Self-love is the process of not just accepting yourself, but loving yourself just as you are.
An acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer” with a "+" sign to represent the limitless sexual orientations and gender identities available for humankind.
Pride is about coming together as a community to celebrate who you are, and who you love. The word “pride” was popularized after the Stonewall Inn Riots in 1969.
A pride parade is an outdoor event that celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender social inclusion, self-acceptance, achievements, legal rights, and pride. The events also serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as the right to marry.
In our "Celebrating Pride" topic, we use a rainbow colored flag. There have been several versions of the Pride flag throughout history. Currently, we use the modern Progress Pride flag which includes the original rainbow, as well as additional stripes to represent people of color and people who identify as transgender and/or gender nonconforming.
To support someone is to agree with and give encouragement to someone or something because you want she, her, or them to succeed.
A person or group of people who support and stand up for another person or group that has traditionally been marginalized or unheard. It encompasses straight and cisgender allies, as well as those within the LGBTQ+ community who support each other (e.g., a lesbian who is an ally to the bisexual community).
A chosen family is made up of people who love and support each other no matter what. It is an important support system for LGBTQ+ people, especially if they are living in a place where LGBTQ+ rights are not respected.
Equality is the idea that everyone deserves the same rights and respectful treatment, regardless of race, gender, age, or orientation.
Civil rights refer to a set of laws that protect citizens in a society from discrimination and repression due to their race, gender, age, or orientation.
Intersectionality is the practice of taking all identifiers into account when looking at a person’s experiences with discrimination and oppression. Intersectionality aims to give light to the experiences of all kinds of people, being inclusive of all races, genders, orientations, economic status, etc.
Coming out is the process of sharing your internal identification around gender or sexual orientation with the people around you. Everyone comes out in their own time. Some people never feel the need to voice their preferences, and live their lives out and proud. Others come out to family or friends first until they’re more comfortable confidently living their truth.
Sexual orientation refers to who a person is attracted to emotionally, romantically, sexually, or all of the above. In our “Love Who You Love” topic, we have the phrase “I am attracted to…” to describe sexual orientation.
Did you know? An individual’s sexual orientation is independent of their gender identity.
People who generally identify as female that are attracted to other people who identify as female.
People who feel attraction for people of their same gender. This attraction can be emotional, romantic, sexual, or all of the above.
Did you know? Men, women, and non-binary people may use "gay" interchangeably to describe themselves. In Drops we use the male pride flag for “I’m gay” to celebrate male-identified gay people.
People who identify as bisexual are attracted to people or more than one gender. Originally, “bisexual” was used to describe people that feel attraction for both people of their same gender and people of another gender, usually just taking female and male into account. Now, it has expanded into pansexuality to take into account more than two genders, and varying kinds of attraction.
Pansexual people feel attraction to people regardless of their gender identities. They often identify as “gender-blind”—letting their sexual, emotional, or romantic attraction be guided by the individual and not their gender.
Also known as heterosexual, people who are straight are attracted to the opposite gender.
Often called “ace” for short, asexual refers to a complete or partial lack of sexual attraction or lack of interest in sexual activity with others.
Asexuality exists on a spectrum, and asexual people may experience little to no sexual attraction or desire.
A person who feels little to no romantic feelings towards others. Some aromantics are also asexual, while others aromantics experience sexual desire with little to no romantic feelings.
Originally, “queer” was an insult to people of the LGBTQ+ community, and many older community members are still sensitive towards it. LGBTQ+ people have reclaimed it and made it their own, employing it as an umbrella term to encompass all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Gender is a social and cultural label that is assigned to the human body at birth based on external characteristics. Sometimes, people do not feel represented by the gender that has been assigned to them, or experience it differently than how society has defined it.
Gender identity is how one feels internally. A gender identity can be the same or different from sex assigned at birth.
sex assigned at birth
At birth, sex is assigned to a baby based on anatomical reproductive organs and genitalia. The sex—male, female or intersex—that a doctor or midwife uses to describe a child at birth is based on their external anatomy. This does not always match up with an individual’s gender identity or even their full anatomy.
Someone who is cisgender indentifies with the gender identity that was assigned to them at birth.
Gender expression is the external appearance of one's gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, body characteristics or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.
A popular gender model in which gender is constructed into two strict categories of male and female. In this model, gender identity is expected to line up with the sex assigned at birth.
Having qualities or characteristics traditionally associated with the male sex assigned at birth. A person can identify or present themselves as masculine regardless of their gender identity.
Having qualities or characteristics traditionally associated with the female sex assigned at birth. A person can identify or present themselves as feminine regardless of their gender identity.
Someone who is non-binary does not identify with any of the genders identities, or identifies with all of them at the same time. Non-binary identification exists on a spectrum and can take many forms.
A gender fluid person does not identify with a single fixed gender or has a fluid or unfixed gender identity.
Gender dysphoria is a clinically significant deep dissatisfaction with one’s gender assigned at birth.
Did you know?Gender euphoria is the feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment a trans person may have in regards to their gender identity, body, and sense of self.
Someone who is trans does not identify with the gender identity that was assigned to them at birth. Being trans does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, trans people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.
Transitioning seeks to describe the social, physical, emotional, and medical aspects of moving from one gender to live more fully as aligned with their gender identity. This typically includes social transition, such as changing their name and pronouns, medical transition, which may include hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgeries, and legal transition, which may include changing legal name and sex on government identity documents.
Did you know? In our “Gender Transitioning” topic, we have the phrase “I’m transitioning,” but it’s important to note that trans people may choose to undergo some, all, or none of these processes.
“What are your pronouns?”
Gender pronouns refer to the specific person you are talking about. They are especially important for people that do not feel represented by the gender they were assigned at birth. As a ally or a member of the LGBTQ+ community, the best practice is to not assume someone’s gender solely based on how they look to you.
Did you know? Some people who do not identify by any one gender may use multiple pronouns, such as “she/they” where in English you can describe them as both interchangeably (e.g. “She is a great German speaker because they studied the language for ten years.”)
When someone is transitioning, they may decide to change their name to something they feel better matches their gender identity.
Someone who identifies as gender-nonconforming or trans may choose to wear a binder—a compression undergarment worn to flatten ones chest.
Some trans people pursue gender-affirming surgery as a part of their transition. This term is used to describe any surgical procedure intended to better align the recipient's body and gender identity.
hormone replacement therapy
Hormone replacement treatment or therapy (HRT) as it relates to trans health care, is a gender-confirming medical process wherein one takes a monitored hormone dose of testosterone or estrogen to bring about secondary sex characteristics that align with one's gender identity.
Hormone replacement therapy is monitored by an endocrinologist, who is a doctor specially trained to treat glands—the organs in our body that create hormones.
When a person is born with physical characteristics that don’t fit the expectations society has for boys or girls. The differences may present themselves in genitalia, chromosomes, gonads, internal sex organs, hormone production, hormone response, and more.
Did you know? Intersex is a physical characterization and is not related to orientation, rather gender identity.
Drag queens are performance artists who dress in feminine costumes, and personify female gender stereotypes as part of an individual or group routine.
Did you know? Drag queens usually associated with gay men, but people of many genders and sexual identities perform as drag queens.
Drag kings are mostly female performance artists who dress in masculine costumes, and personify male gender stereotypes as part of an individual or group routine.
A lip sync performance involves pretending to sing a song, often with dance and other stage tricks. This is popular in drag shows.
To sashay is to walk in a slow confident way that makes people take notice. It’s often employed as a way to show pride in oneself.
“Yas queen!” is used in response to someone doing something fabulous.
Did you know? “Yas” is sometimes a separate term that is employed to celebrate another person, usually when they are being unapologetically themselves. The term “queen” refers to a drag queen and was first used as an insult to the gay community. However, the term was ultimately embraced by the community and flipped into positive terms. The two terms were at some point combined to form this slang phrase.
“She read me.”
One says “she read me” when a person exposed a truth about you that you thought you were hiding well.
“They're throwing shade.”
To throw shade is to disrespect someone, usually in a secretive, sneaky way.
“Spill the tea.”
“Spill the tea” means “tell me everything.” It’s a request you give someone when they have gossip or a story you want to hear. It implies the story is so shocking, you will spill your tea when you hear it.
A dance style created by African-American gay and trans people that is characterized by creating sharp lines, and symmetry with fluid movements.