Resources2

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Welcome Packet

 
 
 
 
 
 

Go Faith - Small

Terminology
Before we can begin to have meaningful conversations about identity, we need to have a common understanding of language. Here are some basic terms used when discussing LGBTQ identity. Terminology and preferred terms change over time, so it is important that we continue to educate ourselves.

Also important: identity labels are personal and only apply if a person self-identifies as that label.

LGBTQ – A shorthand description of sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions typically included when discussing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or queer issues.

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Ally – A person who is not a member of a targeted social group who takes action or speaks up to challenge discrimination or prejudice against a targeted social group. For example, straight or cisgender allies speak and act against LGBTQ discrimination and prejudice or white allies speak and act against discrimination against people of color.

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Biological/Anatomical Sex – The physical characteristics typically used to assign a person’s gender at birth, such as chromosomes, hormones, internal and external genitalia and reproductive organs. Given the potential variation in all of these, biological sex must be seen as a spectrum or range of possibilities rather than a binary set of two options.

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Biphobia – Describes a range of negative feelings toward bisexual people as individuals or as a group. Biphobia is manifested in hostile or derisive language or actions directed bisexual people or those assumed to be bisexual.

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Bisexual – An identity for people who are sexually/erotically and emotionally attracted to some men and women.

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Cisgender – A label used to refer to someone whose gender identity is the same as the gender assigned to them at birth.

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Gay – An identity for people who are male identified and who are attracted sexually/erotically and emotionally to some other males. While it is predominantly used to refer to males, some female-identified people choose to use the term gay as well. Gay used to be used as the umbrella term for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, but now LGBTQ is the preferred term.

Gender – The complex relationship between physical traits and one’s internal sense of self as male, female, both or neither, as well as one’s outward presentations and behaviors related to that perception. Biological sex and gender are different; gender is not inherently connected to one’s physical anatomy.

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Gender Expression – Refers to the ways in which people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, haircut, voice and other forms of presentation. Gender expression also works the other way as people assign gender to others based on their appearance, mannerisms and other gendered characteristics. Many transgender people seek to make their external appearance – their gender expression – congruent with their internal gender identity through clothing, pronouns, names, and, in some cases, hormones and surgical procedures. All people have gender expression, not just transgender people.

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Gender Fluidity – Gender fluidity conveys a wider, more flexible range of gender expression, with interests and behaviors that may even change from day to day. Gender fluid individuals do not feel confined by restrictive boundaries of stereotypical expectations of girls or boys.

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Gender Identity – One’s inner concept of self as male, female, both or neither. One’s gender identity can be the same or different than the gender assigned at birth. Most people become conscious of their gender identity between the ages of 18 months and 3 years. All people have gender identity, not just transgender people.

Gender Nonconforming/Gender Variant – Refer to individuals whose behaviors and/or interests fall outside what is considered typical for their assigned gender at birth. Someone who identifies as “gender nonconforming” is not necessarily transgender. To the contrary, many people who are not transgender do not conform to gender stereotypes in their appearance, clothing, physical characteristics, interests or activities.

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Genderqueer – This term represents a blurring of the lines around gender identity and sexual orientation. Genderqueer individuals typically reject notions of static categories of gender and embrace a fluidity of gender identity and sexual orientation. This term is typically assigned an adult identifier and not used in reference to preadolescent children.

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Homophobia – Describes a range of negative feelings toward lesbian and gay people as individuals or as a group. Homophobia is manifested in hostile or derisive language or actions directed toward lesbian and gay people or those assumed to be gay or lesbian. Transphobia is sometimes confused with or lumped into homophobia.

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Lesbian – An identity for people who are female identified and who are attracted sexually/erotically and emotionally to some other females.

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Queer – An umbrella term that is sometimes used to refer to gender/sexual minorities. Because of its history as a negative description of lesbian and gay people and its association with radicalism, the use of queer is somewhat controversial.

Questioning – An adjective used to describe people, especially young people, who are in the process of defining their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Sexual Orientation – Refers to being romantically or sexually attracted to people of a specific gender, or in the case of bisexual people, any gender. Our sexual orientation and gender identity are separate, distinct parts of our overall identity. Although children may not yet be aware of their sexual orientation, they usually have a strong sense of their gender identity.

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Transition – The process by which a transgender individual lives consistently with his or her gender identity, and which may (but does not necessarily) include changing the person’s body through hormones and/or surgical procedures. Transition can occur in three ways: social transition through changes in clothing, hairstyle, name and/or pronouns; hormonal transition through the use of medicines such as hormone “blockers” or cross hormones to promote gender-based body changes; and/or surgical transition in which an individual’s body is modified through the addition or removal of gender-related physical traits.

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Transgender or Trans* – An “umbrella term” to describe anyone whose identity or behavior falls outside stereotypical gender norms. More narrowly defined, it refers to individuals whose gender identity does not match their assigned birth gender. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation (attraction to people of a specific gender). Therefore, transgender people may additionally identify as straight, gay, lesbian or bisexual.

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Transphobia – Describes a range of negative feelings toward transgender or gender nonconforming people as individuals or as a group. Transphobia is manifested in hostile or derisive language or actions directed toward transgender or gender nonconforming people.

Partner Organizations

You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.

You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success.

You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.

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Campus Pride serves LGBTQ and ally student leaders and campus organizations in the areas of leadership development, support programs and services to create safer, more inclusive LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. It exists to develop, support and give “voice and action” in building future LGBTQ and ally student leaders.