Building a Bridge Toward a 21st Century Multi-Racial Multi-Cultural Society: 
Tearing Down Walls of Hate, Ignorance and Fear
Developing a Common Language for All to Access

Glossary of Terms and Definitions   

A : B : C : D : E : F : G : H : I : L : M : N : O : P : Q : R : S : T : W



A descriptive label assigned to people, most often men, who are romantically and sexually attracted to members of their own gender.  The label gay is used often as an umbrella term for both gay men and lesbians, especially in the United States.  The term became popular in the late 1960’s as a symbol of self-acceptance and self affirmation.

Having to do with whether someone or something is masculine, feminine, or neuter (originally a grammatical term pertaining to article and verb conjugation).  Issues of gender have become prominent in multicultural education since females can be understood as a minority culture, and since feminist theory has come to inform many multicultural theorists.

Gender Bias:
Most often used in reference to the hidden (or unrecognized) male perspective, or bias, in a given theory or practice.  The unrecognized male perspective has often been considered “generally human,” which automatically favors masculine ways of thinking and acting.  The first step toward dealing with this bias is to recognize it.

Gender Roles:
The roles or culturally “appropriate” patterns of behavior prescribed for persons tend to differ according to gender and are understood by many to be socially or culturally constructed.  Therefore proponents of multicultural non-sexist education (some assume that multiculturalism and non-sexism go together, others make this linguistically explicit) are inclined to attend carefully to the images or messages which are conveyed in the classroom concerning gender roles.


This list is compiled from a variety of sources by the Office of Racial Justice and Multi-Racial, Multi-Cultural Transformation, United Church of Christ, Cleveland Based Team, Fall 2006