The words and terms used within the LGBTQ+ society can seem daunting, but with a little bit of time they are easy to understand. We understand a lot of these terms may be new to you, and we have endeavoured to make them as simple as possible. If you need any further explanation on these terms, email us at Bella@shoutout.ie.

Quick tip: Definitions are changing all the time, and it’s difficult to get a definition 100% accurate. This is about how humans live and love so it’s complicated and there is a lot of grey area!


People who identify as cisgender (see cis below) and straight, and believe in social and legal equality for LGBTQ+ people.


This is an umbrella term used for individuals who do not experience, or experience a very low level of sexual desire and therefore do not wish to enter into sexual relationships with other people. Sometimes referred to as “Ace”, this identity can include those who are interested in having romantic relationships, and those who are not. Those who are interested in having romantic relationships may identify as homo-romantic, heteroromantic, bi-romantic, or pan-romantic.

Assigned at birth

Assigned at birth refers to the way in which your gender is recorded on your birth certificate. When a baby is born, they are assigned a gender based on the physical appearance of their genitalia. Typically, babies are either assigned female at birth (AFAB), or assigned male at birth (AMAB).

Bisexual & Pansexual

Someone attracted to more than one gender. Bisexual, linguistically, implies a recognition of binary gender, and therefore can mean an individual who is attracted to men and women, but those who identify as bisexual are not necessarily only attracted to traditional gender expression. Pansexual, with “pan” deriving from the Greek for “all”, refers to those who do not adhere to binary gender in terms of their sexual and romantic relationships.


Cisgender refers to people who are not trans; someone who had the correct gender assigned to them at birth. For example, if someone was assigned male at birth (AMAB) and they identify as a man, then they are a cisgender man, or cis man, also referred to as a “man”. If someone was assigned female at birth (AFAB) and they identify as a woman, then they are a cisgender woman, or a cis woman, also referred to as a “woman”.

Quick tip: These labels are not a judgement of a person’s value, they are just ways to describe people. Being cis is not bad, being trans is not bad, they are judgement free labels.  

Cis & Straight

This the term we use to refer to people who are cisgender (see above) and heterosexual, i.e. not part of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Coming Out     

This is the process of revealing your sexual orientation and/or gender identity to individuals in your life; often incorrectly thought to be a one-time event, this is a lifelong and sometimes daily process.


Discrimination means making a distinction in favour of, or against, a person based on the group, class, or category to which a person belongs.


This term refers to someone who is attracted to people of the same gender. It is mainly used to describe men.Gender Identity           

Gender Expression

The external manifestation of a person’s gender identity. Gender can be expressed through mannerisms, grooming, physical characteristics, social interactions and speech patterns.

Gender Identity

An individual’s internal self-perception of themselves as female, male, or non-binary.

Gender norms

Gender norms define what society considers male and female behavior, and it leads to the formation of gender roles, which are the roles males and females are often expected to take in society.


Refers to heterosexual identities being considered the norm, to the exclusion of any other sexual orientation or gender identity. One way that it is demonstrated is by the lack of representation of LGBTQ+ people and relationships in the media.

Heterosexual (Straight)           

Someone who is attracted to people of the opposite gender.

Homophobia & Transphobia  

Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian or gay. Transphobia relates to prejudice directed specifically at those who don’t adhere to gender norms and people who are trans.


Intersex is term which represents a variety of different biological traits which are not typically male or female. These are normal variations; just like hair and eye colour vary in individuals so can genitalia and/or sex organs. The most thorough existing research finds intersex people to constitute an estimated 1.7% of the population, which makes being intersex about as common as having red hair.


A woman who is attracted to other women.


When someone reveals another person’s sexual orientation or gender identity to an individual or group, often without the person’s consent or approval.


Prejudice is defined as a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.


Pride is an annual celebration of LGBTQ+ communities held around the world. In Ireland most of the large cities and towns have their own Pride Festival or else they have floats in the Dublin Pride Festival.


The rainbow has represented LGBTQ+ people since 1978. The colours reflect diversity within the LGBTQ+ community.

Sexual Orientation      

The attraction felt between people.

Quick tip: There are a lot of terms and definitions, and being a good ally is not about knowing all of these off by heart, it’s just about being open to learning and not making assumptions about people.

Transgender (Trans)   

This term is used for people whose identity, expression, behaviour, or general sense of self does not conform to what is usually associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. Gender is an internal sense of being male, female, or other.

Non Binary

Non-binary refers to those who do not identify as either male or female. It comes under the trans umbrella. People who are non-binary may use they/them pronouns e.g. “They are really nice, they live in Dublin, they are going to the shop. “