Gay is a label used to describe people whose emotional, romantic, physical, and sexual attraction is to people of the same gender.
Gender binary (aka Genderqueer) (jen-der bye-ner-ree) is a term that describes the common assumption that there are only two genders people identify with: either male or female. The gender binary is one of the most difficult-to-change ideas in society, even though it excludes many people’s life experiences and histories.
Gender diverse (jen-der dye-ver-s) is a term that describes a person who feels that their gender identity doesn’t fit the categories associated with their assigned sex. For example, someone raised as a girl may feel as though the categories of female/feminine are restrictive or don’t apply to them. Questioning how gender stereotypes affect you is normal - and some people identify as genders other than male or female.
Gender dysphoria (jen-der diss-fore-ee-ya) is a medical term used to describe the distress or discomfort that people may feel when their biological sex and gender identity don’t match. It’s common for people feeling gender dysphoria to be uncomfortable with their body (e.g. during puberty) and the roles of their assigned gender. Some people prefer the term body dysphoria instead, because it refers specifically to their discomfort being with their body and reproductive organs.
Gender expectation (jen-der ex-pek-tay-shun) is a term that describes the expectations others have about our assigned sex at birth that affects how we are told to behave. For those whose gender identity or expression is different to their assigned sex at birth, it can be more difficult to explore their identity because of these expectations, and the misunderstanding and discrimination of others.
Gender expression (jen-der ex-pre-shun) is a term that means the way we show our gender identity to the people around us - usually with the clothing we wear, the hairstyles we adopt, the mannerisms we use, or the activities we do.
Gender history (jen-der hiss-tree) is a term that describes the personal experiences someone has with their gender identity over time, which may be different to their assigned sex at birth. It refers to all their gender experiences as a whole. While some people may choose to reveal their gender history to others, some may choose to reveal only parts of it or none at all.
Gender/Gender identity (jen-der eye-den-ti-tee) is a term that describes our own understanding and experience of gender, despite what society expects. Our gender can be understood, experienced and shown through our identity (e.g. labels, pronouns), body (e.g. appearance) and expression (e.g. how you act, how you dress).
Gender norm (jen-der norr-ms) is a term to describe a range of standards and expectations that apply to a specific gender in a particular society, culture and/or community. These can change throughout time. For example, in Australia, it is common for newborn baby girls to be dressed in pink and boys in blue. However, a long time ago it was the opposite way around.