- Transgender: A person whose gender identity or expression differs from their sex assigned at birth.
- Non-binary: A person who identifies as both male and female or as between or outside of these categories. Some transgender people may choose to identify as non-binary in the early stages of their transition.
- Cisgender: When a person’s gender identity matches the sex assigned at birth (or “biological sex”).
- Gender: A state of being or self-identity that encompasses both physical characteristics and social or cultural roles.
- Gender identity: A person’s internal sense of being male, female, or non-binary.
- Gender expression: How people express their gender identity. May include grooming or clothing choices, including those that are non-conforming.
- Transition: The process of changing one’s gender expression to conform with their gender identity. It may include wardrobe changes, a name change, medications, or surgery.
- Sexual orientation: A person’s physical and romantic attractions (straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, demisexual, etc.).
- Recognize that transgender people have many different ways of appearing or expressing their gender identity.
- Use the person’s current name and their preferred pronouns. If you don’t know this information, ask.
- Avoid making assumptions about a transgender person’s sexual orientation, plans for medical treatment, or other aspects of their identity or transition.
- Do not confuse gender nonconformity with being transgender. Not all people who appear androgynous or gender nonconforming identify as transgender or desire gender affirmation treatment.
- Be sensitive and respectful when talking to the transgender people in your life. If you make a mistake, such as accidentally using incorrect pronouns, politely apologize.
- Recognize your biases concerning people with gender nonconforming appearance or behavior. Seek support in dealing with negative or prejudiced feelings and reactions.
- Know how local, state, or provincial laws protect transgender people from discrimination.
- Offer support to the transgender or non-binary people in your life.