Gender DynamiX, the first African-based public benefit organisation solely focusing on transgender and gender-diverse communities, has published a guide to LGBTQI+ terminology. Here are the terms broken down.







+ pansexual, non-binary and many more

What does Lesbian mean?

This term refers to a woman who has a romantic and or sexual orientation towards women. Some non-binary people identify with this term. 

What does Gay mean?

This term refers to men who are romantically, erotically and emotionally attracted to other men. What is important to note is that not all men who engage in same-gender sexual activities identify as gay and as such the term must be used with caution.

What does Bisexual mean?

The term bisexual is used for a person who is romantically, sexually, physically, and or spiritually attracted to more than one gender, not at the same time nor to the same degree. 

What does Transgender mean?

This is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity does not align with the gender they were assigned at birth. This often includes transgender women, transgender men, gender non-conforming, gender diverse, and gender variant. 

You can respect transgender people by not assuming their gender based on their physical appearance. Ask which pronouns they use and use the preferred pronouns. Don’t ask about their body parts, this is invasive and not cool. Always make an effort to use gender-neutral language in your conversation.

What does Queer mean?

Over the years the term has meant a few things, and unfortunately, they weren’t all good. The term has evolved, and today Queer is used to encapsulate the entire LGBTQI+ community. This term includes all the diverse individuals who make up the community. 

What does Intersex mean?

Intersex describes people who are born with natural sex charecteristics, including genetilia, gonads and chromosome patterns that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies. 

Download the Gender DynamiX guide here

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