Gender and Sexual Diversity 101

Diversity can mean many things to each of us. It’s important that each definition reflect the ability to accept and celebrate each other. Diversity is all the ways we’re different from each other. It includes things like race, religion, culture, physical ability, mental ability, family make-up, socio-economic status and sexual and gender diversity.

Key Terms

When we talk about gender and sexual diversity , it’s important to understand these terms:


Categories (often seen as male or female) to which people are typically assigned at birth based on physical characteristics (e.g. genitals). Some people may be assigned intersex, when their reproductive, sexual or genetic biology doesn’t fit the traditional definitions of male or female.


A person’s emotional and/or sexual attraction to others. It can change and may or may not be the same as a person’s sexual behaviour.

Gender/ Gender Identity

A person’s internal sense of identity as female, male, both or neither, regardless of their sex.

Gender Expressions

How a person expresses their gender. This can include how they look, the clothes they wear, the name they choose, the pronoun they use (e.g., he, she, zie, zim) and their social behaviour.

Each person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are a part of who they are. When talking about these topics, it is common to see the acronym  SOGIE, which stands for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and (Gender) Expression.

The Acronym

The acronyms LGBTQ2S+, LGBTQ*, LGBTQ +, GLBT, LGBTTQ and LGBTQ2 refer to the spectrum of sexual and gender identities that are not cisgender and heterosexual. They include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two‑spirit, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual. The asterisk (*) or plus sign (+) shows there are other identities included that aren’t in the acronym. These acronyms mean the same as ‘sexual and gender minorities’ however when possible the term ‘minorities’ should be avoided. 

Stratford-Perth Pride officially uses the acronym 2SLGBTQIA+ in all communications unless otherwise required

In replace of the acronym, younger generations have adopted the term ‘queer‘ as it describes both the entire community and it can used as a specific identity. However, in the past the term queer has been used in a derogatory way and can be painful to hear from some older LGBTQ2S adults. 

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