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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University


Agender An adjective used to describe somebody who does not identify as any gender.
Allosexual A sexual orientation generally identified by feeling sexual attraction or a desire for partnered sexuality.
Allyship The act of working to end oppression through supporting and advocating for a group other than one’s own.
Aromantic/Aro A term for a romantic orientation in which a person experiences little or no romantic attraction to anyone or does not experience romantic feelings.
Asexual/Ace A broad term for sexual orientations generally characterized by varying degrees of sexual attraction or desire for partnered sexuality, including mini mal or none at all. There are varying degrees and experiences of asexuality depending on the individual.
Bisexual/Bi A person whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is toward people of the same and other genders or towards people regardless of their gender.
Cisgender Also known as “cis,” is an adjective describing a person whose gender identity aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Coming Out The process of (voluntarily) sharing one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity with others.
Deadname(ing) Using the name that a trans*/non-binary person no longer uses, usually the name they were assigned at birth, which is offensive/hurtful.
Demisexual A sexual orientation in which a person only feels sexual attraction to people with whom they share an emotional bond.
Gay A sexual and affectional orientation towards people of the same gender.
Gender A process a person may take to align their physical body with their gender identity. It’s not just one step and can include any or none of the following: sharing with family/friends, changing name or pronouns, hormone therapy, clothing changes, haircuts, surgical interventions, etc.
Gender Dysphoria Refers to psychological distress resulting from incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and one’s gender identity. Not all trans* people experience this, but many do at varying levels of intensity.
Gender-Expansive An adjective that can describe someone with a more flexible gender identity than what might be associated with the gender binary.
Gender Identity One’s own internal sense of self and gender, whether man, woman, neither, or both. Gender identity is not outwardly visible to others.
Gender Transition A person's process to align their physical body with their gender identity. It’s not just one step and can include any or none of the following: sharing with friends/family, changing names or pronouns, hormone therapy, and surgical intervention.
Heteronormativity Attitudes/behaviours that incorrectly assume that everyone is straight or that being so is “normal.” It also assumed that people should/will align with conventional expectations of society for sexual and romantic attraction as well as gender identity.
Homophobia/Queerphobia Oppression, discrimination, and hatred directed towards 2SLGBTQPIA+ individuals.
Intersex An umbrella term used to describe people with differences in reproductive anatomy, chromosomes, or hormones that don’t fit typical definitions of male/female.
Lesbian Usually someone who identifies as a woman and whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is towards people of the same gender. However, some non-binary people identify as lesbians, often because of a connection to womanhood/attraction to women.
Monosexual People who have romantic, sexual, or affectional desire for one gender only and often identify as straight or gay.
Nonbinary/Enby A term that can be used by people who don’t describe themselves or their gender(s) as fitting into the categories of either man or woman. Other terms can be used to describe these experiences, such as genderqueer.
Pansexual/Pan A term for a sexual orientation characterized by sexual, romantic, affectional, or other attraction to people regardless of their gender.
Polyamory/Poly Denotes being in a consensually open/plural loving relationship which can involve multiple people at one time. Also known as ethical non-monogamy or loving non-monogamy. Polyamory can be experienced by anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Polysexual People who have romantic, sexual, or affectional desire for more than one gender, not to be confused with polyamory. Can overlap with bi/pansexuality.
QPOC/QTPOC/QTBIPOC Queer People of Colour; Queer Trans* People of Colour; Queer Trans* Black Indigenous People of Colour. Often used to discuss or contextualize ways in which intersectional identities can create multifaceted systems and experiences of oppression.
Queer An umbrella term used to describe gender/sexual/romantic orientations or identities that fall outside of societal norms. Historically, this word was used as a slur against members of the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community but is often reclaimed as a celebration of not fitting into societal norms. Not everyone uses this word to describe themselves, and it can be interpreted as offensive when used by people outside the community.
Questioning The process of exploring one’s own gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation. Some may also use the term to describe their membership within the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community.
Sex Refers to a person’s biological status and is typically assigned at birth, usually on the basis of external anatomy. It is typically categorized as either male, female, or intersex.
Sexuality The components of a person that include their sexual feelings, thoughts, attractions, and behaviours towards other people.
Sexual Orientation An enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, or affectional attraction or non-attraction to other people. It can be fluid, and people can use labels to define the parameters of their orientation.
Straight A romantic and/or sexual orientation in which a person feels attracted to people of a gender other than their own. Related to heterosexuality.
Transgender*/Trans* Also known as “trans,” this term refers to someone whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth. For example, a trans man might be someone who was assigned female at birth but whose gender identity is male.
Two-Spirit An umbrella term encompassing sexuality/gender in Indigenous communities. 2S individuals, such as leaders and healers, often serve critical roles in their communities. It can sometimes refer to an embodiment of masculinity and femininity, but there are a variety of feelings and definitions, and this term does not necessarily resonate for everyone. 2S people have existed for centuries.
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