Glossary

The definitions below have been suggested by the CAMHS LGBTQ+ Support and Action Group.

Some of these terms may mean different things to different people and you may identify more closely with alternative definitions. We would love to hear from you if you have any thoughts about these definitions or if you think there need to be other words included here.   

Agender – someone who does not identify as any gender, or feels as if they have no gender

Aromantic – someone who does not experience romantic attraction

Asexual – someone who does not experience sexual attraction

Assigned gender – the gender someone was assumed to be when they were born, based on their physical characteristics

Attraction – loosely used to mean romantic and/or sexual attraction, though not necessarily both (it is possible to be gay and asexual, since that individual is romantically but not sexually attracted to people of the same gender as themselves)

Bi (bisexual/biromantic) – someone who is attracted to people of their own gender and of other genders

Cisgender – someone who identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth – often shortened to ‘cis’

Demi (demisexual/demiromantic) – someone who only experiences attraction after an emotional/platonic bond has formed

Demigender – someone who partially identifies as a defined gender (for example, demigirl or demiboy)

Gay – someone who is attracted to people of the same gender as themselves

Gender expression/presentation – how an individual chooses to present themselves with regard to their own gender

Gender identity – how a person identifies with regard to gender

Genderfluid – someone whose gender identity is not fixed; it could go between two or more specific identities or across a spectrum

Homophobia – prejudice or discrimination against someone perceived to be gay

Lesbian – a woman/girl who is attracted to other women/girls

Nonbinary – someone who does not identify as strictly male or female

Pan (pansexual/panromantic) – someone who is attracted to people regardless of gender

Polyamorous – someone who wants to be in consensual relationships with more than one person

Pronouns – words used in place of someone’s name to refer to them (for example, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’ etc)

Q – can refer to ‘questioning’ or ‘queer’

Queer – a general term for someone who  experiences same gender attraction and/or is not cis; this word is technically a slur, and some people may not want to be referred to as it

Questioning – someone unsure or exploring their identity, who thinks they are not straight and cis

Sexual orientation/identity – who you are attracted to in relation to your own gender

Straight/heterosexual – someone who is attracted to people of the other binary gender as themselves

Transgender – someone who identifies as a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth, or who doesn’t identify as the gender they were assigned at birth – often shortened to ‘trans’

Transphobia – prejudice or discrimination against someone perceived to be trans, or who doesn’t conform to gender norms


Are there words that we should add? Would you define any of these terms differently? Do any of these words hold a different meaning for you? Please get in touch and let us know – we’d love to hear from you! Please contact ben.shannahan@wlmht.nhs.uk.

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