Non-binary equality action plan

The actions we will take to improve equality and bring about real, positive and lasting change to the lives of non-binary people in Scotland

Appendix 2 – Glossary of Terms

Cisgender/Cis is a descriptor for people who do identify with the sex they were assigned at their birth.

Community Health Index (CHI) is a population register, which is used in Scotland for healthcare purposes. The CHI number uniquely identifies a person on the index.

Equality Act 2010 is legislation which prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of nine protected characteristics, including gender reassignment.

Gender expression is a person’s outward presentation of their gender identity.

Gender identity is a person’s innate sense of their own gender.

Gender reassignment is a protected characteristic in the Equality Act 2010 which relates to people who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process to reassign their sex. The Equality and Human Rights Commission states that to be protected from gender reassignment discrimination, you do not need to have undergone any medical treatment or surgery to change from your birth sex to your preferred gender.[16]

‘Intersex’, ‘Variations in Sex Characteristics’, ‘Differences in Sex Development’ are terms for people born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, sex hormones or primary sex characteristics that, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, “do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies”.[17]

LGBTQI+ is an acronym used to describe a community of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and/or other terms under the LGBTQI+ umbrella.

Mainstreaming is the process of embedding equality, inclusion and human rights considerations and practices in the course of all that we do when exercising public functions.[18]

Multiply Marginalised/Intersectionality is a term that recognises that people can experience compound discrimination, when multiple dimensions and systems of inequality interact with one another and create distinct experiences and outcomes. For example, an older gay person may face homophobia, ageism, both, or inequality that is specific to their intersecting characteristics of being both older and gay. Intersectionality aims to understand how different people’s experiences are shaped where multiple forms of oppression or disadvantage interact.[19]

Non-binary is a descriptor for people who have a gender identity that is not exclusively male or exclusively female. Other terms to describe non-binary genders are genderqueer, gender-fluid, or agender among many others. Non-binary people may express their gender in a variety of ways, including matching the sex assigned to them at birth, or completely different from it.

Pronouns are a part of everyday speech used as substitutes for nouns or noun phrases. A common use would be for referring to a person instead of their name, for example you, I, he, she, and they. Everyone uses pronouns. Sometimes transitioning includes changing pronouns.

Transitioning is a process in which people take steps to affirm the gender they identify as. This transition may involve all, some or none of the following procedures: changing names, changing pronouns, changing their appearance, changing their hairstyle, dressing differently, undertaking medical treatment, undertaking surgical procedures or obtaining legal certification of their gender. Transitioning is not always a continuous process and may have no defined start or end.

Transgender/Trans is a descriptor for people who do not fully identify with the sex assigned at their birth. The shortened adjective ‘trans’ is used for a range of identities, including trans men, trans women and non-binary people.



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