Understanding the Acronym

When we refer to the acronym LGBTIQ, we are including people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender, intersex and queer.

As well as people who may not identify exclusively as LGBTIQ but may have relationships that are same-sex, bisexual, pansexual or with someone who is transgender or someone with intersex characteristics.

When we talk about LGBTIQ relationships, we are talking about relationships where at least one of the partners identifies as either lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer or a combination of these.


Someone who identifies as a female who predominantly has romantic, sexual or intimate relationships with other women.


Someone who identifies as a male who predominantly has romantic, sexual or intimate relationships with other men.


Someone who is sexually or romantically attracted to more than one gender, traditionally male and female (‘bi’ meaning two).

Transgender (Trans)

Is defined as a person who transitions from their biological sex at birth to their psychological sense of self or true gender (their brain sex). In other words a person born biologically male but psychologically identifies as another gender e.g. female. A person who is transgender may identify as trans or simply as a male or a female.


Defined as a person born with either chromosomes, hormones or sex characteristics neither wholly male nor wholly female as they are currently classified. Intersex is a biological state and as such is not self-identified. Intersex people have always existed; it is a naturally occurring variance in the human species, upwards of 7000 variations are defined as of intersex status. Research has been limited leaving a dearth of unanswered questions about the lives and health outcomes for Intersex people. Intersex people are represented across the spectrum of sexuality, sexual expression, gender identity and gender expression.


Is an umbrella term used to be inclusive of anyone whose gender and/or sexual identity does not fit within the ‘norm’ or the rest of the acronym LGBTI.

Other identities and key terminology


Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who was assigned female at birth but who has a male spirit.


Is a person whose gender identity matches the gender assigned to them at birth.


Referring to intimate (a close romantic though not necessarily sexual) relationships with partners or ex-partners including marriage, defacto partnership, boyfriend/girlfriend, lover/s and ‘friends with benefits’.


A broader term which extends the types of relationships to include parents and children, extended family (uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, mob), carer, housemates and ‘chosen family’. Many people in our communities have a ‘chosen family’ especially if they split with their family over their sexuality, gender, identity or lifestyle.


Gender diverse is an umbrella term that acknowledges the different ways that people may identify their gender as, for example, gender-fluid, non-gendered or gender-queer.


Someone whose gender identity is not fixed, can change regularly or semi-regularly.


A system of attitudes and bias which favours heterosexuality (opposite-sex desire and relationships). It can include the presumption that other people are heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the norm and therefore superior.


Someone whose gender identify is neither male nor female.


Not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity. ‘Bi’ in ‘bisexual’ traditionally means ‘two’ which can be misleading and emphasises that gender is a binary construct, therefore people who identify as pansexual highlight an attraction to a variety of genders.


Partners is inclusive of a variety of relationship types, it can include monogamous relationships, polyamorous relationships, non-monogamous relationships and is non-gendered.


Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who person was assigned male at birth but who has a female spirit.


Is an acronym used throughout this site, it stands for trans and gender diverse.

Transgender and Intersex people may identify or express their sexuality as LGBQ, heterosexual or any sexual identity. Sexuality is not the same as sexual expression i.e. how you identify your sexuality may not always align with how you express your sexuality. For example, a male who expresses himself sexually with another male but still self identifies as heterosexual for a variety of reasons such as cultural, familial, social or religious constraints.

Not all LGBTIQ people identify with the broader LGBTIQ community all the time or perhaps ever.