Department of Human Services

Data Collection and Gender Guideline: Data collection and working with the LGBTIQA+ community - July 2021

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Riki Owens-Bennett (They/Them/Theirs) from Uniting Communities’ Bfriend service, who helped co-write this paper and recommended people with expertise to edit this work.

This paper was written on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people, Kaurna Yerta (Kaurna country). We respect the Kaurna people’s spiritual relationship with their country and acknowledge the Kaurna people as the custodians of the Adelaide region. We acknowledge that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.

Purpose

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Strategic Plan 2019–2022 has the goal of delivering “better services and programs that make a lasting difference for individuals, families, and communities.”

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer, and Asexual (LGBTIQA+) individuals are important members of families and communities across South Australia, and they contribute significantly to the civil, economic, and political life of the state. Despite this, LGBTIQA+ people are often ‘invisible’ members of the community.

Trans and gender diverse (TGD) people are one of the many diverse groups included in the broader LGBTIQA+ community and describe people whose gender is different to their sex presumed at birth. An example may be a person who is non-binary (Note 1) and was presumed female on their birth certificate, or a woman who was presumed male on her birth certificate. There are so many diverse ways that people experience and describe their gender, which is why the TGD term has been adopted to broadly describe this diversity.

To increase the awareness, inclusion, and visibility of TGD people, to contribute to delivering better services and programs, and to enhance the accuracy of the data we collect, we are seeking to improve the way gender is measured and recorded across the department, and by the services we fund.

Note 1: ACON (2019) defines non-binary as “Genders that sit within or outside of the spectrum of the male and female binary are non-binary. A person might identify solely as non-binary, or relate to non-binary as an umbrella term and consider themselves genderfluid, genderqueer, trans masculine, trans feminine, agender, bigender, or something else.”

Why is measuring Gender important?

Collecting demographic data, including gender data, in conjunction with other outcomes data, is important for identifying whether equitable or disparate outcomes are being achieved for South Australians. Given DHS values “fairness…for all South Australians” having this insight is critical, and can inform DHS policy, practice and funding decisions. For these insights to be accurate, data collected must accurately reflect the real world – and trans, non-binary, gender diverse and intersex people are part of this real world (Ansara, 2016).

It is important to acknowledge that data collection should always be purposeful, meaning it should only be collected if it is going to be analysed and used to inform decision making and actions. This should be a key consideration when designing data collection instruments.

Whilst adjusting how we measure and report gender may seem like a small change, it is an important one – and signals our support to TGD people in the community, and LGBTIQA+ communities more broadly.

The South Australian Strategy for the Inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer People 2014-2016 had the dual aim of:

  • enabling full and safe participation in culturally inclusive services and programs
  • increasing the awareness and education in the broader community about LGBTIQA+ issues.

In 2019, Minister Lensink hosted a LGBTIQA+ Roundtable Discussion, fulfilling a pre-election commitment to identify mechanisms for the community to engage with government and raise their concerns. 42 recommendations were made in response to the Roundtable discussion. Key issues raised at the Roundtable included:

  • improve data collection about LGBTIQA+ communities, and
  • ensure participation and representation of LGBTIQA+ communities at all levels of policy making and program implementation.

In line with this, and DHS’ recently launched Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2020–2023, this guideline seeks to provide advice about how to collect and report data on gender, and to:

  • Explain the differences between sex and gender
  • Highlight some complexities experienced by LGBTIQA+ people, and more specifically the TGD community
  • Provide recommendations on how to be a better ally. (An ally is someone who supports, encourages, and stands up for the people around them. In this context, it refers to heterosexual and/or cisgender people who actively speak up and show support for LGBTIQA+ people and communities)
  • Provide links to further resources and workplace training.

In doing so, we hope to help you continue delivering culturally safe and inclusive workplaces, services, and programs for LGBTIQA+ people.

What’s the difference between Sex and Gender?

Sex and gender are terms that are often incorrectly used interchangeably. However, it is acknowledged that for many people their sex and gender do align whilst a smaller number of the population will identify as a differing gender from the sex they were assigned or presumed at birth.

According to the Australian Government’s Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender (Attorney-General’s Department 2013: 4):

  • "Sex refers to the chromosomal, gonadal, and anatomical characteristics associated with biological sex.
  • Gender is part of a person’s personal and social identity. It refers to the way a person feels and sees themselves. A person’s gender may be expressed through outward social markers, (including their name, outward appearance, mannerisms, and dress).” (Note 2)

Sex and gender do not automatically align, and an individual’s gender identity can change over their lifetime. Furthermore, gender is increasingly understood as not being linear. A person can be presumed to be female at birth, but identify as male from a very young age, or feel more comfortable identifying as non-binary.

Note 2: May be expressed through outward social markers — but not always. That’s why expressions of masculinity and femininity should not be used as a guide to presume a person’s identity.

What do the terms Binary and Non-binary mean?

As per ACON (2020) “something that is binary consists of two things or can refer to one of a pair of things. When talking about genders, binary genders are male and female, and non-binary genders are any genders that are not just male or female or aren’t male or female at all.”

In 2019, ACON provided a more detailed definition of the term “non-binary”: “Genders that sit within or outside of the spectrum of the male and female binary are non-binary. A person might identify solely as non-binary or relate to non-binary as an umbrella term and consider themselves genderfluid, genderqueer, trans masculine, trans feminine, agender, bigender, or something else.”

Ultimately, the important thing to note is gender is a deeply personal experience. It is important for people to be able to define this for themselves and for others to honour this right.

What does the term Intersex mean?

It is important to note that intersex is not a gender identity as sex is different to, and operates separately from, gender. Intersex people may identify as male, female, non-binary or another gender. As described by Intersex Human Rights Australia (2012), intersex people are born with physical sex characteristics that do not fit existing medical norms for female or male bodies.

There are at least 40 different underlying intersex traits known to science and it is estimated that up to 1.7 per cent of the population are born with a variation of sex characteristics.

Intersex variations can become apparent at many different life stages, including prenatally through the use of genetic screening technologies, at birth and in early childhood, at puberty, and later in life — for example when trying to conceive a child.

Gender diversity and culture

While more people are identifying as non-binary or gender diverse, this is not a new concept and “First Nations cultures have always recognised and integrated much richer and diverse concepts of gender that expand far beyond the Western concepts of binary cisgender (Note 3) experiences and identities” (ACON 2020b).

Whilst the intention of this guide is to be as accessible as possible, we acknowledge that the terminology used is Anglo-centric and may differ from the language used for gender and sexuality in different cultures and communities.

People who are gender and culturally diverse may not identify with this language – openness and flexibility are key.

TGD people “have been, and continue to be, part of every First Nations population, including in Australia. [Aboriginal] people who are trans [and or gender diverse] in Australia might use the term Sistergirl or Brotherboy” (ACON 2020b). Trans and gender diverse people “are likely part of every Aboriginal community” (ACON 2020b). More information can be found Trans Hub — Health and Gender Affirmation in NSW.

Trans and gender diversity exists around the world, though those terms/concepts are not always used or identified with. In South East and Southern Asia, common terms for trans women are kathoey in Thailand, waria in Indonesia, mak nyah in Malaysia and bakla or transpinay in the Philippines, hijra in India and Bangladesh, thirunangai and aravani in India, khwaja sira in Pakistan and meti in Nepal (ACON 2017).

In Pacific countries, terms include fa’afafine in Samoa, fakaleiti or leiti in Tonga, fakafifine in Niue, akava’ine in Cook Islands and palopa in Papua New Guinea and in in our neighbouring Aotearoa, whakawahine is used by Māori trans women (ABC 2019).

Note 3: Cisgender is a term to describe people whose gender aligns with the sex they were presumed or assigned at birth (ACON 2020).

How should I collect data about Gender?

When collecting data about gender, we recommend aligning to the ABS (2020) Standard for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables (Note 4) which was developed with expert input from the Sex, Sex Characteristics, Gender and Sexual Orientation Reference Group. This reference group consisted of LGBTIQ+ Health Australia and other community-led organisations (LGBTIQ+ Health Australia 2021).

Note 4: Despite this new standard, it is important to acknowledge gender identity, sexual orientation and intersex status will not be included as items in the 2021 Census (LGBTIQ+ Health Australia 2020).

Collecting current gender identity

If you are wanting to collect current gender identity – this is how to structure the question:

How do you describe your gender?
Gender refers to current gender, which may be different to sex recorded at birth and may be different to what is indicated on legal documents.
- Man or male
- Woman or female
- Non-binary
- I use a different term (please specify)
- Prefer not to answer

Alternatively, you could use just a free-text gender question:

What is your gender?
(Gender refers to current gender, which may be different to sex recorded at birth and may be different to what is indicated on legal documents)

See: Assigning free-text responses to the appropriate data output category.

These format(s) are encouraged over options where the response is limited to male/female or male/female/other because it is inclusive of non-binary and gender diverse people and does not literally “other” them.

A two-step approach is advised if you are needing to obtain accurate counts of cisgender and transgender people.

Having accurate counts of the number of cisgender or transgender people is important if we want to understand disparities from an intersectional perspective. For example, in the report “Crossing the line: Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in Australia” findings indicated that CALD trans women were more likely to report multiple experiences of sexual harassment and assault compared to other women (i.e. non-CALD trans women, or cisgender hetero and LGQ women) (Ussher et al. 2020). Without capturing demographic data about whether the women were trans, cis, and CALD, this more nuanced perspective on the experience of violence as women would not have been gained.

It is important to acknowledge that historically data about the LGBTIQA+ community broadly (and the TGD community specifically) has been collected and used in inappropriate and harmful ways. Based on this oppressive history, many might feel a sense of distrust in regard to disclosing information about their sex and gender to you. As always, it is important to be purposeful and ethical when it comes to data collection, and to be considerate of the safety and wellbeing of those you seek to collect data about and/or from. Further, it is important to remember no one is obligated to disclose their sex recorded at birth or their gender identity to you.

Two-step approach for obtaining accurate counts of Cisgender and Transgender people

Step one:

What was your sex recorded at birth?
- Male
- Female
- Another term (please specify)

Step two:

How do you describe your gender?
Gender refers to current gender, which may be different to sex recorded at birth and may be different to what is indicated on legal documents.
- Man or male
- Woman or female
- Non-binary
- I use a different term (please specify)
- Prefer not to answer

Or

What is your gender?
(Gender refers to current gender, which may be different to sex recorded at birth and may be different to what is indicated on legal documents)

Assigning free-text responses to the appropriate data output category

If you solely use a free text box to collect gender, the table below may help you interpret responses and code them appropriately as per the ABS Output Categories described in the 2020 standards:

Data Item

Possible Response Options (This list is not exhaustive)

Man

Trans Man, Intersex Man, Male, Man

Woman

Trans Woman, Intersex Woman, Female, Woman

Non-binary

Non-binary, Agender, Gender Fluid, Trans, Bigender, Genderqueer, Gender diverse and many more…

Not stated

If “Prefer not to answer” is ticked, or the question is left blank.

Complexities experienced by LGBTIQA+ people

This is by no means exhaustive – but captures a few extra concepts to be mindful of.

Intersectionality

“Intersectionality” coined by Crenshaw (1989) and described in the State Government of Victoria’s (2020: 7) LGBTIQ Inclusive Language Guide “describes how different parts of a person’s identity or circumstances – such as age, race, culture, disability, gender, location and religion intersect and combine to shape people’s life experiences, including discrimination.

Being LGBTIQA+ is only one part of any person or community. Intersectionality recognises that the different parts of someone’s identity and circumstances cannot be disentangled or considered in isolation. Intersectionality is a way of seeing the whole person.

In the public sector, an understanding of intersectionality is key to designing and implementing effective policies, programs and services.”

Concerns around disclosure

For many TGD people, it can be a difficult process to openly identify as part of this community. This may be due to past negative experiences with family, peers or professionals, concerns for their personal safety, or internalised stigma. Many TGD people will go many years without disclosing, or may never disclose, their TGD lived experience to employers or service providers.

To try and make this process as comfortable as possible, we encourage you to:

  • Be transparent about data collection practices and what happens with personal information
  • Let clients self-report their gender – avoid making assumptions
  • Be respectful and conscious of what language you use with clients including de-gendering language where able. An example of de-gendering language would be to use a phrase such a “hey folks” rather than “hey ladies” or “hey boys” when addressing a group.

Additionally, avoid doing the following:

  • Asking if they have had surgery
  • Asking questions about genitals
  • Asking about their previous name (this is called “dead naming”)
  • Continuing to use pronouns that are not the ones they’ve indicated for themselves – this is called misgendering and is inappropriate. A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun (for example I, me, he, she, herself, you, it, that, they, each, few, many, who, whoever, whose, someone, everybody.)
  • Asking about anything else that is not relevant to the direct support you’re providing to that individual.

Of course, there may be times when clients raise topics of discussion or concerns that are connected to the support you are offering as a worker, and their gender. This is a time when discussions about bodies and medical processes might be required, but you are encouraged to do so with sensitivity.

What Trans People Want You to Know? (PDF 127KB) - TransMasc SA

How can I be a better ally?

An ally is someone who supports, encourages, and stands up for the people around them. In this context, it refers to heterosexual and/or cisgender people who actively speak up and show support for LGBTIQA+ people and communities.

What is an LGBTQIA+ ally, and how can I be a good one? – Reachout.com

Pronouns

There is a lot that you can do to support the LGBTIQA+ community. One important way to show support, particularly to TGD people, is to help normalise discussion around pronouns.

A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun (for example, I, me, he, she, herself, you, it, that, they, each, few, many, who, whoever, whose, someone, everybody).

Whilst lots of people use she/her/hers or he/him/his pronouns, some people use different pronouns – for example, they/them/theirs.

Using they / them pronouns – built by non-binary volunteers for International Pronouns Day 2020

Pronouns: A guide to correct use (PDF 45KB) – SHINE SA

The important things to remember are:

  • not to assume someone’s pronouns. Not all TGD people need or want gender affirming hormones or surgeries (for a variety of reasons, such as medical reasons, personal need or choice – or because of issues relating to access) – therefore a person’s presentation may not match the pronouns you may assume.
  • never use ‘it’ when referring to a person unless they have specified this is ok
  • consider defaulting to simply using they/them/theirs or using a person’s name when discussing someone whose pronouns you don’t know
  • if you have the opportunity, introduce yourself with your pronouns and then ask a person about the pronouns they use. For example, “Hi my name is John and I use he/they pronouns. What is your name and pronouns?” Or “Hi my name is Jess and I use she/her pronouns. What name and pronouns do you use?”
  • If you make a mistake, that’s ok. Simply acknowledge the mistake, apologise, and then continue with what you were doing. Making a big deal about it actually worsens the situation
  • Practice using gender neutral pronouns and references for example, ‘partner’ instead of boyfriend/girlfriend unless told otherwise
  • Mirror the language used by someone in regards to various parts of their life— sexuality, gender identity, relationships status.

A way to normalise discussion around pronouns is to add them:

  • to your email signature,
  • to your name tag (if you find yourself needing to write one)
  • to paperwork (by providing a self-reporting space)
  • with your name in video conferences – for example, on Zoom you can personalise your name
  • verbally, when you introduce yourself

These small but thoughtful acts can help make TGD people feel more comfortable in expressing their own pronouns.

Many thanks to those who already do this, and to organisations who have implemented this as a policy for their employees.

Want more information?

South Australian Services

SHINE SA

SHINE SA is a leading not-for-profit provider of primary care services and education for sexual and relationship wellbeing. SHINE SA conducts workforce development education for doctors, nurses/midwives, community workers and teachers/educators, and strives to enhance these services through optimising technology.

SHINE SA also provides the Gender Wellbeing Service, Gender Country Connect SA Service, and provides LGBTIQA+ inclusion training options.

Sexual & Gender Diversity – SHINE SA

Bfriend

Bfriend is a unique service that has operated in SA for 25 years. They offer support for anyone who has questions about sexuality, gender identity and intersex variations, and their loved-ones.

Their free and confidential services include peer support, community connections, workplace training and volunteering opportunities for the community. You don’t have to be part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and asexual (LGBTIQA+) community to contact Bfriend – they can offer support to parents, friends, workers, and more.

Bfriend Facebook page

Bfriend contact page

Rainbow Directory SA

The Rainbow Directory SA includes services, organisations, groups, and activities that are for, or inclusive of, LGBTIQA+ communities.

Use this resource to find referral options for your clients, or, consider registering your service!

Rainbow Directory SA

Trans Health South Australia

Trans Health South Australia provides resources for the Gender Diverse Community of SA (and their allies) and is home of the SA Practitioners List.

You can use this page to find out about the trans-specific groups that run in SA e.g. TransMascSA, TransFemmeSA, Non-binary Youth Discussion Group and Gendasa.

Trans Health South Australia

Interstate and National Services

ACON

ACON is a New-South-Wales-based health promotion organisation specialising in HIV prevention, HIV support and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) health, provides a definition of gender diverse folk.

ACON

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia

Formerly known as the National LGBTI Health Alliance, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia is the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people (LGBTI) and other sexuality, gender, and bodily diverse people and communities.

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia

Rainbow Network

Established in 1998, Rainbow Network began as an intimate peer support group of workers who would meet to discuss the shared challenges they faced when working towards meeting the needs of LGBTIQ+ young people.

Rainbow Network - Resources

Want some support?

Mental health emergencies

You can phone these services 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

SHINE SA Gender Wellbeing Service

The Gender Wellbeing Service is a free, confidential service and safe space for people who are questioning their gender identity or identify as trans or gender diverse.

This service provides psychological therapies, peer support, general information and support within the metropolitan area of Adelaide. They have a page to help you find a clinic.

The most effective way to access this service is to fill out the “Contact Form” on their website. If you have more questions, give them a call.

Phone 7099 5320
Email info@shinesa.org.au
SHINE SA – Find a clinic near you
SHINE SA – Gender Wellbeing Service

SHINE SA Gender Connect Country SA

If you live in Country SA and have questions about being or supporting those who identify as transgender, gender diverse or gender questioning, SHINE SA’s Gender Connect Country SA offers a free, confidential support service from peer workers with lived experience of gender diversity. Their Peer Support Phone service operates Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s from 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm (closed on public holidays).

Gender Connect Country SA can also provide a wellbeing check for any trans, gender diverse, or gender questioning person living in rural SA.

Phone 7099 5390
SHINE SA – Gender Connect Country SA

Bfriend

Bfriend is a unique service that has operated in SA for 25 years. They offer support for anyone who has questions about sexuality, gender identity and intersex variations, and their loved-ones.

Their free and confidential services include peer support, community connections, workplace training and volunteering opportunities for the community. You don’t have to be part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and asexual (LGBTIQA+) community to contact us – they can offer support to parents, friends, workers, and more.

Phone (08) 8202 5190
Email bfriend@unitingcommunities.org
Visit 43 Franklin Street, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia
Bfriend Facebook page
Bfriend contact page

QLife

QLife is an Australia-wide telephone and webchat peer support and referral service for LGBTIQ+ people and their loved ones. QLife is a free and anonymous service run by LGBTIQ+ peers for those wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.

Both the phone service and webchat are available from 3.00pm to midnight every day.

Phone 1800 184 527
QLife website

Employee Assistance Programs

You can seek support from your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider if that is available to you.

Want additional training?

SHINE SA

SHINE SA is a leading not-for-profit provider of primary care services and education for sexual and relationship wellbeing.

SHINE SA provides dedicated training for LGBTI inclusion, including a half day Foundations of LGBTI Inclusion and a more comprehensive HOW2 Create LGBTI Inclusive Services program.

They may also be able to provide online and in-person training tailored to your needs.

Phone 8300 5318
Email info@shinesa.org.au or courses@shinesa.org.au
SHINE SA - LGBTIQA+ Inclusion Training

Catalyst Foundation

The Catalyst Foundation is an inclusive, independent and charitable organisation seeking to improve the lives of all South Australians in the areas of Ageing, Disability, Lifestyle, Employment, Business and Learning.

They can tailor LGBTIQA+ sensitivity and awareness training to suit your service or organisations Professional Development needs from a 2hr general information session to a full 1-day or 2-day workshop.

Phone 8168 8776
SA Country callers phone 1800 636 368
Email information@catalystfoundation.com.au
Visit 149 Currie Street, Adelaide
LGBTIQA+ - Catalyst Foundation website

Bfriend

Bfriend is a unique service that has operated in SA for 25 years. They offer support for anyone who has questions about sexuality, gender identity and intersex variations, and their loved-ones.

Their free and confidential services include peer support, community connections, workplace training and volunteering opportunities for the community. You don’t have to be part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and asexual (LGBTIQA+) community to contact us – they can offer support to parents, friends, workers, and more.

Phone (08) 8202 5190
Email bfriend@unitingcommunities.org
Visit 43 Franklin Street, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia
Bfriend Facebook page
Bfriend contact page

References

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (2019) Fa'afafine, fakaleitī, fakafifine — understanding the Pacific's alternative gender expressions, ABC, accessed 12 February 2021

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) (2021) Standard for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables, ABS, accessed 12 February 2021

ACON (2017) Discussion Paper: Effective and Meaningful Inclusion of Trans and Gender Diverse People in HIV Prevention (PDF 5.3 MB) [online document], ACON, accessed 12 February 2021

ACON (2019) A Language Guide: Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion (PDF 107 KB), ACON, accessed 01 April 2021

ACON (2020a) Language, TransHub, accessed 22 October 2020

ACON (2020b) TRANS MOB,TransHub, accessed 22 October 2020

AGD (Attorney-General’s Department) (2013) Australian Government’s Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender, AGD, Australian Government.

Ansara, YG (2016) Making the count: Addressing data integrity gaps in Australian standards for collecting sex and gender information (PDF 657 KB) [online document], National LGBTI Health Alliance, accessed 12 February 2021

Crenshaw, K (1989) Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: a Black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics, University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989(1):139–167.

DHS (The Department of Human Services) (2019) DHS Strategic Plan 2019–2022,DHS, South Australian Government.

DCSI (Department for Communities and Social Inclusion) (2014) The South Australian Strategy for the Inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer People 2014–2016, Policy and Community Development Division, DCSI, South Australian Government, accessed 7 April 2020

Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA) (2012) Intersex for Allies, IHRA, accessed 28 October 2020

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (2020) 2021 Census topics confirm a lack of commitment to LGBTI Australians, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, accessed 08 April 2021

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (2021) New Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020 Standard, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, accessed 08 April 2021

State Government of Victoria (2020) LGBTIQ Inclusive Language Guide [online document], State Government of Victoria, accessed 07 April 2021

Ussher JM, Hawkey A, Perz J, Liamputtong P, Marjadi B, Schmied V, Dune T, Sekar JA, Ryan, S, Charter R, Thepsourinthone, J., Noack-Lundberg K, & Brook E. (2020). Crossing the line: Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in Australia (Research report, 14/2020). Sydney: ANROW

Glossary

This glossary is not exhaustive but provides a summary of the definitions included in this guideline.

TransMascSA has put together a “Language Guide for Learning about the Trans and Gender Diverse (TGD) Community” (PDF 162KB) which is continually updated and has been developed with community consultation.

Ally

An ally is someone who supports, encourages, and stands up for the people around them. In this context, it refers to heterosexual and/or cisgender people who actively speak up and show support for LGBTIQA+ people and communities.

Binary

Something that is binary consists of two things or can refer to one of a pair of things. When talking about genders, binary genders are male and female.

Cisgender

Cisgender is a term that describes people whose gender aligns with the sex they were presumed or assigned at birth.

Gender

Gender is part of a person’s personal and social identity. It refers to the way a person feels and sees themselves. A person’s gender may9 be expressed through outward social markers, (including their name, outward appearance, mannerisms, and dress).

Intersex

Intersex is not a gender identity, as sex is different to and operates separately from gender. Intersex people are born with physical sex characteristics that do not fit medical norms for female or male bodies.

LGBTIQA+

Stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer, and Asexual (LGBTIQA+)

Non-binary

Genders that sit within or outside of the spectrum of the male and female binary are non-binary. A person might identify solely as non-binary, or relate to non-binary as an umbrella term and consider themselves genderfluid, genderqueer, trans masculine, trans feminine, agender, bigender, or something else.

Pronoun

A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun (for example, I, me, he, she, herself, you, it, that, they, each, few, many, who, whoever, whose, someone, everybody).

Sex

Sex refers to the chromosomal, gonadal, and anatomical characteristics associated with biological sex.

Transgender

Is a term that describes people whose gender is different to their sex presumed at birth. An example may be a person who is non-binary and was presumed female on their birth certificate, or a woman who was presumed male on her birth certificate

Page last updated : 22 Jul 2021

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