Please note that although these resources all come recommended by our teaching team, they may not necessarily reflect the entirety of Real Life’s position or viewpoints. As with anything, practice discernment, test all things in the light of Scripture, and process together in community.
The Secular Creed
People to Be Loved
Terms & Definitions
When dealing with sensitive topics like sexual orientation and gender identity, it can be helpful to begin by establishing what it is we are actually talking about.
SEX: One’s biological sex, which is constituted by one’s system of reproduction, chromosomes (men have a Y chromosome while women do not), genitalia, and endocrine systems (i.e. hormones) which eect secondary sex characteristics such as body hair, bone structure, and muscle density.
GENDER: Used to be used synonymously with sex. Some people still use them synonymously today, but many people typically use gender to describe one (or all) of the following: (1) Your own internal sense of self, (2) how you express yourself (clothing, mannerisms, interests, etc.), or (3) cultural expectations for what it means to be a man or a woman.
GAY AND LESBIAN: As “homosexual” began to feel clinical and pejorative, gay became the mainstream term to refer to same-sex attraction in the late 1960s and early ’70s. Gradually, as what was then called the gay liberation movement gained steam, the phrase “gay and lesbian” became more popular as a way to highlight the similar-yet-separate issues faced by women in the fight for tolerance. Gay is still sometimes used as an umbrella term, but these days, it also refers specifically to men, as in “gay men and lesbians.”
BISEXUAL: Someone who is attracted to people of their gender or other genders.
PANSEXUAL: Someone who is attracted to people of all gender identities. Or someone who is attracted to a person’s qualities regardless of their gender identity.
ASEXUAL: Or “ace.” Someone who experiences little to no sexual attraction. Not to be confused with “aromantic people,” who experience little or no romantic attraction. Asexual people do not always identify as aromantic; aromantic people do not always identify as asexual.
CISGENDER: Someone whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth.
TRANSGENDER: An umbrella term for the various ways in which some people experience incongruence between their biological sex and their gender identity. In layperson’s terms, a transgender person often feels like they’re trapped in the wrong body.
TRANSGENDERED: Not a word. Often used as one.
GENDER DYSPHORIA: A fairly new term used by psychologists to describe the level of distress that often comes with the incongruence one might experience between their biological sex and their internal sense of who they are (e.g. their gender identity).
TRANS* OR TRANS+: Two umbrella terms for non-cisgender identities.
INTERSEX: A term used to describe someone who is born with some atypical features in their sexual anatomy and/or sex chromosomes. Intersexuality does not refer to sexual orientation or gender identity.
GENDER NONCONFORMING, OR G.N.C.: One who expresses gender outside traditional norms associated with masculinity or femininity. Not all gender-nonconforming people are transgender, and some transgender people express gender in conventionally masculine or feminine ways.
NON-BINARY: Gender identities are identities other than male or female. These identities include gender-queer, gender-fluid, pangender, and gender nonconforming. These terms are used by people who don’t identify as exclusively male or female, or who reject a gender binary altogether.
M.A.A.B./F.A.A.B./U.A.A.B. Male-assigned at birth/female-assigned at birth/unassigned at birth.