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Labels and Lingo

Labels are something that has become extremely prominent in society. They separate us, gather us, and sometimes define us. A label, such as transgender or lesbian, will many times help others identify us. Unfortunately, labels also come with stereotypes. They can cause someone else to think something about us, whether it is true or not. They can cause drama, disbeliefs, and rumors.

Because of this, a label is never necessary. Labels can be beneficial to helping define yourself and discover who you are and who you can turn to for advice via experience. But they should never interfere with who are you. Labels will always be a part of society but you do have the option to discard the stereotypes and be your own person.

The following is a list of lingo that may be useful to LGBTQ people:

Sex is assigned at birth and determined by our external, physical bodies. Additional sex markers include our chromosomes and our internal and external reproductive organs.

Intersex children are born with chromosomal and/or reproductive differences, in that they may have an extra or missing chromosome, have some elements of both male and female reproductive systems or may have genitals that do not appear clearly male or clearly female at birth.

Gender is an ascribed social status assigned at birth that matches the sex also assigned at birth.

Gender Identity is the gender with which one identifies, regardless of one’s sex.

Gender Expression is how a gender is culturally expressed by individuals using societal norms.

Gender Dysphoria is the clinical term used to describe extreme feelings of discomfort and disconnect between one’s ascribed gender and one’s gender identity.

Transgender generally defines people who gender identity or gender expression differs from the norms associated with their birth sex. Related Terms: Female-to-Male, Male-to-Female, Crossdressers, Transsexuals, and Genderqueer.

Gender Identity Disorder is a strong and persistent desire to be the opposite sex, accompanied by discomfort with the gender role associated with birth sex, according to the DSM-IV.

Sexual Orientation defines whom you are emotionally, romantically and erotically attracted to for the most part and over a period of time. Related Terms: Heterosexual/Straight, Homosexual/Gay/Lesbian, Same Gender Loving, Two Spirit, Bisexual, Pansexual, Questioning, Heterosexism, Homophobia/Biphobia/Transphobia, the Down Low, and Womanist.