Other 2SLGBTQ+ Terms


The following terms involve concepts that are useful in understanding and supporting the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

For “The Big Four” concepts that will help you understand these terms, click here. For terms that describe identity click here.



the system of thought which believes are only two genders (man and woman) or that there are only two sexes (male and female).

— The gender binary excludes people who are non-binary or trans.
— The sex binary excludes people who are


Negative stereotypes and attitudes targeted at bisexual people.

— Importantly, “biphobia” describes the unique prejudices faced by bisexual people that differ from homophobia.
READ: “Two Sides of the Same Coin” by Michelle



A cultural system in which being cisgender is considered the normal OR DEFAULT WAY of being.

— An example of cisnormativity might be when there are only male and female washrooms in a building, or additionally, where only the female washroom has stalls and only the male washroom has urinals.
— An another example of cisnormativity could be when trans women are called “men in dresses”.



the process by which someone reveals their 2SLGBTQ+ identity.

— This is also sometimes referred to as “coming out of the closet”.
— Coming out is rarely a one-time event; it is often a continuous decision throughout life with each new friend, family member, or coworker.
— A person may be “out” to everyone, to some people and not others, or “out” to only themselves. There are many reasons why someone may not come out, and this does not mean they are less 2SLGBTQ+.
SEE: “Untitled” story and illustration by L.A. Hodge



The act of dressing up in a different gender expression, often FOR FUN OR as performance art.

— “Drag queens” are people for whom drag means becoming more feminine, while “drag kings” are those for whom drag means becoming more masculine.
— Drag performance, events, and competitions have a rich history that goes back decades.
— People who do drag are not necessarily trans.
— The term “transvestite” is related, but is uncommon today and many consider it to be a slur.



physical characteristics, emotional characteristics, AND GENDER EXPRESSION associated with “being a woman”.

— Societal gender roles often expect men to be “masculine” and women to be “feminine”.
— What is considered “feminine” and “masculine” varies historically and from culture to culture.
— In the 2SLGBTQ+ community, the words “femme” and “fem” are sometimes used to describe a feminine expression.



Indicates THAT SOMETHING is associated with a particular gender or sex.

— Toys, colours, and clothing are often gendered or seen as being either “for boys” or “for girls”.
— Language can be gendered as well. Terms like “ladies and gentlemen” address certain genders specifically.



Indicates thaT SOMETHING is not associated with aNY particular gender or sex.

— For example, gender-neutral bathrooms are bathrooms that anyone can use, regardless of their gender.



Negative personal feelings associated with being perceived as a gender that is not true to you, or having a body that does not feel true to your gender.

— Many trans people experience dysphoria, though not all do.
— Dysphoria can lead to distress and mental health complications.
— Dysphoria is often the reason some trans people choose to medically



A cultural system in which being straight is considered the normal OR DEFAULT WAY of being.

— For example, asking a woman “do you have a boyfriend” assumes that she is straight, while asking “are you dating anyone” does not.
— A common form of heteronormativity is making assumptions about babies and young children regarding who they will be attracted to when they grow up.



Negative stereotypes and attitudes targeted at GAY AND LESBIAN PEOPLE, OR MORE BROADLY AT 2SLGBTQ+ people.

WATCH: “Have These Things” poem by Jayda



physical characteristics, emotional characteristics, AND GENDER EXPRESSION associated with “being a MAN”.

— Societal gender roles expect men to be “masculine” and women to be “feminine”.
— What is considered “feminine” and “masculine” varies historically and from culture to culture.



Using the wrong pronouns or gendered language to describe someone.

— Many trans people experience misgendering on a daily basis. For example, calling a trans woman “he”, when she uses the pronoun “she”.
— This can cause
dysphoria and have damaging effects on mental health.
— Misgendering can be intentional or accidental. If you accidentally misgender someone, correcting yourself going forward is one way to be an




— Outing can be uncomfortable or dangerous to the person being “outed”.
SEE: “Outing” comic by Celine Galluzo.



Small words used to refer to people without using their name (For example, “she”)

— Some common pronouns in English are “he/him” and “she/her”.
— Some people use gender-neutral pronouns such as “they/them” or “ze/hir”.
— Many non-English languages don’t use gendered pronouns at all. In some languages that traditionally use only “he” and “she”, people are making new gender neutral pronouns.



Indicates that a place or person is supportive of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.



The process by which a trans person changes the way they present themselves to more accurately reflect their gender and live their truth.

— Socially transitioning can involve changing one’s name, pronouns, or gender expression (for example, dressing or acting differently).
— Medical transition can involve hormone therapy (such as taking testosterone or estrogen), or having gender-confirming surgery to change body parts.
— Transition can mean different things for everyone. Not every trans person feels the need to transition.



Negative stereotypes and attitudes targeted at trans PEOPLE.