“Cisgender people are individuals whose gender expression and/or gender identity accords with conventional expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. In broad terms, ‘cisgender’ is the opposite of ‘transgender’ (Amnesty International, 2022, p. 5).”

Gender identity

Gender identity “refers to each person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth, including the personal sense of the body (which may involve, if freely chosen, and modification of bodily appearance or function by medical, surgical or other means) (Amnesty International, 2022, p. 5).”

Gender communication

“Gender expression refers to the means by which individuals express themselves, including but not limited to their dress, make-up, speech, mannerisms (Amnesty International, 2022, p. 5).”

Gender-affirming intervention

“Gender-affirming intervention refers to a range of medical or non-medical steps that a transgender person may wish to undergo. These steps may include hormone therapy, sex or gender confirmation surgery including facial surgery, chest surgery, genital or gonad surgery, and can include sterilization. In some states, certain forms of gender-affirming medical care may be compulsory for legal gender recognition. Not all transgender people feel a need to undergo gender-affirming treatment (Amnesty International, 2022, p. 5).”

Gender-affirming surgeries

“Gender-affirming surgeries are not a requirement for gender affirmation, but some people choose to undergo one or more surgical procedures. This may include operations such as those aimed at modifying genital characteristics and/or top (chest) surgeries to accord with a person’s gender identity. In some cases, these surgeries result in irreversible sterilization as they entail the removal of reproductive organs (Amnesty International, 2022, p. 5).”

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTI)

LGBTI “is a term which encompasses the wide variety of terms currently used to address and refer to people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics… (Amnesty International, 2022, p. 5).” Terms like LGBT, LGBTI, LGBTIQ, LGBTIQ+, and LGBT+ are often used interchangeably.


“Non-binary is a term used to describe a person who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman. Non-binary people may identify as being both a man and a woman, somewhere in between, or as falling completely outside these categories. While many also identify as transgender, not all non-binary people do. Non-binary can also be used as an umbrella term encompassing identities such as agender, bigender, genderqueer, gender diverse or gender-fluid (Amnesty International, 2022, p. 5).”

Sex characteristics

“Sex characteristics refer to chromosomal, gonadal and anatomical features of a person, such as their chromosomes, hormones, reproductive organs, genitalia and secondary sex characteristics (body hair, etc) (Amnesty International, 2022, p. 6).”

Sexual orientation

“Sexual orientation refers to each person’s capacity for profound emotional, affectionate and sexual attraction to, and intimate and sexual relations with, individuals of a different gender or the same gender or more than one gender (Amnesty International, 2022, p. 6).”

Transgender or trans

“Transgender or trans people are individuals whose gender expression and/or gender identity differs from conventional expectations based on the physical sex they were assigned at birth. A transgender woman is a woman who was assigned the “male” sex at birth but identifies as a woman; a transgender man is a man who was assigned the “female” sex at birth but identifies as a man. Not all transgender individuals identify as a man or a woman – the term “transgender” includes members of third genders, as well as individuals who identify as more than one gender or no gender at all. Transgender individuals may or may not choose to undergo some, or all, possible forms of gender-affirming interventions (Amnesty International, 2022, p. 6).”


  • Amnesty International. (2022). Pandemic or not, we have the right to live.