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LGBTQ+ Glossary

Our knowledge of LGBTQ+ issues, and the language used within these communities, is constantly evolving. Within the LGBTQ+ community, many people are searching for the word that feels right to describe themselves. Words matter, and finding the language that feels right can have a powerful effect.

Outside of LGBTQ+ communities, even well-meaning people can have trouble finding the right words. They might avoid important conversations for fear of saying the wrong thing.

The LGBTQ+ Glossary is a two-page list of terms and definitions that are frequently used, but not always understood. Some of the terms include ally, bisexual, coming out, gay, gender expression, lesbian, outing, and questioning.

Although the meaning of these words is agreed upon by many, every person has their unique experiences, preferences, and feelings. When unsure what words to use, the best thing to do is respectfully ask, and listen with an open mind.

This glossary is meant to improve understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and start productive conversations. While this glossary is not exhaustive, it is a helpful primer for those within the community, family members, and allies.

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1. American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Answers to your questions about transgender people, gender identity, and gender expression. American Psychological Association. Retrieved June 14, 2022, from

2. Glossary of terms - Human Rights Campaign. (n.d.). Retrieved June 10, 2022, from

3. Green, J. (2015). Female to male trans person (FtM). The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality, 1-3.

4. LGBTQ Glossary. County of San Mateo, CA. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21, 2022, from

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