Identities and Experiences


Below is a brief guide to some of the terminology used in this practice guide and by the LGBTIQA+ community. It is important to note that many of these terms are fluid, ever-evolving and may mean different things to different people.


People who experience low levels or no romantic attraction. Sometimes shortened to ‘aro’.


People who experience low levels or no sexual attraction. Sometimes shortened to ‘ace’.


The attraction to two or more gender identities. Sometimes shortened to ‘bi’ or ‘bi+’.


Any individual who does exclusively identify with their gender assigned at birth. Sometimes shortened to ‘cis’.


People who do not have an intersex variation.


The attraction to people of the same gender, historically used to describe men attracted to other men, however people of any gender may use this term.


Describes the process of affirming one’s gender identity to match one’s internal sense of self. There are many different ways trans and gender diverse people may affirm their gender identity and each are equally valid as the other. Some people also refer to these processes as ‘transitioning’.


Behaviours, mannerisms and presentations that are associated with gender in a particular cultural context.


People who are exclusively attracted to the opposite gender.


Intersex people have innate sex characteristics that don’t fit medical and social norms for female or male bodies, and that create risks or experiences of stigma, discrimination and harm (IHRA,


Typically used to describe women attracted to other women, however people of different genders may also use this term to describe an attraction to women or feminine people.


An acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Asexual plus a spectrum of identities and experiences. This acronym can be shortened or lengthened depending on the communities you’re working with.


A broad term for gender identities that are not exclusively male or female, includes gender identities such as gender queer, agender, bi gender, & gender-fluid.


The attraction to people regardless of gender identity. Sometimes shortened to ‘pan’.


Queer, Transgender, Indigenous and/or People of Colour. Being LGBTIQA+ is not just a ‘Western’ thing or a modern thing. LGBTIQA+ identities have existed across the world and across time.


A broad term that can refer to any or multiple LGBTIQA+ identities and experiences. It can also be a political term about the resistance to heteronormativity and celebration of LGBTIQA+ culture. As queer is a reclaimed slur, some members of the LGBTIQA+ community don’t use this word and may find it offensive, whilst others may celebrate its use.


Describes our romantic and/or sexual attraction.


A broad term referring to any individuals who do not exclusively identify with their gender assigned at birth. Sometimes shortened to ‘trans’. TGD people who are assigned female at birth might identify with the terms trans man, man, trans masculine, trans masc, non-binary etc. TGD people who are assigned male at birth might identify with the terms trans woman, woman, trans feminine, trans femme, non-binary etc.