LGBTQ+ terminology information

Richard Madeley (L) has apologised for misgendering non-binary singer Sam Smith (R) on Good Morning Britain. (Getty Images)

Richard Madeley (L) has apologised for misgendering non-binary singer Sam Smith (R) on Good Morning Britain. (Getty Photographs)

Richard Madeley has apologised for utilizing the flawed gender pronouns for singer Sam Smith on Good Morning Britain this morning. Smith is non-binary and makes use of the pronouns they/them, however Madeley used the pronoun ‘him’ greater than as soon as when discussing Smith’s controversial new music video I am Not Right here To Make Buddies.

Fortunately, co-presenter Susanna Reid stepped in to appropriate him. For Madeley, 66, it could have felt like a easy mistake however getting the terminology proper represents one thing way more: respect and acceptance.

Madeley’s mistake was on no account malicious and he instantly apologised however then made a second error when introducing non-binary panelist Shivani Dave.

Whereas Gen Z are usually extra clued up on the right terminology, the fact is it is extra essential than ever that individuals of all ages become familiar with what to say – and what to not say. Right here one author explains why the language we use is so very important and a information to the right phrases…

Learn extra: Richard Madeley apologises for using wrong pronouns for Sam Smith

Creator Daniel Harding’s story: ‘These days we may offend with out even realising it’

LGBTQ+ writer Daniel Harding

LGBTQ+ author Daniel Harding says at college he was frightened of being known as derogatory names. (Picture provided)

For many years, the LGBTQ+ group has been bruised by phrases. My queer youthful self used to worry the phrases that turned my labels. Strolling on eggshells down faculty corridors, I used to be frightened of being known as ‘homosexual’ or ‘poof’ – an indication somebody had found my secret.

On the time, they have been hateful phrases. However in all honesty, I used to be a ‘poof’ – all the time have been, all the time can be.

The LGBTQ+ group has embraced so lots of these phrases and located their very own letters, so for others to know what they imply and find out how to use them has develop into more durable to navigate.

These days, we may offend with out even realising it and infrequently do – consider me, I’ve put my very own rainbow-coloured foot in it a number of instances, and I’m the queer one.

Learn extra: Coming out as LGBTQ+: How to support someone

“While these phrases and labels can appear overwhelming at instances, it’s key to keep in mind that all of it comes all the way down to respect for each other,” says Spencer Cooper, group chief and co-host of the Queer Speak podcast. “By utilizing somebody’s appropriate identify and pronouns it permits them to participate within the dialog as their true self.”

One space the place language is fast-evolving is inside the trans group. Dr Jane Hamlin, President of the Beaumont Society, the longest established help group within the UK for trans individuals and their households, says: “Utilizing the right language prices nothing, however exhibits respect and consideration for these within the trans group. If unsure concerning the terminology you must use, simply ask.”

So, ask and also you shall obtain.

As a result of because the phrases proceed to quickly change, the significance of us all understanding the right phrases and find out how to use them is extra essential than ever. Right here’s a information to what we must always and shouldn’t say to the LGBTQ+ group, serving to everybody to know the up to date phrases.


Abro – Individuals who have a fluid sexual and/or romantic orientation that adjustments and evolves all through their lives. They could use quite a lot of totally different phrases to explain themselves over time.

Ace – Individuals who expertise an absence of sexual attraction (asexual) or solely expertise occasional sexual attraction. Ace individuals who expertise romantic attraction or occasional sexual attraction might also use quite a lot of different phrases corresponding to homosexual, bi, lesbian or straight together with the time period ‘asexual’ to explain their identification.

Ally – Typically a straight (heterosexual) or cisgender one that helps all members of the LGBTQ+ group. A precious presence for all.

Festival-goers enjoy the atmosphere in Preston Park, Brighton. (Image: Brighton Pride)

Pageant-goers at Brighton & Hove Pleasure competition, which Yahoo was headline sponsor of final 12 months. (Picture: Brighton Pleasure)

Bi – Somebody who’s sexually or romantically interested in multiple gender – they could additionally describe themselves as ‘pan’ (pan-sexual).

Butch – An LBT (lesbian, bisexual, trans) one that expresses their identification in a usually masculine approach.

Cisgender – Somebody whose gender identification matches the intercourse they have been assigned at beginning, e.g. a non-trans particular person.

Popping out – When an LGBTQ+ particular person first reveals their orientation/gender identification to another person or others, which may typically be a really emotional time.

Watch: The Day I got here out as LGBTQ+: Six individuals share their highly effective popping out tales

Femme – A LBT one that expresses themselves in a usually female approach.

Homosexual – Typically seen as a dominant time period, Homosexual (linked to the extra medical time period, ‘Gay’) is used freely to explain anybody who has a romantic/sexual orientation to somebody of the identical gender. It may be used to explain anybody, be they male, feminine, non-binary or trans, the place applicable and used respectfully.

Gender dysphoria – That is when a trans particular person feels discomfort or misery as a result of the intercourse they have been assigned at beginning and their gender identification don’t match. That is additionally the official medical prognosis for somebody who’s uncomfortable with the intercourse assigned at beginning.

Learn extra: True Love: ‘My husband became a woman and we’re still together’

Gender-fluid – A time period that displays an individual’s capacity to alter a gender expression or identification, or each.

Gender identification – How an individual refers to their very own gender, whether or not that is male, feminine, non-binary or one thing else. The gender identification after all doesn’t all the time correspond to the gender assigned to them at beginning.

Intersex – An individual who has the organic attributes of each sexes or whose attributes don’t match with societal opinions of what constitutes a person or lady. Intersex individuals can determine as a male, feminine or non-binary.

LGBTQ+ – An acronym for Lesbian, Homosexual, Bisexual, Trans, Queer – the + is to embody all different sexual orientations and gender identities.

Two men relax on a rainbow deckchair at Brighton & Hove Pride

Brighton & Hove Pleasure is each a celebration and an opportunity to lift very important funds for The Brighton Rainbow Fund. (Picture: Brighton Pleasure)

Lesbian – Lesbian is a suitable description for somebody who identifies as a lesbian, a girl who has a romantic/sexual orientation in direction of one other lady. Usually used to explain a feminine or trans particular person however can be utilized by non-binary individuals.

Non-binary – Individuals whose gender identification doesn’t fall into the class of ‘man’ or ‘lady.’ A time period used to explain gender identification when a gender doesn’t really feel appropriate as only one or the opposite: male or feminine. Typically non-binary individuals use the pronouns ‘they/them; however they could additionally use a mixture corresponding to: she/they or he/they.

Pansexual – An individual who doesn’t restrict themselves in sexual selection. They could be sexually, romantically or emotionally interested in individuals, no matter their intercourse, organic gender or gender identification.

Queer – Embraced by the LGBTQ+ group, the phrase ‘queer’ is used to explain the group in a non-specific approach. Reclaimed by a youthful technology, queer is now broadly used to positively describe anybody and everybody inside it. Beforehand (and typically nonetheless) having been used as an insult, not everyone seems to be snug with the time period, so it ought to all the time be used respectfully and by no means as a put-down.

Learn extra: The truth about lesbian dating in suburbia: ‘Where did all the gay women go?’

Trans – An umbrella time period that features anybody whose gender identification is totally different from the intercourse they have been assigned at beginning. The time period embraces all features of gender variation together with (however not restricted to) gender fluid, transgender, transsexual, non-binary, trans man or trans lady. ‘Transsexual’ is a time period most probably to be seen in authorized and medical paperwork however is usually not common with trans individuals themselves.

Watch out NOT to…

Deadname  It is a time period the place individuals check with somebody by a beginning identify regardless of that particular person having modified their identify as a part of their very own identification or transition. Referring to somebody by their beginning identify after they’ve modified their identify will be very upsetting for a trans particular person and is disrespectful.

Be dismissive  After all, watch out how you employ widespread phrases like, ‘That’s so homosexual.’ For many individuals inside the LGBTQ+ group, they are going to be snug with being ‘in’ on the joke, however when a straight particular person makes use of phrases like that it might probably have totally different connotations.

Brighton & Hove Pride festival: Rainbows have long been a symbol of togetherness for the LGBTQ+ community. (Image: Brighton Pride)

Brighton & Hove Pleasure competition: Rainbows have lengthy been an emblem of togetherness for the LGBTQ+ group. (Picture: Brighton Pleasure)

Watch out to…

Use the correct pronoun – They need to be used appropriately, respectfully and by no means be assumed. As an example, a non-binary particular person might determine as ‘they/them’. Respect somebody’s chosen pronoun.

Examine somebody’s desire  At all times ask individuals what they’re snug with being known as or known as. By no means assume or choose, primarily based on how they give the impression of being, it is all the time finest to verify. As an example, asking, “Might I verify which pronouns you’d like me to make use of?” is a straightforward step to eradicate any points and assist everybody really feel comfortable.

The phrases and find out how to use them are all the time altering, which generally is a minefield, particularly in case you’re not a part of the LGBTQ+ group, however by being cautious in your chosen language, it’s going to enable us all to develop into higher allies.

We’re all studying and proceed to take action, even me and my huge queer mouth.

Daniel Harding is the creator of Homosexual Man Speaking: All The Conversations We By no means Had (out in September).

With due to

This piece was first revealed in June 2022 and has been up to date.

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