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  The power language has to shape our perceptions of other people is immense. Precise use of terms in regards to gender and sexual orientation can have a significant impact on demystifying many of the misperceptions associated with these concepts. However, the vocabulary of both continues to evolve, and there is not universal agreement about the definitions of many terms. A good best practice is to ask people what the words they use to describe themselves mean for them and how they would like you to use language when talking with or about them. 

Please note: This glossary includes terms which concern areas of sensitivity for many LGBTQ+ people. When discussing any element of this glossary with others, particularly LGBTQ+ people, use caution to prevent any harm which may arise from the discussion. Be sensitive when discussing some of these terms, as these words describe personal experiences which should not be broached lightly. No definition should be taken as legal or medical counsel. (PFLAG)


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