Definitions & Terminology
A list of helpful terms, definitions and explanations on gender, identity, sexual orientation, gender expression and the LGBT community
Things We All Have
Sexual Orientation – noun : the type of sexual, romantic, emotional/spiritual attraction one has the capacity to feel for some others, generally labeled based on the gender relationship between the person and the people they are attracted to. Often confused with sexual preference.
Gender Identity – How we identify ourselves in terms of our gender.
Gender Expression – An individual’s physical characteristics, behaviors and presentation that are linked, traditionally, to masculinity, femininity, or gender, such as: appearance, dress, mannerisms, speech patterns and social interactions.
Pronouns –The part of speech used to refer to nouns or noun phrases. e.g. he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them/theirs. Objects—not people—use it/its.
Feelings and Humanity
Sexual Orientation Identities
Lesbian – A sexual orientation and/or identity of a person who identifies as a woman and who is sexually and emotionally attracted to some other women.
Gay – A sexual orientation and/or identity of a person who identifies as a man and who is sexually and emotionally attracted to some other men.
Bisexual – A sexual orientation and/or identity of a person who is sexually and emotionally attracted to some men and some women.
Queer - An umbrella term used to describe a sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression that does not conform to heteronormative society. A reclaimed inclusive identity used widely to refer to all people not conforming to heteronormative society.
Straight – A sexual orientation and/or identity of a person who identifies as a man and who is sexually and emotionally attracted to some other women; or of a person who identifies as a woman and who is sexually and emotionally attracted to some other men.
Asexual – A sexual orientation and/or identity of a person who does not feel sexual attraction.
Ally – An identity of a person who confronts homophobia, heterosexism, heterosexual privilege, biphobia, transphobia, and society’s gender norms in themselves and others on both a personal and institutional level. A friend of the LGBTQ community.
Gender Identities and Expression
Man - Someone who identifies as a man.
Woman – Someone who identifies as a woman.
Trans*/ Transgender - An umbrella term and identity of persons whose gender identity is not aligned with the sex they were assigned at birth. The University of Missouri utilizes trans* as an umbrella term for people who transgress or transcend our normative notions of gender. There are many different ways to be trans and many identities fit under the transgender umbrella, including but not limited to: transsexual, genderqueer, two-spirit, third gender, agender, bigender, genderf*ck, crossdresser, boi, genderfluid, and more.
Cisgender - An identity of a person whose gender identity is aligned with the sex they were assigned at birth and whose gender expression more or less fits in with society’s roles and expectations of that gender.
Queer - An umbrella term used to describe a sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression that does not conform to hetero-normative society. A reclaimed inclusive identity used widely to refer to all people not conforming to hetero-normative society.
Transman – An identity of a person who identifies himself as falling within the transgender spectrum and lives his life as a man.
Transwoman – An identity of a person who identifies herself as falling within the transgender spectrum and lives her life as a woman.
Gender Non-Conforming – An identity or gender expression of a person who has gender characteristics and/or behaviors that do not conform to traditional or societal gender expectations.
Genderqueer – A person who often feels they don’t fit in society’s gender binary. Often but not always, this identity includes a political desire to challenge society’s gender norms and gender identities.
Two-spirit – In some Native American tribes, people who do not fit the traditional gender role (activities and/or gender or sexual/romantic partner) typically assigned to them. Depending on the tribe, they may be accepted as fitting a different and new gender role, as spiritual and religious leaders, or as living their life within the gender role typically assigned to others. *While this is also a chosen identity, it is racially, culturally, and historically insensitive for anyone not Native American to identify as Two-spirit.*
Intersex – A general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. e.g. at birth, appearing female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside; ambiguous genitalia (noticeably large clitoris, no vaginal opening, noticeably small penis, divided scrotum, etc); mosaic genetics (some XX chromosomes, some XY chromosomes); etc.
Things Society Has
Transphobia – The societal and systematic discrimination and/or oppression of transgender people or those who are perceived to break or blur societal norms regarding gender identity or gender expression.
Homophobia – The societal and systematic discrimination and/or oppression of lesbian, gay or bisexual people.
Heterosexism/Hetero-normativity - Applies to attitudes, bias and discrimination in favor of heterosexual sexuality and relationships. It includes the presumption that everyone is heterosexual or that man/woman attractions and relationships are the norm and therefore superior. It is the belief that everyone is or should be straight.
In, Out, and In-Between Therapy Group
Are you having struggles related to your sexual orientation and/or gender identity? Have you been afraid to talk about your true identity? Are you looking for an affirming, supportive environment to be yourself? If you answered yes to any of these questions then the In, Out, and In–Between therapy group may be for you. Common areas of focus include coming out, transitioning, dating and relationships, family relationships, spirituality, self-esteem and/or isolation.
If you are interested in participating in this group, or if you have questions, please contact Counseling and Psychological Services and ask to be scheduled for a group screening.
All Gender Restroom Locations
LGBT Counseling and Support
- Gulf Coast Transgender Alliance - The group is dedicated to providing a safe and empathetic environment for members and supporters of the transgender community to find resources, make new friends, and explore healthy ways of coping with a variety of gender spectrum issues. Meetings are held on the third Sunday of each month.
- S-TR-IV transgender education and support resources including legal assistance
- A Safe Port Counseling Center-Providing sliding scale comprehensive mental health services for the LGBTQPGIA community and persons affected by HIV/AIDS and their families and supporters
- Gay Grassroots-The mission of GGNWFL is to bring together non-partisan activists to advocate for full understanding, respect, equality and inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons living in northwestern Florida. Connection to social events in the community.
- Sunday’s Child—A non-profit organization that promotes diversity, inclusion and equality by awarding grants to significant charitable and economic initiatives
LGBT Affirming Churches
- United Church of Christ Pensacola
- Holy Cross Metropolitan Community Church
- Unitarian Universalist Church of Pensacola
- Unity Church of Pensacola
- American Civil Liberties Union of Northwest Florida - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
Local Transgender Friendly Physicians
- Dr. Vishnu Behari, Endocrinologist
- Dr. Jill Prafke, OB/GYN
Online Resources and Hotlines
Laura's Playground Online Chat Room - This is a Live Support Moderated Chat Room for trans people and their friends, families and significant others only. Moderators are trained in suicide prevention.”
Gender Spectrum - Gender Spectrum helps to create gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens.
Trans Lifeline - Trans Lifeline is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the well being of transgender people.
The Trevor Project - National suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth.
National Center for Transgender Equality - One-stop hub for name and gender change information