Helpful LGBTQ+ Terms to Know

By Annie Rosemurgy | Photography by Cecilie Johnsen via Unsplash

Although most know what the letters and terms in “LGBTQ+” mean (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning. The plus sign indicates inclusion of all other gender identities and sexual orientations, plus allies). there are other terms that are good to know when talking to kids about these topics.

  • Cisgender: Identifying with the gender you were assigned at birth. (i.e., you were born a girl and identify as a woman).
  • Gender expression: How a person expresses their gender identity to the world using clothing, names or pronouns.
  • Gender identity: A person’s understanding and experience of their own gender. Some identify as the gender they are assigned at birth, while others do not.
  • Nonbinary: Someone whose gender identity isn’t exclusively male or female.
  • Queer: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender may all identify as queer. This term also signifies that sexuality and gender are complicated and fluid, and may change for a person over time.
  • The + sign in LGBTQ+: This stands for all gender identities and sexual orientations that aren’t included by the other five letters. It’s also used to symbolize that all are welcome, and includes straight allies and general supporters of the community.

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