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LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL,
QUESTIONING YOUNG PEOPLE
GENDER DIVERSE YOUNG PEOPLE
RESOURCES AND REFERENCES
Homosexual: People whose sexual desire and emotional attractions are for people
of the same gender identity. Historically, this term has been used to define same-sex
attraction as a psychological condition. Because of this oppressive histor y, most same-
sex attracted people describe themselves with other terms.
Internalised biphobia: The negative feeling and attitudes that bisexual people develop
about themselves or other bisexual people as a result of being in a biphobic culture.
Internalised homophobia: The negative feeling and attitudes that gay and lesbian
people develop about themselves or other homosexual people as a result of being in a
homophobic or heterosexist culture. Internalised biphobia and internalised transphobia
are similar in this regard.
Internalised transphobia: Describes negative feelings and attitudes transgender
people may hold about themselves or other transgender people as a result of negative
societal attitudes toward gender diversity.
Intersex: A general term used to describe a set of conditions where a person is born
with reproductive organs or sex chromosomes that don’t fit with typical definitions of
male or female.
Lesbian: A woman whose primar y emotional and sexual attraction is towards
Pansexual: People whose sexual desire and emotional attractions are for people of all
gender identities and biological sexes.
Queer: Queer was once used as a negative term to describe people who seemed
different from the heterosexual norm. These days, many LGBTQ people use the term
queer to describe their sexual or gender identity as challenging heterosexual and
gender norms. This might be especially so for those under the age of 25, who might
add the letter Q to LGBTIQ to signify that they are queer or questioning.
Questioning: Refers to the process whereby a person questions their sexuality or
gender. This might include people who do not feel heterosexual, but who don’t identify
as gay, lesbian or bisexual or people who feel the categories of male/female and
masculine/feminine are restricting.
Sex: Biological attributes that define people as either male, female, neither wholly
female nor wholly male; a combination of female and male or neither female nor male.
Sex reassignment: When a person has their body and biological sex changed to that
of the opposite sex through surgical procedures. This surger y is also referred to as
gender-affirmation surger y.
Sistergirl: A term used in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to
describe a biological male who is effeminate or who lives as a woman. Use of the term
Sistergirl may var y across different groups and communities, and other cultures will
use different terms to describe gender diversity.
Transgender (or sometimes trans or trans*): An umbrella term used to describe a
person whose gender identity or gender expression is different from that traditionally
associated with the sex assigned at birth. Not all people who identify as transgender
undergo medical procedures to change their bodies.
Transsexual: A person who identifies as the opposite gender to the sex assigned at
birth. Transsexual people often use hormones or undergo surger y so their bodies
match the gender with which they identify.
Transition/ing: Describes the process that a transgender person takes towards
affirming their true gender identity. During this time, people adopt characteristics,
including, for some people, the physical characteristics of their af firmed gender
identity. A person may or may not seek sex-reassignment surger y as par t of this
process. Transitioning occurs over time and during this time, transgender people may
require additional suppor t from family, friends or professionals. Many people consider
this process as one of ‘alignment’ or ‘af firmation’, rather than transitioning, as they are
aligning their physical presentation with their true inner sense of gender.
Transphobia: The fear and hatred of people who are gender diverse or transgender.
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