These are some terms that we will be using both at training and at camp. Please familiarize yourself with them, and if you have any questions, please talk to any staff member.
- Allyship: An ally is a member of the dominant or majority group who questions or rejects the dominant ideology and works against oppression through support of, and as an advocate, with or for, the oppressed population. An ally does not share the identity of the oppressed group – and as such, possesses privilege.
- Privilege: Privilege exists when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they’ve done or failed to do. Access to privilege doesn’t determine one’s outcomes, but it is definitely an asset that makes it more likely that whatever talent, ability, and aspirations a person with privilege has will result in something positive for them.
- Cultural appropriation: Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission. This can include unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc. It’s most likely to be harmful when the source community is a minority group that has been oppressed or exploited in other ways or when the object of appropriation is particularly sensitive, e.g. sacred objects.
- Microaggression: Brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults toward people.
- Types of oppression:
- Individual oppression: Overt and direct forms of oppression in which individuals hold extreme prejudices and act in discriminatory ways.
- Institutional oppression: Polices, practices, and procedures of institutions that have a disproportionately negative effect on oppressed groups’ access to and quality of goods, services, and opportunities.
- Structural oppression: The normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics – historical, cultural, institutional and interpersonal – that routinely advantage privileged groups while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for oppressed groups.
- Gender nonconforming: Refers to people who do not follow other people’s ideas or stereotypes about how they should look or act based on the female or male sex they were assigned at birth.
- Cisgender: A term used to describe people who, for the most part, identify as the gender they were assigned at birth.
- Trans*: An umbrella term that refers to all of the identities within the gender identity spectrum. Trans (without the asterisk) is best applied to trans men and trans women, while the asterisk makes special note in an effort to include all non-cisgender gender identities, including transgender, transsexual, transvestite, genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binary, genderfuck, genderless, agender, non-gendered, third gender, two-spirit, bigender, and trans man and trans woman.
- Trans man: A person who is in the process of transitioning (or has transitioned) from female to male
- Trans woman: A person who is in the process of transitioning (or has transitioned) from male to female