(Non-Hawaiian definitions were adapted from Trans Student Educational Resources website.)
Section One: Sex
Sex Assigned at Birth: also referred to as “assigned sex”. The assignment and classification of people as male, female, intersex, or another sex assigned at birth often based on physical anatomy at birth and/or karyotyping.
Female: Describing a person with a common combination of hormones, chromosomes, and anatomy that are used to assign a female sex at birth.
Intersex: Describing a person with a less common combination of hormones, chromosomes, and anatomy that are used to assign sex at birth. There are many examples such as Klinefelter Syndrome, Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. Parents and medical professionals usually coercively assign intersex infants a sex and have, in the past, been medically permitted to perform surgical operations to conform the infant’s genitalia to that assignment. This practice has become increasingly controversial as intersex adults speak out against the practice. The term intersex is not interchangeable with or a synonym for transgender (although some intersex people do identify as transgender).
Male: Describing a person with a common combination of hormones, chromosomes, and anatomy that are used to assign a male sex at birth.
Section Two: Gender Identity
Gender Identity: One’s internal sense of being male, female, neither of these, both, or other gender(s). Everyone has a gender identity, including you. For transgender people, their sex assigned at birth and their gender identity are not necessarily the same.
Cisgender: Term for someone who exclusively identifies as their sex assigned at birth. The term cisgender is not indicative of gender expression, sexual orientation, hormonal makeup, physical anatomy, or how one is perceived in daily life. Male and female are two cisgender identities.
Male: A person who was assigned male at birth and identities as male
Female: A person who was assigned female at birth and identities as female
Transgender: Encompassing term of many gender identities of those who do not identify or exclusively identify with their sex assigned at birth. The term transgender is not indicative of gender expression, sexual orientation, hormonal makeup, physical anatomy, or how one is perceived in daily life.
Trans Man/Transgender Male: Trans man generally describes someone assigned female at birth who identifies as a man. This individual may or may not actively identify as trans. It is grammatically and definitionally correct to include a space between trans and man. Often it is good just to use man.
Trans Woman/Transgender Female: A person whose sex assigned at birth was male but whose gender identity is female. Trans woman generally describes someone assigned male at birth who identifies as a woman. This individual may or may not actively identify as trans. It is grammatically and definitionally correct to include a space between trans and woman. Often it is good just to use woman.
Genderqueer: An identity commonly used by people who do not identify or express their gender within the gender binary. Those who identify as genderqueer may identify as neither male nor female, may see themselves as outside of or in between the binary gender boxes, or may simply feel restricted by gender labels. Many genderqueer people are cisgender and identify with it as an aesthetic. Not everyone who identifies as genderqueer identifies as trans or nonbinary birth.
Nonbinary (also Non-Binary): Umbrella term for all genders other than female/male or woman/man, used as an adjective (e.g. Jesse is a nonbinary person). Not all nonbinary people identify as trans and not all trans people identify as nonbinary. Sometimes (and increasingly), nonbinary can be used to describe the aesthetic/presentation/expression of a cisgender or transgender person.
Genderfluid: According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a person who does not identify with a single fixed gender; of or relating to a person having or expressing a fluid or unfixed gender identity. A changing (“fluid”) gender identity and/or presentation.
Agender Identities: An umbrella term for people who commonly do not have a gender and/or have a gender that they describe as neutral. Many agender people are trans. As a new and quickly-evolving term, it is best you ask how someone defines agender for themselves.
Māhū: (Hawaiʻi) in Native Hawaiian culture this refers to an individual who may be neither male nor female but carry both male and female characteristics and either assigned male at birth with a female gender identity (māhūwahine) or assigned female at birth with a male gender identity (māhukāne). In contemporary Hawaiʻi the word is often misappropriated to inaccurately describe people who are gay. In Tahiti this refers to an individual who is male but identifies and lives as a female. Perhaps considered a third gender.
Māhūkane: (Hawaiʻi) a person who identifies as kane, mentally and/or physically similarly to the western trans man.
Māhūwahine: (Hawaiʻi) A newly coined term (2003) for a person identifies as wahine similarly to the western trans woman.