LGBTQ Terminology

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning/queer (represented by the acronym LGBTQ) community uses a variety of terms to describe and identify with. Knowing how and when to use the proper terms can have a powerful impact in conversations with others. These terms are also ever-changing and evolving, and no list is truly exhaustive.

Please note that each person who uses any or all of the terms in the LGBTQ community lexicon does so in a unique way (especially terms that are used in the context of an identity label). If you do not understand the context in which a person is using one of these terms, it is always appropriate to ask. This is especially recommended when using terms that have a historically derogatory connotation. 

Included below is a LGBTQ Terminology list called Living Language created by Christopher M. Woods, Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs and LGBTQA Outreach at Columbia University.