University Libraries defines diversity as the vibrant variety of human characteristics that combine to shape each one of us. These characteristics include not only the familiar categories of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, but also: age, cognitive style, disability, economic, educational and geographic background, languages spoken, marital status, political affiliation, religious beliefs and more.
Valuing diversity means recognizing that we are all shaped by numerous and varied factors, making each of us uniquely qualified to contribute to the collective goal of the libraries -- to serve the diverse information needs of our diverse user groups.
For more information about diversity initiatives at UNCG Libraries, please visit our website.
Although our University enjoys the benefits of a culture promoting equality and inclusivity, UNCG’s reputation for embracing diversity as an educational foundation was constructed over decades by student and staff advocacy. Among the more hidden stories of Civil Rights struggles at UNCG is that of the formation of a university-acknowledged student organization for LGBTQ students... (click here to read the full article)
God vs. gay? : the religious case for equality by Jay Michaelson (2011) BS680.H67 M53 2011 c.1
The myth that the Bible forbids homosexuality — the myth of “God versus Gay” — is behind some of the most divisive and painful conflicts of our day. In this book, scholar and activist Jay Michaelson argues that not only does the Bible not prohibit same-sex intimacy, the vast majority of its teachings support the full equality and dignity of gay and lesbian people, from the first flaw it finds in creation (“It is not good for a person to be alone”) to the way religious communities grow through reflection and conscience. In short, Michaelson says, religious people should support equality for gays and lesbians not despite their religion — but because of it (visit the author's website).
L- Lesbian: a common and acceptable term for a homosexual woman. The word derives from the Greek island of Lesbos, where the poetess Sappho ran a school for young women, and wrote often erotic poetry about love between women. She is considered by many lesbians to have been a lesbian, although she was married and had children.
G- Gay: homosexual. A common and acceptable term for male homosexuals, but also used when referring to both men and women. The term originated as a code word for homosexuals when queer became too well known. Previous to this usage, "gay”, or "gey" had been used since at least Victorian times to refer to sex, usually of an illicit or publicly disapproved-of variety. "Geying it up" once meant visiting a brothel.
B- Bisexual: a person who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to both men and women, though not necessarily at the same time or to the same extent. Some people prefer the terms omnisexual or pansexual instead, because "bi" means two, and there actually are more sexes than two (see intersexual for more information on this). Some people who are attracted to more than one gender may still identify as “lesbian,” “gay,” or “straight” because of their own personal definitions of these terms or feelings relating to their sexuality. On the other hand, some bisexuals consider themselves distinct from gays and lesbians but part of the larger GLBT or queer community.
T- Transgender(ed): an umbrella term for individuals who blur the lines of traditional gender expression. It sometimes refers to crossdressers and transsexuals. It also reflects recent scholarship that suggests gender to be socially constructed. Transgendered individuals recognize the social construction of their genders and thus do not fit neatly within societally-prescribed gender roles determined by biological sex.
T- Transexual: a person whose birth sex is viewed by hir as incorrect or incompatible with hir image of hirself, and who takes steps (including but not limited to physical and/or hormone therapy, and surgery) to make hir outer self match hir self-identification. Transsexuals may be heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual in the erotic orientation.
T- Two Spirited: An umbrella term for third-gender people used among Native American and Canadian First Nation Tribes. It usually implies a masculine spirit and a feminine spirit living in the same body. It is also used more generally by the GLBT and intersex Native Americans to describe themselves. Two-Spirited people traditionally had distinct gender and social roles in their tribes. Some are counselors while others are medicine persons or spiritual functionaries. They study skills including storytelling, theater, magic, hypnotism, healing, herbal medicine, singing, music, and dance.
Q- Queer: Originally a pejorative term for gay people, many GLBTQ people have reclaimed this term as an inclusive and positive way to identify all non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming people. Some people still are uncomfortable labeling themselves or using the word “queer“ but many younger GLBT people use “queer“ as both a political statement and a reflection of their more fluid approach to sexuality and gender.
Q- Questioning: Being unsure of one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity; feeling uncomfortable with or unwilling or unable to self-categorize within traditional labels such as gay, straight, male, female, etc.
I- Intersex: People born exhibiting some combination of both male and female genitalia. At birth, the attending physician or parents both “choose” which gender to raise the child, necessitating surgery and/or hormonal treatment.
A-Ally: A person who confronts heterosexism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, heterosexual privilege, and so on, in themselves and others out of self-interest and a concern for the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other queer-related people, and who believes that heterosexism is a social injustice.
(Adapted from UNCG Safe Zone material: http://www.uncg.edu/shs/wellness/safezone/)
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