A word about words

The power of language to shape our perceptions of other people is immense. Precise use of terms in regards to gender can have a significant impact on demystifying many of the misperceptions associated with gender. However, the vocabulary of gender continues to evolve and there is not universal agreement about the definitions of many terms. Nonetheless, here are some working definitions and examples of frequently used (and misused) terms.

Allies: People who work together for equality, especially if you’re not a member of the group facing inequality.

Asylum: The grant, by a State, of protection on its territory to persons from another State who are fleeing persecution or serious danger. Asylum encompasses a variety of elements including permission to remain on the territory of the asylum country, and humane standards of treatment.

Asylum-Seeker: An asylum-seeker is an individual who is seeking international protection. In countries with individualised procedures, an asylum-seeker is someone whose claim has not yet been finally decided on by the country in which he or she has submitted it. Not every asylum seeker will ultimately be recognised as a refugee, but every refugee is initially an asylumseeker.

Bisexual: Someone who is attracted to women and men.

Coming out: Understanding yourself, and telling other people that you are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and /or Transgender.

Direct Provision: Government accommodation for asylumseekers. This is full board with a weekly allowance of €19.10 per adult and €9.60 per child (2012 allowances).

Dublin II Regulation: Is a European Union (EU) law that determines the EU Member State responsible to examine an application for asylum seekers seeking international protection under the Geneva Convention and the EU Qualification Directive, within the European Union.

Gay: Someone who is attracted to people of the same gender.

Gender identity: An individual’s internal understanding of themselves as female, male, and/or transgender.

Gender expression: How people show their gender, through their dress, hair, voice, mannerisms, etc.

Heterosexual / Straight: Someone who is attracted to people of another gender.

Heterosexism: Assuming everyone is straight or that heterosexuality is superior to other sexual orientations.

Homo/Bii-Trans phobia: Prejudice or discrimination towards LGBT people

Homophobic bullying: Bullying based on prejudice or discrimination towards LGBT people.

International Protection: The actions by the international community on the basis of international law, aimed at protecting the fundamental rights of a specific category of persons outside their countries of origin, who lack the national protection of their own countries

Lesbian: A woman who is attracted to other women.

LGBT: Umbrella term often used in for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people.

Pride: The annual celebration of LGBT communities held around the world. In Ireland, most Pride events are in the summer, and often include a parade with people dressed up in colourful costumes and lots of Rainbow flags.

Rainbow: The rainbow has represented LGBT people since 1978. It symbolises diversity and inclusion within LGBT communities and LGBT Pride. The LGBT Rainbow flag includes 6 colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

Reception Centre: A location with facilities for receiving, processing and attending to the immediate needs of refugees or asylum-seekers as they arrive in a country of asylum .

Refugee: A person who meets the eligibility criteria under the applicable refugee definition, as provided for in international or regional refugee instruments, under UNHCR’s mandate, and/or in national legislation.

Refugee Status Determination (RSD): Legal and administrative procedures undertaken by States and/or UNHCR to determine whether an individual should be recognised as a refugee in accordance with national and international law.

Sexual orientation: The attraction we feel towards people of a particular gender(s).

Subsidiary Protection: A person who does not qualify as a refugee but in respect of whom substantial grounds have been shown that the person, if returned to his or her country of origin, or country of former residence, would face a real risk of suffering serious harm.

Transgender or Trans: Someone whose gender identity differs from the one they were assigned at birth. They may identify as male or female, or maybe neither label fits them.

On Twitter

FREE legal advice meeting on Sat for LGBTQI+ people who wish to settle in the UK with their partners

We're going to "An Evening with Elif Shafak - East, West and Global Souls" @EventbriteUK

On Facebook