Our Commitments

Gender Inclusion Glossary

List of 14 items.

  • Gender

    Complex relationship between physical traits and one’s internal sense of self as male, female, both or neither (gender identity), as well as one’s outward presentation and behaviors (gender expression).
  • Sex

    In the United States, individuals are assigned “female” or “male” sex at birth, based on physical attributes and characteristics. This assumed physical dichotomy of sex is itself belied by a variety of naturally occurring conditions. Sex in some contexts, such as the law, is also used as an umbrella term that encompasses gender and gender identity. For the purposes of [this] discussion...however, “sex” is being used to convey those physical attributes and characteristics that are used to assign someone as “male” or “female” at birth.
  • Gender Identity

    A personal, deeply-felt sense of being male, female, both or neither. Everyone has a gender identity.
  • Gender Expression

    How a person expresses their gender through outward presentation and behavior. This includes, for example, a person’s name, clothing, hair style, body language, and mannerisms.
  • Gender Binary

    A social system that constructs gender according to two discrete and opposite categories — male or female.
  • Gender Spectrum

    An understanding of gender as non-binary, encompassing a wide range of identities and expressions.
  • Gender-Expansive

    An umbrella term used for individuals that broaden their own culture’s commonly held definitions of gender, including expectations for its expression, identities, roles, and/or other perceived gender norms. Gender-expansive individuals include those with transgender and non-binary identities, as well as those whose gender in some way is seen to be stretching society’s notions of gender.
  • Cisgender

    A term for people whose gender identity aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth.
  • Gender Nonconforming

    Describes a person whose behaviors or gender expression falls outside what is stereotypical for their assigned sex at birth.
  • Transgender

    Describes a person whose gender identity is different from what is generally associated with their sex assigned at birth.

    Note: This term is an adjective. Using this term as a verb (i.e., transgendered) or noun (i.e., transgenders) is offensive and should be avoided.
  • Gender Dysphoria

    An intense and persistent discomfort with the primary and secondary sex characteristics of one’s assigned birth sex. Affirming and supporting a person’s gender identity can help to significantly decrease their dysphoria. Conversely, rejecting or requiring a person to conceal their gender identity will exacerbate their level of dysphoria.
  • Sexual Orientation

    Term that describes a person’s romantic or sexual attraction to people of a specific gender or genders. “Lesbian,” “gay,” “bisexual,” and “straight” are examples of sexual orientations. Our sexual orientation and our gender identity are separate, distinct parts of our overall identities.
  • Transition

    The process through which transgender people begin to live as the gender with which they identify, rather than the one typically associated with their sex assigned at birth. Social transition may include things such as changing names, pronouns, hairstyle and clothing. Medical transition may include medical components like hormone therapy and gender affirming surgeries. Not all transgender individuals seek medical care as part of their transition or have access to such care. The decision about which steps to take as part of one’s transition is a deeply personal and private choice. You should never ask someone if they have had any medical procedures, and you should respect the privacy of a student’s transition process.
  • Transphobia

    Irrational fear or hatred of, or violence, harassment or discrimination perpetrated against transgender people.
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.


An independent K–8 school for girls
7070 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
Phone: 415.751.0177 Fax: 415.666.0535
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