Glossary of Terms

ally:
An individual (usually heterosexual) who is supportive of the LGBTQ community. They believe in the dignity and respect of all people, and are willing to stand up in that role. Allies do not identify as members of the group for which they are fighting; in this case, someone heterosexual would be an ally for the LGBTQ community, but a lesbian (for example) could be an ally for the trans community.
bisexual:
A bisexual is a male or female who is attracted emotionally, physically, affectionately, romantically, sexually, erotically and/or spiritually to people of both genders. The attraction may be stronger to males or to females or it may be approximately equal. If a bisexual person is in an exclusive relationship with someone of the oppostie gender, they might appear to be heterosexual whereas if they're in an exclusive relationship with a person of the same gender, they might appear to be homosexual.

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cisgender:
A cisgender person is someone whose gender identity matches up with her or his medically designated sex.
gay:
A term that was once associated with either homosexual males or females, but which is becoming more and more specifically associated with male homosexuals.
Gay has had various senses dealing with sexual conduct since the 17th century. A gay woman was a prostitute, a gay man a womanizer, a gay house a brothel. This sexual world included homosexuals too, and gay as an adjective meaning "homosexual" goes back at least to the early 1900s. After World War II, as social attitudes toward sexuality began to change, gay was applied openly by homosexuals to themselves, first as an adjective and later as a noun. Today, the noun often designates only a male homosexual: gays and lesbians. The word has ceased to be slang and is not used disparagingly. Homosexual as a noun is sometimes used only in reference to a male.
gender fluidity
The belief that social constructions of gender identity and gender roles lie along a spectrum and cannot be limited to two genders; a feeling that one's gender varies from societal notions of two genders.
gender identity:
Refers to an individual's innermost sense of self as "male/masculine", "female/feminine", somehere in between, or somewhere outside of these gender boundaries. Sometimes this "innermost sense" does not correspond with anatomy. At birth, we are assigned one of two genders, usually based on our visible genitals. For many people this gender assignment fits and feels comfortable and they never think about it further. Others do not feel as comfortable with their assigned gender, either because they find the two-gender system too limiting or because they feel more identification with the gender opposite that to which they were assigned at birth. People deal with this discomfort in many ways, sometimes only in personal ways, and sometimes in ways visible to others.

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gender presentation/expression
The ways in which an individual communicates one's own gender identity to others, through behaviour, clothing, hairstyle, voice, and/or the emphasis or de-emphasis of bodily characteristics; not an indication of sexual orientation; behaviours and traits used publicly to express one's gender as masculine or feminine or something else; also called gender expression.
genderism:
Genderism is the belief that there are and/or should be only two genders and that one's gender, or most aspects of it, are inevitably tied to biological sex. For example, any form that asks the person filling it out to specify their gender by checking off one of two boxes, one labeled male and the other female, reflects genderist attitiudes.
heterosexism:
Heterosexism is based on societal values that dictate that everyone is, or should be, heterosexual. Intentionally or unintentionally, our society privileges heterosexuallity and heterosexual persons, and devalues, mistreats, or discriminates against LGBTT2IQQ persons.

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heterosexual/straight:
Of, relating to, or having a sexual orientation to persons of the opposite sex.
Our kids are fine.
homophobia:
Unreasoning fear of or antipathy toward homosexuals and homosexuality. May also involve prejudicial treatment or harassment of LGBTT2IQQ persons. It includes a range of feelings from discomfort and fear to disgust, hatred, and violence.
homosexual:
Of, relating to, or having a sexual orientation to persons of the same sex.
intersex:
"Intersex" refers to a series of medical conditions in which a child's genetic sex (chromosomes) and phenotypic sex (genital appearance) do not match, or are somehow different from the "standard" male or female. About one in 2,000 babies are born visibly intersexed, while some others are detected later. The current medical protocol calls for the surgical "reconstruction" of these different, but healthy bodies to make them "normal", but this practice has become increasingly controversial as adults who went through the treatment as children report being physically, emotionally, and sexually harmed by such procedures.

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LGBTT2IQQ/LGBTQ:
An acronym standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, intersex, queer and/or questioning persons.
lesbian:
A lesbian is a female who is primarily attracted emotionally, physically, affectionately, romantically, sexually, erotically and/or spiritually to other females. Some lesbians refer to themselves and/or other lesbians as "dykes". This word is in the process of being reclaimed from a strongly pejorative history. It is not accepted by all lesbians, and its acceptance may be highly dependent on who's using it and how. People who are not lesbians should be cautious in using "dyke".
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lifestyle:
A person's lifestyle is how they live their life. One person's lifestyle might be that they own a home in the suburbs, entertain a lot and spend the winters in Florida. Another person's lifestyle might be that they're vegetarian, live in a city, share a rented apartment with their cat and own a bicycle instead of a car. "lifestyle" is not a polite synonym for sexual orientation. If you don't like the S-word, just say "orientation". Don't say "lifestyle".
pansexual:
A person who is attracted physically and emotionally to individuals of any gender identity. It refers to someone's sexual orientation.
queer:
People who 'blur' gender norms and who may identify as either male, female, both, neither, or who may rejects gender altogether. A reclaimed word that was formerly used solely as a slur, but that has been semantically overturned by members of the maligned group who use it as a term of defiant pride. Queer is an example of a word undergoing this process. For decades queer was used solely as a derogatory adjective for gays and lesbians, but in the 1980s the term began to be used by gay and lesbian activists as a term of self-identification. Eventually, it came to be used as an umbrella term that included gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people. Nevertheless, a sizable percentage of people to whom this term might apply still hold queer to be a hateful insult, and its use by heterosexuals is often considered offensive. Similarly, other reclaimed words are usually offensive to the in-group when used by outsiders.

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questioning:
This term is used to explain the phenomena that some individuals are unclear as to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. They are questioning it.
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sexual identity/orientation:
Sexual orientation is an important aspect of an individual's psychological, sexual and relational identiy. It refers to one's attraction to another person emotionally, physically, affectionaltely, romantically, sexually, erotically and/or spiritually. Those whose sexual orientation is to people of the opposite sex are called "heterosexual" (or lesbian or gay) and those whose sexual orientation is to people of both sexes are called "bisexual". Sexual orientation is not defined by sexual behaviour or practices. In particular, it should not be confused with "sexual preference".
sexual preference:
Sexual preference is how a person likes to express their sexuality. Some people like kissing. Others would rather forego kissing for a nice backrub. Some people like the lights on, others like them off. These are all sexual preferences. Sexual orientation - the predominant orientation of one person's attractions to other people is not a sexual preference.

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transgender:
Transgender is an umbrella term that encompasses anyone whose behaviour or identity crosses gender roles assigned to them by society based on their anatomical sex. This includes a wide range of identities: transvestites, cross-dressers, two-spirit people, and drag queens and kings, as well as pre-operative, post-operative and non-operative transsexual people. Transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. A person whose gender identity, outward appearance, expression and/or anatomy does not fit into conventional expectations of male or female - often used as an umbrella term to represent a wide range of non-conforming gender identities and behaviours.
transsexual:
A person who psychologically identifies with the opposite sex and may seek to live as a member of this sex especially by undergoing surgery and hormone therapy to obtain the necessary physical appearance (as by changing the external sex organs).
transvestite:
A person and especially a male who adopts the dress and often the behaviour typical of the opposite sex especially for purposes of emotional or sexual gratification. Transvestites may be bisexual, heterosexual, or homosexual.
two-spirit:
"two-spirit" is an English translation of terms in various languages to describe a concept that appears in Native cultures across North America. Traditionally, the two-spirit person was one who had received a gift from the Creator, that gift being the privilege to house both male and female spirits in their bodies. Being given the gift of two spirits meant that this individual had the ability to see the world from two perspectives at the same time. This greater vision was a gift to be shared with all, and as such, two-spirit people were revered as leaders, mediators, teachers, artists, seers, and spiritual guides. They were treated with the greatest respect, and held important spirtiual and ceremonial responsibilities.
Nowadays, two-spirit is the term by which many First Nations LGBTT2IQQ people identify themselves. In a broader sense, two-spirit is a term that can encompass an integration of alternative sexuality and/or alternative gender with Native spirituality.

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INSPIRE CHANGE... POUR LE MIEUX

Consider becoming a PFLAG member and volunteering with PFLAG Peterborough.

We need you at our annual PRIDE BRUNCH and again a few times throughout the year to distribute information at various events.

If you have any questions, call 705-749-9723 or email.

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