Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pride Week!!! Glossary for the Gender Outlaw

originally posted 5/28/2011

If you were like me -- a little discombobulated by the "gender blind" family and the sociological experimentation to which they so readily subject their own children -- then this post is for you.  

Speaking for myself, that story introduced me to several new words and terms to add to my robust vocabulary.

I didn't see the term "gender smooth" on this list...so certainly, it's incomplete; it is, nonetheless, helpful...because if your child comes home spouting Spivakian pronouns, you're gonna wanna know how to answer back.

* * * * * * * *

Trans and Queer Wellness Initiative

GenderQueer and Queer Terms

A few things to keep in mind while reading this list of terms:

Intersectionality and Community Language: Culture, economic background, region, race, and age all can influence language and labels. Much of the language used to discuss gender originates from a white and westernized mentality.
Discussing Identities: When considering language and identity, language and experience influence how different labels are used and interpreted. Even identities that are similar (or appear to be similar) may have different experiences. An identity label may be empowering for some but not for others and for many, meanings may vary. Most labels are flexibly used and often reliant on personal interpretation, cultural spaces, and community experience.
Discussing Language: This list strives to use the most inclusive language while also offering useful descriptions of community terms and their uses. 

Ag / Aggressive: A term used to describe a female-bodied and identified person who prefers presenting as masculine. This term is most commonly used in urban communities of color.
Agender (Also Non-gender)not identifying with any gender, the feeling of having no gender. 
All-Gender: Descriptive phrase denoting inclusiveness of all gender expressions and identities.
All-Gender Pronouns: Any of the multiple sets of pronouns which create gendered space beyond the he, him, and his/she, her, and hers binary. Sometimes referred to as gender neutral pronouns, but many prefer third gender as they do not consider themselves to have neutral genders. Examples: ze, hir, and hirs; ey, em, eirs; ze, zir, and zirs, or singular they. See alsoSpivakian Pronouns.
Ally: Someone who confronts heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, heterosexual and genderstraight privilege in themselves and others; a concern for the well being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people; and a belief that heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are social justice issues.
Androgyne: 1. A person whose biological sex is not readily apparent. 2. A person who is intermediate between the two traditional genders. 3. A person who rejects gender roles entirely.
Androgynous: A person who may appear as and exhibit traits traditionally associated as both male and female, or as neither male nor female, or as in between male and female.
Asexual: A person disinclined towards sexual behavior
Assigned Sex/GenderThe sex/gender one is assigned at birth, generally by a medical professional, based on a cursory examination of external genitalia.
Atypical Gender RoleA person who exhibits a gender role at odds with the norm for their gender and class, in a society.
BDSM (Bondage, Discipline/Domination, Submission/Sadism, and Masochism ): The terms submission/sadism and masochism refer to deriving pleasure from inflicting or receiving pain, often in a sexual context. The terms bondage and domination refer to playing with various power roles, in both sexual and social context. These practices are often misunderstood as abusive, but when practiced in a safe, sane, and consensual manner can be a part of healthy sex life. (Sometimes referred to as ‘leather.’)
Bear: The most common definition of a bear is a man who has facial/body hair, and a cuddly body. However, the word bear means many things to different people, even within the bear movement. Many men who do not have one or all of these characteristics define themselves as bears, making the term a very loose one. Bear is often defined as more of an attitude and a sense of comfort with natural masculinity and bodies.
Bigender: To identify as both genders and/or to have a tendency to move between masculine and feminine gender-typed behavior depending on context, expressing a distinctly male persona and a distinctly female persona, two separate genders in one body.
Bisexual: A person emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to males/men and females/women. This attraction does not have to be equally split between genders and there may be a preference for one gender over others.
Bio-Boy/Man- A person whose assigned sex is male. This term is used to differentiate transgendered men from cisgender men. Due to the infantilizing connotations of “boy,” some may prefer bio-man.
Bio-Girl/Woman: See Genetic Girl.
Bio-Queen: A person who identifies as a woman dressing as a “man” dressing as a “woman.” or a person who identifies as a woman performing drag queen.
Bottom: A person who is said to take a more submissive role during sexual interactions. Sometimes referred to as pasivo in Latin American cultures.
Bottom Surgery: Surgery on the genitals designed to create a body in harmony with a person’s preferred gender expression.
Butch: A person who identifies themselves as masculine, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. Butch is sometimes used as a derogatory term for lesbians, but it can also be claimed as an affirmative identity label.
Cisgender: A person who by nature or by choice conforms to gender based expectations of society. (Also Genderstraight or 'Gender Normative').
Closeted (In the Closet): Refers to a homosexual, bisexual, queer, transperson, or intersex person who will not or can not disclose their identity or identities to others or society.
Coming Out: 1. The process by which one accepts one’s own sexuality, gender identity, orintersex status (to come out to oneself). 2.The process by which one shares one’s sexuality, gender identity, or intersex status with others (to come out to friends, etc.). This can be a continual, life-long process for homosexual, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people.
Crossdresser: A person who, regardless of motivation, wears clothes, makeup, etc. that are considered by the culture to be appropriate for another gender but no one’s own (preferred term to “transvestite”). This gender non-conforming behavior should not be conflated with queer sexualities. Many cross-dressers are heterosexual and conduct their cross-dressing on a part-time basis. Cross-dressing might also be termed gender non-conforming behavior.
Disorders of Sex Development (DSDs): A medical classification for intersex people within both the medical community and some intersex communities.[1] Also see Intersex.
Drag or In Drag: Wearing clothes considered appropriate for someone of another gender/sex.
Drag King: A person who identifies as a woman who dresses in “masculine” or man-designated,gender-marked clothing, makeup, and mannerisms for their own and other people’s appreciation, pay, entertainment, and/or political purposes. A Drag King’s cross dressing is usually on a part time basis. Many drag kings perform by singing, dancing or lip-synching.
Drag Queen: A person who identifies as a man, sometimes gay identified, who wears “feminine” or woman designated gender-marked clothing, makeup, and mannerisms for their own and other people’s appreciation, pay, entertainment, and/or political reasons. A Drag Queen’s cross-dressing is usually on a part time basis. Some may prefer the term Female Impersonator. Many drag queens perform by singing, dancing or lip-synching.
Down Low (D/L)A term primarily used in homosexual/queer male communities of color, particularly those of Africana descent, denoting a lack of disclosure of homosexual desire, behavior, or identity. Also see Closeted.
Female-Bodied: A term used to recognize a person who was assigned a female sex at birth or who has/had a female body.
Femme: Feminine identified person of any gender/sex.
FTM or F2M  (Female-to-Male): Term used to identify a person who was assigned a female gender at birth or is female bodied, and who identifies as male, lives as a man, or identifies as masculine. This includes a broad range of experiences, from those who identify as men or male to those who identify as transsexual, transmen, female men, new men, or FTM. Some reject this terminology, arguing that they have always been male internally and are now making that identity visible where others feel that such language reinforces an either/or gender system. Some individuals prefer the term MTM (male-to-male) to underscore the fact that though they were biologically female, they never had a feminine gender identity.
Gatekeepers: Used by gender communities to refer to psychiatrists, psychologists and other (usually) non-trans clinicians and providers who can effectively block trans people from obtaining hormones, surgery or related services needed for their gender transition.
Gay: 1. Term used in some cultural settings to represent males who are attracted to other males in a romantic, erotic, and/or emotional sense. 2. Term used to refer to the LGBTQI community as a whole, or as an individual identity label for anyone who does not identify as heterosexual.
Gender: The social construction of masculinity and femininity in a specific culture. It involves gender assignment (the gender designation of someone at birth), gender roles (the expectations imposed on someone based on their gender), gender attribution (how others perceive someone’s gender), and gender identity (how someone defines their own gender).
Gender Bender: An individual who “bends,” changes, mixes, or combines society’s gender conventions by expressing elements of masculinity and femininity together (Also see GenderFuck).
Gender Binary: The idea that there are only two genders, male/female or man/woman, and that a person must be strictly gendered as either/or.
Gender Confirming Surgery: Surgical procedures that change one’s body to conform to a person’s gender identity. These procedures may include “top surgery” (breast augmentation or removal) and/or “bottom surgery” (altering genitals). Preferred term to “sex change surgery” or “Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS).
Gender Cues: What humans use to attempt to tell the gender/sex of another person. i.e. hairstyle, clothing, gait, vocal inflection, body shape, facial hair, etc. Cues vary by culture.
Gender Diverse (also Gender Variant): A person who either by nature or by choice does not conform to gender-based expectations of society.
Gender Dysphoria: A term of the psychiatric establishment which refers to a radical incongruence between an individual’s birth sex and their gender identity combined with dissociation from one’s physical body and mental sense of gender. Many in the transgender community find this term offensive or insulting as it often pathologizes transgender individuals due to its association with the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM) and pathologization of gender non-conforming identities. [2]
Gender Expression: How one chooses to express one’s gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, hairstyle, voice, body characteristics, etc. Gender expression may change over time and from day-to-day and may or may not conform with an individual’s gender identity.
GenderFuck: The idea of playing with gender cues to purposely confuse, mix, or combine a culture’s standard or stereotypical gender expressions (Also see Gender Bender).
Gender Gifted: A tem which refers to trans people and which calls attention to transgenderism as a gift which promotes diversity, challenges the status quo, and enriches both the trans individual and the society as a whole.
Gender Identity: An individual’s internal sense of being male, female, or something else. Since gender identity is internal, one’s gender identity is not necessarily visible to others.
Gender Identity and Expression: The most common phrase used in law and public policy addressing gender-based violence and discrimination; encompasses both the inner sense (gender identity) and outer appearance (gender expression).
Gender Identity Disorder (GID):  Series of three diagnosis published in the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) originally called Transsexualism (1980) referring to gender non-conforming identities such as transgenderism. Gender Identity Disorders in Adolescents and Adults, Gender Identity Disorders in Children, and Transvestic Fetishism (TF).[3] GID is highly controversial due to the negative pathologization and personal limitations it places on access to physical transition resources and medical care. [4]
Gender Non-Conforming: A term often used to refer to the myriad of individuals who may not identify as transgender, but who still do not conform to traditional gender norms (may include, but is not limited to, bigenders, gender benders, genderfuckers, genderqueers, men, women, and transgender individuals). May be used in tandem with other identities.
Gender Neutral: Used to denote a unisex or all-gender inclusive space, language, etc. Example: A gender neutral bathrooms is a bathroom open to people of any gender identity and expression.
Gender Neutral Pronouns: See All Gender Pronouns.
Gender Outlaw- A term popularized by trans activists such as Kate Bornstein and Leslie Feinberg, a gender outlaw refers to an individual who transgresses or violates the “law” of gender (i.e. one who challenges the rigidly enforced gender roles) in a transphobic, heterosexist and patriarchal society.
Gender Role. The behaviors, attitudes, values, beliefs etc. that a cultural group considers appropriate for males and females on the basis of their biological sex.
Gender Role Behavior refers to what people's behaviors actually are; does not account for physical characteristics such as, for instance, broad shoulders on a woman.
Gender Role Stereotype. The socially determined model which contains the cultural beliefs about what the gender roles should be. It differs from gender role in that it tends to be the way people feel 'others' should behave.
Genderqueer: 1. A term which is used by some people who may or may not fit on the spectrum of trans or be labeled as trans but who identify their gender and sexual orientation to be outside of the binary gender system, or culturally proscribed gender roles. As with any other groups that may be aligned with transgender identities, the reasons for identifying as genderqueer vary. 2. People who identify as both transgender and queer, individuals who challenge both gender and sexuality regimes and see gender identity and sexual orientation as overlapping and interconnected
Gender VariantSee Gender Non-Conforming.
Genetic Girl (GG): A person whose assigned sex is female used to differentiate transgender women from cisgender women. Due to its infantilizing connotations, many prefer GW or Genetic Woman.
Harry Benjamin Standards of Care: see Standards of Care.
Heteronormativity describes a binary gender system, in which only two sexes are accepted. Adherents of this normative concept maintain that one's gender identity and one's gender role ought to be congruent with one's external genitalia, and that one ought to display a heterosexual sexual preference.
Heterosexism: Prejudice against individuals and groups who display non-heterosexual behaviors or identities, combined with the majority power to impose such a prejudice.
Heterosexual: A person emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to the sex or gender that they are not.
Homosexual: A person emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to the same sex or gender as they are.
Hormone Therapy: Administration of hormones to affect the development of secondary sex characteristics of the opposite gender than the gender assigned at birth.
Intersex: One who is born with sex chromosomes, external genitalia or an internal reproductive system that is not considered “standard” for either male or female. Approximately 1.7% of children are born with mixed sexual anatomy that makes it difficult to label them male or female. “Intersex” is the preferred term to hermaphrodite. Although many intersex people do not identify as transgender, many of the workplace issues relating to transgender people overlap with those that affect intersex people.[5]
Intergender: A person whose gender identity is between genders or a combination of genders.
Lesbian: Term used to describe female-identified people attracted romantically, erotically, and/or emotionally to other female-identified people. The term lesbian is derived from the name of the Greek island of Lesbos and as such is sometimes considered a Eurocentric category that does not necessarily represent the identities of African-Americans and other non-European ethnic groups. This being said, individual female-identified people from diverse ethnic groups, including African-Americans, embrace the term lesbian as an identity label.
Male-Bodied: A term used to recognize a person who was assigned a male sex at birth, or who had/has a male body.
Metrosexual: First used in 1994 by British journalist Mark Simpson, who coined the term to refer to an urban, heterosexual male with a strong aesthetic sense who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and life style. This term can be perceived as derogatory because it reinforces stereotypes that all gay men are fashion-conscious and materialistic.
MTF or M2F (Male-to-Female): Term used to identify a person who was assigned a male gender at birth or is male bodied, and who identifies as female, lives as a woman, or identifies as feminine. This includes a broad range of experiences, from those who identify as women or female to those who identify as transsexual, transwomen, male women, new women, or as MTF as their gender identity. Some reject this terminology, arguing that they have always been female where others feel that such language reinforces an either/or gender system. Some individuals prefer the term FTF (female-to-female) to underscore the fact that though they were biologically male, they never had a masculine gender identity.
Multigender: See Polygender.
Natal-female: A person who is born as the female sex.
Natal-male: A person who is born as the male sex.
Natal-sex: The sex of a person at birth (male, female, or intersexed).
Non-gendered: See Agender.
Outing: Involuntary disclosure of one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status.
Packing: Wearing a phallic device or prosthesis on the groin and under clothing for any purpose.
Pangender:  A person whose gender identity is comprised of many gender expressions.
Pansexual: A person who has potential emotional, physical, and/or sexual attraction to any person irrespective of sex or gender.
Passing: The ability to present oneself as any gender other than that assigned at birth and be accepted as such. Passing may refer to an individual’s desire or ability to be perceived as a member of a particular group.
Polyamory: Refers to having honest, usually non-possessive, relationships with multiple partners and can include: open relationships, polyfidelity (which involves multiple romantic relationships with sexual contact restricted to those), and sub-relationships (which denote distinguishing between a “primary” relationship or relationships and various "secondary" relationships).
Polygender: Identifying as more than one gender or a combination of genders.
Pronouns: There are several non-gender specific pronouns that some people opt to use to describe themselves. “Hir” is used to replace “her” and “him.” “S/he” or “ze” is used instead of “he” and “she.” If you are unsure of how a person identifies or what pronouns to use, it never hurts to ask politely.
Queer: 1. An umbrella term which embraces a matrix of sexual preferences, orientations, and habits of the not-exclusively- heterosexual-and-monogamous majority. Queer includes lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transpeople, intersex people, the radical sex communities, and many other sexually transgressive (underworld) explorers. 2. This term is sometimes used as a sexual orientation label instead of “bisexual” as a way of acknowledging that there are more than two genders to be attracted to, or as a way of stating a non-heterosexual orientation without having to state who they are attracted to. 3. A reclaimed word that was formerly used solely as a slur but that has been semantically overturned by members of the maligned group, who use it as a term of defiant pride. “Queer” is an example of a word undergoing this process. For decades “queer” was used solely as a derogatory adjective for gays and lesbians, but in the 1980s the term began to be used by gay and lesbian activists as a term of self-identification. Eventually, it came to be used as an umbrella term that included gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people. Nevertheless, a sizable percentage of people to whom this term might apply still hold “queer” to be a hateful insult, and its use by heterosexuals is often considered offensive. Similarly, other reclaimed words are usually offensive to the in-group when used by outsiders, so extreme caution must be taken concerning their use when one is not a member of the group.
Questioning: A person is in the process of questioning their sexual identity.
Read (Getting/Being Read): 1. How a person’s gender is perceived by a casual observer, based on gender cues/expression. 2. A transperson being perceived as transgender, another gender than what they wish to be perceived, or as their biological sex.
Real Life Test: An assessment term which refers to the period of time when a transperson begins living “full time” in their preferred gender role to when they are considerable candidates (by psychologists, psychiatrists and others) for sex reassignment surgery.
Same Gender Loving: A term sometimes used by members of the African-American / Black community to express an alternative sexual orientation without relying on terms and symbols of European descent. The term emerged in the early 1990's with the intention of offering Black women who love women and Black men who love men a voice, a way of identifying and being that resonated with the uniqueness of Black culture in life. (Sometimes abbreviated as SGL.)
Sex: The physically biological, chromosomal, genetic, and anatomical features associated with maleness and femaleness in the human body defined within a socio-cultural concept of what physiology denotes within a given cultural space.
Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS): See Gender Confirming Surgery
Sexual Identity. The objective categorization of a person's physiological status as male or female or intersex.
Sexual Orientation: The preferred term used when referring to an individual’s physical and/or emotional attraction to the same and/or different gender. Sexual orientation is not the same as a person’s gender identity. Sexual orientation refers to a person's preference for the same or opposite sex partners, e.g., homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual. Even then there is a distinction between who one has sex with, which is more to do with one's sex object, and who one can build a relationship with.
Sexual Orientation Identity: How a person self-identifies in regard to their sexual orientation. (I.e. identifying as (Straight, Queer, Lesbian, Gay, Dyke (Dike), Homo, Hetero). Just like Sexual Orientation, Sexual Orientation Identity is not necessarily aligned to the sex or gender a person is attracted to or in a relationship with.
Single Gendered: Identifying as either male or female.
SOFFA: Acronym for Significant Others, Friends, Family and Allies. Used to indicate those persons supportive relationship to a queer or gender non-conforming person.
Spivakian Pronouns: New terms popularized by Michael Spivak to serve as gender-neutral, third-person, singular, personal pronouns in English. (E, Ey, Eirs, Em) See also Third Gender Pronouns.
Standards of Care: Also known as the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care. A set of guidelines published by The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) (formerlyHarry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association) concerning the care of people labeled with gender identity disorders.[6] Relates to meeting qualifications for gender non-conforming people to access methods of physical transition. The Standards of Care are highly controversial due to the negative pathologization and personal limitations it places on access to physical transition resources and medical care. [7]
Stealth: When a person chooses to be secretive in the public sphere about their gender history, either after transitioning or whole successfully passing.
Stone Butch / Femme / Queer: A person who may or may not desire sexual penetration and/or contact with the genitals or breasts.
Third-Gendered: People who feel they are neither male nor female, but not androgynous either and construct their own gender. The third gender may include (in Western terms) some intersex people, some transgender people, and some androgynous people.
Third Gender Pronouns: see all-gender pronouns
Top Surgery: This term usually refers to surgery for the construction of a male-type chest, but may also refer to breast augmentation.
Transandrogyny: A gender diverse gender expression that does not have a prominent masculine or feminine component.
Transfeminine: A gender-variant gender expression that has a prominent feminine component.
Trans: Variant of transgender and/or transsexual sometimes preferable in gender non-conforming communities because it focuses on the gender transgression of identity as opposed to focusing on the elements of gender or sex and because does not separate transgender and transsexual.
Transgender (TG): 1. An umbrella term covering behaviors, expressions and identities that challenge the binary male/female gender system in a given culture. 2. Individuals who change their gender expression without physically or medically changing their body through hormones or surgery. 3. Anyone who transcends the conventional definitions of 'man' and 'woman' and whose self-identification or expression challenges traditional notions of “male” and “female.” -Transgender people include transsexuals, crossdressers, drag queens and kings, genderqueers,masculine-identified females, feminine-identified males, two-spirit people, MtFs, FtMs, bearded women, transmen, transwomen, and others who cross or transgress traditional gender categories.
Transgender Man (Transman): A transgender individual who identifies as a man (see also FTM).
Transgender Woman (Transwoman): A transgender individual who identifies as a woman (see also MTF).
Transition: 1.The period of time in which a person begins to live in a gender role which is in accordance with their internal gender identity. 2. (v) To physically change one’s appearance, body, and life in accordance with their internal gender identity through clothing, behavior, legal documents, hormones, and/or surgery (also called physical transition).
Transmasculine: A gender-variant gender expression that has a prominent masculine component.
Transphobia: 1. The fear, hatred, or intolerance of people who identify or are perceived as transgender. 2. Fear and hatred of all those individuals who transgress, violate or blur the dominant gender categories in a given society.
Transsexual (also Transexual)(TS): A person whose gender identity is different from their assigned sex at birth and has taken any or all steps of physical transition so that their physical body is congruent to both their gender identity and the conventional concept of sexually male and female bodies.
Two-Spirited: 1. Native American person who embodies attributes of both masculine and feminine genders, have distinct gender and social roles in their tribes, and are often involved with rituals. Their dress is usually mixture of male and female articles and they are seen as a separate or third gender. The term two-spirit is usually considered to specific to the Zuni tribe. Similar identity labels vary by tribe such as Wintke (Lakota), Hee-man-eh (Cheyenne), and Nedleeh (Navajo) 2. Native Americans who are queer or transgender.
Versatile (Also Switch): A person who is both a ‘Top’ and a ‘Bottom’; there may or may not be a preference for one or the other.

-Definitions edited and compiled by JAC Stringer of The Trans and Queer Wellness Initiative (2009) JAC (at) transqueerwellness.org, http://www.TransQueerWellness.org
-Additional definitions edited by JAC Stringer of GenderBloc (2006). GenderBloc@gmail.com, http://www.GenderBloc.org.
-Additional definitions edited by Jack Skelton (2007) “compiled with thanks and apologies to Raphael Carter, Evan Hempel and Joelle Ruby Ryan.”
-Definitions also edited from Brett Genny Beemyn, GLBT Student Services, Ohio State University. 614.688.8449, glbtss@osu.edu, http://multiculturalcenter.osu.edu/glbtss -Derby TV/TS Group, 1998 – 2005. Gender Roles - Gender Variance - Gender Identity,Definitions.http://www.gender.org.uk/about/00_defin.htm -Tracy, Trans FamilyGender 101.http://www.transfamily.org/gendr101.htm -LGBTTSQI Terminology & Definitions- Originally Created by: By Eli Green & Eric N. Peterson http://www.trans-academics.org/trans_and_sexuality_termi

[1] The Intersex Society of North America (ISNA), (2008, 2009) http://www.isna.org/
[2] GenderQueer Coalition of Cincinnati, Stringer, JAC (2008) “A Little about Gender Identity “Disorder” “http://genderqueercoalition.org/node/16
[3] GenderQueer Coalition of Cincinnati, Stringer, JAC (2008) “A Little about Gender Identity “Disorder” “http://genderqueercoalition.org/node/16
[4] Gender Identity Disorder Reform http://www.GIDReform.org/
[5] The Intersex Society of North America (ISNA), (2008, 2009) http://www.isna.org/
[6] The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) formerly The Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association http://www.wpath.org/
[7] GenderQueer Coalition of Cincinnati, Stringer, JAC (2008) “A Little about Gender Identity “Disorder” “http://genderqueercoalition.org/node/16

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