* (gender asterisk)   In the German language, a “gender asterisk” (*) is now sometimes inserted in order to make the language more gender inclusive. Instead of differentiating between two genders (most German words are rendered in the male form), other options are included or there are other possibilities. It is now common in the German language to use the feminine form, which is separated from the word stem by an asterisk*. This ensures that all genders are included.
all-gender toilets The idea behind “all-gender toilets” is to stop separating toilets on the basis of gender. Washrooms should be accessible to all. Individual cubicles provide a private space for each and every person regardless of whether they are sitting or standing. A well-known example of these types of unisex (all-gender) toilets are those found on trains.
allyship The word “allyship” conveys the idea of connectedness, solidarity and support. An “ally” is a person who provides support, who shows solidarity to a group and who supports this group without being a part of the group itself.
care: self-care, after-care Care and self-care is the practice of taking action to support one’s own mental health.
coming out, outing, to out yourself, to be outed “Coming out” describes the decision people make to publicly disclose or tell other people about their sexual orientation or gender identity in an open and autonomous way. (This may refer either to a small circle of trusted people or to the wider public.) Taking this step is a very individual and personal matter which may require a great deal of courage. Inter* people should decide whether, when and how they want to talk about being intersex and make it known to others. Under no circumstances should you discuss the fact that others are intersex or “out” them without their consent! This centres on a person’s right to privacy and self-determination. The term “to out” stems from the expression “to come out of the closet”.
diverse This is one of the options that can be entered under a person’s civil status. It is also possible to enter “male”, “female” or you can leave this section of your records blank.
Dritte Option (The Third Option) This is a campaign which has worked towards allowing a third gender to be recorded on personal records. In 2017, a complaint brought before the German Federal Constitutional Court by an intersex person was upheld. Since 2018, it has been possible to enter “diverse” on civil status records.
DSD (Disorders/Differences of Sex Development) “DSD” is the official term used since 2003 to describe intersex. The term Varianten der Geschlechtsentwicklung (variations of sex characteristics) is used in German-speaking countries. Use of the term DSD has been criticised by intersex activists because it classifies intersex as an anomaly from the norm in an evaluative way.
empowerment To “empower” means to grant power or authority to someone. It generally refers to self-empowerment, i.e. to find your own strength and to be able to live and act from a strong position.
endosex, endosexual This term describes people whose gender corresponds with the medical community’s and society’s conventional binary view of “male/female” gender. The word“endosex”is therefore used to describe someone who is not born intersex.
endocrinology “Endocrinology” is a subdiscipline of internal medicine that focuses on the endocrine glands and hormones, and their effects in the human body.
gender-inclusive language The idea of using “gender-inclusive language” is to ensure that each and every person is spoken to or talked about on equal terms. Language is a fundamentally important way to communicate knowledge and values. Studies show that if only the masculine form is used (the generic masculine form), people usually visualise men. In the German language, it is necessary to choose the correct term or to use the correct nominal inflections to ensure that the language is gender-neutral. For example, Studierenden (non-binary “scholars”) can be used instead of Studenten (“students” masculine plural) and Schüler*innen (non-binary “pupils”) instead of Schülern (masculine plural form). The assigning or attributing of a gender to someone or something (as seen in words such as Schülerinnen and Schüler) is known as gendering. It is not considered to be an appropriate solution because it only includes the concepts of male and female.
gender reassignment surgery “Gender reassignment surgeries” describe the types of procedures which change the inborn gender of inter* people. Unfortunately, many of these operations do not have any health benefits. They are therefore solely performed in order to ensure that the gender differences of inter* people conform to society’s rigid binary view of gender. We therefore do not use the terms “gender-assigned” or “gender-adapted” because they imply that differences in gender need to conform to this norm.  
gonads (testicles) Gamete forming cells/sperm (also known as gametes) and some gender-related hormones  are generally formed in the “gonads” (ovaries/testes/hybrid forms).
gonadectomy The surgical removal of the gonads (results in infertility).
hermaphroditism, herm The term derives from Greek mythology and is used to describe the condition of having both male and female reproductive organs. This term was formerly used to describe intersex. (Like the German word Zwitter) It is now regarded to be a negative term and is no longer used. On the other hand, some inter* people like to use the word “herm” which they consciously use to describe themselves.
inter* The word “inter*”has the same meaning as “intersex”. It was created by the inter* community.
intersex “Intersex”is the term used to define general inborn physical characteristics which do not correspond with society’s conventional binary view of gender.
karyotype The term “karyotype” is used in biological science and medicine to describe a person’s entire genetic profile. Unlike the way a person looks (“phenotype”), the karyotype cannot be seen with the naked eye and can only be determined by chromosome analysis or a similar process.
gametes “Gametes” are cells which are produced by the gonads and are necessary for reproduction (sperm and egg cells).
non-binary Does not conform to the binary gender structure. It is accepted that there are not just men and women but many other genders. People who do not feel they belong to either of the two conventional genders and who want to define themselves separately often describe themselves as “non-binary”. The term “enby” [non-binary = nb = enby] is also often used.
pathologisation, to pathologise A way of degrading forms of behaviour, feelings, bodies, lifestyles etc. and defining them as abnormal. The term comes from the fields of medicine and psychology.
peer, peer counselling A “peer” is a person who is the same age or has the same social position as other people in a group. Peers are usually part of the same group of people who have similar attitudes and who are the same age. “Peer counselling” is a form of counselling offered by people who are in the same group as the people they are counselling. For example, inter* people and relatives of intersex people can receive advice on the subject of intersex from other inter* people and their relatives. The term peer counselling does not suggest anything about the profession of the people providing the advice.
Civil status The term Personenstand (civil status) is used in Germany. This encompasses all pieces of information relating to births, marriages (civil partnerships) and deaths, and any information connected with family status and names. A number of registers are used to record a person’s civil status, e.g. birth registers, marriage registers and death registers. People are asked to state their gender when completing civil status documentation. Four options are currently offered in Germany: it is possible to enter “diverse”, “male”, “female”or to leave this section of the record blank.
phenotype In the biological sciences and medicine, the term “phenotype” is used to describe the way a person looks. This is different to a person’s genetic makeup (karyotype).
rainbow families The term “rainbow families” describes families where at least one parent is homosexual, bisexual or trans*.  The term was inspired by the rainbow flag which has become a symbol of sexual diversity.
resilience psychological strength Resilience describes the ability to overcome crises without sustaining any psychological damage. Resilience can also encompass general (positive) factors which protect a person from psychological harm, such as good social skills, perseverance, the ability to build strong relationships etc.
trans* This refers to gender identity – generic term and label used by and for people who do not (only) identify with the gender that they were assigned at birth. This includes transgender, transsexual and trans* people.
Variation instead of variant The term “variant” implies a binary gender system. In other words, the idea that there are two genders – men and women – and then there are exceptions to this rule, i.e. variants or inter* people. Conversely, the word“variation”encompasses all genders and therefore men, women and inter* people are all variations.
victimisation To force people to play the role of the victim through the use of language, by presenting them in a certain way or by other similar means. The term is derived from the Latin word victima.
gender dualism, binary gender system These terms refer to the way society conventionally divides gender into two sexes: male and female. However, in this case, gender is not being defined according to a natural, irrefutable structure, but according to the way it is classified by people on a cultural level. For example, people use physical characteristics at birth to determine whether a person is going to grow up and be described as a boy or a girl.
hybrid, hermaphrodite (German: Zwitter) An outdated but well-known expression for intersex people. These terms are now regarded as pejorative (which also applies to the term hermaphroditism) and are therefore no longer used to ascribe gender difference. Some inter* people in Germany may sometimes refer to themselves as “Zwitter”, but they are consciously using the term to describe themselves. The term “Zwitter” has been readopted by the inter* community and is considered to be a positive way to describe oneself (similar to the word “herm” for hermaphrodite).