The terms and definitions below are always evolving, changing and often mean different things to different people. They are provided below as a starting point for discussion and understanding. This Glossary has been collectively built and created by the staff members of the LGBTQIA Resource Center since the early 2000s. Are we missing a word or term? Let us know!

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Glossary of Terms

White Privilege

A set of unearned and unquestioned advantages, entitlements, benefits, and choices bestowed on people simply because they are white. Generally, white people who experience such privilege do so without being conscious of it. Despite white people being unconscious of their privilege, they may still benefit from and act in ways that uphold it. Peggy McIntosh wrote about her privilege as a white woman and developed an inventory of unearned privileges that she experienced in daily life because of her whiteness. (Source: UF “Terminology” | Peggy McIntosh “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”) (See: Privilege) 

Womxn (aka: Womyn)

Some people spell this word with an “x” or a “y” as a form of empowerment to move away from the “men” in the “traditional” spelling of women. This term recognizes that in the past, the history of feminism has included racism, transphobia, and has adhered to the gender binary. This term attempts to be inclusive of trans and nonbinary people. However, there are issues with the use of this word. Using “womxn” to refer to trans women others implies that they aren’t actually women. Similarly, using “womxn” to refer to nonbinary people ignores the fact that many nonbinary people do not want to be associated with womanhood and are not impacted by women’s issues. Lastly, the word becomes a meaningless gesture without a call to action to improve the lives of womxn. Always check in with someone about their preferred language practices, as some may prefer the term womxn, while others may not. (Source: UCI “Why Womxn with a ‘X’”)