Diversity Terms

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A

AABCGILPQQTTTU: an acronym that stands for allied, asexual, bisexual, cross-dressing, gay, intersexed, lesbian, pansexual, queer, questioning, transgender, transsexual, two-spirited and unidentified people.

Ableism:  prejudice or discrimination including behavior, assumptions and attitude based on a person’s perceived physical or mental ability.

Acceptance: respect for someone’s identity, where the person who is being respectful also embraces the person for who they are. It is a recognition of the person as a human being into a group, such as a family or a friendship. It is a step beyond tolerance.

Ageism:  prejudice or discrimination including behavior, assumptions and attitude based on a person’s age.

Allied: a person or group of persons who accept, support and understand a person or group of persons.

Asexual: a sexual identity that refers to a person who does not experience sexual attraction. Identifying as an asexual is not the same as not wanting a romantic relationship, celibacy (the choice to not have sexual intimacy), inability to perform sexual or reproductive acts, or lacking sexual or reproductive organs and those organs’ functions.

B

Bisexual: a person who is attracted to both male identified and female identified genders.

C

Cisgender: a person who identifies with the gender assigned to them at birth.

Classism: prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s actual or perceived economic status or cultural arrangement in society.

Cross-dressing: wearing gender-specific clothing that has been culturally assigned to people who do not share the same gender as the wearer.

Cultural competency: the ability to effectively and appropriately interact with a given population.

D

Dignity: to understand and connect with the shared humanity of all people.

Discrimination: the practice of treating someone differently based on a real or perceived category rather than at an individual level.

Diversity: distinct, unlike and differing elements or qualities that comprise people.

E

Equality: the state, quality and treatment of being equal with respect to rights, opportunities or status.

Equity: to be fair, just and impartial in dealings with other people.

F

Feminism:  the theory of social, political and economic equality between sexes.

G

Gay: a person who is emotionally and/or sexually and/or romantically attracted to people of the same sex and/or gender identity. Also describes a person who identifies as homosexual, also identifies as a male, masculine or man, and whose emotional and/or sexual and/or romantic behaviors and attractions are directed toward to males, masculine persons or men.

Gender: a role constructed by society that defines assigned behavior to men and women. (The term "sex" is an individual’s biology that separates men and women.)

Gender non-conforming: behavior or the expression of one's gender that is not consistent with the person's culturally assigned gender or binary male/female or man/woman gender roles.

Global health: the fight for equitable health of populations across the globe recognizing underserved populations and the specific needs, problems and environments that requires a cooperative, global effort.

H

Health care disparities: differences in health care including access, standards, quality, delivery and cost between different groups of people in both a community and global setting.

Homophobia:  the categorical fear of, discrimination, or aversion to homosexuality or people that identify as homosexual or queer.

Homosexual: a person who expresses emotional and/or sexual and/or romantic behaviors and attractions that are directed toward people who identify with the same sex and/or gender.

I

Inclusion: the active incorporation of distinct, unlike and differing people into a group or organization.

Intersex: a term describing disorders of sexual development in which the sexual and/or reproductive anatomy do not fit biological or cultural definitions of the binary male or female sex.

J

Justice: 1) to be granted fair, just and impartial treatment 2) a type of work, typically called social justice work, that honors basic human rights and creates equal opportunities for everyone.

L

Lesbian: a person who identifies as homosexual, also identifies as female, feminine or woman, and whose emotional and/or sexual and/or romantic behaviors and attractions are directed toward females, feminine persons or women.

LGBT: an acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

M

Microaggression: an action, comment or behavior, either intentional or unintentional, that is elicited due to a person’s real or perceived category.

P

Pansexual: a person whose emotionally and/or sexually and/or romantically attractions are directed toward people of any sex or gender identity.

Prejudice: a judgment, opinion or dislike for a person or a group of people based on preconceived ideas of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or other group membership.

Privilege: a right granted as an advantage or benefit to an individual or group of people.

Q

Queer: a term to identify gender factions that are not heterosexual

Questioning: contemplating one’s sexual orientation

R

Racism: prejudice or discrimination based on race and a belief that race predicts a person’s behavior or affects their capacity to function or that one race is superior to another.

Respect: to be understanding, engaged and open in dealings with other people.

S

Safe space: a place where a person feels comfortable to share their private thoughts on a variety of subjects.

Sex: an individual’s biology that separates men and women. (The term "gender" is a role constructed by society that defines assigned behavior to men and women.)

Sexual orientation vs. sexual preference- Sexual Orientation is the attraction to a person of the opposite sex, the same sex, or both sexes. Sexual Preference is an offensive term used to say that people have a choice in their sexual attractions.

Sexism: prejudice or discrimination based on sex including behavior, assumptions and attitude toward a particular sex.

Systematic Racism: an imbedded system in a government, organization or business that unfairly disadvantageous members of a particular group.

T

Tolerance: respect for someone’s identity, where the person who is being respectful does not necessarily embrace or reject said identity. It is a recognition of the existence of the identity and a general understanding that they must live with the identity and the person who identifies with it. (Acceptance is a step beyond tolerance.)

Transgender: refers to an individual who has a sexual identity which does not match their assigned sex.

Transsexual: refers to an individual who has undergone sexual reassignment surgery.

Transphobia: the categorical fear of, discrimination or aversion to people that identify as transgender, transsexual or queer.

Trust: to create a safe and open environment between people.

Two-spirited: a term used by some Native American cultures for people of various sexual and gender variations in their community.

U

Unconscious bias: an unconscious thought or perception about a particular group.

Unidentified people: a subculture of people with the same sexual preference that is not defined on a large-scale basis.

 

 

 

 

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