G&STC Glossary of Terms for Therapists | Part Two

Welcome back to 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 part one 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.

Cissexism: The idea, or behavior that reinforces cisgender people as the “norm” while marginalizing or making other genders invisible. Need more? Here are 20 common occurrences of cissexism in everyday life.

Coming Out: The process of becoming aware of, proclaiming, and/or sharing with others their sexual or gender identity.  Here are a few tips on what to do if a friend or loved one comes out to you.

Drag: Refers to the theatrical performance of gender. You can read a history of drag here.

Femme: A term used to describe gender expression or behavior that presents as traditionally feminine. What’s the difference between being femme and being feminine?

FTM: Abbreviation for “female to male,” which refers to a person assigned female at birth, transitioning to and identifying as male. Can also be referred to as “transitioning to male.”

Gay: Describes a person who is most commonly attracted to people of the same gender that they themselves identify with. Can be used by any gender, but is most often associated with men.

Gender-affirming surgery: Refers to surgeries used to modify one's body to be more congruent with one’s gender identity. Also referred to as “sex reassignment surgery” Here are answers to common questions about gender affirming surgery.

Gender Binary: The view that there are only two genders (male & female) and that these genders are static and opposite, and that all people fit into one category or the other.

Gender Dysphoria: Describes the distress felt by those whose gender identity differs from the one assigned to them at birth. Here are five things you should know about gender & body dysphoria.

Gender Expression: Refers to the external display of one’s gender, through action, style, voice, etc. Does not necessarily reflect gender assigned at birth or gender identity.

Genderfluid: Describes a person who does not identify with a fixed gender identity. May identify as a mix of genders, or fluctuate between genders. Here are five things you should know about gender fluidity.

This is part two of a five-part glossary series. You can find part one here. Be sure to keep checking back for the next installment!

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