From agender to trans*: That's what the most common LGBTQI terms mean

Every year in June, gender diversity and tolerance are celebrated with "Pride Month".

From agender to trans*: That's what the most common LGBTQI terms mean

Every year in June, gender diversity and tolerance are celebrated with "Pride Month". But the corresponding terms are as diverse as the LGBTQI community. summarizes what is meant by which sexual orientations or identities and which terms should no longer be used.


Agender means genderless. Anyone who describes themselves as an agender therefore does not feel that they belong to any gender.


Asexual people feel little or no sexual attraction to other people. But you can definitely have romantic relationships or feel the need for closeness.


Bisexuals are attracted to more than one gender. This can be romantic and/or sexual. However, it is also possible to have sex with people of opposite sexes without identifying as bisexual.


People who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth are cis. Synonymous terms are cisgender or cisgender. Cis is seen as the societal norm.


The abbreviation stands for women, lesbian, inter, non-binary, trans* people and agender. It often occurs in connection with rooms or events that are aimed exclusively at those groups of people. The idea behind it: By excluding cis men, a protective space should be created.

gender, gender identity

Gender is the social and perceived gender of a person. A person can feel male or female, but they can also locate themselves in between or outside of the binary gender system. This does not necessarily have to be reflected in the external appearance. Gender is different from sex, i.e. the sex assigned at birth or the sex measured by physical sex characteristics. The German language does not clearly differentiate here, which is why the English terms or the word gender identity are often used. Alternatively, one can also speak of social and, on the other hand, biological sex.

gender fluid

The gender identity of gender-fluid people changes, i.e. it is "fluid". There can be multiple gender identities, or none at all.


The sexual activities of heteroflexible people are primarily heterosexual. However, they occasionally deviate from their preferred gender, so they have a "small" homosexual component in their sexual behavior.


This means a world view that defines heterosexuality as the norm and sees it as "natural". The heteronormative order of our society reproduces a binary notion of gender and at the same time devalues ​​queer, non-binary and trans people.


If women are only attracted to men and men are only attracted to women, then they are said to be heterosexual. This form of sexuality is commonly seen as the norm.

homophobia, homophobia

Devaluation, discrimination and violence against homosexual people is usually referred to as homophobia. However, homophobia is better, because the reason for it is not fear, i.e. "phobia", but hatred and rejection.


Homosexual people are attracted to the same sex. Historically, the term was first understood as a psychiatric disorder, only since 1990 has the World Health Organization (WHO) no longer cataloged homosexuality as a disease. The term is rarely used by LGBTQI themselves. Instead, many people usually prefer the self-descriptions "lesbian", "gay" or the English "gay" or "bisexual".

Inter, intersex

From a medical point of view, intersex bodies have both male and female sexual characteristics. A binary attribution, i.e. man or woman, is usually not possible.


... is the abbreviation for lesbian, gay/gay, bi, trans, queer and intersexual. The acronym is often supplemented by additional letters, a plus or an asterisk. These act as placeholders for all people who do not locate themselves in the heterosexual or cisgender norm and are therefore affected by discrimination.


Misgender means addressing someone with the wrong pronoun. This is the case, for example, when a person uses the pronoun "he" but is addressed as "she". Misgendering can be very hurtful and, especially when done intentionally, is a form of discrimination.


Non-binary, non-binary or genderqueer are self-designations for a gender identity that is not found in the binary gender order, but outside it. So non-binary people are neither male nor female.


Pansexuality is understood in a way as an extension of the term bisexuality. Pansexuals are attracted to people regardless of gender, they don't preselect in this regard.


Queer has different meanings. At first "queer", similar to the German "pervers", was a swear word against LGBTQI, but was positively connoted in the context of political emancipation. In the meantime, "queer" has become a collective term for people who do not find themselves in heteronormative categories. The term is also used as a self-designation. In an academic context, "queer theory" examines societal norms of gender and sexuality.


People who are trans do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. Some also use the term transgender. Some have felt they were in the "wrong body" since childhood, while others realize over the course of their lives that they feel neither like a man nor a woman, for example. It is irrelevant whether medical measures such as hormone treatment or gender reassignment are carried out. Trans* acts here as a generic term that includes other terms such as "transident", "transgender" or "transsexual". The asterisk serves as a placeholder for the various endings. Trans* people describe themselves in a variety of ways. Some expressly describe themselves as trans* women or trans* men, others do not make any clear gender identity assignments.

transphobia, transphobia

As in the case of homophobia, transphobia is a preferable term to transphobia. Transphobia takes many forms. It can be expressed in the devaluation of gender identity, misgenders and even physical violence.


Transgender is used primarily in English-speaking countries as a generic term for all trans* people, regardless of whether they are binary or non-binary. The word refers primarily to gender.

trans identity

Trans identity emphasizes identification with one's social gender and points out that it's not just about biological gender. However, the term is controversial. Because identity sometimes suggests that you can simply choose to be trans*.


The term is criticized by many trans* people. Many associate its spread in law and medicine with heteronomy. He is also given the impression that trans* is a sexual orientation. However, there are also people who identify as transsexual.

The definitions are based on the "Rainbow Portal" of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth as well as on the publication "Understanding Diversity" of the State Office for Queer Youth Work in Hesse.

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