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Due to COVID-19, all programs, events, services, support & resources will be hosted virtually to encourage physical distancing and support health recommendation at UC Merced.

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As the LGBTQ+ community continues to expand, our vocabulary becomes ever more expansive. And understanding the cultural language for a community can greatly enhance your understanding and support. We have provided a handout that has included many of the common terms utilized withing the LGBTQ+ community. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list as new terms are adopted regularly. However, this list will provide at least a glimps into our cultural language.

Important Information:

Each of these definitions has been carefully researched and closely analyzed from theoretical and practical perspectives for cultural sensitivity, common usage, and general appropriateness.  We have done our best to represent the most popular uses of the lerms listed: however, there may be some variation in definitions depending on location.

Please note that each person who uses any or all of these terms does so in a unique way (especially terms that are used in the context of an identity. label). If you do not understand the context in which a person is using one of these terms, it is always appropriate to ask. This is especially recommended when using terms that we have notes that can have a derogatory connotation.

Please feel free to download and/or print this list.


Final note:

This terminology sheet was originally created by Eli R. Green and Erica Peterson of the LGBT Resource Center at the University of California, Riverside 2003-2004 and has been revised using resources from the following organizations: University of California, Riverside; MIT; University of California, Berkeley; George Washington University; California State University, San Marco; University of California, San Diego; Bowling Green State University; The Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), and Wikipedia. Updated May 2015. It was further updated by University of California, Merced in Aug 2020.