A process of social, psychological, and cultural change that stems from the balancing of two cultures while adapting to the prevailing culture of the society.
An individual with no gender identity.
Systemic discrimination and exclusion of asexual people from the assumption that everyone does and should experience sexual attraction.
Refers to an individual who does experience sexual attraction; one who is not asexual.
A romantic orientation generally characterized by feeling no romantic attraction or desire for romance.
A broad spectrum of sexual orientations generally characterized by feeling varying degrees of sexual attraction or desire for partnered sexuality.
Americans of Asian ancestry. Reported entries from the U.S. Census Bureau include people with Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and other Asian ancestors.
An inclination of temperament or outlook, especially a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgement.
Everyone is biased in some way. The best thing we can do to combat our biases is try to be kind and understand one another!
Having two genders, exhibiting cultural characteristics of masculine and feminine roles.
Someone intolerant of others' differing ideas, races, genders, religions, politics, etc.
A person who has the capacity to form attraction and/or relationships to more than one gender.
Chicano / Chicana
Chicano or Chicana is a chosen identity for many Mexican Americans in the United States. The label Chicano is sometimes used interchangeably with Mexican American, although the terms have different meanings.
A gender identity or expression that matches a person’s assigned sex at birth.
Cissexism / Genderism
Systemic discrimination and exclusion founded on the misconception that there are only two genders.
Voluntarily sharing one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity with others. This process is unique for each individual, and there is no right or wrong way to come out. The term “coming out” has also been broadened to include other pieces of potentially stigmatized personal information.
Terms also used that correlate with this action are:
- "being out," which means not concealing one's sexual orientation or gender identity, and
- "outing," a term used for making public the sexual orientation or gender identity of another who would prefer to keep this information secret.
The customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group.
The unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another – typically more dominant – people or society.
Demisexuality is a sexual orientation where people only experience sexual attraction to folks that they have close emotional connections with.
Drag queens are performance artists who often identify as men and present themselves in exaggeratedly feminine ways as part of their performance. While some drag queens live their lives as men outside of their drag personae, people of any gender can be drag queens.
Drag kings, who wear men’s clothing and perform stylized forms of masculinity, are less common, but do exist. Many drag kings are women, but people of any gender can be drag kings as well.
Doing drag does not imply any particular sexual orientation.
A social group that shares a common and distinctive culture, religion, language, or the like. Ethnicity is different from race.
Ethnocentrism means to apply one's own culture or ethnicity as a frame of reference to judge other cultures, practices, behaviors, beliefs, and people, instead of using the standards of the particular culture involved.
Historically used in the lesbian community, it is being increasingly used by other LGBTQIA people to describe gender expressions that reclaim and disrupt traditional constructs of femininity.
A sexual and romantic orientation toward people of the same gender.
A social construct used to classify individuals as men, women, or other identities. Gender is fundamentally different from the sex people are assigned at birth. Someone's gender may align (cisgender) or may not align (transgender) with the sex they were assigned at birth.
The physical and behavioral manifestations of one's gender identity.
Refers to a person whose gender identity is not fixed.
A person's internal knowledge of their own gender—for example, knowledge that they are a man, a woman, or another gender.
Gender Non-Conforming (GNC)
Exhibiting behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits that do not correspond with the traits typically associated with one's sex; having a gender expression that does not conform to gender norms.
An individual whose gender identity and/or gender expression falls outside of the dominant societal norm for their assigned sex. This identity may encompass two or more genders together or fall beyond current societal construct classifications.
The harmful belief that heterosexuality, predicated on the gender binary, is the norm or default sexual orientation.
The assumption that all people are or should be heterosexual. Heterosexism excludes the needs, concerns, and life experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people while it gives advantages to heterosexual people.
Sexual or romantic attraction to or between people of the opposite sex
An outdated term that inaccurately describes systems of oppression against sexual and romantic orientations that fall outside the bounds of heteronormativity and misclassifies them as irrational fears. This misclassification is disrespectful to people who truly experience phobias that impact their lives while also perpetuating ableism. See heterosexism for a modern definition.
Homosexual / Homosexuality
An outdated term to describe a sexual orientation in which a person feels physically and emotionally attracted to people of the same gender. Historically, it was a term used to pathologize gay and lesbian people.
An umbrella term to describe a wide range of natural body variations that do not fit neatly into conventional definitions of male or female. Intersex variations may include, but are not limited to, variations in chromosome compositions, hormone concentrations, and external and internal characteristics. Many visibly intersex people are mutilated in infancy and early childhood by doctors to make the individual’s sex characteristics conform to society’s idea of what normal bodies should look like. Intersex people are relatively common, although society's denial of their existence has allowed very little room for intersex issues to be discussed publicly. Hermaphrodite is an outdated and inaccurate term that has been used to describe intersex people in the past.
"Latinx" is a gender-neutral neologism, sometimes used instead of "Latina/o." The -x suffix replaces the standard -o or -a used to gender nouns and adjectives.
While some people prefer the term "Latinx," others in this community prefer the gender-neutral "Latine." The difference between Latinx and Latine is that "Latine" sounds much more natural and is easier to pronounce for native Spanish speakers.
Traditionally, a woman whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is toward people of the same gender; however, some nonbinary people also identify as lesbians, often because they have some connection to womanhood and are primarily attracted to women.
An acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual that is also inclusive for various other sexual orientations and gender identities.
The practice of confronting heterosexism, sexism, genderism, allosexism, and monosexism in oneself and others out of self-interest and a concern for the well being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual people. Is founded on the understanding that dismantling heterosexism, monosexism, trans oppression/trans misogyny/cissexism and allosexism is a social justice issue.
Attributing a gender that is incorrect or does not align with someone's gender identity, whether via subconscious bias or conscious discrimination. Can occur when using pronouns, gendered language, or assigning genders to people without knowing how they identify.
Indigenous peoples of North, Central, and South America and their descendants.
Non Binary / Nonbinary / Non-Binary
A gender identity and experience that embraces a full universe of expressions and ways of being that resonate for an individual, moving beyond the male/female gender binary.
Pansexual / Omnisexual
Terms used to describe people who have romantic, sexual or affectional desire for people of all genders and sexes. Has some overlap with bisexuality and polysexuality (not to be confused with polyamory)
People of Color
Primarily used in the United States to describe any person who is not considered white, including at various points in US history, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans and others. The term emphasizes common experiences of systemic racism.
The practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all partners involved. It has been described as "consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy". People who identify as polyamorous believe in an open relationship with a conscious management of jealousy; they reject the view that sexual and relational exclusivity are necessary for deep, committed, long-term loving relationships.
Polygender / Pangender
A person who possesses multiple (typically more than three) gender identities, deliberately refuting the concept of only two genders.
Polysexuality is similar to pansexuality in definition, meaning "encompassing more than one sexuality", but not necessarily encompassing all sexualities. This is distinct from polyamory, which means more than one intimate relationship at the same time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
Linguistic tools used to refer to someone in the third person. Examples are:
In English and some other languages, pronouns have been tied to gender and are a common site of misgendering
In the context of gender, "queer" has been historically used as a slur against people whose gender, gender expression and/or sexuality do not conform to cisnormative expectations.
Some people in have reclaimed the word queer in opposition to assimilation (adapted from “Queering the Field”). For some, this reclamation is a celebration of not fitting into social norms. Not all people who identify as LGBTQIA+ use “queer” to describe themselves.
It is considered inappropriate for those who do not identify as LGBTQIA+ to use this term.
The process of exploring one’s own gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation. Some people may also use this term to name their identity within the LGBTQIA+ community.
Any one of the groups that humans are often divided into based on physical traits regarded as common among people of shared ancestry
Racism is most accurately described as prejudice plus power.
The misconception that programs for redressing racial inequality are themselves a form of racism.
This false concept is often associated with the belief that social and economic gains by people of color cause disadvantages for white people.
A man or woman who was assigned female or male, respectively, at birth. These men and women may experience gender dysphoria, and they may transition.
Trans or Transgender
An adjective used most often as an umbrella term and frequently shortened to “trans.” Identifying as transgender, or trans, means that one’s internal sense of gender is different from conventional or cultural expectations based on the sex that person was assigned at birth.
While transgender may refer to a woman who was assigned male at birth or a man who was assigned female at birth, transgender is an umbrella term that can also describe someone who identifies as a gender other than woman or man, such as nonbinary, genderqueer, genderfluid, no gender or multiple genders, or some other gender identity.
Transitioning is the process of taking steps to live as one’s true gender identity. Transitioning is different for each individual. Trans people choose to transition in the way that they feel most comfortable. The particular transition method they choose does not change the validity of their identity.
Transitioning may include socially transitioning, such as going by certain pronouns or changing their name. It may also involve making changes to physical appearance, expressed through clothing, hairstyle, or medical procedures like hormones or surgery. Transitioning can also involve changing legal documents to match one’s authentic identity.
An outdated term that incorrectly classifies oppression against non-cis persons as an irrational fear.
An umbrella term encompassing sexuality and gender in Indigenous Native American communities. Two Spirit people often serve integral and important roles in their communities, such as leaders and healers. It may refer to an embodiment of masculinity and femininity, but this is not the only significance of the term.
There are a variety of definitions and feelings about the term Two Spirit – and even different terms from culture to culture. Two Spirit is a label reserved for those who identify as Indigenous Native American. Although the term itself became more commonly used around 1990, two spirit people have existed for centuries.
Some people use the word "womxn" in place of "women" to distance themselves from the word “men” in the traditional spelling.
This is empowering for some; at the same time, the term is contested because it has a history of being used by trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) to alienate trans women.