Note: the labels and terms on this page are person-specific. Just because we know the definition of a particular term doesn’t mean that someone necessarily identifies with it. Many of us make unconscious assumptions based on the perceived meanings of identity labels, and being aware of this is an important part of learning.
Whether or not you’re familiar with the labels someone uses, rather than ask “what does it mean?'” ask “what does it mean to you?” That’s what we do in the podcast 🙂
Assigned Female At Birth. This is more accurate than saying ‘born a girl’ or ‘born female’.
Assigned Gender At Birth
A gender identity that falls under the non-binary umbrella, meaning to be genderless, not identifying with (any) gender at all. That said, agender folks may use other gender-specific labels in addition to this one, which may seem counterintuitive.
Someone is allosexual if they experience sexual attraction. It is the opposite of asexual.
Assigned Male At Birth. This is more accurate than saying ‘born a boy’ or ‘born male’.
A gender identity that falls under the non-binary umbrella, which means being simultaneously male/masculine as well as female/feminine, or in between the two.
A quality of being both masculine (andro) and feminine (gyne) in appearance and expression; having a combination of both male and female traits, OR a neutral presentation.
Short for aromantic, which means to experience no (or very rare, or infrequent) romantic attraction.
To learn more, listen to the conversation with Theo Will
‘The gender binary’ refers to the assumption that the only two genders are man and woman. The description has its origin in binary code, which consists of two options: 0 or 1. So it’s a clear either/or situation; either this, or that. If someone identifies as anything other than, or outside of, these two binaries, they may fall under the umbrella-term ‘non-binary’.
An abbreviation for Black, Indigenous and People Of Colour.
This is used by folks who experience sexual attraction to two or more genders. Some perceive it to mean ‘to be attracted to two genders’ (which is rooted in assumptions of a gender binary), as in men and women, but many bisexuals are attracted to multiple genders. Therefore, there is some overlap with the pansexual label.
Someone is cisgender when their birth sex matches their gender identity. They feel aligned and comfortable with being either a man or a woman. Cisgender is not a slur; it is simply a term, like transgender.
Cishet (or cis/het, cis-het)
A term to describe being cisgender (either man or woman) and heterosexual (attracted to the ‘opposite’ sex).
The process of stopping or reversing the transition process. This can be societal or medical. This is a controversial term and subject at the moment, because it is used by the gender-critical movement as an argument against transitioning.
To learn more, listen to the conversation with Brian, who uses the term ‘retransition’ rather than detransition.
Estrogen or oestrogen. If someone refers to ‘taking E’ or ‘being on E’ that’s what they mean – when it’s about gender at least 😉
enby, enbie, eNBy, NBi, NBy
Abbreviations for non-binary. As with all labels, these are very person-specific; for example, some folks find the term ‘enby’ infantilising.
An endosex individual is someone whose sex characteristics fit normative societal or medical definitions of typically ‘male’ or ‘female’ bodies. Antonym of Intersex – see below.
Femme Boy / Femboy
This is a term used by gender non-conforming folks who fit more on the masculine side (in whatever form) in their identity, but present in a more feminine way. It is more about gender expression than gender identity.
This refers to folks whose gender presentation does not conform to (binary) gender norms, and/or their gender expression may not reflect their actual gender identity. The term is used mostly by transgender and non-binary folks, but it may be used by cis people as well.
To learn more, listen to the conversation with Lux.
A gender identity that changes; that is not set. It can change consistently (daily, weekly, monthly, etc) or randomly; and between any and all genders.
An identity where the intensity of one’s gender fluctuates. It could be considered a type of genderfluid.
To learn more, listen to the conversation with Jareth.
This term is used by people who have a gender experience that is different from the norm or the mainstream. It can be a gender identity of its own as well as an umbrella term.
Gender Identity Clinic
Gender Recognition Certificate
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Intersex Genital Mutilation; a term that refers to any non-consensual surgery performed on intersex people. Parents of babies born with genital intersex characteristics are recommended (or pressured) by doctors to undergo medically unnecessary ‘normalising’ surgery, to make external genitals appear more typically ‘male’ or ‘female’, and may also involve removing and/or altering internal sex organs. Intersex people of any age may experience this; not just infants, because some people only discover later in life that they are intersex.
Intersex individuals have variations in the development of sex characteristics that do not fit typical male or female norms. These variations can include internal and external genitalia, chromosomes, and hormones. Intersex is part of the LGBT+ umbrella, but not all intersex folks consider themselves a part of the LGBT+ community. Antonym of Endosex – see above.
A gender identity that falls under the non-binary umbrella, that is entirely separate from ‘conventional’ genders and gendered concepts like masculine and feminine. It’s not the absence of gender, or gender neutrality, but its own unique gender identity.
To learn more, listen to the conversation with Renée.
A gender identity used by folks who do not identify with their assigned gender at birth, but also do not feel they are transgender. A space outside cisgender and transgender.
To learn more, listen to the conversation with Talea.
MTF or M2F
Male To Female. Someone who is transitioning (or has transitioned) from male to female. A binary transition.
With the binary being man and woman, non-binary refers to gender identities other than these. This is an umbrella term; a spectrum that includes identities between the binaries, outside the binaries, or completely separate from the binaries. Rather than thinking of non-binary as a sliding scale between the binaries of man and woman, some consider it more three-dimensional, like a galaxy surrounding the binary genders. Some non-binary folks may be transgender as well, while others are not.
‘NB’ is sometimes used to abbreviate ‘Non-Binary’, however it is also used in the black community to mean ‘Non-Black’. Even though context would often make it clear what is meant, it is suggested that other abbreviations are used, such as enby, enbie, eNBy, NBi or NBy. As with all labels, these are very person-specific; for example, some folks find the term ‘enby’ infantilising.
We’ve had many non-binary folks on the podcast – you can find a list here.
This term is used by folks who experience themselves as having two or more genders, either simultaneously or in a more fluid sense. It can be considered under the non-binary umbrella, or outside of it.
To learn more, listen to the conversation with Lux.
This is an identity that can encompass gender and sexuality, as well as other facets of identity that differ from the norm or are unconventional or non-conforming. It can be used as an umbrella term, or as an identity or orientation of its own.
Testosterone. If someone refers to ‘taking T’ or ‘being on T’ that’s what they mean.
This term is used by people who were not assigned male at birth (AMAB), but are partially or fully masculine in identity.
Someone who was not assigned male at birth (AMAB) but identifies (at least in part) as a man (a social transition), or someone who has transitioned (socially and/or medically) ‘from female to male’ (not everyone will relate to or approve of ‘from female to male’ language). This transition is often a binary one, however some trans men may also resonate with additional (non-binary) gender identities or labels.
Someone who was not assigned female at birth (AFAB) but identifies (at least in part) as a woman (a social transition), or someone who has transitioned (socially and/or medically) ‘from male to female’ (not everyone will relate to or approve of ‘from male to female’ language). This transition is often a binary one, however some trans women may also resonate with additional (non-binary) gender identities or labels.
A person may be – or identify as – transgender when their gender identity doesn’t match their birth sex.
We’ve had many transgender folks on the podcast – you can find a list here.
This is an older term, introduced into the English language around 1950, and was used for people who wanted to medically transition. For several decades after, it seemed to be the only term available for people to relate to if they struggled with, or were confused by, their gender identity – even before the word ‘gender’ was understood in the way it is now. Although isn’t as commonly used any more and many find it outdated, some folks still identify with it.
Someone who wears clothes that are not typically worn by folks with the sex they were assigned at birth. Sometimes this is called ‘crossdressing’. This is a controversial term, often used as a slur. However, some folks feel it fits them, or they identify with it.
To learn more, listen to the conversation with Sophie.
An umbrella term used exclusively by Native North Americans for gender identities other than cis, and sexual orientations other than heterosexual. It may be considered an Indigenous LGBT+ identity by some (inclusive abbreviations could be LGBTQ2S or LGBTQIA2S+), and can also include spirituality and alternative relationship styles.
To learn more, listen to the conversation with Beverly Little Thunder.
A gender identity that falls under the non-binary umbrella, meaning a gender identity that cannot be well described through conventional gendered language. Instead, xenogender individuals resonate more with things like animals, plants, or objects when it comes to describing their identity; subjects that most people do not consider as relating to gender.
To learn more, listen to the conversation with Greyson.
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