LGBT & Ally Terms and Definitions
When using this set of terms please note that each person who uses any or all of
these terms does so in a unique way (especially terms that are used in the context of an
identity label). If you do not understand the context in which a person is using one of
these terms, it is always appropriate to ask. This is especially recommended when
using terms that we have noted that can have a derogatory connotation.
LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQA, TBLG: These acronyms refer to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Asexual. Although all of the different identities within “LGBT” are often lumped together (and share sexism as a common root of oppression), there are specific needs and concerns related to each individual identity.
Ally: An ally is a person who is a member of the dominant group who works to end oppression in his or her own personal and professional life by supporting and advocating with the oppressed population.
Cisgender: A person whose gender identity and expression matches the gender typically associated with their biological sex. For example: a female who identifies as a woman.
Coming Out: To declare and affirm both to oneself and to others one’s identity as lesbian,
Heterosexual: A person who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted and committed to the members or a gender or sex that is seen to be the “opposite” or other than the one with which they identify or are identified. Also called “straight”.
Heterosexism: Discrimination or prejudice by heterosexuals against homosexuals
Homophobia: Thoughts, feelings, or actions based on far, dislike, judgment, or hatred of lesbians, gays and bisexuals. Homophobia has roots in sexism and can include prejudice, discrimination, harassment, and acts of violence.
Transphobia: The fear or hatred of transgender people or gender non-conforming behavior. Like biphobia, transphobia can also exist among lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as well as among heterosexual people.