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Firstly, we noted that some LGBTIQA+ community members from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD) struggled to express themselves using their own language within their own culture.


These struggles arise not only because there can be an aversion to discussing identity issues in their respective cultural contexts, but also because there is a lack of a fully developed lexicon which crosses all linguistic borders. An inability to express oneself can have a serious impact on an individual's sense of belonging and social participation.


Secondly, we found that translating and interpreting practitioners lacked a well-established LGBTIQA+ glossary for their language pair that they could consult when they came across the relevant topics in the course of their work.

So we set out to change all that. We started by bringing together LGBTIQA+ community members from various CALD backgrounds to discuss terminology in a safe and supportive environment with sessions facilitated by AGMC as the subject matter experts. Participants joined in from the City of Melbourne and beyond, with the goal being to work out the best way to convey the challenging terms and expressions in the languages of the community members themselves.


Then, after extensive research and consultation, we compiled a comprehensive list of LGBTIQA+ terms in English. Guided by the insights of the community members and their LOTE input, the linguists involved in this project worked to transform the original English compilation into the LGBTIQA+ multilingual glossaries now hosted on this website.

​We hope that these terminology resources will enable the voices of LGBTIQA+ community members to be heard, with their identities being authentically represented. We also envisage that these linguistic resources will assist translating and interpreting professionals to find the words more easily and expand their understanding of our multifaceted world.

This project was managed by:


RMIT University

In collaboration with:


Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council

RMIT Pride:

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In collaboration with:

Who we are & what we do

This repository is the result of an RMIT research project which was proudly sponsored by the City of Melbourne.

We started this journey for two reasons...
Rainbow Terminology - LGBTIQA+


The ability to express oneself unhindered is fundamental for an individual's mental health and wellbeing. This includes the ability to express your gender identify and sexual orientation in either English or LOTE.

Inclusive and respectful language must be embraced by translating and interpreting professionals when facilitating interlingual communication about LGBTIQA+ identities.


We aim to develop multilingual LGBTIQA+ terminology resources which can be used by members of ethnic communities to facilitate self-expression and foster respect and inclusivity.

We advocate for the use of respectful and inclusive language by translators and interpreters working with people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD)  LGBTIQA+ communities.








Meet the team

Dr Miranda  Lai

Dr Miranda



Lead Researcher and

Senior Lecturer



RMIT University

Dr Erika  Gonzalez Garcia

Dr Erika

Gonzalez Garcia


Co-researcher and

Associate Professor


RMIT University


Mx Budi



Co-researcher and Ananda Training & Consultancy Director



Ms Jacqueline Skewes

Ms Jacqueline Skewes


Co-researcher and

Certified Translator


RMIT University

Thanks to our contributors

So many wonderful people have contributed to making this glossary happen. We would particularly like to thank the great linguists who participated: Anna Kim-Lee, Candela Malizia, Elvira Quintana Rivas, Epperly Zhang, Hailey Park, Henry Lam, Jemma Ives, Liliana Evans, Nancy Sethasridumrong, Nisreen Awad, Peter Pei, Ryan Tran, Sam Berner, Sarina Phan, Sompit Watkins and Thu Bui.

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