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The Ultimate Glossary of Terms for LGBTQ+

All Kinds of Therapy has an ever-increasing dictionary of 130+ terms, commonly used within the treatment profession. Regarding the evolving (and emotional) world of gender expression, we’ll reference a trusted resource. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) publishes “Welcoming Schools” a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation targeted at Elementary School-aged children, but do not stop reading because you are older than their target audience.

When concepts are broken down for kiddos, they are also easier for adults to comprehend too. Though I am a trained educator, ask me sometime about teaching 3rd graders multiplication and at the age of 30, learning about patterns in math and concepts and the oh I get it that was audible to the children. For many adults, these gender concepts are new to them, so start small, read them and reference them again and start your process of education.

Here is the link to the PDF  created by the HRC created to assist your boarding school, treatment or transitions program, Gap Year staff or parents.

  • Ally: A student who speaks up in the moment for someone else, comforts someone privately, or who gets help from a caring adult.
  • Bisexual: People can love other people of both genders. People get to love who they love.
  • Cisgender: A person whose gender identity is the same as their sex assigned at birth (anatomy/biology). (note: the opposite Latin root of trans is cis.)
  • Gay: Two people of the same gender who love each other. Two men or two women.
  • Gender: It’s how you feel. She, he, neither or both.
  • Gender Binary: The idea that there are two distinct and opposite genders—male and female / boy and girl. This idea is limiting and doesn’t allow for the many ways that children and adults express themselves.
  • Gender Expansive: This means that here at our school children get to “like what they like.” Toys are toys, hair is hair, clothes are clothes. Children can express themselves fully – to be who they are without being teased or bullied.
  • Gender Expression: One of the many forms of expression where we share who we are with items such as our clothes and hair.
  • Gender Identity: How you feel—male, female, neither, or both. This can be different from the anatomy that you were born with (sex assigned at birth).
  • Genderqueer: A person whose gender identity is neither, both, or a combination of male and female.
  • Gender Spectrum: The idea that there are many genders and gender identities beyond the categories of boy and girl. There are many, many ways to be a person in terms of how you feel and your gender expression.
  • Heterosexual: Two people of different genders who love each other. A man and a woman.
  • Intersex: Just as our hair, eyes, and noses are different, there is variation in all of our anatomy.
  • Lesbian: Two people of the same gender who love each other — two women.
  • LGBTQ: Acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer.
  • Non-binary: People who do not identify as a boy or a girl. They sometimes feel like neither one or both. They sometimes use pronouns such as they, them, theirs.
  • Queer: Many people now use this word as a way to identify with and celebrate people of all gender identities and all the ways people love each other. When used in a mean way, it is a word that hurts.
  • Sex Assigned at Birth: When a baby is born, a doctor or midwife looks at their body/anatomy and says they are a boy or a girl. Babies can’t talk yet, so they can’t tell us how they feel. When they start to talk, they may say they feel like a girl or a boy or neither.
  • Sexual Orientation: Who you love.
  • Transgender or Trans: When your gender identity (how you feel) is different than what doctors/midwives assigned to you when you were born (boy/girl or sex assigned at birth).

HRC offers gender training

And if you made it to the end of the glossary of terms then you might want to know that Welcoming Schools does trainings for Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Post High School. 

If you are a parent looking for treatment or a transition program or Gap Year experience, use this blog to ask questions.  Just because a program “says” they have clients who identify as LGBTQ+ youth and young adults ask questions. And check the blog section about LBGTQ+ for additional resources.