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Useful words to know

Words are funny things. They can make you feel incredibly proud, extraordinarily happy, or totally miserable. The real power of words though is feeling comfortable with them, so you can use them to express yourself in just the way you want.

Hopefully, knowing some of these words will help you feel this power.

Gay

Being gay means being physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually attracted to the person of the same sex. The word gay”was thought to have originated from the first-ever recorded gay rights action known as the Stonewall riots. The word gay is a shorter version named after a banner “Good As You” during the protest! The term is used for both men and women.

Lesbian

The term “lesbian” is used to describe a woman who is physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually attracted to other women.

Bisexual

The term “bisexual” is use for men and women who are physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually attracted to both sexes. Sexuality is a continuum, and how one places themselves on the continuum is unique to each individual.

Transgender

The term transgender is an umbrella term for gender diversity. It encompasses individuals who were born in a physical body of the opposite sex to the feelings, emotions, mental and spiritual state that they are. Some individuals use the terms MTF (male-to-female) and FTM (female-to-male) to describe this. They may go through a transition, deciding to change their physical body to match their inner beings. Gender identity should not be confused with sexual orientation, as anyone of any gender identity may identify as any sexual orientation.

Fa’afafine

A Samoan term which literally means “like a woman”. The term is uses by MTF (male-to-female) transgender women, especially in Pasifika.

Takataapui

A Maori term that translates to: “intimate friends of the same sex”. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, takataapui, fa’afafine and transgender people who are Maori uses the term with pride.

Queer

A reclaimed word that represents sexuality and gender diversity. We use it to encompass lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, fa'afafine, and takataapui identities, as well as everyone in between and not sure. This word is used by many people, but it is also appreciated that it is not the preferred term for everybody.

What we mean when we say queer

A reclaimed word that represents sexuality and gender diversity. We use it to encompass lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, fa'afafine, and takataapui identities, as well as everyone in between and not sure. This word is used by many people, but it is also appreciated that it is not the preferred term for everybody.

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