a word, please

Assigned female at birth (AFAB) (adj.)

No-one gets to choose the gender they are assigned at birth. AFAB is the community-preferred term for someone assigned the female gender at birth, usually based on the appearance of the external genitalia.

Assigned male at birth (AMAB) (adj.)

No-one gets to choose the gender they are assigned at birth. AMAB is the community-preferred term for someone assigned the male gender at birth, usually based on the appearance of the external genitalia.

Authentic voice (n.)

A voice that is consistent with who you are.

Binding (v.) / binder (n.)

Binding is a way for people to make their chests look flatter than they are. For some trans and non-binary people, the chest can be a source of gender dysphoria. The binder is the item of clothing worn to flatten the chest.

Bottom / lower surgery (n.)

Includes all forms of gender-affirming surgery performed on the genitals and / or reproductive system to increase gender comfort.


Cis / cisgender (adj.)

Describes someone whose assigned gender matches their gender identity, e.g. someone who was born and identifies as female is cis.

Cis-normative (adj.) / cisnormativity (n.)

Describes an assumption that cis(gender) is the norm. Cisnormativity is linked to cis privilege.

Cis privilege (n.)

The social advantage and privilege that comes with being cis, e.g. being able to go about your day without being asked what your "real name" is.


Come out (v.)

To openly disclose your gender and/or sexual orientation to someone.


Expert by Experience (n.)

Used on this website to refer to people with lived experience of being trans or non-binary.

Fertility preservation (n.)

Some parts of medical transition, including hormone therapy and bottom surgery, can have an impact on your fertility. Those considering these aspects of medical transition are informed of their options for preserving their fertility before undergoing surgery, should they wish to have children who are biologically linked to them. Fertility preservation requires storage of gametes, i.e.:


  • sperm

  • eggs

  • reproductive tissue, or

  • embryos.

Gender (n.)

Gender is a social construct and refers to socially attributed characteristics of women, men and non-binary people, such as norms, roles, behaviours and appearance. Gender is different from (biological) sex, which is determined by chromosomes, gonads, hormones and genitals. 

Gender-affirming (adj.)

Treating a person in a way that is congruent with their gender identity.

Gender binary (n.)

The classification of gender into two forms only: male and female.

Gender-diverse (adj.)

Describes someone who identifies with a gender outside the binary (male/female).

Gender dysphoria (n.)

Clinically significant feelings of unease or distress that arise from a mismatch between the sex you were assigned at birth and your experienced gender. Still used as a diagnostic term under DSM-5 (published by the APA). Since being trans or non-binary is not a mental health  condition, ICD-11 
(published by WHO) has reclassified gender dysphoria as gender incongruence. It now falls in the category of "Conditions related to sexual health".


Genderfluid (adj.)

Refers to someone whose gender identity is not fixed and who fluctuates between more than one gender.

Gender identity (n.)

The gender you identify with, e.g. (trans) woman, genderfluid, non-binary.


Gender incongruence (n.)

A diagnostic term given to someone whose gender identity does not match the gender they were assigned at birth.


Gender presentation (n.)

How you dress, speak, behave and physically present your gender identity.


Genderqueer (adj.)

Considered a political identity by some, it represents a 'queering of gender'. Genderqueer people may identify with neither, both or a combination of male and female genders.

Hormone therapy, also known as "cross-sex" or "masculinising/feminising" hormone therapy (n.)

Aims to increase gender comfort. Hormone therapy affects the way you look and feel. Not all trans and non-binary people have hormone therapy. Those wanting feminisation usually take oestrogen, those wanting masculinisation usually take testosterone. Hormones are usually taken for life.

Misgender / Misgendering (v.)

Incorrectly assuming a person's gender identity by behaving towards them or addressing them in a way that is incongruent with their experienced gender, e.g. using "fella" when greeting a (trans) woman.


Neurodivergent (adj.)

Describes someone who thinks differently to the dominant societal norm. Types of neurodivergence include:

  • Autism - highly prevalent in the gender-diverse community

  • ADHD

  • Dyslexia

  • and many more...


Non-binary (adj.)

Describes someone who feels their gender cannot be defined within the gender binary (think male/female).

Oestrogen (n.)

One of the major sex hormones. May be taken by trans women, transfeminine and non-binary people as a form of feminising hormone therapy.

Pack (v.) / Packing (n.)

Wearing padding or a phallic object in the front of your underwear or trousers to give the appearance of having a penis or bulge.

Pass (v.) / Passing (n.)

Usually used to describe trans or non-binary people who are perceived as cis.


Queer (n. / adj.)

Describes sexual orientations and gender identities different to straight and cis.

Questioning (adj.)

Describes someone who is questioning their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.

(Biological) Sex (n.)

Determined by your chromosomes, gonads, hormones, and genitals. Includes:

  • intersex - someone born with reproductive and/or sexual anatomy that doesn't fit the typical definition of male or female

  • female - someone born with female reproductive and sexual anatomy

  • male - someone born with male reproductive and sexual anatomy

Sex(ual activity) (n.)

People may or may not have sex. Not having sex and/or having a low libido is valid and OK - and there are communities of people who can't or choose not to have sex for whatever reason. Not having sex is more normal than we're led to believe. For those who do, they may masturbate and/or have vaginal, anal, oral and other kinds of sex. See these useful guides for more info. #SexWithoutShame 

Sexual orientation (n.)

Describes who you're attracted to on an emotional, romantic and/or sexual level. You may experience this attraction: all the time, sometimes or never at all - yes, asexuality is a form of sexual orientation! Go on, be an ally.

Straight (adj.)

Describes a person who is attracted exclusively or almost always to the opposite gender on the gender binary, e.g. (trans) man attracted to (trans) woman.

T / Testosterone (n.)

One of the major sex hormones. May be taken by trans men, transmasculine and non-binary people as a form of masculinising hormone therapy.

Top surgery (n.)

Includes all forms of gender-affirmative surgery performed on the chest area to increase gender comfort.

Trans (adj.)

Describes someone whose gender identity does not align (comfortably) with the gender they were assigned at birth. Sometimes used collectively to describe all forms of gender identity that are not cis.

Trans man (n.) / Transmasc(uline) (adj.)

Describes a person who was assigned female at birth and who identifies as male or affiliates more with the masculine end of the gender binary.

Trans woman (n.) / Transfem(inine) (adj.)

Describes a person who was assigned male at birth and who identifies as female or affiliates more with the feminine end of the gender binary.


Transition (n.)

The process of changing your gender presentation and / or sex characteristics to align with your gender identity. May include:

  • Social transition
    e.g. using a different name, gender and pronouns (may or may not include legal document changes), binding/tucking/packing, changing clothes and/or hairstyle.


  • Medical / surgical transition
    e.g. voice exploration, fertility preservation, hormone therapy, top and/or bottom surgery, laser hair removal, counselling.

Tuck (v.) / tucking (n.)

A way of hiding the bulge of the penis and testicles so that they are not obviously visible through clothing.

Voice exploration (n.)

Used on this site to convey the playfulness inherent in doing new things with our voices. Preferable to voice therapy, a medicalised word which implies there is something that needs to be fixed. On a related note, check out the #BanConversionTherapy campaign to find out more.

If you are in crisis, call 999 or go to A&E if you are safe to do so.
You are not alone.