Gender & Sexuality Terms

Definitions provided by Zero Abuse Project

  • Gender: how an individual perceive themself; may be different than what sex they were assigned at birth
  • Sex: refers to physical markers and genetic differences (i.e. genitalia); most commonly male, female, and intersex
  • Gender identity: your innermost concept of self; how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves
  • Sexual orientation: an inherent emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attraction to other people
  • Gender expression: external appearance or manifestation of one’s gender identity; examples include clothing and hairstyles
  • Cisgender: describes a person whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth
  • Transgender: describes a person whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth
  • Gender transition: the social and/or physical process by which someone strives to more closely align their gender with the outer world


Definitions provided by Zero Abuse Project

  • Lesbian: a woman who is attracted to a woman
  • Gay: umbrella term for LGBTQIA+ identities; a man who is attracted to a man
  • Bisexual: someone who is attracted to their gender and other genders
  • Transgender: someone whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth
  • Queer: umbrella term for the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Intersex: someone who is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the traditional definitions of “female” or “male.” Reflects the true variation of sex as a spectrum.
  • Asexual: someone who lacks sexual attraction and/or an interest in sex
  • Pansexual: someone who is attracted to all genders
  • Two Spirit: an indigenous person who fulfills multiple gender roles found in their indigenous culture; may also act as an indigenous umbrella term for LGBTQIA+ identities
  • Gender non-binary/gender non-conforming: someone whose gender characteristics and/or behaviors do not align with traditional societal gender expectations
  • Gender fluid: someone whose gender changes, shifts, or fluctuates


Founded in 1973 after the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the nation’s largest family and ally organization.

PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. With over 400 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters crossing multiple generations of families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas across America, PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed. 

This vast grassroots network is cultivated, resourced, and serviced by the staff of PFLAG National, the National Board of Directors, and the all-volunteer Regional Directors Council.

Visit PFLAG Oklahoma City’s website for more information.

A safe space for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults to socialize and build #qmunity.

Contact Kris Williams at or 405.315.9901.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma (ACLU) is a nonprofit, non-partisan, privately funded organization devoted exclusively to the defense and promotion of the individual rights secured by the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions. 

The ACLU of Oklahoma is an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, a national not-for-profit, non-partisan, voluntary organization founded in 1920. Its purpose is to protect those rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Oklahoma affiliate was established in 1964 and opened its first headquarters in 1973. 

The ACLU of Oklahoma has a proud history of advocating in Oklahoma for the rights of institutionalized persons; educators; students; persons who speak out against governmental abuse; women; and minorities of religious, ethnic or racial character. 

ACLU of Oklahoma works closely with its national headquarters in New York, its national lobbying office in Washington, D.C. and 50 other affiliates across the country. It also works in coalition with many other organizations to improve the quality of life for all by preserving freedom.

Visit ACLU Oklahoma’s website for more information.

Free Mom Hugs is a group of affirming parents and allies who love the LGBTQ+ community unconditionally. We are dedicated to educating families, church, and civic leaders encouraging them to not only affirm the LGBTQ+ community but to celebrate them.

Visit Free Mom Hugs’ website for more information.

OKC Pride is a community-run organization dedicated to producing the annual #OKCPrideFest and Parade, #OKCPrideWeek, and year-round city-wide LGBTQIA+ Pride events that inspire, educate, commemorate and celebrate our city’s diverse community.

Visit OKC Pride’s website for more information.

Dads Hug Too (DHT) is a grassroots organization that envisions doing what all dads should do: emotionally supporting and teaching LGBTQ+ people the skills needed to succeed in life. The volunteers of DHT are dedicated to investing in the lives of LGBTQ+ youth and adults, and empowering them with knowledge and resources to help them gain confidence, self-sufficiency and safety.

Visit Dads Hug Too’s website for more information.

Freedom Oklahoma works to secure lived equality and legal protection for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and queer people through advocacy, public education, coalition building, and empowerment in the civic process.

Visit Freedom Oklahoma’s website for more information.

The Diversity Center of Oklahoma Inc.’s mission is to reduce barriers in the Gender Diverse & LGBTQ+ communities and their families, including disenfranchised and marginalized people of color by providing quality primary health care treatment, and behavioral health treatment, along with additional complimentary health care services.

Diversity Center of Oklahoma’s clinicians and practitioners are vested in the community, knowledgeable, empathic, and affirming of Gender Diverse & LGBTQ communities and the rainbow of cultures reflected within our community. People seeking services with the Diversity Center of Oklahoma will ­­­­­receive innovative approaches to integrated and best practices by working with qualified, culturally sensitive professionals.

Visit Diversity Center of Oklahoma’s website for more information.


The Trevor Project is an American non-profit organization founded in 1998 focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth. Through a toll-free telephone number, it operates The Trevor Lifeline, a confidential service that offers trained counselors.

Visit The Trevor Project’s website for more information.

As GLSEN was founded by a group of teachers in 1990, we knew that educators play key roles in creating affirming learning environments for LGBTQ youth. But as well as activating supportive educators, we believe in centering and uplifting student-led movements, which have powered initiatives like the Day of Silence, Ally Week, and more.

We conduct extensive and original research to inform our evidence-based solutions for K-12 education.

We author developmentally appropriate resources for educators to use throughout their school community.

We advise on, advocate for, and research comprehensive policies designed to protect LGBTQ students as well as students of marginalized identities. We’ve brought record support to the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act and fought discriminatory legislation in over 15 states. 

We coordinate a network of 43 chapters in 30 states across the nation, to ensure that we have access to schools and districts across the country to reach every student.

We empower students to affect change by supporting student-led efforts to positively impact their own schools and local communities, and have thousands of registered GSAs nationwide.

Today, after over 25 years of leading the movement, GLSEN’s national network is more than 1.5 million strong, with students, families, educators, and education advocates working to create safe schools. More than 500,000 GLSEN resources are downloaded by students and educators each year.

Every day GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. Together, we can transform our nation’s K-12 schools into the safe and affirming environment all youth deserve.  

Visit GLSEN’s website for more information.

GSA Network is a next-generation LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that empowers and trains queer, trans and allied youth leaders to advocate, organize, and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities.

Visit GSA Network’s website for more information.

The National Center for Transgender Equality advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. In the nation’s capital and throughout the country, NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice.

NCTE envisions a society in which transgender people not only survive, but thrive, with accepting families and communities, full self-determination over their identities and bodies, and freedom from disrespect, discrimination and violence. For this vision to become a reality, we must also create equity, equal opportunity, safety, health, and economic well-being for all people over their entire lifetimes.

The National Center for Transgender Equality was founded in 2003 by transgender activists who recognized the urgent need for policy change to advance transgender equality. With a committed board of directors, a volunteer staff of one, and donated office space, we set out to accomplish what no one had yet done: provide a powerful transgender advocacy presence in Washington, D.C.

Today, NCTE has grown to a staff of over 20 and works at the local, state, and federal levels to change laws, policies and society.

Visit the National Center for Transgender Equality’s website for more information.

The It Gets Better Project is a nonprofit organization with a mission to uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth around the globe. Growing up isn’t easy, especially when you are trying to affirm and assert your sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It can be a challenging and isolating process – but, the good news is, no one has to do it alone.

Visit It Gets Better Project’s website for more information.

Q Chat Space provides online discussion groups for LGBTQ+ teens ages 13 to 19. It is not a forum. It is live and chat based; there is no video or audio. Everyone is chatting during the same pre-scheduled time.

Conversations are facilitated by experienced staff who work at LGBTQ+ centers around the country. Q Chat Space facilitators are NOT mental health professionals. If you are in crisis or need help immediately, please use the resources available here.

Visit Q Chat Space’s website for more information.

GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love.

Visit GLAAD’s website for more information.

As the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans, the Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 3 million members and supporters nationwide — all committed to making HRC’s vision a reality.

HRC envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Visit the Human Rights Campaign’s website for more information.

Point Foundation empowers promising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society.

Point Foundation (Point) is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit. Point promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development, and community service training.

Visit Point Foundation’s website for more information.

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