LGBTQ+ Diversity & Inclusion Definitions Guide

We hope the following definitions will expand your knowledge.

Special thanks to the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Diversity and Inclusion Committee for providing these during the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Winter Conference of March 2020.

2 Spirit

This refers to a person who identifies as having both a masculine and feminine spirit and is used by some indigenous people to describe their sexual gender and or spiritual identity.


A person who identifies as having no gender


Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice


Is anyone who has sexual feelings towards masculinity. Andro-sexual is usually used by genderqueer individuals as heterosexual or homosexual don’t necessarily apply to them since their genders may not necessarily have opposites.


A person who experiences little or no sexual attraction to others. Asexuality is not the same as celibacy. 


Is fear, intolerance or hatred towards bisexuals.


A sexual orientation that describes a person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of their own gender and people of other genders.


A person whose gender identity (and often gender expression) matches the sex they were assigned at birth.


Operates as a subtle web of ideas that many people hold based on the assumption that all people are cisgender.

Color-Blind Racism

The process by which a person attempts to ignore the existence of race or skin color in service of seeing past race and just seeing the person.  The deemphasizing of race; however, ignores the real lived experiences of people of color.

Cultural Appropriation

Theft of cultural elements for one’s own use, commodification, or profit – including symbols, art, language, customs, etc. – often without understanding, acknowledgment, or respect for its value in the original culture. Results from the assumption of a dominant (i.e. white) culture’s right to take other cultural elements.


A mental or physical difference that limits a person in everyday activities.  Increasingly, disability is being discussed as a social construct, meaning that physical and mental norms are arbitrary from which we then determine what is different or what is a disability.


The unequal treatment of members of various groups based on race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, and other categories.


Includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make on individual or group different from another.


The definition of femme is a woman or wide, or a lesbian who acts in a very feminine role, or a gay man who takes on a feminine role.


Gay is a term that primarily refers to a man who holds physical and romantic attraction for other men.

Gender Expression

The way that someone outwardly displays their gender through style, demeanor, and social behavior.

Gender Fluid

A person whose gender identity is not fixed.

Gender Non-Conforming

Exhibiting behavioral, cultural, or phycological traits that do not correspond with the traits typically associated with one’s birth gender.

Gender Pronoun

This refers to the subject being talked about (like she, them, and his).  You cannot always determine someone’s pronouns just by looking at them.  It is important to ask and share your own pronouns and respect those of others.


Someone who is attracted to females or female body parts, regardless of whether that person identifies as a woman.


Based on the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality.


Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policymaking in a way that shares power.


Used to describe the unique ways in which we experience interlocking oppressions such as being Black, trans, and low-income.  Coined in 1989 by De. Kimberle Williams Crenshaw.


A general term used for a variety of situations in which a person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the boxes of “female” or “male”.


An instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.


Non-binary, or genderqueer, is a spectrum of gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine—identities that are outside the gender binary (man/woman).  Non-binary identities can fall under the transgender umbrella since many non-binary people identify with a gender that is different from their assigned sex, but they do not necessarily fall under the umbrella, as some intersex people are also non-binary.


This refers to a woman who holds physical and romantic attraction for other women.


Stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and more.  Ther are many variations of this acronym used to acknowledge the spectrum of sexual and gender identifies as indicated by the use of “+”.


Characterized by sexual desire or attraction that is not limited to people of particular gender identity.


This occurs when an individual’s perceived sexual orientation or sexuality differs from the sexuality or sexual orientation with which they identify.

People of Color

Used to describe non-white people as a way of characterizing those with shared experiences of being racially “othered”. Not to be used as a placeholder when discussing specific racial groups (Blacks, Indigenous, Asian, and Latinx).

Personal Gender Pronouns (PGP)

This refers to the subject being talked about (like she or they). You cannot always determine someone’s pronouns just by looking at them. It is important to use and share your own pronouns and respect those of others.


The questioning of one’s sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender, or all three is a process of exploration by people who may be unsure, still exploring sexual life.


Queer is an umbrella term for those who are not heterosexual or cisgender.  Originally meaning “strange” or “peculiar”, queer was originally used pejoratively in the late 19th century but thanks to activities have been reclaimed by many as an alternative to the LGBT community.


Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their sex assigned at birth. Some transgender people who desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another identity as transsexual.