The Acronym

‘GLBTTQQIAAP’ is the acronym we use to represent the major identities within the queer community. Here are the meanings of each letter:

G stands for gay (adj., n.)

‘Gay’ refers to people who are attracted to their own gender and is usually used by men.

L stands for lesbian (adj., n.)

‘Lesbian’ is a word used primarily by women who are attracted to other women.

B stands for bisexual (adj., n.)

‘Bisexual’ denotes sexual attraction to two genders.

T stands for transgender (adj.)

‘Transgender’ is an umbrella term used for any person whose gender identity does not match their assigned sex. This term includes both binary and non-binary identified trans* people.

T stands for transsexual (adj., n.)

Transsexual people fall under the transgender umbrella, but usually this term refers specifically to binary-identified people transitioning from male to female (MTF) or female to male (FTM).

Q stands for queer (adj., n.)

‘Queer’ is another umbrella term that can be used to describe one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. While it has history as a slur, it has been largely reclaimed and is now used primarily to represent any person of a gender or sexual minority.

Q stands for questioning (adj.)

‘Questioning’ is included in our acronym to welcome anyone who may be unsure about their gender or sexual identity and wants a safe space.

I stands for intersex (adj.)

Intersex individuals are those who have an atypical biological sex. They may have ambiguous genitalia, which is sometimes “corrected” at birth, or they may appear outwardly male or female while chromosomally being another sex.

A stands for asexual (adj., n.)

An asexual person is one who experiences no sexual attraction. However, “asexual” is considered an umbrella term and also represents gray-asexuals and demisexuals.

A stands for ally (n.)

Allies are people who support the aims of the community. Allies can be heterosexual and cisgender (non-transgender) but it is important to remember that even within the community, we are all allies to one another.

P stands for pansexual (adj., n.)

Pansexual people are attracted to people of all genders. This term recognizes the wide range of gender identities other than man or woman, such as genderqueer, bigender, neutrois, and other non-binary identities.


Commonly Used Terms

This is a list of terms you might come across at PRISM and within the community.

androsexual (androphilia) (adj., n.) – attracted to men/masculinity/masculine-identified people. Some people use this instead of terms like gay/straight because it does not specify the gender of the person who identifies as androsexual and it has a much more broad and flexible definition. See also gynesexual.

assigned sex (n.) – the sex and social gender category to which one is assigned from birth, either surgically (in the case of intersex people) or based upon genitalia

cisgender (adj.) – the opposite of transgender, used to describe a person whose assigned sex and gender identity match up

demisexual (adj., n.) – someone who does not experience primary sexual attraction but does experience secondary sexual attraction

dysphoria (n.) – the social or physical discomfort a trans* person experiences in response to being perceived as the wrong gender

FAAB (adj.) – Female Assigned At Birth, sometimes written as AFAB or CAFAB. See also MAAB, assigned sex.

FTM (adj., n.) – short for female to male, a term used for people who are socially transitioning from female to male. See also MTF.

gender identity (n.) – an identity distinct from one’s assigned sex, this is the way one identifies their gender, as male, female, or non-binary

gender presentation (n.) – the way in which one expresses their gender by clothes, hair, makeup, etc, and does not necessarily match one’s gender identity

gray-asexual (adj., n.) – a person who is not either fully sexual or asexual, and is in the “gray area” between the two identities

GSM – an alternate acronym meant to be shorter, as well as wholly inclusive by not naming any specific identities. It stands for “Gender & Sexual Minorites.”

gynesexual (gynephilia) (adj., n.) – attracted to women/femininity/feminine-identified people. Some people use this instead of terms like gay/straight because it does not specify the gender of the person who identifies as gynesexual and it has a much more broad and flexible definition. See also androsexual.

MAAB (adj.) – Male Assigned At Birth, sometimes written as AMAB or CAMAB. See also FAAB, assigned sex.

MTF (adj., n.)- short for male to female, a term used for people who are socially transitioning from male to female

non-binary (adj) – used to describe transgender individuals who do not identify as solely male or female. Some non-binary identities include: agender, neutrois, genderfluid, genderqueer, androgyne, bigender, trigender, polygender, and pangender. The definitions of many of these genders are blurry because they depend largely on the person using the term. Generally, terms like agender and neutrois refer to someone who is gender-neutral or genderless; genderqueer and androgyne refer to being a mix of genders or a third gender altogether; terms like bigender and trigender refer to being a specific number of genders; polygender and pangender refer to being an unspecified amount of genders.

primary sexual attraction (n.) – an instant feeling of sexual attraction to a person based on information that is instantly accessible (appearance, scent, etc). People under the asexual umbrella generally do not experience this.

QUILTBAG – an alternate acronym sometimes used for the community, which stands for: QUeer, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender, Asexual, Gay

romantic orientation (n.) – similar to a sexual orientation, romantic orientation denotes the gender(s) to which a person is romantically attracted. This is a term used in the asexual community to describe attraction outside of a sexual context. The prefix of any sexual orientation can also be used to describe a romantic orientation, ie aromantic, biromantic, heteroromantic, etc. See also asexual, demisexual, gray-asexual.

secondary sexual attraction (n.) – a feeling of sexual attraction that develops over time, usually linked to an emotional connection with another person

sexual orientation (n.) – a set of categories used to describe the various trends of sexual attraction. See also asexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, trisexual, pansexual

trans* (adj.) – slang used to refer to the transgender community (“the trans* community”) or a transgender person (“a trans* person”) when a single gender identity is not specified. The word “trans” without the asterisk is generally used to refer to the FTM and/or MTF community, so the inclusion of the asterisk makes the word more inclusive to non-binary identified people.

transition (n., v.) – process in which a transgender person may alter their appearance, name, hormones, and/or pronouns to be in accord with their gender identity

trisexual (adj., n.) – denotes sexual attraction to three genders