can be of any sexual orientation.

      *** http://wiki.asexuality.org/Aromantic. “Aromantic”. AVENwiki was established to store the sum total of our knowledge, theory, and speculation about asexuality in communally editable form on the Internet. The main goal is to create an encyclopedia and educational resource for those unfamiliar to, or wishing to know more about, asexuality. 2015.

    • The presumption that sex, gender and sexual orientation fit neatly into a binary model. This binary world is populated by boys and girls who are viewed as polar opposites. This world conflates biology, gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation, relegating people to rigid categories: male or female, gay or straight. 

      *** “Sex? Sexual Orientation? Gender Identity? Gender Expression?”. Baum, Joel and Westheimer, Kim. Teaching Tolerance. Issue 50. 34-38. Summer 2015.

    • The physical structure of one’s reproductive organs that is used to assign sex at birth. Biological sex is determined by chromosomes (XX for females; XY for males); hormones (estrogen/progesterone for females, testosterone for males); and internal and external genitalia (vulva, clitoris, vagina for assigned females, penis and testicles for assigned males). Given the potential variation in all of these, biological sex must be seen as a spectrum or range of possibilities rather than a binary set of two options.

    • Researchers define bisexuality in a multitude of ways, often depending upon the particular research questions involved in a given study. We discuss defining bisexuality as an “umbrella term,” as a behavior, as a self-identity, and as a binary or nonbinary identity…

      The Bisexual Umbrella

      Researchers often theorize bisexuality as the midpoint between heterosexuality and homosexuality. This practice places less of an emphasis on bisexuality as an independent identity and more on how it exists relative to monosexualities (i.e., identities that refer to attraction to just one sex and/or gender). Defining bisexuality in a relative context facilitates combining it with other nonmonosexual identities as the focus is not on particular identities but rather the category of nonmonosexuality. This grouping of nonmonosexual people and identities is what is often described as the “bisexual umbrella…”

      Using this practice better enables researchers to garner samples large enough to assess important issues that may impact nonmonosexual people as a whole, like health inequities. However, it may also serve to falsely categorize people as bisexual and erase important differences between people who identify as bisexual and those who do not...

      For instance, pansexual people are generally grouped under the bisexual umbrella but have been found to report different experiences of stigma within queer community than those reported by bisexual…

      Bisexuality Defined by Behavior, Attraction, and Desire

      Researchers also use bisexuality as an umbrella term to describe a wide range of sexual behaviors, attractions, and desires. Some researchers have gone as far as specifying sexual or relationship behavior with more than one gender as criteria for being included as bisexual participants…

      However, defining bisexuality based on behavior may not reflect the experiences of bisexual people.

      Considering young people, recent research indicates that more young people are identifying as a sexual minority person prior to first sexual activity…

      In addition, research with young bisexual women indicates that the pressure to define one's sexual identity based upon sexual or relationship history may have adverse sexual and mental health consequences…

      Thus, people who identify under the bisexual umbrella may not endorse particular behavioral criteria as essential to identifying as bisexual.

      [There is a call by some content experts and activists] for researchers to acknowledge that behavior is not interchangeable with identity, and that the way in which researchers conceptualize sexual orientation will impact their results… [when they] classified the same pool of women by sexual identity, and by two measures of behavior (sex of past-year partners, and sex of lifetime partners) and found that health outcomes differed significantly depending on how sexuality was categorized. Although behavior may be an important criterion to consider for some research questions, it is not sufficient on its own to fully understand health issues associated with bisexuality.

      Bisexual Umbrella Identities as Binary and Nonbinary

      In addition to variations in how bisexuality is conceptualized within research, identities under the bisexual umbrella may also differ in terms of how they are defined socially… (i.e. pansexual identity as intentionally prioritizing “romantic and/or sexual attractions to genderqueer, agender, and other nonbinary people and politics) …

      Considering research implications, it is possible that if researchers define bisexuality as a binary attraction to men and women, they risk excluding people who identify as bisexual but experience attraction to more than two genders, and thus collecting nonrepresentative data. Further, many people who identify as bisexual also identify with another nonmonosexual identity, including pansexuality, which blurs the line of distinction between these identities…

      Recent research with bisexual populations indicates that those who identity as bisexual only may represent a distinct group in terms of health outcomes compared with those who identify as bisexual in addition to other labels such as pansexual or queer…

      ***adapted from "Defining Bisexuality: Young Bisexual and Pansexual People's Voices". Journal of Bisexuality. 2016.

    • Refers to people whose gender identity aligns with their assigned sex at birth (cis- from Latin, meaning, "on this side [of]." In contrast to trans, from the Latin root meaning "across", "beyond", or "on the opposite side[of]").

    • May be understood as the complex interrelationship between an individual’s sex (gender biology), one’s internal sense of self as male, female, both or neither (gender identity) as well as one’s outward presentations and behaviors (gender expression) related to that perception, including their gender role. Together, the intersection of these three dimensions produces one’s authentic sense of gender, both in how people experience their own gender as well as how others perceive it.

    • The word dysphoria means "a state of feeling unhappy, or experiencing emotional or mental discomfort." Gender dysphoria occurs when there is a ‘disconnect’ on some level with all or some gendered aspects of a transgender person’s body, or in response to social misgendering. It can be argued that all transgender people experience gender dysphoria at some point in their lives, though it is not a constant state and it can be relieved or eliminated through transition-related steps.

      ***adapted https://www.transactiveonline.org/resources/guides/terminology.php. “Transgender Spectrum-Related Vocabulary, Slang & Terminology”. From the site TransActive Gender Center. 2017.

      Gender Dysphoria, cont…:

      Gender dysphoria occurs when there is a persistent sense of mismatch between one’s experienced gender and assigned gender… (formerly Gender Identity Disorder) is defined by strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite [or different] gender and discomfort with one's own assigned sex that results in significant distress or impairment. People with gender dysphoria desire to live as members of the opposite sex and often dress and use mannerisms associated with the other gender. For instance, a person identified as a boy may feel and act like a girl.

      Identity issues may manifest in a variety of different ways. For example, some people with normal genitals and secondary sex characteristics of one gender privately identify more with the other gender. Some may dress in clothes associated with the gender with which they identify, and some may seek hormone treatment or surgery as part of a transition to living full-time in the experienced gender.

      Associated Features and Disorders of Gender Dysphoria

      Many individuals with gender dysphoria become socially isolated, whether by choice or through ostracization, which can contribute to low self-esteem and may lead to school aversion or even dropping out. Peer ostracism and teasing are especially common consequences for boys.

      Boys with gender dysphoria often show marked feminine mannerisms and speech patterns.

      The disturbance can be so pervasive that the mental lives of some individuals revolve only around activities that lessen gender distress. They are often preoccupied with appearance, especially early in the transition to living in the opposite sex role. Relationships with parents also may be seriously impaired. Some males with gender dysphoria resort to self-treatment with hormones and may (very rarely) perform their own castration or penectomy. Especially in urban centers, some males may engage in prostitution, placing them at a high risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Suicide attempts and substance-related disorders are common.

      Children with gender dysphoria may manifest coexisting separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and symptoms of depression.

      Adolescents are particularly at risk for depression and suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.

      ***adapted from https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/gender-dysphoria . "Gender Dysphoria". Psychology Today online edition. 2015.

    • Refers to the ways in which people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, and other forms of presentation. Gender expression also works the other way as people assign gender to others based on their appearance, mannerisms, and other gendered characteristics. Sometimes, transgender people seek to match their physical expression with their gender identity, rather than their birth-assigned sex. Gender expression should not be viewed as an indication of sexual orientation.

    • People that are gender fluid have a gender or genders that change. Gender fluid people move between genders, experiencing their gender as something dynamic and changing, rather than static. Gender fluidity conveys a wider, more flexible range of gender expression, with interests and behaviors that may even change from day to day. Gender fluid children do not feel confined by restrictive boundaries of stereotypical expectations of girls or boys. In other words, a child may feel they are a girl some days and a boy on others, or possibly feel that neither term describes them accurately.

    • A person's innermost core concept of self which can include boy/man/male, girl/woman/female, a blend of both, neither, and many more. Gender identity is how each person perceives themself and they call themselves. One's gender identity can be consistent with, or different than, their sex assigned at birth. Gender identity can evolve and shift over time, especially as someone gets older and has access to a broader gender vocabulary. Individuals are conscious of this between the ages 18 months and 3 years. Most people develop a gender identity that matches their biological sex. For some, however, their gender identity is different from their biological or assigned sex. Some of these individuals choose to socially, hormonally and/or surgically change their sex to more fully match their gender identity.

    • (Noun) the belief that one’s own gender is superior and has the right to control the other.

      Usage: Racism and genderism are similar, they are about discrimination and hostility towards others based on race or gender. So a racist can also be a genderist.

      (Noun) Gendersim is the unfounded claims that differences between men and women are due to socio-cultural factors. By contrast, sexism refers to unfounded claims that differences between men and women are based upon bio-chemical differences; sexists overemphasize biological differences whereas genderists overemphasize socio-cultural differences.

      Usage: Harvey, the sexist, says women should clean while men relax.

      Harriet, the genderist, thinks women can run faster than men if they are properly trained.

      (Noun) Genderism is the unfounded claim that differences between men and women are due to socio-cultural factors. By contrast, sexism refers to the unfounded claim that differences between men and women are based upon bio-chemical differences; sexists overemphasize biological differences whereas genderists overemphasize socio-cultural differences.

      (Noun) The belief that one’s gender is superior and has the right to discriminate against those who are not of their own gender. Sexism is not the same as genderism. Sexism is discrimination against women and often focuses on preconceived stereotypes of what women should be.

      ***adapted from http://www.definition-of.com/genderism. “Genderism”. Farlex, Inc. - Definition-Of.com, 2016.

       

    • The “male” (“M”) or “female” (“F”) on your birth certificate, ID, or passport is called a “gender marker.”

      When we are born, we are typically labelled as “male” or “female” according to what our bodies look like. For trans* people, the label they were given at birth (their “biological sex”) doesn’t fit with how they feel or identify (their “gender identity.”)  Usually, we are assigned a gender marker according to our biological sex at birth.

      Getting a legal gender change means that a court has given you a document that states that for all legal (official) purposes, you should be considered to be your preferred gender.

      A legal gender change just refers to how your gender appears on official documents.  Someone could get gender reassignment surgery and never change their gender on their official documents.  In some states, you can get a legal gender change without having had any surgeries to change your gender.

      However, even if you can’t get a legal gender change, you can still change your gender marker on many of your official documents.

      You are not required to have surgery, or to get a court order, to change your gender marker with the Social Security Administration, MVA, and U.S. passport office. Schools, employers, and other places that keep records might also agree to change your gender marker on their records at your request.

      ***adapted from https://transyouthmd.wordpress.com/change-your-gender-marker/ . "Change Your Gender Marker / Legal Gender". trans*youth@md. 2017.

    • An umbrella term for gender identities that are not exclusively either boy/man, or girl/woman. People who identify their gender as non-binary may feel they have more than one gender, don't identify with a specific gender, or something else altogether.

    • When someone is “typically gendered,” they benefit from Gender Privilege. For individuals whose biological sex, gender expression, and gender identity neatly align, often referred to as “cisgender,” there is a level of congruence as they encounter the world around them. Like many forms of social privilege, this is frequently an unexamined aspect of their lives. Forms they fill out, the clothing stores in which they shop, or identification papers they carry bring few if any second thoughts. Social privilege comes from an assumption that one’s own perspective is universal; whether related to race, or language, or gender, privilege comes from being part of the “norm.” Or, as Dorothy Soelle aptly described it: Privilege is being able to choose what you will not see.

    • This is the set of roles, activities, expectations and behaviors assigned to females and males by society. Our culture recognizes two basic gender roles: Masculine (having the qualities attributed to males) and feminine (having the qualities attributed to females). People who step out of their socially assigned gender roles are sometimes referred to as transgender. Other cultures have three or more gender roles.

    • Gender-expansive and genderqueer are two of many terms used by people to describe themselves as somewhere on a gender spectrum – outside of the either/or choices relating to sex and gender. For some, genderqueer is a non-binary identification, and for others it is not.

      ***Adapted from ”Sex? Sexual Orientation? Gender Identity? Gender Expression?”. Baum, Joel and Westheimer, Kim. Teaching Tolerance. Issue 50. 34-38. Summer 2015.

    • Heterosexism is the system of oppression that privileges heterosexual or cisgender identities, whereas [LGBTQIA] people experience oppression based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and gender expression (American Counseling Association [ACA], 2010).

    • Heterosexual marking behaviors…fit into three basic categories: displaying attraction to people of the other sex, conveying that one is not gay or lesbian, and heterosexual marking via gender conformity. These categories are also the three main criteria that participants indicated they use to assess others’ heterosexual status, as presented below. All of our focus groups described marking behaviors that included displaying attraction to and/or sexual or romantic interest in people of the other sex. Within this category, the following marking behaviors were described by almost all or all focus groups: declaring that persons of the other sex are attractive; flirting with persons of the other sex; talking about “liking” or wanting to date persons of the other sex; telling others about persons of the other sex with whom one had relationships; using terms that refer to the other sex when discussing significant others; talking about sexual activity with persons of the other sex; public displays of affection with persons of the other sex; marrying persons of the other sex; picking up or being picked up by persons of the other sex; and displaying pictures of the other sex (such as of significant others or celebrities). Several other marking behaviors that fell within the category of displaying attraction to people of the other sex that the majority of groups discussed were revealing romantic/sexual interest in the other sex via social media (e.g., with pictures and status declarations); obviously “checking out” the bodies of the other sex; and introducing othersex significant others to one’s family…

      The second category of heterosexual marking behaviors involves those that convey a nongay or nonlesbian identity… Alternative sexual minority identities were very rarely acknowledged (Morgan & Davis-Delano, 2016a). Under this category, the vast majority of focus groups mentioned making prejudiced comments about gay and/or lesbian people as a heterosexual marking behavior. The other marking behaviors in this category that were mentioned by the majority of focus groups were pretending to be gay or lesbian via joking or behaviors that are “over the top”; not touching people who are the same sex; and not having gay and/or lesbian friends or hanging out with gay and/or lesbian people. Some of the marking behaviors in this category constitute microaggressions. Parallel to this category of marking behaviors, when discussing how they tell whether other people are heterosexual, 10 of the focus groups indicated that they look for marking of gay or lesbian status, and when they see an absence of this marking they viewed these others as heterosexual. Seven of the focus groups (all but one of which comprised heterosexual participants) directly remarked that often they do not look for evidence of heterosexuality to determine heterosexual status, but rather look for lack of evidence of homosexuality. For example, when a group was asked how they tell whether their friends are heterosexual, a heterosexual woman replied:

      A lot of times, it’s just the way they act. Like, if I meet someone … and they’re not acting like they’re homosexuals, then I would just assume that they’re heterosexuals. … I guess the thought process is just, “Okay, you’re not homosexual, then you must just be normal kind of thing.” That’s how people think.

      The third category of heterosexual marking behaviors involved conforming to dominant gender norms. When asked to describe how people convey their heterosexuality, most of the focus groups discussed the following heterosexual marking behaviors: dressing in ways that conform to gender expectations; talking in ways that conform to gender expectations; women wearing revealing clothing; men playing masculine sports; and men lifting weights. The majority of focus groups also discussed walking in ways that conform to gender expectations and women wearing make-up as heterosexual marking behaviors. For example, when a sexual minority group was asked how they tell whether people are heterosexual, one man related:

      I’ve noticed that [heterosexual people] follow the gender roles. … People who really conform to gender roles … don’t have to say that they are heterosexual because people already have the idea that they are. Like, the huge body builder. … Most people will automatically assume, “… He’s masculine. He’s straight.” Elsewhere (Morgan & Davis-Delano, 2016b), we further discuss other gender-related aspects of heterosexual marking. In sum, our data yielded many different examples of heterosexual marking behaviors that most, if not all, focus groups discussed. These marking behaviors were easily classified into three categories that parallel criteria participants utilize to assess whether other people are heterosexual. Our data also reveal social forces that are intertwined with heterosexual marking.

      *** "Heterosexual Identity Management: How Social Context Affects Heterosexual Marking Practices". Davis-Delano, Laurel R. & Morgan, Elizabeth M. Pages 299-318. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research. Volume 16, 2016-Issue 4. Published online: 31 Oct 2016

    • The term homophobia was coined by George Weinberg, a psychotherapist, and self-identified heterosexual. Taught to treat gay men and lesbians as though they were inherently sick, he found that some of his teachers were so "phobic" about homosexuality that they judged it reasonable to torture homosexuals by treatments such as electric shock in the belief that this would cure them.

      In 1967 Weinberg began calling some of his fellow clinicians homophobes. He developed the concept more fully in his book Society and the Healthy Homosexual, published in 1972. In it he defined homophobia as a "dread of being in close quarters with homosexuals."

      Though Weinberg used the term in his talks and articles in the gay press, also claiming some credit for the use of the term is K.T. Smith, who in 1971 published an article entitled "Homophobia: A Tentative Personality Profile."

      The term was almost immediately adopted both within and without the gay and lesbian community to describe those individuals who both fear and dislike homosexuals. Others extended the meaning. Mark Freeman, for example, defined it as an "extreme rage and fear reaction to homosexuals."

      Homophobia is often seen as an extreme form of heterosexism or heterocentrism, attitudes that privilege heterosexuality or consider heterosexual values as universal. Homophobia is also sometimes used to designate any form of anti-gay bias, from distaste for same-sex sex acts to overt discrimination against homosexuals.

      Given its coinage within a psychological context, perhaps the most significant aspect of the term, despite its rather slippery definition, is that it turns the table on those who equate homosexuality with mental illness. The problem, the term implies, is not with homosexuals or homosexuality, but with those who hold negative attitudes toward homosexuals and homosexuality.

      *** “Homophobia”. http://www.glbtq.com. Bullough, Vern L. 2011.

    • A clinical term for people who are attracted to members of the same sex. Some people find this term offensive.

      *** https://internationalspectrum.umich.edu/life/definitions . "LGBT Terms and Definitions". Spectrum Center at the University of Michigan. 2017.

      Homosexual, cont…

      The creation of the “homosexual” as a distinct social type followed a path that parallels the invention of childhood in several ways: both terms required invention, determination of origins, and debate regarding definition…

      Before the nineteenth century, homosexual acts were subject to stigmatization and regulation, but individuals were not differentiated as “homosexual” or “heterosexual” – the concept of “the homosexual” did not exist. European sexologists in the late nineteenth century classified individuals as types based on specific desires and behaviors, creating distinct categories such as “fetishist,” “masochist,” and “homosexual.” Sexual discourse was already branded as dangerous, even by its champions…

      Connections between homosexuality and childhood were apparent in the late nineteenth century and are explicit in the work of Havelock Ellis (1942) …As Ellis participated in the contemporary debate over the causes of homosexuality – is it acquired or congenital? – his discussion reveals that both interpretations of “inversion” [a term previously used for same sex attraction] pointed toward childhood as fertile ground for the sprouting of homosexuality. The “acquired” camp believed that “sexual inversion is entirely explained by the influence of early association, or of suggestion”, whereas those who saw homosexuality as “congenital” obsessively searched early childhood for indicators of inversion. After reviewing existing theories, Ellis concluded that inversion “remains a congenital anomaly” that has “psychic concomitants,” and he proceeded to “the consideration of the causes that excite the latent predisposition.” To where did Ellis trace these causes? Again, attention was riveted on childhood, as Ellis fingered sex-segregated schooling and the “initiation of the young boy or girl by some older and more experienced person” for bringing homosexuality to the surface.

      *** “Innocence, Perversion, and Heather’s Two Mommies”. Pages 58-59. Chapter 4. A Radical Rethinking of Sexuality & Schooling: Status Quo or Status Queer?. 2005.

      Homosexual, cont…

      It is possible to infer diverse meanings such as (1) defining oneself as gay, (2) a sense of oneself as gay, (3) image of oneself as homosexual, (4) the way a homosexual person is, and (5) consistent behavior in relation to homosexual-related activity. Sometimes it can be inferred that identity is intrapersonal; at other times, that it is outside the individual; and still others, that it is both within and outside the person. In addition, “sexual identity” and “self-identity” are sometimes used as explanations of homosexual identity…Early stages of homosexual identity development usually involve cognitive processing of self-information against a symbolically held image of the “generalized other” (heterosexual). Development of a fully integrated identity, however, requires more direct communication with others. Ultimately this includes the presentation of a homosexual self-image to both homosexual and heterosexual others…Both self-concept and identity are considered significant to an adequate understanding of homosexual identity…In addition, the multidimensional nature homosexual identity is emphasized. There is no such thing as a single homosexual identity. Rather, its nature may vary from person to person, from situation to situation, and from period to period…

      Human beings can choose to present an image of themselves that is quite distinct from the way they actually perceive themselves. Further, others may hold an image of a person that is at odds with that person’s own perception of self. [A good example of this was the United States public health model in HIV prevention strategies to implement and apply the term Men Who Have Sex with Men(MSM) to denote individuals who engaged in same sex acts regardless of self-identification as homosexual, bisexual or gay.]

      A great number of writers make explicit or implicit reference to the synonymity of homosexual identity with sexual identity…the belief that homosexual identity is the same as sexual identity is so ingrained that the tenability of this deduction is never questioned…

      It is possible to trace historically how sexual identity and homosexual identity may have been linked. The nineteenth-century medical model saw homosexuals classified as sexual perverts [it is worth noting that the earliest definitions of the term heterosexual also denoted a sexual perversion or fixation.] Arising out of this model, psychoanalytical theory presented a theoretical conception of human development that linked identity development (the satisfactory integration of id, ego, and superego) with sexual identity. According to this formulation, the consistent presentation of homosexuality in puberty and adult years is considered a sign of fixation at the Oedipal stage of sexual identity development…

      The central question is whether homosexual identity is simply a synonym for sexual identity. Are the components of gay identity those of sexual identity? Is a person’s homosexual identity entirely bound up on sexual elements? [Obviously not.] …The multidimensional continuum approach suggests that homosexual identity may vary on any number of dimensions. There are a myriad of meanings that individuals can include in their perceptions of themselves as “a homosexual.” A sound theory of gay identity must be able to incorporate within its proposals the multi-faceted nature of identity… [it is helpful to distinguish between] “homosexual identity” and “gay identity.” A homosexual identity “describes one’s sexual orientation” and “places its focus on an explicit sexual act and then on its coincidental behavior.” A gay identity “implies affiliation with the gay community in a cultural and sociable sense” and “identifies those who have adopted a particular world view or perspective of reality which is self-imposed and a self-determinant of the attitude, beliefs, actions, and even the vocabulary affecting human interactions.”

      The change in conception of homosexual identity away from a totally sexual meaning is being expressed quite firmly in the homosexual/gay identity distinction. It suggests that, at times, identity is bound up with sexual concepts and, at other times, it is not… [This model] appears, therefore, to reflect a political stance…Proponents of the homosexual/gay dichotomy suggest that a gay identity is a more “advanced” identity since it reflects the individual’s development of strategies for dealing with a stigmatized status...

      *** adapted and excerpted from the article "Homosexual Identity: A Concept in Need of Definition". Cass, Vivienne C. Journal of Homosexuality. Pages 105-126. Volume 9, 1984 - Issue 2-3. 2010.

    • The study of identity in social psychology is linked to research on the nature of the self both in relation to and in contrast from others. Individuals generally come to define themselves in terms of their centrally important traits and attributes. In Western individualistic cultures where this research originates, self-definition often emphasizes those traits that differentiate oneself from others.

      *** "Self, Self-Concept, and Identity". Oyserman, D., Elmore, K., & Smith, G. In M. R. Leary & J. P. Tangney (Eds.), Handbook of Self and Identity (pp. 69–104). New York: Guilford Press. (2011).

    • A term first coined in 1989 by American civil rights advocate and leading scholar of critical race theory, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. It is the study of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination. Intersectionality is the idea that multiple identities intersect to create a whole that is different from the component identities. These identities that can intersect include gender, race, social class, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, age, mental disability, physical disability, mental illness, and physical illness as well as other forms of identity.[1] These aspects of identity are not “unitary, mutually exclusive entities, but rather…reciprocally constructing phenomena.”[1] The theory proposes that we think of each element or trait of a person as inextricably linked with all of the other elements in order to fully understand one's identity.[2]

      This framework can be used to understand how systemic injustice and social inequality occur on a multidimensional basis. [3] Intersectionality holds that the classical conceptualizations of oppression within society—such as racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and belief-based bigotry—do not act independently of each other. Instead, these forms of oppression interrelate, creating a system of oppression that reflects the "intersection" of multiple forms of discrimination. [4]

      Intersectionality proposes that all aspects of one’s identity need to be examined as simultaneously interacting with each other and affecting one’s privilege and perception in society, and that these facets of identity cannot simply be observed separately.[6] As such, intersectionality is not simply a view of personal identity, but rather an overarching analysis of power hierarchies present within identities.[6] The framework of intersectionality also provides an insight into how multiple systems of oppression interrelate and are interactive.[6] Intersectionality is not a static field; rather, it is dynamic and constantly developing as response to formations of complex social inequalities.[1]

      ***

      [1.] "Intersectionality's Definitional Dilemmas". Annual Review of Sociology. 41: 1–20. Collins, Patricia H. (2015).

      [2.] Gender in Communication. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-4522-2009-3. DeFrancisco, Victoria P.; Palczewski, Catherine H. (2014).

      [3.] "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics". The University of Chicago Legal Forum. 140: 139–167. Crenshaw, Kimberle (1 January 1989).

      [4.] "Intersectionality – A Theoretical Inspiration in the Analysis of Minority Cultures and Identities in Textbooks" (PDF), in Bruillard, Éric; Horsley, Mike; Aamotsbakken, Bente; et al., Caught in the Web or Lost in the Textbook, 8th IARTEM conference on learning and educational media, held in Caen in October 2005, Utrecht, The Netherlands: International Association for Research on Textbooks and Educational Media (IARTEM), pp. 61–76, OCLC 799730084, archived from the original (PDF) on 11 December 2006. Knudsen, Susanne V. (2006).

      [5.] "Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color". Stanford Law Review. 43: 1241–1299 – via www.jstor.org/stable/1229039. Crenshaw, Kimberle (1991).

      [6.] "Intersectionality". www.oxfordhandbooks.com. Oxford University Press. Cooper, Brittany (August 2015).  

    • Intersex refers to a variety of conditions in which an individual is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical understanding of female or male bodies.  In the past three decades, more than 25 genes have been identified that were once believed to be associated solely with male or female biology, but in fact exhibit more complex, non-binary variations. With the advent of new scientific knowledge, it is increasingly evident that biological sex does not fit a binary model. Intersex conditions are increasingly being recognized as naturally occurring variations of human physiology. Following years of organizing by intersex activists, momentum is growing to end what was once a standard practice of “gender-normalizing surgery” performed on intersex infants with ambiguous genitalia. In 2013, the United Nations condemned the use of this unnecessary surgery on infants, putting it in the same category as involuntary sterilization, unethical experimentation or reparative therapy when enforced or administered without the free and informed consent of the person receiving the surgery.

      *** ”Sex? Sexual Orientation? Gender Identity? Gender Expression?”. Baum, Joel and Westheimer, Kim. Teaching Tolerance. Issue 50. 34-38. Summer 2015.

      Intersex, cont…: 

      A general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types—for example, a girl may be born with a noticeably large clitoris, or lacking a vaginal opening, or a boy may be born with a notably small penis, or with a scrotum that is divided so that it has formed more like labia. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.

      Though we speak of intersex as an inborn condition, intersex anatomy doesn’t always show up at birth. Sometimes a person isn’t found to have intersex anatomy until she or he reaches the age of puberty, or finds himself an infertile adult, or dies of old age and is autopsied. Some people live and die with intersex anatomy without anyone (including themselves) ever knowing.

      Which variations of sexual anatomy count as intersex? In practice, different people have different answers to that question. That’s not surprising, because intersex isn’t a discreet or natural category.

      What does this mean? Intersex is a socially constructed category that reflects real biological variation. To better explain this, we can liken the sex spectrum to the color spectrum. There’s no question that in nature there are different wavelengths that translate into colors most of us see as red, blue, orange, yellow. But the decision to distinguish, say, between orange and red-orange is made only when we need it—like when we’re asking for a particular paint color. Sometimes social necessity leads us to make color distinctions that otherwise would seem incorrect or irrational, as, for instance, when we call certain people “black” or “white” when they’re not especially black or white as we would otherwise use the terms.

      In the same way, nature presents us with sex anatomy spectrums. Breasts, penises, clitorises, scrotums, labia, gonads—all of these vary in size and shape and morphology. So-called “sex” chromosomes can vary quite a bit, too. But in human cultures, sex categories get simplified into male, female, and sometimes intersex, in order to simplify social interactions, express what we know and feel, and maintain order.

      So nature doesn’t decide where the category of “male” ends and the category of “intersex” begins, or where the category of “intersex” ends and the category of “female” begins. Humans decide. Humans (today, typically doctors) decide how small a penis has to be, or how unusual a combination of parts has to be, before it counts as intersex. Humans decide whether a person with XXY chromosomes or XY chromosomes and androgen insensitivity will count as intersex.

      In our work, we find that doctors’ opinions about what should count as “intersex” vary substantially. Some think you have to have “ambiguous genitalia” to count as intersex, even if your inside is mostly of one sex and your outside is mostly of another. Some think your brain has to be exposed to an unusual mix of hormones prenatally to count as intersex—so that even if you’re born with atypical genitalia, you’re not intersex unless your brain experienced atypical development. And some think you have to have both ovarian and testicular tissue to count as intersex.

      Rather than trying to play a semantic game that never ends, we at ISNA take a pragmatic approach to the question of who counts as intersex. We work to build a world free of shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital surgeries for anyone born with what someone believes to be non-standard sexual anatomy.

      By the way, because some forms of intersex signal underlying metabolic concerns, a person who thinks she or he might be intersex should seek a diagnosis and find out if she or he needs professional healthcare.

      *** http://www.isna.org/faq/what_is_intersex, Intersex Society of North America, 2017.

    • What is the difference between bisexual and terms like pansexual, polysexual, omnisexual, ambisexual, and fluid?

      Bisexuality (in its modern context) describes anyone whose attractions are not limited to one sex. The term comes to us from the world of science and describes a person with both homosexual (lit. same sex) and heterosexual (lit. different sex) attractions.  It is an open and inclusive word that describes a diverse group of people with a wide variety of experiences around same-sex and different-sex attractions. As a scientific term, bisexual is not just an identity label; it is also a sexual orientation that can describe a set of behaviors.

      Identity labels like pansexual, polysexual, omnisexual, and ambisexual also describe a person with homosexual and heterosexual attractions, and therefore people who have chosen those labels may also fall into the category of bisexual. By replacing the prefix bi – (two, both) with pan- (all), poly- (many), omni- (all), ambi- (both, and implying ambiguity in this case), people who adopt these self-identities seek to clearly express the fact that gender does not factor into their own sexuality, or that they are specifically attracted to trans, genderqueer, and other people who may or may not fit into the mainstream gender categories of male and female.  This does not mean, however, that people who identify as bisexual are fixated on traditional notions of gender.

      The term fluid expresses the fact that the balance of a person’s homosexual and heterosexual attractions exists in a state of flux and changes over time.  Usually, but not always, people who describe their sexuality as fluid are bi people whose attractions skew very heavily towards one gender. The terms Heteroflexible and homoflexible add a further level of specificity, by indicating whether the bisexual person’s attractions skew almost exclusively towards same-sex or different-sex individuals.

      *** https://bisexual.org/?qna=what-is-the-difference-between-bisexual-and-terms-like-pansexual-polysexual-omnisexual-ambisexual-and-fluid. From the site Bisexual.org. 2013.

      Pansexual, cont…:

      The term comes from adding the prefix "pan," which means all, to sexuality, suggesting that people who identify as pansexual are not restricted in their sexuality to those of the opposite gender (heterosexuality), to the same gender (homosexuality) or to the binary genders of men and women (bisexuality).

      The origin of the term "pansexual" is generally attributed to "pansexualism," a term popularized by Sigmund Freud in the early 1900s to describe the view that most human behavior derived from sexual instincts, said Justin R. Garcia, assistant professor of gender studies and research scientist at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University.

      Most behavioral scientists today don't believe that everything we do has a sexual basis. But Freud's work generated important questions about the direction of sexual desires, Garcia said. And it gave us a word that has evolved with the times.

      Today, the term pansexual is used to describe a romantic or sexual attraction focused on traits other than sex or gender. In other words, someone who identifies as pansexual is capable of being attracted to multiple sexes and gender identities, said David Bond, vice president of programs for LGBT crisis intervention group, Trevor Project.

      "It might have to do with who you have romantic feelings for or who have a sexual attraction for, and those two can be hand-in-hand or distinct," he said.

      It's different from bisexuality.

      Bisexuality refers to people attracted to men and women. With more people identifying across the gender spectrum between men and women, pansexuality has emerged as a catch-all that includes everyone else.

      "People are adopting it because 'bisexual' partakes of the gender binary. Pansexuality is a way of moving beyond that and a personal recognition that attractions are felt across the gender spectrum," Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels, co-authors of "Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory and Optimistic Open Relationships," wrote in an email.

      "While it's broad in scope and application, it also has the advantage of referring to a full spectrum of attractions rather than being rooted in the idea that attraction is either for the same gender, an 'opposite' gender or both. That inclusivity actually gives it a very specific meaning."

      Some prefer it to "bisexuality" because it encompasses attraction to men, women, transgender people and those who are intersex (born with a sex that doesn't fit the typical definitions of male or female).

      However, some sexuality scholars argue that the term "bisexuality" also includes these categories, so the distinction between "pansexual" and "bisexual" is still up for debate, with no consensus on the best terminology.

      Scholars attribute the word's rise to growing acceptance -- especially among millennials and "generation Z" -- of sexual and gender diversity and gender neutral norms.

      "It is a broad word, and that is because people want to have the freedom to self-identify any way they want without being labeled by anyone else," said psychotherapist and sex therapist Michael Aaron.

      "It has cultural resonance because it is so broad and allows for so much flexibility and choice."

      ***adapted from http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/10/health/pansexual-feat/. "What It Means to be Pansexual". CNN.com. Grinberg. 2016.

    • The word polyamory is based on the Greek and Latin for “many loves” (literally, poly many + amor love). A polyamorous person is someone who has or is open to having more than one romantic relationship at a time, with the knowledge and consent of all their partners. A polyamorous relationship is a romantic relationship where the people in the relationship agree that it’s okay for everyone to be open to or have other romantic partners. Polyamory is the idea or practice of being polyamorous or having polyamorous relationships.

      The thing that defines a polyamorous relationship is that everyone involved knows about, and agrees to, everyone else’s involvement…

      Polyamory is defined by informed consent of all the participants…

      In a poly relationship, it is vital…for everyone involved to know and understand the rules of the relationship, and abide by them. A successful poly relationship absolutely requires trust and security from everyone involved. If you cannot abide by the relationship’s rules, you cannot expect to make a polyamorous relationship work…

      Some poly relationships, called “polyfidelity” relationships, have rules not much different from a traditional monogamous relationship, only there are more than two people involved. A polyfidelitous triad, for example, may have three people involved, with one person sexually active with the other two, or even with all three people sexually involved with one another…

      Polygyny (from the Greek poly many + gynos woman) is the form of polygamy where a man can have more than one female partner, but women are not allowed to have more than one male partner…

      But polyamory is not polygyny. Polyamory applies equally to everybody. In an ethical polyamorous relationship, the same opportunities are afforded to everyone, regardless of their sex [or gender] …

      ***adapted from https://www.morethantwo.com/polyamory.html. “"Polyamory FAQ".” From the site More Than Two. Veaux, Franklin. 2014.

    • Out of respect for an individual’s gender identity and/or gender expression Preferred Pronouns can be asked for and used when referring to another person. A pronoun is simply a word that a person uses to identify themselves. A Preferred Pronoun helps establish respect for and greater equity in honoring a person’s gender identity and/or expression. For example: If Jamie’s pronouns are she, her, and hers, you could say “Jamie ate her food because she was hungry.” The most commonly used pronouns include she, her, hers and he, him, his. These are often referred to as “female/feminine” and “male/masculine” pronouns. However, some people avoid these male/female labels, and instead, prefer to use gender-neutral pronouns or simply request that they be referred to by their first name instead of a pronoun. Some of the most common gender-neutral pronouns and the applications of such are as follows. These may seem grammatically challenging at first, but can be utilized effortlessly with commitment and practice.

      • They, them, theirs – Jamie ate their food because they were hungry.
      • Ze, hir – Jamie ate hir food because ze was hungry.
        • Ze is pronounced like “zee” can also be spelled zie or xe.
          • It can be used to replace she/he/they
        • Hir is pronounced like “here” and can replace her/hers/him/his/they/theirs.

      ***Definition adapted from Developmental Pathways to Trans Inclusion on College Campuses. Washington, DC: ACPA-College Student Educators International. Squire, D., & Beck, B. (2016).

    • What Are Puberty Blockers and How Do They Work?

      These are agents (or medicines) that block (or, as we say, suppress) the release of [the hormones which cause changes during puberty] LH and FSH from the pituitary gland. This then stops testosterone from being released from the testes, and estrogen from being released from the ovaries. Thus, they SUPPRESS PUBERTY. Without exposure to the sex hormones, the body does not undergo the changes associated with them….

      Why Are They Used and When Are They Prescribed?

      These agents (medicines) are used for many different reasons. In children they are used to treat precocious puberty, when puberty happens too early. They are given to a child until the child is older and mature enough to enter into puberty, and once these agents are stopped, puberty will start on its own. In adults, they are used for treatment of certain sex hormone sensitive cancers, like prostate cancer, to prevent the patient from being exposed to hormones that can increase cancer growth.

      These agents are also used to suppress endogenous sex hormone production in an adult individual who is undergoing cross-gender transition. By suppressing the individual’s production of sex hormones, administering cross hormone therapy for transition is more effective.

      In transgender youth, puberty blockers are used to suppress the endogenous pubertal changes that quite often worsen the individual’s gender dysphoria. In addition, by not being exposed to one’s own sex hormones, cross hormone therapy is even more effective at achieving the desired physical appearance in gender transition.

      ***adapted from https://www.transactiveonline.org/resources/youth/puberty-blockers.php. “Puberty Blockers and Puberty Inhibitors”. From the site TransActive Gender Center. Selva MD, Karin. 2017.

    • In the face of current political and social climates, queer theorizing is perhaps more popular and accessible to academic audiences than ever before. Despite its continued popularity, however, queer is still contested as an academic term (and is still often ghettoized to the corners of academe). So what is queer? Is it a discrete, catch-all identity marker for anyone who is not heterosexual? Or is it a representation of a theoretical body that seeks to destabilize heterosexual identity? …

       As important as it is for queer theory to be understood, it is even more important that the spirit of queer theory be enacted through research, scholarship, and—most importantly—accessible public dissemination. It is these publics who must come to understand “that every part of our identity is both fluid and mixed, and is thus capable of transformation” (Gearheart, 2003, xxi). Queer theory is not about an individual or a set of individuals; but it is about all individuals who may be marginalized or excised. Its roots begin in gender and sexuality, but they expand to all realms of human existence where individuals who cause no harm to other individuals are nonetheless marginalized and ordered unruly through laws, media and public discourses, organizational policy, and everyday talk (or lack thereof). Queer theory’s spirit, then, is about not accepting one way of living and being; it is about the radical notion that we are not trapped in essentialized identities. Who we are personally should not be subject to politics, even if that is the current way it is often socially established

      It is oftentimes easy to forget that behind the politics (and behind queer theory, even) are people – often people who are struggling to enjoy the same dignities, privileges, and rights to self-expression and full life as others…

      In talks about [sex] and radical gender expression and transformative notions of the iterative, it is often lost that all people—often framed as bodies in queer explorations or as homosexuals or gays and lesbians in the political—are at the center of both structures, and that the personal lives and liberties of everyone is at stake…

      Queer theory, politics, and relationships are studied in a variety of disciplines in a variety of ways, and understanding (and respecting!) these various approaches is key to allowing the full breadth of queer theory to be understood and to building upon these understandings. On the micro level, this includes engaging (and arranging) academic colloquia that cross disciplines and incite discussion; fostering dialogues in departments and universities related to queer issues; and, perhaps most importantly, bringing the discussion to public institutions and organizations dealing with (and even fighting against) queer rights and issues. As queer theory is disseminated across and from the ivory tower, it should be done so with the understanding of how it can help uncover or create bodies of knowledge (especially from minority perspectives) and whether or not the questions to be asked about the queer (or non-queer) can be expanded for (un)conventional understandings of and application to everyday life. Of course, we can also seek to continue educating ourselves about queerness, politics, and how these affect our identities and our relationships regardless of our own sexual identities and personal politics.

      Queer theory ultimately represents a spirit of understanding how we are essentialized and how we can undo this essentialization; begs questions about the imbalance between the personal and the political; and calls into multiple and thoughtful questions what we know about our own identities, about the identities of others, and how it all intersects.

      *** *** "Because the Personal is the Political—Connecting the Queer, the Political, and the Relational". Manning, Jimmie. Pages 1-8. Queer Identities. Editors Drushel, B. E., & German, K. M. 2009.

    • Includes physical attributes such as external genitalia, sex chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, and internal reproductive structures. At birth, it is used to assign sex, that is, to identify individuals as male or female.

    • Sexual orientation is about our physical, emotional and/or romantic attractions to others. Like gender identity, sexual orientation is internally held knowledge. In multiple studies, LGBT youth reported being aware of their sexual orientation during elementary school, but waited to disclose their orientation to others until middle or high school. Students might identify as bisexual, pansexual, queer, asexual or use a host of other words that reflect their capacity to be attracted to more than one sex or gender or not to feel sexual attraction at all. This emerging language illuminates a complex world in which simple either/or designations such as gay or straight are insufficient. The overlap and conflation of gender identity and sexual orientation can be confusing for individuals trying to make sense of their own identities as well as for those who are clear about their identities. It can also be

      complicated for anyone seeking to support them. In her book Gender Born, Gender Made, psychologist Diane Ehrensaft describes a teenage client who, over the course of a few weeks, identified in seemingly contradicting ways, including as androgynous, as a gay boy and—eventually—as a heterosexual transgender female. This young person was involved in a dynamic process that illustrated both the way sexual orientation and gender identity are intertwined and how they are separate.

      *** ”Sex? Sexual Orientation? Gender Identity? Gender Expression?”. Baum, Joel and Westheimer, Kim. Teaching Tolerance. Issue 50. 34-38. Summer 2015.

    • Binary notions of gender, biology and sexual orientation exclude large swaths of human diversity. This diversity can be better understood by using spectrum-based models. Spectrums make room for anyone whose experiences do not narrowly fit into binary choices such as man/woman, feminine/masculine or straight/gay. A spectrum model not only makes room for people who are gender-expansive but for those who are perceived to be more typical as well. A spectrum provides an avenue to a deeper understanding of the separate yet interrelated concepts of biological sex, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. (Examples of terms that might appear on a Spectrum Model: bisexual, pansexual, queer, asexual, aromantic, homosexual, heterosexual, genderqueer, intersex, androgynous, etc.)

      *** ”Sex? Sexual Orientation? Gender Identity? Gender Expression?”. Baum, Joel and Westheimer, Kim. Teaching Tolerance. Issue 50. 34-38. Summer 2015.

    • Sometimes used an umbrella term to describe anyone whose identity or behavior falls outside of stereotypical gender norms. More narrowly defined, it refers to an individual whose gender identity does not match their assigned birth sex. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation (attraction to people of a specific sex and/or gender.) Therefore, transgender people may additionally identify with a variety of other sexual identities as well.

    • A term used to describe some transgender people. The terminology "Transsexual" predates the term "transgender" but has since fallen into relative disuse among the community as it may imply that sex characteristics are more important than gender identity.

      In some cases, the term "transsexual" is used to refer to a subset of the transgender community. This may be only those who medically transition through surgery, or plan to do so, by changing their sex characteristics. Alternately, it sometimes refers only to transgender people within the gender binary, i.e. trans men and trans women, or only to those who experience dysphoria.

      Although it is no longer widely used as an umbrella term, transsexual is sometimes used as an identity by individuals as a matter of personal preference.

      In summary, there are two main (or potentially more) definitions of transsexual/transgender:

      1. Binary "trans" people, who are assigned female gender at birth but identify as male, or vice versa

      2. Any transgender person who decides to transition (via any pathway) to change their biological sex

      *** http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Transsexual. Gender Wiki is a Fandom Lifestyle Community. 2016.

    • Our use of trans includes all trans people and anybody who identifies as any sex or gender other than or in addition to the one they were assigned at birth (this includes identifying as multiple genders or no gender at all). 

      For more information, please visit Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER) at http://www.transstudent.org/asterisk

    • The process of changing outwardly from one gender to another. Transition is the term used to include all of the steps a transgender or non-binary person may take in order to present themselves consistently with their gender identity. Transition can occur in any or all of the following ways: social transition through changes of social identifiers such as clothing, hairstyle, gender identity, name and/or pronoun; medical transition though the use of medicines such as hormone "blockers" or cross hormones to promote gender-based body changes; surgical transition in which an individual's body is modified though the addition or removal of gender-related physical traits; and legal transition through changing identification documents such as one's birth certificate, driver's license, and passport.

      These definitions were found at https://www.genderspectrum.org unless otherwise noted with the term.

      Gender Spectrum’s mission is to create a gender-inclusive world for all children and youth. To accomplish this, we help families, organizations, and institutions increase understandings of gender and consider the implications that evolving views have for each of us.

Alliance would specifically like to thank Joshua Love for his outstanding work on this vocabulary list.