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We are imperfect people created in an imperfect world.

We still have a lot to learn!

Here at Project Reach believe it is important to offer young and old people alike an understanding of some of the basic terms that we use when addressing social justice issues and identity politics, but we can't guarantee that we understand everything perfectly. Some definitions were supplied to us by trusted colleagues of ours, and many more were pulled from easy to find web sources. They may not take everyone's experience into account. Please use your own judgement when considering what terminology you use, and remember that it is important to refer to people with the term they prefer.


Adultism has been defined as "the power adults have over children". More narrowly, "adultism is prejudice and accompanying systematic discrimination against young people."

Source: Wikipedia

According to Adam Fletcher, founder of The Freechild Project, Adultism is the addiction to the attitudes, ideas, beliefs, and actions of adults. The problem with adultism is that ignores, silences, neglects, and punishes children and youth simply because they are not adults.




Ageism, also called age discrimination is stereotyping of and discrimination against individuals or groups because of their age. It is a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify age based prejudice, discrimination, and subordination. This may be casual or systematic. The term was coined in 1968 by Robert Neil Butler to describe discrimination against seniors, and patterned on sexism and racism. Butler defined ageism as a combination of three connected elements.

Source: Wikipedia



An ally is someone who works as an advocate for an oppressed population to which he or she may or may not belong.

Source: University of Wisconson Madison Allies

Straight ally is a colloquial term that describes a heterosexual person who supports equal civil rights,gender equality, LGBTQ social movements, and challenges homophobia. A straight ally believes that LGBT people suffer discrimination and thus are socially disadvantaged. They aim to use their "privileged" position as straight people in a homophobic society to fight homophobia and heteronormativity.

Source: Wikipedia


Anti Racism

Anti-racism includes beliefs, actions, movements, and policies adopted or developed to oppose racism. In general, anti-racism is intended to promote a society in which people do not face discrimination on the basis of their race, however defined.

Source: Wikipedia



An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, one's asexuality is an intrinsic part of who they are.

Source: Asexual Visibility and Educational Network



A bisexual is someone who is attracted to more than one gender.

Source: Bisexual index


Coming Out

Coming out (of the closet) is a figure of speech for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people's disclosure of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. However, it is also used when one discloses any aspect of their identity that was previously unacknowledged.

Source: Wikipedia



Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. It involves the actual behaviors towards groups such as excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to another group. The term began to be used as an expression of derogatory racial prejudice in the 1830s from Thomas D. Rice's performances as "Jim Crow."

Source: Wikipedia


Drag King / Queen

A drag queen is a biological male who impersonates a female, and a drag king is a biological female who impersonates a male. Drag is usually done for entertainment purposes and does not necessarily reflect the persons desire to live as a male or female.

Source: Queers United


F to M

A person who was born as a biological female but identifies as a male.


Gender Queer/ Gender Non-Conforming

These terms refer to people who do not follow other people’s ideas or stereotypes about how they should look or act based on the female or male sex they were assigned at birth.

Source: Silvia Rivera Law Project

Individuals who self-identify as gender queer may consider themselves to be both male and female, androgynous, being neither male or female, or falling completely outside of the gender binary spectrum.

Source: Queers United



(or chakka in Kannada, khusra in Punjabi and kojja in Telugu) Physiological males who have feminine gender identity, women's clothing and other feminine gender roles.

Source: Wikipedia



“Intersex” is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside.

Source: Intersex Society of North America



Marginalization is the social process of becoming or being made marginal or relegated to the fringe of society. Marginalization at the individual level results in an individual's exclusion from meaningful participation in society.

Source: Wikipedia



Transgender is a general term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.




Someone who wears the clothing of the opposite sex (AKA - Crossdresser). An individual whose gender identity may or may not match their birth sex.

Source: Queers United



This is the fear of gender variant people. Many people do not understand transgender people and are disgusted, scared, or don't understand, instead of seeking to educate themselves on the topic they look to harass, tease, or physically cause harm to trans-folks.

Source: Queers United



A person who desires to live as the opposite sex. Some choose to undergo elective surgery or take hormones to have their sex match their gender identity. Pre-operative Transsexuals are those who have not undergone surgery. Post-Operative Transsexuals have undergone surgical procedures. Non-operative are transsexuals who choose not to undergo surgery. Most transsexuals who have transitioned classify as male or female but some identify as transman, or transwoman.

Source: Queers United



"Before the Europeans came to North America, "2-Spirit" reffered to an ancient teaching. Our Elders tell us of people who were gifted among all beings because they carried two spirits: that of male and female."

Source: 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations



Undocumented is short for undocumented immigrant, an immigrant who resides in a country but has no legal documentation of their residency or there.