Queering a World Class Education

Working Glossary of Terms*

 

GENDER

gender: a social construct encompassing the ways bodies, expressions, identities, experiences, mannerism, dress, speech, etc. are interpreted, categorized, and policed
gender identity: one’s sense of their own gender; ex: man, woman, genderqueer, gender fabulous, etc.
gender expression: the way one presents/performs gender externally; ex: femme, butch, androgynous, feminine, masculine, etc.
sex: a social construct that genders the body and biology/anatomy of individuals
sex identity: one’s sense of their own body;  ex: male, female, intersex, etc.
assigned sex/gender at birth: a designation given at birth or during prenatal development of male or female (in the West)
pronouns: ways to refer to someone aside from name; ex: he, she, they, ze, hir, etc.
trans*: an umbrella term for transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, non-binary, trans man, trans woman, transmasculine, transfeminine, etc. identities and expressions
transgender: an umbrella term for those who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth
transexual: one who does not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth
transvestite: an outdated term used to shame people who dress in a way that conflicts with the social construction of gender that conflates gender expression, identity and assignment
cisgender: one who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth
cissexual: one who identifies with the sex they were assigned at birth
intersex: a medical construction to define bodies that don’t fit neatly into the medical categories of male or female
genderqueer: non-binary gender identity
non-binary gender: an umbrella term used to describe gender experiences, expressions, and identities that fall outside of the Western gender binary
trans women: trans* individuals who identify as women, and were not assigned female at birth
trans men: trans* individuals who identify as men, and were not assigned male at birth
transfeminine: trans* individuals who identify with femininity, and may or may not identify as (trans) women
transmasculine: trans* individuals who identify with masculinity, and may or may not identify as (trans) men.
queer: reclaimed term to describe a non cisgender identity
bigender: one who identifies with two genders
agender: one who doesn’t identify as having a gender
**two-spirit: the English umbrella term for a wide range of non-binary culturally recognized gender identities and expressions among Native American and First Nations peoples
third gender: social category recognized in cultures that have a three gender system, or one who doesn’t not identify within the Western gender binary
femme: a feminine expression of gender, or an identification with feminitity
butch: a masculine expression of gender, or an identification with masculinity
androgynous: a blending of feminine and masculine gender expression


SEXUALITY

sexual identity: used to describe one’s sexuality, sexual practices, and/or sexual preferences
sexual orientation: used to describe one’s sexual attraction toward others
sexual attraction: feeling that sexual people get that causes those people to desire sexual contact with specific others
romantic attraction: feeling that romantic people get that causes those people to desire a romantic relationship with specific others
sensual attraction: desire to do sensual (not sexual) things with certain others, especially related to tactile sensuality, such as cuddling
aesthetic attraction: attraction to others that is not connected to a desire to do anything with them , either sexually or romantically, simply an appreciation for their appearance
gay: refers to sexual and romantic desire between men
lesbian: refers to sexual and romantic desire between women
bisexual: refers to sexual and romantic desire to two sexes:
pansexual: refers to sexual and romantic desire to all sexes and genders
asexual: not experiencing sexual desire for others
aromantic: not experiencing romantic desire
queer: reclaimed term to describe a non heterosexual identity


OPPRESSION

homophobia: a system of oppression that targets gay and lesbian people, or queer folks who are perceived as gay or lesbian.
biphobia: a system of oppression that targets bisexual people, or queer people who are perceived as bisexual
heterosexism: the way in which heteronormativity oppresses queer people
transphobia: a system of oppression that targets trans* and gender binary non-conforming people
cissexism: a bias that favors cisgender and cissexual people, and views them as normal, better and correct
femmephobia: a system of oppression that targets femme identified and feminine presenting people
transmisogyny: a system of oppression that targets trans* woman, and uses transphobia and misogyny to devalue trans* women, and uphold violence against them
sexism: a system of institutionalized practices and individual actions that benefits men over women
heteronormativity: privileging of heterosexual marriage, families, and individuals, encourages the assumption that hetersexuality is the “normal” sexual orientation
homonormativity: a politic, that instead of contesting heteronormativity, expands it to encompass gay identity, and upholds the gender binary and normative relationships


**These are working definitions. These terms are constantly changing, and the best thing you can do is continue education.

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