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Gender glossary

A list of different terms related to gender and their definitions.

Asex: Having no obvious sex or sex organs. Asexual can also refer to a person who does not experience sexual attraction.

Assigned female at birth (AFAB): People who are declared to be female at birth based on how their genitals appear, and who are generally raised in a female gender role.

Assigned male at birth (AMAB): People who are declared to be male at birth based on how their genitals appear, and who are generally raised in a male gender role.

Agender: Identifying as having no gender.

Bigender: Identifying as both male and female genders.

Biological sex: The physical characteristics - including chromosomes, hormones and anatomy - that categorize people as male, female or intersex.

Cisgender: Having a gender and gender identity that is the same as one’s assigned sex as birth; not transgender.

Gender: The roles, attributes and activities that society uses to define people. Gender is based on many factors including biology, socialization, cultural expectations and roles, and personal feelings.

Gender fluid: A gender expression or identity that is not fixed, but changes across time or circumstances. Gender fluid people may present sometimes as men, sometimes as women, or sometimes as non-binary. 

Genderqueer / gender non-conforming / gender non-binary: A gender-variant person whose gender identity does not conform to the gender binary of male or female. They may identify as neither male nor female, between or beyond genders, or some combination of genders.

Intersex: Refers to a person who is born with chromosomes, reproductive or sexual anatomy that do not fit the usual definitions of female or male.

Transgender: Having a gender that is different from a person’s assigned sex at birth; not cisgender.

Trans man: A man who was assigned female at birth.

Trans masculine: An umbrella term for people who were assigned female at birth, but who identify as trans and whose gender expression leans towards the masculine.

Trans woman: A woman who was assigned male at birth.

Trans feminine: An umrella term for people who were assigned male at birth, but who identify as trans and whose gender expresssion leans towards the feminine.

Two-Spirit: A holistic term used by some Indigenous communities to encompass sexual, gender, cultural and/or spiritual identities, including non-heterosexual and non-cisgender identities.

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