Gender Definitions

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Biological Sex

A persons Sex is a word used to describe the genitals they have in order to biologically and physically define them.

Male is a term used to describe people who are born with male genitalia such as a penis or testicles.

Female is a term used to describe people who are born with female genitalia such as a vagina or ovaries.

Intersex (Inter*) refers to the physical or hormonal/ chromosomal attributes a person is born with; such as: oestrogen, progestogen, testosterone, reproductive anatomy or sexual anatomy. A person who is Intersex may not fit the typical physical definitions of female and male. (The term hermaphrodite has been replaced by Inter*).



Gender is how a person describes themselves; for example, this can be masculine, feminine, non-binary or none of these.

Gender Expression is how a person expresses their gender; for example, their clothing, hair, mannerisms.

Trans* is a term that may be used to describe a person whose gender does not match the sex they were assigned as at birth.

Cisgender is when a person identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth; eg: male and female.

Heteronormative is a way to describe how society assumes all men are in relationships with women and all women are in relationships with men.

Binary is the classification of sex and gender into two distinct, opposite and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine. It can be likened to computer language where the language has to be one thing or the other in order to be communicated.

Non Binary is an umbrella term for a person who does not identify as only male or only female, or who may identify as both or neither.

Cross Dresser is a person who wears clothing, accessories, jewellery, or makeup not traditionally or stereotypically associated with their assigned gender.

Questioning is the process of exploring and discovering one’s own sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Queer, historically would have been used in a derogatory way and sometimes still is. LGBT Communities have reclaimed the word and now use it to describe their own sense of self.


Orientation is way to describe how we experience romantic or physical attraction. You can find more definitions relating to orientation here (link to orientation definitions page)

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