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Glossary

Glossary

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Monash uses the acronym LGBTIQ  to be as inclusive as possible. We and acknowledge that other variations of this acronym exist and are also valid.

By its very nature language is fluid, dynamic, subjective and contested and has the potential to change in meaning over time. This list is not exhaustive or definitive but provided as a guide.

Asexual a sexual orientation describing individuals who do not experience sexual attraction
Assigned gender the gender ascribed to a child at birth based on their perceived biological sex
Biphobia the discomfort and fear others feel around bisexual people and the myths that exist about bisexuality
Bierasure questioning or denying the existence or legitimacy of bisexuality (either in general or in regard to an individual)
Bisexual an individual who is attracted sexually and emotionally to the same or other genders
Cisgender a term used to describe when a person's gender identity matches social expectations for their sex assigned at birth
Coming out The process through which an individual comes to recognise and acknowledge (both to self and to others) their sexual orientation/gender identity
Gay a person, often a man, who forms their primary loving and sexual relationships with others of the same gender
Gender a sociological construct defining the collection of characteristics that are culturally associated with maleness or femaleness (not to be confused with sex)
Gender affirmation the process of confirming one's gender identity and expression with self and/or others
Gender dysphoria the distress that is caused by a discrepancy between a person's gender identity and their sex assigned at birth; not all gender diverse people experience gender dysphoria
Gender diverse a range of gender identities that sit outside social expectations
Gender expression refers to the way in which a person communicates their gender within a given cultural context; for example, in terms of clothing, grooming, mannerisms and behaviour.
Gender identity refers to one's concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither - how individuals perceive and describe themselves.
Heteronormativity the societal normalisation of an alignment between sex, gender and sexuality within a heterosexual framework
Heterosexism the individual, group or institutional norms and behaviours that result from the assumption that all people are heterosexual, assuming heterosexuality is inherently normal and superior
Heterosexual people who are attracted sexually and emotionally to people of the opposite gender
Homophobia fear, hatred, intolerance of - or discomfort with - LGBTIQ people and behaviours outside the boundaries of the heteronormative binary
Homosexual people who are attracted sexually and emotionally to people of the same gender
Intersex describes a variety of biological conditions; intersex people are born with physical, hormonal or genetic features that are neither wholly female nor wholly male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male
Lesbian a woman who forms her primary loving and sexual relationships with other women
LGBTIQ an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer; these letters may appear in order
Mx or Mixter usually written in its abbreviated form Mx, is a gender neutral title
Non-binary gender identity describes a gender identity outside the binary of male and female
Outing involuntary or unwanted disclosure of another person's sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status
Pansexual a person who may be sexually and romantically attracted to people of all sexes and genders
Queer sometimes used as an umbrella term for people of diverse genders and sexualities. A reclaimed slur used by some (often young) people to describe their gender identity or sexual orientation outside the heteronormative binary
Questioning a term used to describe people who may be unsure or still exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity
Sex a biological term dividing a species into male and female, usually based on physical and/or chromosomal characteristics
Sexuality a complex range of components which makes us sexual beings that includes emotional, physical and erotic aspects as well as self-identification, behaviour, fantasies and feelings of affection and emotional affinity
Trans/Transgender a broad term for people whose gender identity is different from those typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth; transgender people may identify as female, male, both or neither
Transphobia the fear and hatred of or discomfort with trans people