Key Terms:

Megan So, Kelley Johnson, and Logan Allan

Typically any non-LGBT person who supports and stands up for the rights of LGBT people. LGBT people can be allies as well, such as a lesbian who is an ally to a transgender person.

An umbrella term that encompasses anyone whose gender identity or expression doesn’t match their assigned sex.

Transsexual (medical)
When someone has or is in the process of transitioning from one sex to another through hormone replacement therapies, surgery, etc.

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 always visible to others.

Gender expression
How a person represents or expresses one’s gender identity to others, often through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, voice, or body characteristics.

A person who transitions from “female-to-male,” meaning a person who was assigned female at birth, but identifies and lives as a male. Also known as a “transgender man.”

A person who transitions from “male-to-female,” meaning a person who was assigned male at birth, but identifies and lives as a female. Also known as a “transgender woman.”

Gender Dysphoria
Recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). This disorder is marked by clinically significant distress caused by a marked difference between the individual’s expressed/experienced gender and the gender others would assign him or her.

When someone doesn’t fit clearly into one gender and may mix together male and female gender characteristics, or lack gender identification altogether. They may identify as moving beyond gender, between genders, agender (genderless), or some other combination.

Someone who is genderfluid moves between genders; their gender is not something that they or anyone can pin down and define.

Gender Spectrum
A linear model, ranging from 100% male to 100% female, with various states of androgyny in between.