Tamil Nadu First State Government To Publish Glossary Terms For Addressing LGBTQIA+ Community

Tamil Nadu LGBTQIA Terms
The Tamil Nadu government took the first step by releasing a glossary of terms on how to address and describe members of the LGBTQIA+ community in the media.

The move came in after Madras High Court directed the government to formulate a list of terms to address the community with respect and dignity. The glossary in English and Tamil was published in the Gazette of the Social Welfare and Women Empowerment department on August 20.

Tamil Nadu LGBTQIA Terms

Tamil Nadu LGBTQIA Terms Glossary

The glossary includes terms such as queer (paal pudhumaiyar), intersex ( idaippaal), gender non-conforming person ( paalina adaiyaalangaludan oththupogaathavar), the transgender person ( maruviya paalinam), gender non-binary person ( paalina irunilaikku appaarpattavar), and gender dysphoria ( paalina manaulaichal).

The others are gender incongruence ( paalina muranpaadu), gender fluidity ( nilaiyatra paalina adaiyaalam), cisgender ( migai paalinam), and pansexuality ( anaithu paaleerpu). The terms were also given to expressions such as coming out ( velippaduthuthal), ally ( thozhamaiyar), and gender affirmation surgery(paalina urudhipaatu aruvai sigichai).

Last year, Justice Venkatesh suggested that the government must make a glossary while hearing a plea filed by a lesbian couple, who were seeking protection against harassment from the police and their families. In a 107-page long judgment, Justice Venkatesh mentioned continuous efforts can only tackle prejudices against the LGBTQIA+ community. He also described his confrontation with the prejudices and biases regarding the LGBTQIA+ community. He reflected on how lack of knowledge affected him while making a judgment.

Additional advocate general representing State Government gave a glossary copy to Justice Venkatesh. The notified glossary has statutory backing, and it is mandatory to describe members of the LGBTQIA+ according to the gazette, PTI reported.

“It is made clear that all concerned, including the press, must take note of the notification published in the gazette on August 20 and address persons belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community by using only the notified terms wherever required,” Justice Venkatesh ordered, The Times of India reported.

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Internet welcomed Tamil Nadu government’s move-

A Moulee, a DEI strategist and publisher tweeted, “I see this as a step towards the right direction in Tamil Nadu. I am extremely greedy when it comes to my rights. Blame it on self-respect. I expect we keep moving the needle towards greater inclusion and social justice.”

A few also disregarded a few of the terms citing incorrect translations of it.


A user quoted, “Disquieting to note that dravidian elites have incorrectly translated many LGBTQIA+ related queer terms in the Tamil language which wouldn’t stand the scrutiny of Tamil scholars. Fanciful neologisms are being imposed on Tamil queers without conducting any wider consultation.”