Glossary

 

Homosexual means falling in love with and being attracted to someone of the same gender.

Bisexual means falling in love with and being attracted to someone regardless of gender.

Trans person is an umbrella term for the diversity of people who in different ways identify as trans. The common denominator of trans people is that their gender identity and/or gender expression doesn't match the legal gender assigned to them at birth. The term trans people includes people who want to change their body through gender affirming surgery and/or change their legal gender (for example transsexuals), people who are neither boys nor girls (for example gender queers, non-binary, intergenders), people who use clothes and other attributes that are regarded as typical for another legal gender than the one they themselves have (cross dressers, transvestites) and people who don't want to, can't or doesn't think it's important to define themselves in terms of gender. Trans has nothing to do with sexuality. As a trans person you can be homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, asexual or something else. Read more about trans at transformering.se

Queer is a generic term for identities and practises that in some way break the hetero norm or cis norm (see heteronormativity). For many "queer" means not wanting to or not being able to identify according to the norms and moulds that exist. Queer can for example mean not being heterosexual, not wanting to define your gender or having many love relationships at the same time. 

Gender is defined by how someone defines or doesn't define themselves. When you're born you receive a legal gender, in Sweden you're either a woman or a man. In most cases the legal gender is decided by how your body, or rather your outer genitalia, looks and are interpreted after birth. Because of this there's an expectation that a certain legal gender entails a certain type of genitalia. What determines your gender is how you define yourself.

Heterosexual means falling in love with and being attracted to someone of a different sex.  

Cis person means, very simplified, someone who is not a trans person. A person whose body, legal gender, gender identity and gender expression follows the norm. Cis has nothing to do with sexuality. As a cis person you can be homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, asexual or something else.

Asexual means not having a sexual desire or having a low or no interest in having sex. Asexuality isn't the same thing as not being able to fall in love with someone. Nor is asexuality the same thing as having problems with lust. If you're asexual you rather have problems with people expecting you to be interested in sex or want to have sex. As an asexual you can be for example homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual, but some people identify as only asexual.

Heteronormativity is the notion that there are only two genders and that these genders are different and complement each other. According to the hetero norm you are expected to identify with the legal gender you were assigned at birth and feel that way the rest of your life. The hetero norm also means that heterosexual relationships are seen as more natural than other types of relationships, that heterosexuality is expected and gives privileges in terms of for example legislation and validation. The expectation of people being cis people is a part of the hetero norm but it can often be relevant to look specifically at the cis norm (the expectation of being cis and the privileges cis people have), for example for work places that have come a long way when it comes to treating all young people equally regardless of sexual orientation, but where there's still work to be done when it comes to reaching out to young trans people.


The hetero norm affects people's language, thoughts and interpretations. By becoming aware of and reflecting on norms regarding gender and sexuality you can analyse yourself and your work to find ways to include and make more people visible. This is usually called norm criticism or norm awareness. Within norm critical work you also focus on norms regarding for example skin colour, ethnicity, age, ability/disability, class and religion and how these norms work together.

Read more about norm criticism in the method material Bryt! It is only avaible in Swedish.