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


The goal of equality is to receive the same treatment, opportunities, resources, etc. Equality focuses on fairness. However, equality does not take into account that certain identities and social groups may not receive the same treatment, opportunities, and resources. Thus, although everyone receives equal treatment, some individuals may still be at a disadvantage. (Source: Florida Tech “Culturally Competent Terms”) (See: Equity)


Takes into consideration the fact that the social identifies (race, gender, socioeconomic status, etc) do, in fact, affect equality. In an equitable environment, an individual or a group would be given what was needed to give them an equal advantage. This would not necessarily be equal to what others were receiving. It could be more or different. Equity is an ideal and a goal, not a process. It ensures that everyone has the resources they need to succeed. (Source: Florida Tech “Culturally Competent Terms”) (See: Equality)