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 and/or romantically attracted to more than one gender.

Trans and Gender Diverse

These are inclusive umbrella terms that describe people whose gender is different to what was presumed for them at birth. Trans people may position ‘being trans’ as a history or experience, rather than an identity, and consider their gender identity as simply being female, male or a non-binary identity. Some trans people connect strongly with their trans experience, whereas others do not. Processes of gender affirmation may or may not be part of a trans or gender diverse person’s life. Terms such as ‘cross dresser’ and ‘transvestite’ aren’t typically used by trans and gender diverse people to describe their gender experience


Intersex people are born with physical sex characteristics that don’t fit medical and social norms for female or male bodies.

For more information visit Intersex Human Rights Australia’s website here.


The identity and term ‘queer’ can be used in different ways and by different people. For some it is a reclaimed derogatory term and a political movement that celebrates difference.

The term ‘queer’ is a politicized term and often used as a reaction against pressures to be cisgender and heterosexual, or pressure that non-heterosexuals, intersex and non-cisgender people should express themselves only in ways acceptable to the heterosexual mainstream.

For others, or in other circumstances, it is used as an umbrella term to be inclusive of anyone whose gender and/or sexual identity does not fit within the ‘norm’.

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.


This is an umbrella term for any number of gender identities that sit within, outside of, across or between the spectrum of the male and female binary. A non-binary person might identify as gender fluid, trans masculine, trans feminine, agender, bigender etc.


Someone who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to all genders, or anyone regardless of gender.


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, gender diverse 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.