Celebrating LGBTQIA+ History & Culture

Recognizing the courageous, continued path toward equality as well as a beautiful culture of love and acceptance.

When there’s love, there’s life.

Unearthing TU’s LGBTQIA+ history honors the advocates who fought for recognition and rights, deepens our appreciation for the community we enjoy today and inspires us to support the journeys of those who come next.

This page is a celebration of the unique identities and shared community that comprises LGBTQIA+ culture at TU. You’ll find ways to deepen your understanding about the community, tap into support services and resources, and connect with community members through events, organizations and more. You’ll also hear words of wisdom from queer faculty, staff and students themselves, because advice from those who came before can be a powerful guidepost along your own path forward.

Our Community

TU’s queer community spans the full spectrum of LGBTQIA+ experiences. Community groups and events help you find a chosen family to accept and support you through whatever stage of the journey you’re on. From celebratory parades to one-on-one mentoring to hands-on advocacy, we welcome the unique talents and viewpoints you bring.

“ It’s exciting to know there’s this whole group of people that have lived through similar experiences. I love the sense of safety and community it gives.  ”


What We’re Up To

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Our History

Our Identities

We are all on a lifelong journey of growth and evolution. We celebrate the right to identify ourselves on our own terms, and to change those terms if and when we change. An abridged glossary is provided below to enhance our understanding of some of the ways individuals may identify. A can be found through The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

“ Being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community means being a part of a long-time, ongoing and ever-evolving push to create an expansive and more just world. I take immense pride in the history of that struggle and the way we are always seeking ways to grow our understanding of different lived experiences. ”


Pronouns strengthen inclusion. Here's how to use them effectively.

More information on pronouns Tips for using pronouns

Terms and Definitions

Describes a per­son who does not iden­ti­fy as male or female or some com­bi­na­tion of male and female. Some agen­der indi­vid­u­als see them­selves as gen­der­less, while oth­ers see themselves as gender neutral.

Describes a per­son who is not sex­u­al­ly attract­ed to oth­ers and has no desire to engage in sex­u­al behav­ior. Asex­u­al­i­ty dif­fers from celiba­cy in that a per­son who is celi­bate is sex­u­al­ly attract­ed to oth­ers but choos­es to abstain from sex. Asex­u­al is sometimes abbre­vi­at­ed as â€‹ał¦±đ.

Describes a per­son who has two gen­ders. Peo­ple who are bigen­der may expe­ri­ence two gen­der iden­ti­ties at the same time or at dif­fer­ent times. These gen­der iden­ti­ties can be bina­ry, like male and female, or can include non­bi­na­ry identities.

Describes a per­son whose gen­der iden­ti­ty match­es the sex — male or female — orig­i­nal­ly iden­ti­fied on their birth cer­tifi­cate (i.e., peo­ple who are not trans­gen­der). Cis­gen­der, which is pro­nounced sis-gen­der, describes only a person’s gen­der iden­ti­ty — not their sex­u­al or roman­tic attrac­tions. Sometimes, cis­gen­der is abbre­vi­at­ed as ​cis in casu­al conversation.

Describes a per­son whose gen­der expres­sion or gen­der iden­ti­ty — or both — changes over time. Not every­one whose gen­der iden­ti­ty or expres­sion changes iden­ti­fies as gen­der fluid.

Describes not identifying as of or for a par­tic­u­lar gen­der. The term is often used to describe spaces and objects, such as gender-neutral or all-gender bathrooms. May also describe people who iden­ti­fy as gen­der neu­tral and don’t sub­scribe to gen­der stereo­types.

Describes a per­son who does not adhere to the tra­di­tion­al expec­ta­tions — in terms of their appear­ance or behav­ior — of their assigned gen­der. Some of these indi­vid­u­als iden­ti­fy as trans­gen­der but oth­ers, for exam­ple, mas­cu­line les­bians, do not.

Describes a person, often of South Asian descent, who was registered as male at birth but who identifies as female or as neither male nor female.

Describes one's sexual and romantic orientation as well as their gender identity and expression as they both relate to one's identity as an Indigenous person. 

Describes a per­son born with sex char­ac­ter­is­tics that are not typ­i­cal for male or female bod­ies. Sex char­ac­ter­is­tics are phys­i­cal fea­tures relat­ing to sex — includ­ing chro­mo­somes, gen­i­tals, hor­mones and oth­er repro­duc­tive anato­my — as well as sec­ondary fea­tures that emerge from puber­ty. Inter­sex is an umbrel­la term, and inter­sex char­ac­ter­is­tics and traits are not always appar­ent or iden­ti­fied at birth. The â€‹â€śI” in the longer ver­sion of LGBTQ (LGBTQIA+) stands for intersex.

Describes a queer person who is typically (but not always) assigned female at birth and who presents masculinely. 

Describes a per­son who does not iden­ti­fy as exclu­sive­ly male or exclu­sive­ly female and usu­al­ly prefers​ they as a pro­noun. Enby is the pho­net­ic pro­nun­ci­a­tion of ​NB, which stands for non­bi­na­ry. Not all non­bi­na­ry indi­vid­u­als pre­fer or use this term.

Describes a per­son who is attract­ed to, or has the poten­tial to be attract­ed to, peo­ple of any gen­der or gen­der iden­ti­ty. This attrac­tion can be emo­tion­al or physical.

An adjec­tive used by some peo­ple whose sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion is not exclu­sive­ly het­ero­sex­u­al. Queer was once used as a pejo­ra­tive term and has been reclaimed by some — but not all — mem­bers of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Describes a per­son who is still dis­cov­er­ing and explor­ing their sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion, gen­der iden­ti­ty, gen­der expres­sion or some com­bi­na­tion there­of. Using this term enables an indi­vid­ual to iden­ti­fy as part of the LGBTQIA+ com­mu­ni­ty while avoid­ing oth­er labels and rec­og­niz­ing that their process of self-iden­ti­­fi­­ca­­tion is still underway.

Describes a person's romantic attraction regardless of sexual orientation. Examples include:

  • Aromantic: individuals who do not experience romantic attraction toward individuals of any gender(s).
  • Biromantic: romantic attraction toward males and females.
  • Heteroromantic: romantic attraction toward person(s) of a different gender.
  • Homoromantic: romantic attraction towards person(s) of the same gender
  • Panromantic: romantic attraction towards persons of every gender(s).
  • Polyromantic: romantic attraction toward multiple, but not all, genders.
  • Gray-romantic: individuals who do not often experience romantic attraction
  • Demiromantic: an individual who does not experience romantic attraction until after a close emotional bond has been formed. People who refer to themselves as demiromantic may choose to further specify the gender(s) of those they are attracted to (e.g. demi-homoromantic).

Definition adapted from the LGBT Center at UNC-Chapel Hill

Describes a per­son who iden­ti­fies as hav­ing both a mas­cu­line and a fem­i­nine spir­it. It is  to describe their sex­u­al, gen­der and/​or spir­i­tu­al iden­ti­ty. It may encom­pass same-sex attrac­tion and also include rela­tion­ships that could be con­sid­ered poly.

Definitions adapted from



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