G&STC Glossary of Terms for Therapists | Part Five

Welcome to the fifth & final installment of the G&STC Glossary of Terms for Therapists! This glossary can function as a first step for those looking to educate themselves & their practice in order to make the practice to be a safe & inclusive space for queer and trans clients. Along with our six tips for therapists to be more queer and trans-inclusive, we’ve put together this five-part glossary series for therapists & care providers. You can find parts one, two, three & four here!

**In addition to educating yourself on the actual words, it’s important to reflect on your familiarity with, relationship to and underlying judgments and assumptions of the people and communities that embody these identities, expressions, and experiences. It’s okay to have judgments - we all do. What matters is that we are aware of, question the validity of, work to unlearn and not perpetuate those judgments at our clients’ expense.

Queerphobia: Describes discrimination against or hatred of people who identify as queer.

Questioning: describes the process of exploring one's gender and sexual identity, or a person who is unsure of what label or identity fits them best.

Sexual Orientation: Describes the nature of a person’s sexual/emotional/romantic attraction to others.

Top Surgery: A colloquial term used to describe gender affirming surgery. Find trans + queer affirming health care providers here.

Transgender: Describes person who identifies as a gender or sex different than the one they were assigned at birth. Trans is an umbrella term that emcompases many gender expressions.

Transition: Refers to the process which some trans folks undergo when socially, medically or physically affirming their gender identity.  Transitioning isn’t exclusive to those who undergo medical treatment or procedures; it can also describe a more accessible changes such as changing name and pronouns or changes in physical appearance like clothing, hairstyle, mannerisms, etc. to reflect a person’s identity. (Sidenote: many trans people’s transitions look different and many do not subscribe to cisnormative ideals of beauty and gender)

Transphobia: Describes discrimination against or hatred of trans people or the trans community.

Transmisogyny: Describes transphobia directed specifically at trans women & transfemine folks. (What is transmisogyny & what can we do about it?)

Tucking: The practice of hiding the bulge of penis/testicles in clothing.

Two-Spirit: A sacred and historical identity used by First Nations communities. It describes a distinct, separate gender identity (not a queer umbrella term, as it is often misappropriated). A more thorough history of the term Two-Spirit can be found here.  

Ze/Hir/Hirs: Gender neutral pronouns (sounds like “zhee”, “here”, and “heres”)

Blog authors all hold positions at the Gender & Sexuality Therapy Center (G&STC). For more information about our therapists and services please contact us.