top of page



A socialized set of rules and expectations based on one's assigned sex at birth; an identity located on a spectrum. 


A set of biological characteristics that make up both external and chromosomal determinants. To note: There are more than two sexes, however intersex people are usually assigned male or female at birth. 


A generational and socially defined term that is of or having qualities associated with male people. In US culture at this time, it is oft associated with independence, aggressiveness and physical strength. 


A generational and socially defined term that is of or having qualities associated with female people. In US culture at this time, it is oft associated with being nurturing, kind, pious and both pious and sexual.


 sometimes abbreviated to transmasc, is an umbrella term that refers to those who were assigned female at birth, and whose gender is masculine and/or who express themselves in a masculine way. Transmasculine people feel a connection with masculinity, but do not always identify as male.

masculine of center (MOS):

A term, coined by B. Cole of the Brown Boi Project, that recognizes the breadth and depth of identity for lesbian/queer/womyn and transmen who tilt towards the masculine side of the gender scale and includes a wide range of identities such as butch, stud, aggressive/AG, dom, mocha, tomboi, trans, ftm, and others. 


A term used to describe a person born with anatomical or chromosomal variance from culturally ideal norms; different from medical and scientific data used to define male and female. 


A term used to describe people who transgress social gender norms; often used as an umbrella term to include transsexual, genderqueer, gender non-conforming or cross-dressers. People must self-identify as transgender in order for the term to be appropriately used to describe them. 

Gender Non-Conforming (GNC):

Someone whose gender is either both masculine or feminine, neither, or off the spectrum entirely. 


A term used to describe a person whose gender identity is the same as the one assigned to them at birth. "Cis" is the Latin term for "same as." The vast majority of people are cisgender, although it is unclear how many people are not since being trans is so stigmatized.  


Fear/hate/disdain for trans people or gender variance. Becomes an institutionalized oppression when trans people have to encounter transphobia in health care systems, education systems, using a public bathroom, any activity which requires identification, etc. 


A social system in which men and masculinity are considered superior to women and femininity, and men are the primary holders of power and authority. 


Prejudice or discrimination against women and girls. Becomes institutionalized oppression when sexism prevents women from having reproductive freedom, equal pay, equal representation in political offices, etc. 


A school of black feminist thought developed and coined by Kimberle' Crenshaw, stating that sexism, class oppression, racism, and other forms of oppression are all inextricably bound together. 

Healthy Masculinity:

Constructive expressions of masculinity that are not usually celebrated in society. Masculinities that not only help the individual have a more holistically functional life, but allow them to more functionally build relationships, advocate for others in community, and help make the world a better place. May exhibit empathy, emotional intelligence, comfort sharing power. 

toxic masculinity:

Masculinity that operates through some of the more patriarchal, oppressive, and negative attitudes and behaviors of traditional masculinity. May exhibit lack of empathy, refusal to take accountability for actions, resolving problems with violence. 


When permission is given for sexual activity. Consent must be obtained freely without coercion or deception; the person giving consent must be knowledgeable and informed; and the person giving consent should be able to revoke consent at any time of their choosing. ie, a person who gave consent to sex, but then became unconscious, can no longer revoke consent, therefore sexual activity must stop. 

rape culture:

A society or environment where sexual assault is pervasive, normalized or trivialized. While anyone of any gender can sexually assault someone, rape culture is a violent function of patriarchy and male power, with patriarchal attitudes about gender and sexuality.  Survivors are then blamed and silenced for sexual assault, perpetrators are protected, and behaviors ranging from inappropriate sexual remarks, to street harassment, to sexual assault are seen as a normalized part of everyday life. 

bystander intervention:

A methodology that empowers people to act in creative and non-violent ways to ideally interrupt harm before it happens, or interrupt harm in progress.

consent culture:

A society or environment that normalizes consent in everyday interactions and sexuality. A movement to end pervasive patriarchal attitudes towards personhood and sexual assault. It requires instilling new norms in our families and communities that value our own boundaries and the boundaries of others. 

*some definitions are borrowed in part or in full from BEAM, Yolo Akili, and Holiday Simmons. 

bottom of page