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Rainbow Resource Center

Queer Definitions


Queer definitions


Bisexual: A bisexual person is someone who is sexually and/or emotionally attracted to people of all genders.

Closeted: Description of an individual who does not disclose their sexuality. "Coming out" refers to "coming out of the closet"; disclosing one's sexuality.

Cross-dressing: Dressing/displaying as the opposite gender.

Drag King/Queen: Crossdressing with performance aspect.

FTM--Female-to-Male trans individual: An individual who was born female but who is now trans.

Gay: Men who are gay are sexually attracted to and fall in love with other men.

Gender: The physical display and behaviors which relate to masculinity and femininity.

Gender Identity Disorder/ Dysphoria: Medical condition found in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Characterized by the desire to be another gender than  which matches one's biologic sex.

Gender Queer: Individual who views the two-gender (masculine and feminine) system as limiting. Gender queers usually place themselves outside of such a system. May also identify as trans, and may also describe themselves as lacking gender entirely or falling within a spectrum.

Gender Spectrum versus Gender Camps: Ways to view sexuality. The Gender Spectrum was developed of Kinsey in the 1950's to describe the variations in human sexuality; allows for bisexuality. Gender Camps states that one is either straight or gay with no variation in between.

Intersexed: Formally referred to as hermaphrodites, intersexed individuals may be born with both sets of genitalia, or may not have corresponding chromosomes and genitalia.

Lesbian: Women who are lesbians are sexually attracted to and fall in love with other women.

MTF--Male-to-Female trans individual: an individual who was born male but who is now trans.

Orientation versus Preference: Preference indicates choice. Orientation indicates natural positioning.

Queer: Umbrella term for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans, Intersexed, and Questioning which is gender neutral.

Sex: the biological aspect to what makes one male or female. Primary sex characteristics include genitalia and secondary sex characteristics include facial hair and body structure.

Sex Reassignment Surgery: Surgery designed to construct genitalia.

Straight: People who are straight are sexually attracted to and fall in love with the opposite sex.

Transgender: An umbrella term encompassing other terms defined below. It refers to anyone who is crossing gender in any way. Add the ed at the end when referring to people. Trans is a more modern term used as a synonym for transgender.

Transitioning: Period of time / Process describing the transition from one gender to another.

Transsexual: A person who wishes and seriously acts upon the sense of having the wrong gender body, often though not always culminating in sexual reassignment surgery.

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