This is a glossary of terms used in LGBT equality in Scotland. It's intended to be both amusing and informative: if you feel it's neither, please let us know. The glossary will be updated at irregular intervals: please contact us if there's a word you'd like to see defined, or if you object to or disagree with one of our definitions here.
Androgyne / Polygender / Genderqueer:
, acquired gender
, coming out
, gender dysphoria
, gender expression
, gender identity
, sexual orientation
Refers to people who identify their gender as not conforming to the traditional western model of gender as binary. They may identify their non-binary gender as a combination of aspects of men and women or alternatively as being neither men nor women.
This is a term used in the Gender Recognition Act 2004
to mean the gender role that a person has transitioned to live their life in and which matches their self-perceived gender identity. Therefore, the acquired gender of a Male-to-Female trans woman
is female. The acquired gender of a Female-to-Male trans man
: refers to someone who is emotionally and sexually attracted to women and men. See sexual orientation
Crossdressing / Transvestite:
refers to people who dress, either occasionally or more regularly, in clothes associated with the opposite gender, as defined by socially accepted norms. Cross-dressing people are generally happy with the gender they were labelled at birth and usually do not want to permanently alter the physical characteristics of their bodies or change their legal gender.
: refers to someone who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of the same gender. Some women prefer to refer to themselves as gay women, but lesbian
is the word more often preferred by women, and the word gay is sometimes used just to refer to men. See sexual orientation
: This is a recognised medical issue for which gender reassignment treatment is available on the National Health Service in Scotland. Gender Dysphoria is distress, unhappiness and discomfort experienced by someone about their physical body not fully matching their gender identity
This is an individual's external gender-related appearance (including clothing) and behaviour (including interests and mannerisms). A person may have masculine, feminine, or androgynous
aspects of their appearance or behaviour.
This is an individual's internal self-perception of their own gender. A person may identify as female, male, or as androgynous/polygender
: Acronym for Gay
. American for LGBT
The belief that heterosexuality
represents a standard of some kind, and that all other sexual orientations, if acknowledged at all, are merely a deviation from this. Heterosexist statements are statements that assume all people are straight or that fail to recognise the variety of sexual orientations that exist. For example, referring to husbands and wives rather than partners can be heterosexist, depending on the context of the statement.
: This is a term used to describe people born with external genitals, internal reproductive systems or chromosomes that are in-between what is considered clearly male or female. There are many different intersex variations.
refers to a woman who is emotionally and sexually attracted to other women. See sexual orientation
: A woman whose sexual and political orientation, both, are to women. See lesbian
: Acronym for Lesbian
. This is the term most commonly used in Scotland to talk about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. LGBT or GLBT
is recognised in many countries in Europe, and around the world, as the preferred term to use when speaking formally.
is being open about being lesbian
, or transgender
. Coming out
is telling other people that you are LGBT
. Being outed
is having someone else reveal you as lesbian
, or transgender
, usually against your will. Outing
is telling other people, to whom a person is not out, that you know that person is LGBT
: Sometimes now used as an
umbrella term that includes lesbian
, and transgendered people
. If you do not identify as queer, a risky word to use, because of its long history as a disparaging word for gay men, lesbians, bisexual people, and trans people. If speaking formally, use LGBT
: this is the preferred term.
refers to the gender or genders a person is attracted to. See lesbian
: Can mean simply sexual orientation
, but has a broader meaning besides gender attraction: whatever sexually excites a person, turns them on, may be part of their sexuality.
: refers to someone who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of a different gender: not a queer
person. See sexual orientation
: (abbreviations: T, TG, trans) refers to a whole range of people who find their gender identity
or gender expression
differs in some way from the gender assumptions made by others about them when they were born. The umbrella terms transgender people and trans people can include: androgyne/polygender/genderqueer people
, crossdressing/transvestite people
, intersex people
, and others.
: (abbreviations: T, TS, trans) This is a term used to describe people who consistently self-identify as the opposite gender from the gender they were labelled at birth based on their physical body. Depending on the range of options and information available to them during their life, most transsexual people try to find a way to transition to live fully in the gender that they self-identify as. Transitioning is also known as gender reassignment. Many, but not all, transsexual people take hormones and some also have surgery to make their physical bodies match their gender identity better.
A female-to-male (FTM) transsexual man
(trans man) is someone who was labelled female at birth but has a male gender identity
and therefore is currently seeking to transition, or has already transitioned, to live permanently as a man.
A male-to-female (MTF) transsexual woman
(trans woman) is someone who was labelled male at birth but has a female gender identity
and therefore is currently seeking to transition, or has already transitioned, to live permanently as a woman.