Gender & Sexual Orientation
These topics are important to understand. Below we have provided a basic explanation of helpful terms and concepts. We understand that for many, these terms may be new. For others, these terms may not satisfy the depth of how you would like these issues explained. This page is a work in progress and will continue to be improved. Please help us make this information as effective as possible by letting us know what you would like to see here. Use the "Contact Us" button at the bottom of the page to let us know your thoughts.
When in doubt about someone's gender, gender expression, or sexuality, ask what terms and pronouns they are most comfortable being used to describe or address them. We encourage everyone to approach these topics with respect and curiosity so we all can learn about one another.
This term refers to each person's concept of themselves as male, female, a mix of both male and female, and/or feeling neither male or female. Someone's gender identify may or may not be the same as the gender assigned to them at birth. Some people feel a consistent sense of gender identify throughout their lives and others are genderfluid (also called genderqueer, bigender, multigender, or polygender) which means their gender identify may shift based on the situation or various times in their lives. The term gender non-conforming means that someone does not behave or present themselves in a way that conforms to traditional gender roles and/or that their gender expression does not fit into a traditional category.
Gender identity does not imply a specific sexual orientation.
This terms means that a person identifies with the gender assigned at birth.
This term means that a person has a gender identity or gender expression which is different than the gender assigned at birth.
This term refers to someone who is/has/plans to change physical genders through surgery and/or hormones.
This term means that a person's gender identity does not conform to traditional definitions.
Someone who is born with reproductive anatomy that doesn't fit the traditional definition of male or female. Sometimes a person does not know they are intersex until puberty.
This is the external expression of one's gender identity and may be seen through behavior, clothing, hair style, tone of voice, in addition to other possible ways. This expression may not align with traditional gender roles.
This term refers to someone changing their gender expression or gender in an attempt to align their external appearance with their gender identity. Some people may choose to use hormones and or surgical procedures as part of their transition process.
This term refers to someone's sexual, and sometimes romantic, attraction to other people.
An attraction to people of the same gender and/or gender identity.
Using traditonal definitions of the terms male and female, an attraction to someone of a different gender.
An attraction to people who identify as men and people who identify as women.
Lack of sexual attraction. However, someone who is asexual may have romantic attraction without interest in engaging in sex.
An attraction to people of all genders/gender identities.
This term may be used in many ways. Some people use it to describe anyone who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or is gender non-conforming,