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Notebook of Terms: Diversity and Inclusion

January 2018

African American: An American of African descent.

Ally: Often used to describe those who stand against oppression and discrimination towards a group but does not form a part of said group.

Agender: Someone who does not identify with any particular gender.

American Indian (Native American): A person who identifies and/or has origin in any of the tribes in North America who continue to have tribal affiliation or recognition.

Asian American: An American with origins in a country in Asia.

Androgynous: Someone who appears to have both, neither or in between characteristics typically associated with belonging to males or females.

Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome: AIS is a biological intersex condition that causes a fetus with XY chromosomes to be born with female sex organs rather than male ones.

Asexual: Someone who typically does not show attraction to any other person regardless of their gender.

Bigender: Having two genders.

Bisexual: Someone who is attracted romantically and/or sexually to people of more than one gender.

Bottom Surgery: Term for the various genital surgeries a transgendered person might choose to do to align with their preferred gender.

Cisgender: Someone who identifies with the gender that was assigned at birth.

Coming Out: The process of being open with one’s identity such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.

Double Standard: Unequal expectations, rules or moral standards that allow one group to have more privileges than another.

Drag: Cross-dressing usually for the purpose of entertainment.

Ethnic Group: Social group that shares the same identity based on culture, language and sometimes religion.

Femininity: Characteristics and nature usually associated with the female sex.

Feminism: The idea that people of all genders should have equal political, economic and social rights.

Gay/Homosexual: Someone who is generally attracted to another person of their same gender.

Gender Affirming Surgery: Surgery on sex organs in order to match one’s gender identity.

Gender Binary: The idea that there are only two genders (male and female).

Gender Identity: A person’s sense of identity of being man, woman, both or neither.

Gender expression: The way a person expresses masculinity or femininity.

Gender Fluidity: When a person's gender identity may change over a period of time.

Gender Roles: Ways that a society expects one to act, speak and dress based on their assigned sex.

Hispanic: A person who has origins in a Spanish-speaking country

Heterosexual: Someone who is generally attracted to another person of the opposite gender.

Heteronormativity: The assumption that everyone is straight unless they tell you otherwise.

Heterosexism: The belief that heterosexuality is better than other sexual orientation.

Homophobia: Fear or discrimination of people who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

Hyperfemininity: An exaggeration of the stereotyped behavior associated with the female sex.

Hypermasculinity: An exaggeration of the stereotyped behavior associated with the male sex.

Intersex: When a person is born with the reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not seem to fit traditional anatomy of females or males.

Intersectionality: The way in which terms of discrimination such as racism, sexism and others combine, overlap and intersect.

Latino: A person who is native or has origins from Latin American countries.

Lesbian: A woman who is typically attracted to other women.

Lesophobia: Fear of strong women.

Masculinity: Characteristics and nature usually associated with the male sex.

Misogyny: Hatred or discrimination towards women.

Non-binary: A person who is not strictly male or female.

People of Color: People who self-identify as anything other than white.

Pansexual: Someone who is generally attracted to another regardless of their identity or gender.

Polyamory: Having a consensual relationship with more than one person at a time.

Polygamy: Having more than one spouse.

Queer: An “umbrella term” used to refer to all who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender.

Racial Identity: An individual’s sense of identity of belonging to a certain racial or ethnic group who share certain physical traits.

Racism: Bias and discrimination based on race.

Sexual Identity: A characteristic based on the sex of those one tends to be attracted whether it be emotionally, physically, romantically and/or sexually.

Sexual Orientation: Identity that describes sexual or romantic attraction towards someone.

Sexism: Bias based on sex.

Sexual Harassment: Unwanted sexual advancement from someone.

Stereotype: A certain bias towards a person or a group that is not always accurate.

Transgender: Someone whose gender identity or expression is different from their assigned sex at birth.

Transphobia: Fear of someone who is transgender.

Two-Spirit: Usually referring to Native-American culture, are those who identify with both masculine and feminine characteristics and are treated as a third gender.

Xe/Ze: Gender-neutral pronouns used to replace he, she or they.


Definitions used were gathered from the Iowa State Campus Climate Survey, the Merriam Webster online dictionary, The University of California at Davis LGBTQIA Resource Center Glossary and Planned Parenthood.

Do you have a suggestion for another term that needs to be identified? Email Voices Editor Megan Salo at megan.salo@iowastatedaily.com.

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