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Labels can be helpful for putting your identity into words, but you are definitely not required to pick one. It’s totally human to have questions and be unsure.

Definitions are useful for finding a general idea of what a word means, but keep in mind that words can have different meanings to different people. Also, it’s fine if you don’t see yourself reflected in any of these labels. If you’re talking to someone else and you aren’t sure you’re using the right words, you can always ask them what the word means to them.

Some definitions

The identities listed here are far from the only ones out there. With so many terms, it can be hard to find one that fits you, and that can raise a lot of questions. Feel free to reach out to us if you’re wondering about something or want to learn more. 

Cisgender (or cis)

A cisgender (or cis) person is someone whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth. For example, a cisgender man is a man who was assigned male at birth.

Trans

This is an umbrella term (a term that describes several different realities) used by people whose gender doesn’t match the sex (male/female) they were assigned at birth. For example, a transwoman is a woman who was assigned male at birth. Some trans people use hormonal treatments or surgeries, change their names, and/or come out to the people around them, but not all. It’s a personal choice!

Non-binary

This is an umbrella term (a term that describes several different realities) used by people who don’t identify exclusively as men or women. Non-binary people might identify as both masculine and feminine (to varying degrees) or as neither masculine nor feminine.

Queer

The term ‘queer’ can be used to describe someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Queer people generally don’t fit heteronormative (the idea that heterosexuality is the ‘norm’) labels or ideals, and in fact often criticize them. They want to assert who they are without putting themselves into boxes (like ‘man/woman’ or ‘heterosexual/homosexual’).