What does it mean?

AFAB is short for “assigned female at birth”.

It is used by people who were listed as female on their birth certificate.

Sometimes other terms are used:

  • DAFAB - designated as female at birth
  • FAAB - female assigned at birth
  • CAFAB - coercively assigned female at birth

Babies who are assigned male at birth are instead described as AMAB.

Not all babies are assigned male or female at birth, with some intersex babies being left unassigned.

History focused

"AFAB" is a word that describes people using their history.

Words like this can:

  • make it visible that people in that situation are able to make changes
  • make it visible that people in that situation are allowed to make changes

However, words like this can also:

  • help create an expectation that people’s history is public and not private
  • give the impression that someone was not always their current gender

Think carefully before using this word to describe someone or a group of people - they may not wish to be described that way.

Errors and omissions

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