The Campus Counseling Center at Shawnee State University strives to provide a safe space for student exploration of gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Come see us, we're listening.

If you are in need of urgent support, please call one of the following LGBTQ specific support lines:

Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860  

Trans Lifeline is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the well-being of transgender people. The hotline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Trans Lifeline volunteers are ready to respond to whatever support needs members of our community might have.

Trevor Project: 866-488-7386  

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

Bravo: 866-862-7286  

Bravo is your link to survivor advocacy and assistance regarding hate crimes, discrimination, domestic violence, and sexual assault. BRAVO is a founding member of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP).

For information related to LGBTQIA groups/organizations available on campus, contact the Student Government Association at or 740-351-3320.

 Further reading:

Trans-Kin: A Guide for Family & Friends of Transgender People, Eleanor A. Hubbard and Cameron T. Whitley (Eds.).  Bolder Press, 2012.  

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves:  A Resource for the Transgender Community, Laura Erickson-Schroth (Ed.). Oxford University Press, 2014.  

Below is a list of LGBTQIA terminology to improve communication on campus amongst students, staff and faculty. It is not intended to generalize and/or label others based on gender identity and sexual orientation expression:

Ally – Someone who confronts heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, heterosexual and genderstraight privilege in themselves and others; shows a concern for the well-being of LGBTQIA people; and believes that heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia are social justice issues.

Asexual – A sexual orientation where a person does not experience sexual attraction or desire to partner for the purposes of sexual stimulation. Also refers to a spectrum of sexual orientations where a person may be disinclined towards sexual behavior or sexual partnering.

Biphobia – The fear, discrimination of, or hatred, of bisexual people. Biphobia can be seen within the LGBTQIA community, as well as in general society.

Bisexual – A person emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to people that are similar and/or different from themselves. This attraction does not have to be equally split among sexes or genders across the spectrum.

Cisgender – An individual whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth.

Closeted (in the closet) – An LGBTQIA person who does not publicly or privately profess one's gender identity or sexual orientation by choice or out of fear of discrimination and/or harm. There are varying degrees of being in the closet; for example, a person can be out in their social life but in the closet at work or with family.

Coming out – The process by which an LGBTQIA person publicly or privately professes one's gender identity or sexual orientation. This process is never a one-and-done; it is a lifelong process.

Cross-dresser – A person who, regardless of motivation, wears clothes or makeup that are considered by the culture to be appropriate for another gender (preferred term to the pejorative term transvestite).

Discrimination – Differential treatment that favors one individual or group over another based on prejudice.

Drag or In Drag – The performance of one or multiple genders theatrically.

Drag King – A person who performs masculinity theatrically.

Drag Queen – A person who performs femininity theatrically.

FTM or F2M – Abbreviation for female-to-male transgender person (Some reject this terminology, affirming that they have always been male or female and are only making the identity visible. Others feel that such language reinforces a binary sex/gender system).

Gender – A social combination of identity, expression, and social elements all related to masculinity and femininity. Includes gender identity (self-identification), gender expression (self-expression), social gender (social expectations), gender roles (socialized actions), and gender attribution (social perception).

Gender Binary – The idea that there are only two genders – men and women – and that a person must be strictly gendered as either/or.

Gender Expression – How one chooses to express one's gender identity, through gender cues such as hairstyle, gait, vocal inflection, clothing, makeup, and accessories.

Gender Identity – A term that describes how a person identifies their gender. One's gender identity may be different than social norms and/or stereotypes of the sex they were assigned at birth. There are a wide range of gender identities, including man, woman, transgender, genderqueer, etc. Since gender identity is internal, one's gender identity is not necessarily visible to others.

Gender Variant – A person who either by nature or by choice does not conform to gender-based expectations of society (e.g. transgender, intersex, genderqueer, gender non-conforming (GNC) cross-dresser, etc.).

Genderqueer – A gender variant/gender non-conforming (GNC) person whose gender identity is neither woman or man, both woman and man, somewhere in between, or is some combination of genders.

Heterosexism – The individual and societal assumption that everyone is heterosexual –or should be. That heterosexuality is the only 'normal' right and moral way to be. Therefore, anyone of a different sexual orientation is 'abnormal,' wrong, and immoral. The element of institutional power to support these attitudes, actions, and/or practices differentiates this as oppression from other forms of prejudice and discrimination.

Heterosexual Privilege – Those benefits derived automatically by being heterosexual that are denied to people of other sexual orientations.

Homophobia – The irrational fear, hatred, and/or pity of lesbian and/or gay individuals, culture, or any behavior or belief that does not conform to rigid gender role stereotypes. It is the fear that enforces sexism and heterosexism and other forms of oppression.

Intersex – A biological variance in sex. A person whose combination of chromosomes, hormones, and internal/external sex organs does not meet the medical standard for either female or male (preferred term to the pejorative term of Hermaphrodite).

MTF or M2F – Abbreviation for male-to-female transgender (Some reject this terminology, affirming that they have always been male or female and are only making the identity visible. Others feel that such language reinforces a binary sex/gender system).

Oppression – The systematic exploitation of one social group by another for its own benefit. It involves institutional control, ideological domination, and the declaration of the dominant group's culture on the oppressed.

Pansexual – A person emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to all or many gender identities. Individuals may reject the binary notion of gender or they are attracted to individuals regardless of gender.

Prejudice – A conscious or unconscious negative belief about a whole group of people and its individual members.

Queer – An umbrella term some LGBTQIA people have reclaimed as an inclusive, un-gendered, and positive way to describe themselves and their community. Can be used to describe one's sexual orientation and/or gender identity (Queer is also still used as a negative or derogatory slur to describe LGBTQI persons and community).

Racism – The societal/cultural, institutional, and individual beliefs and practices that privilege white people and subordinates and degrades people of color.

Sex – A medical term designating a certain combination of gonads, chromosomes, external genitalia, secondary sex characteristics, and hormonal balances. Because usually subdivided into 'female' and 'male', this category often does not recognize the existence of intersex people.

Sexism – The societal/cultural, institutional, and individual beliefs and practices that privilege men and subordinate and degrade women.

Sexual Orientation – A person's emotional, physical, and/or sexual attractions towards people.

Trans or Transgender – An umbrella term used to describe a group of individuals whose gender identity and how it is expressed to varying degrees are different than the sex assigned at birth.

Transphobia – The irrational fear, hatred, or intolerance of people who identify or are perceived as transgender.

Transgender – A person who identifies with a gender different than their biological sex assigned at birth. Transgender people may undergo gender affirmation treatment to align their body with their core identity, but not all desire or can afford to do so.