A glossary of relevant terms

  • Bigender – a person who fluctuates between traditionally “woman” and “man” gender-based behaviour and identities, identifying with both genders (and sometimes a third gender)
  • Bisexual – a person emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to male/men and females/women. Other individuals may use this to indicate an attraction to individuals who identify outside of the gender binary as well and may use bisexual as a way to indicate an interest in more than one gender or sex (i.e. men and genderqueer people).   This attraction does not have to be equally split or indicate a level of interest that is the same across the genders or sexes an individual may be attracted to.
  • Brotherboy- Brotherboys are Aboriginal, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander people who may present in ways that don’t fit into typical gender stereotypes. Brotherboys are Indigenous transgender people with a male spirit, whose bodies were considered female at birth.
  • Gay – used to describe individuals who are primarily emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to members of the same sex and/or gender. More commonly used when referring to men / male identified people who are attracted to men/male-identified people, but can be applied to females/women-identified people as well. Sometimes also used as an umbrella term used to refer to the queer community as a whole, or as an individual identity label for anyone who does not identify as heterosexual.
  • Heteronormativity – the assumption, in individuals, services or institutions, that everyone is heterosexual, and that heterosexuality is normal or is superior to all other sexualities. This leads to invisibility and stigmatizing of other sexualities.  Often included in this concept is a level of gender normativity and gender roles, the assumption that individuals should identify as men and women, and be masculine men and feminine women, and finally that men and women are a complimentary pair.
  • Heterosexism – behaviour that grants preferential treatment to heterosexual people, reinforces the idea that heterosexuality is somehow better or more “right” than queerness, or makes other sexualities invisible
  • Heterosexual – a person primarily emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex.
  • Intersex – someone whose combination of chromosomes, gonads, hormones, internal sex organs, and genitals differs from the two expected patterns of male or female. In the medical care of infants, the term Differing/Disorders of Sex Development or DSD is often used. Formerly known as hermaphrodite (or hermaphroditic), but these terms are now considered outdated and derogatory.
  • Lesbian – a term used to describe women attracted romantically, erotically, and/or emotionally to other women.
  • LGBQTI Communities – acronym used as shorthand or umbrella terms for all people who have a non-normative gender or sexuality, there are many different initials people prefer. Including Q (queer) includes people using all labels and pronouns and using communities indicates all groups are included. (sometimes people at a + at the end in an effort to be more inclusive)
  • LGBSB – specifically refers to Aboriginal, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Sistergirl and Brotherboy
  • Sistergirl – Sistergirls are Aboriginal, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander transgender women (assigned male at birth) who have a distinct cultural identity.
  • Transgender – An umbrella term covering a range of identities that transgress socially defined gender norms, or A person who lives as a member of a gender other than that expected based on sex assigned at birth.
  • Two-Spirit – is an umbrella term traditionally used by Indigenous people to recognize individuals who possess qualities or fulfil roles of both genders, or gender different to that with they were identified at birth.
  • WSSR – Women in same sex relationships