Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month: A comprehensive glossary

YAs we embark on LGBTQ+ Pride Month, let’s delve into a comprehensive glossary of terms related to the queer community. Understanding these terms is not only about education but also about fostering respect and inclusivity for everyone. Remember, love knows no bounds, and everyone’s sexual orientation deserves celebration.


Gender is a social construct that determines where individuals stand within society. Traditionally, Western society has adhered to a binary division of gender, categorising individuals as either male or female. However, this rigid dichotomy is increasingly challenged, with gender now recognized as a spectrum. For instance, India acknowledges a third gender, known as Hijra.

Gender expression:

Gender expression refers to how individuals present themselves to the world. This can include clothing, makeup, body language, speech, and movement. It’s important to note that gender expression is not necessarily tied to a specific gender identity, and societal norms regarding gender expression are evolving.

Gender identity:

Gender identity is an individual’s internal sense of their gender. While some people’s gender identity aligns with the sex assigned to them at birth (cisgender), others may identify as non-binary, gender-fluid, or another gender identity entirely. Understanding and respecting diverse gender identities is crucial for fostering inclusivity.


Cisgender individuals have a gender identity that matches the sex they were assigned at birth. This term is often used in contrast to transgender, which refers to individuals whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex.


Demisexual individuals only experience sexual attraction to those with whom they share a deep emotional bond. This bond can be romantic or platonic, highlighting the importance of emotional connection in their attraction.


Heteroflexible is a term used to describe individuals who primarily identify as heterosexual but may occasionally engage in romantic or sexual relationships with individuals of the same gender.

Heteronormative norm:

Heteronormativity refers to the assumption that heterosexuality is the standard or preferred sexual orientation. This societal norm often marginalises LGBTQ+ individuals and reinforces traditional gender roles and expectations.


LGBTQ+ is an acronym that represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and other identities within the sexual and gender-diverse community. The “+” symbolises inclusivity for all identities outside the traditional cisgender and heterosexual norms.


Non-binary individuals do not exclusively identify as male or female. Instead, their gender identity exists outside the traditional binary understanding of gender. Non-binary identities encompass a spectrum of gender expressions and experiences.


Pansexual individuals are attracted to people regardless of their gender identity. This term emphasises attraction based on personal connection rather than gender.


Transgender individuals have a gender identity that differs from the sex assigned to them at birth. Transgender people may undergo gender-affirming medical procedures or socially transition to align with their gender identity.


Pronouns are linguistic tools used to refer to individuals. It’s important to respect individuals’ chosen pronouns, which may include she/her, he/him, they/them, or other gender-neutral pronouns.

By familiarising ourselves with these terms and concepts, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ individuals. Celebrating diversity and understanding the nuances of sexual orientation and gender identity are essential steps toward building a more equitable society.

Sources: University of Antwerp, Cavaria, and Het Roze Huis.

This article was syndicated from Marie Claire Argentina
Translated and adapted by Praise Vandeh, Marie Claire Nigeria Content Writer


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