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UC ALLY Network

What is the UC ALLY Network?

The University of Canberra has formed an on-campus ALLY network supporting students and members who identify as part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer Community (LGBTQI+).

An 'ALLY' is someone who is there to help and support another. Your Allies are not experts on matters of sexual identity or gender, they are people who are passionate about making the university an environment where all staff and students can work and study in a space free of harassment or discrimination.

Email the UC ALLY network.

The UC ALLY Network aims to:

  • Promote awareness on and off campus for the LGBTQI+ community and the issues that are affecting staff and students
  • Offer a friendly face and provide a safe and understanding space
  • Make this space confidential
  • Give you the opportunity to talk openly and confidently
  • provide a variety of referral avenues for further support on and off campus

All our Chief ALLYs have undertaken training from the Aids Action Council.


Peter Graham - Chairperson

Senior Lecturer

Business, Government & Law

Email: Phone: 6201 2734

I am a senior lecturer in accounting at the University of Canberra. When I’m not working I like spending time with my partner, gardening, walking the dog, going to the movies or theatre and socialising.

Why I decided to become an ALLY: I joined the ally network because I’m an out and proud gay man and I wanted to contribute my time and energy to encourage a safe and inclusive community for LGBTIQ+ students and staff at the University of Canberra.


Beth Kerrison - Secretary

Manager, Quality & Compliance

UC College Pty Ltd


I have lived and worked openly and happily in Seoul, Tokyo, Melbourne & Canberra and travelled to approx. 40 countries for work (mostly) and/ or holidays (need to add to this).  Pakistan steals my heart and I would love to live in Lahore for a stint.  Those mountains and rivers are very enticing for a girl from this flat, brown, dry land! I have high hopes for Imran Khan and would happily crowdfund for the people of PK because they deserve so much better than the violence they live with.  I am an avid reader and may be slightly addicted to study but am sadly no clever geek! I advocate for joy, peace, tolerance, respect, stability for all humans in our world and hope to see this before I die!  

Why I decided to become an ALLY: I am a born optimist and think we all should be able to get along as it would seem there is more to unite us than divide us.  I am outcomes focussed and always prefer to solve a problem than have it define me. Of course, there are many laudable philosophers to borrow a quote from but I am going to go with writer J.K. Rowling… It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.

Stefan Alexander

Team Leader Career Development and Education

Careers UC, Teaching & Learning, DVC(A)

Email: / ph: 6206 8802

About me:

I have worked as an academic and professional staff member in the tertiary education sector for most of my career, and students have always been central to my work. Outside of work, I like to spend time with my family, keep fit and be in the outdoors. I love a strong long black and a good glass of red.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I believe in equitable treatment, inclusion and respect for people with diverse identities. I see a wide variety of students in my work, and I enjoy taking a person-centred approach in supporting the development of potential.

Jess Townrow

Senior Admissions Advisor

Global Student Recruitment

Email: ph: 6201 2204

About me:

I have recently returned to Canberra from a few years living in Melbourne and am now working full time in the Admissions team while also studying a Master of Public Health part-time.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

Everybody has the right to work and study and feel safe whilst doing so and I would like to do my part to help with this. Working and studying in an inclusive environment is important to me and I am proud to be a part of the Ally Network here at UC.


Amelia Carey

Team Leader, Study Abroad

Global Student Recruitment

Email: / Ph: 6206 8745

About me:

I am a UC graduate and have worked at UC for 9 years. In my spare time, I love spending time with family and cross-stitching.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I am passionate about ensuring that all members of the UC community feel comfortable, supported and accepted. The integration of the ALLY Network culminates the community spirit of UC, and I am proud to be a UC ALLY.


Meaghan Butler

Executive Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic


About me:

I joined UC about two years ago and have enjoyed getting to become part of a vibrant UC community, making great friends and building new networks. I have worked in higher education for around eight years, previously working at the peak body group, Universities Australia. Outside of work, I love to travel, enjoy cooking, and I am also a Lego enthusiast and vinyl collector.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I am passionate about creating an environment at UC that celebrates the wonderful diversity of all members of our community. It is important to me that everyone that is part of UC feels included and respected, and most importantly that they belong. The Ally network can affect real and lasting change at UC and create an environment that brings out the best in our staff and students, and that is something I look forward to working with the group to achieve.


Ele Saclier

Wellbeing Officer

Medical & Counselling

Email: / Ph: 6201 2351

About me:

I joined the Medical & Counselling team in mid-2017 following many years in the community sector working with children and young people. I have been a UC student (twice, but many years apart!) and am enjoying being back on campus as a staff member.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I feel privileged to be part of the ALLY Network. Everyone has the right to feel safe and included, wherever they are and at whatever stage of life. I look forward to promoting the opportunities the Network provides to further embed a sense of belonging in our culture at UC.

  Andrew Giumelli

Campus Life Coordinator

UCX - UC Life

Email: / Ph: 6206 8594

About me:

I am a part time student studying Network and Software Engineering and working full-time for UC Life. I moved to Canberra from regional NSW in 2017 to attend UC and love living here. I love travelling and exploring new places.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I am passionate about helping anyone and everyone. I became an Ally to better support the LGBTI community at UC and ensure that the issues they face are advocated for.

 Peter Copeman

Senior Teaching Fellow, Teaching Excellence Recognition and Advancement

Teaching and Learning, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Portfolio

Email:; Ph: 6201 2166

About me:

I support academic colleagues to provide the best student learning experience possible. I convene UC’s Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education and am a key driver in UC’s Curriculum Indigenisation agenda. Pre-academia I had a twenty-year career as a theatre director and dramatist; before that nearly a decade as an urban planner.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

A common thread in my career(s) has been engagement with social justice issues, including affordable housing projects, activist theatre-devising with marginalised communities, university pathway programs for equity group students, support for student learning and academic teaching, and Indigenous reconciliation and advancement. Throughout, I’ve seen many friends and colleagues suffer discrimination and abuse for their sexuality, and lost several to HIV/AIDS and suicide. I’ve also seen major positive changes in social/legal attitudes to sexual diversity and conduct, but bigotry, bias and bullying still exist, including in universities. Membership of the ALLY Network will help further focus my commitment to equity and inclusion in this important space.

 Luke Favero

Residential Life Manager

UniLodge @ UC

Email: Ph: 6109 4201 M: 04557 765 648

About me:

I have been studying for 5 years at the university of Canberra. I also work full time as the Residential  Life Manager for Unilodge. when I'm not hitting the books I'm improving on my karaoke voice, getting outdoors or catching up with mates.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

As the Residential Life manager for UniLodge @ UC, I look after a cohort of roughly 1,400 students. My role is quite diverse, fluid and complex in what i do. I generally find that people resonate with the heart of the role, which at the end of the day is my ability to assist and support young people through the university. I believe that everyone should feel comfortable with themselves and respected by others. Having moved from rural NSW I knew exactly what it is like coming to an entirely new environment and trying to adapt to the new lifestyle. It was for that exact reason that I chose to become an ALLY.

 Matt Meredith

Senior International Student Support Services (ISSS) Officer

Student Life (SP&I)

Email: Ph: 6206 8557

About me:

I’ve worked in a number of different roles within the University over a few years, the majority of which centered on student support, which I thoroughly enjoy. I take enjoyment from the simple things in life, and you’ll usually find me outdoors of a weekend.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I’m an old lefty. I’m passionate about inclusivity, equity and respect. I’m also passionate about celebrating the great diversity that exists within our wider University community. To me, it is absurd that in this day and age our LGBTIQ+ community continue to experience harassment and discrimination. As a key contact within the University for our international cohorts, I am here to lend an ear to our international LGBTIQ+ community to understand how UC can improve the ways in which we help and support one another.

 Sarah Bruen

Team Leader Welfare, Governance Officer (acting)

Student Life, Welfare

Email: Ph: 6206 8841

About me:

I am a mum of 2 energetic children under the age of 4. When I’m not working part time at UC I can be found exploring Canberra with the kids. I love travelling and experiencing new foods and cultures.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I am a mum of 2 energetic children under the age of 3. When I’m not working part time at UC I can be found exploring Canberra with the kids. I love travelling and experiencing new foods and cultures.

 Tom Arthur

Senior Inclusion Advisor / Academic Club Coordinator

Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic

Email: Ph: 6201 5233

About me:

I work FT in Inclusion & Engagement with a range of students on various matters at UC. When I’m not at work ill be playing or watching the footy, taking my neighbour's dog for a walk – or daydreaming about my next tattoo!!

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

Why I decided to become an ALLY: Inclusion and equal rights are part of my role in I&E and something we should all champion. When I heard of the ALLY Network forming it was something I felt I would be able to positively contribute to and am very proud the UC Community has recognised the importance of having one.

 Mara Eversons

Deputy Directer of Student Connect

Student Connect


About me:

I am a long time staff member of UC with an avid interest in diversity and equity. Having worked in a number of different areas of the University, I have experience working with both students and staff, both academic and professional. I love my current role with Student Connect and eagerly work to assist all staff to develop themselves both professionally and personally. It is important to me that we treat our students fairly and recognise the diverse needs of our UC community.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I believe it is important that all staff and students are recognised and given a voice within our UC community. The development of an Ally network within UC has been a long time coming and one that I will work with to ensure all staff and students feel safe and respected.


Dr Stephanie Kizimchuk

Teaching & Learning Fellow: Transition Pedagogy

Teaching & Learning Directorate


I’m an educator and academic based in the Teaching & Learning Directorate at the University of Canberra. I love cats (actually, all creatures!) and holistic approaches to life and learning. When I’m not teaching or working on-campus I enjoy meeting friends for coffee and a laugh.

I am passionate about equity, diversity, and inclusion and believe that every person has the right to feel safe, valued, and empowered. I was an ALLY at the Australian National University for several years and I’m thrilled to now be part of the initial establishment of a network here at UC for staff and students who are LGBTIQ, questioning, and/or an ally as well. I very much look forward to being part of this great initiative!


Lisa Roulstone


UC Library, Student Life

Email:  Ph: 62015609

I work in the Library, you may sometimes see me at the Help zone, come and say Hi. When I’m not at the desk I am coordinating book purchases for the Library. Outside of UC I love spending time with my family, walking, drinking coffee and watching too much terrible reality TV.

I believe it is important for all staff and students at UC feel safe and included in their learning and professional environment. Being a part of the UC ALLY Network helps me to actively contribute to this goal. I am very proud to be a part of the UC ALLY Network.


Jan Kelly

Manager, International Compliance

Global Student Recruitment

Email: Ph: 02 6201 5190

About me:

I have worked in various roles at the University since early 2002. My work focus is on international student matters and I take pride in ensuring that the University provides the best possible experience to our students in general.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I strongly believe that everyone is entitled to have opportunities in their lives, be they work, study or other opportunities that they may wish to explore and that no one should be disadvantaged or feel disadvantaged because they don’t conform with what some members of society consider the ‘norm’.  I decided to become an Ally so that I can signal my support of those who may not feel that they have a voice and work with the network to build a more inclusive, safer environment at UC to help our staff and students flourish.

Annie McCarthy

Assistant Professor

Faculty of Arts and Design


I teach in the Global Studies program in the Faculty of Arts and Design. I am an Anthropologist by training who works on Childhood in India. I also love chickens!

I’m an out and proud Queer academic and I believe in being visible and available to my community.

 Paul Magee

Associate Professor of Poetry

Faculty of Arts and Design


About me:

I am a poet and a researcher in poetics. I am interested in what goes on in people’s minds as they write poetry, and in how that process can lead them to think the world differently. I also research the links between creativity and travel.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I have always spent a lot of time in LGBTIQ+ spaces and those experiences and relationships are very dear to me, and very important to who I am. I want UC to be more open to difference, in all regards. Also, being a member of the UC Branch Committee of the National Tertiary Education Union, I want to make sure the ALLY Network’s concerns are represented there.

Barbara Voss

Assistant professor

Faculty of Business, Government & Law

Email: / ph: 6201 5794

About me:

I am a full-time academic at the University of Canberra. I love teas and parties. When I am free, normally you will find me playing table tennis in the refectory.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

Being in an equitable society is what I pursue. Being part of the UC Ally Network is a pleasure as I want to help and also learn from the UC communities. Being proactive in helping changes for better is my goal.

Raechel Johns

Associate Professor and Head of School

Canberra Business School


About me: 

I’m the Head of the Canberra Business School and an Associate Professor of Marketing. I absolutely love my job, which is good, because my career is busy. I also have a young family, so don’t have a lot of free time, but love reading, writing, cooking and travelling.

Why I decided to become an ALLY: 

I have always found UC to be very inclusive and support diversity, and want to help others have as positive an experience I have. Also, I research service management and systems. Part of this includes transformative services and supporting vulnerable communities. I’m really interested in equity and inclusion.

Robin Ladwig


Faculty of Business, Government and Law


About me:

I am an international PhD-student at BGL trying to find my way through university. As a genderqueer/non-binary, pansexual individual, I prefer no pronouns at all or the usage of they/them if it is easier for you. When I am not studying or working, I am exploring Canberra by Longboard or dance contemporary as a physical outlet and balance.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

The LGBTIQ+ Community is colourful and diverse, a lot of different interests, ideas, resources but also needs, problems, and issues are coming together at one table. I worked in various LGBTIQ-committees and would like to contribute my experience to the ALLY Network to create a safe and open-minded space at UC for students but also for staff members to flourish.


Rachel Cunneen

Senior Lecturer, Student Success Coordinator

Faculty of Education


About me:

I’ve been part of the Education Faculty at UC for ten years now. My academic passions include literature and literacy, the creative arts, and diversity and inclusion in education. Other passions include bush walking, dancing and Jack Russell terriers. My kids are OK too. I’m always trying to lower my carbon footprint despite my aversion to cycling and I’m a committed advocate for the School Climate Strike and sustainable consumption.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

It’s important to have diverse representation in all UC faculties, but in education we’re in the business of training teachers to educate young people in our communities. These young people need to see people like themselves in their schools: that means that we need people from diverse backgrounds and experiences in the profession. I think it’s essential to encourage people in the LGBTIQA+ community to become teachers! I want LGBTIQA+ people to know that the Education Faculty has their back: we’re here to listen, support, advocate – and to strongly call out prejudice and discrimination whenever it happens

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Angela Douglas

Lecturer & Clinical placement Convenor

Sport and Exercise Science, Faculty of Health

Email: / ph: 6201 5056

About me:

I grew up by the ocean and enjoy swimming and the outdoors. Music, yoga and animals are my go-to therapies for managing stress and re-focusing. I love travelling to places with old ruins of our human history. I am an exercise physiologist by training, and love working with students as they shape themselves as future health professionals.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

In society, I believe that our shared humanity should be central to how we interact and understand our differences. Kindness, compassion and a genuine interest in the experience of others underpin inclusivity, equality and equity.

The ALLY Network provides a visible commitment by UC to promote respect and inclusion of LGBTIQ+ students and staff. I am open and proud in identifying to others that I am gay and am married to an amazing woman. But I recognise that my experiences do not reflect the experiences of many. Being an ALLY is about supporting others, learning from others, and contributing to UC’s culture of respect for diversity and inclusion.

 Fiona James

Lecturer in Nursing

Faculty of Health

Email: Ph: 6206 8673

About me:

I am a Registered nurse and UC alumni, I work in the Discipline of Nursing as a facilitator of learning for Undergraduate nursing with an amazing group of students. I love good coffee, great conversation and cooking.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

As a Health faculty representative, I feel we need to have a greater awareness of the needs of the community we serve as professionals. As a person I wanted to be a part of a network that supports open conversations around equality and inclusion, and is a point of contact for people within the community who are struggling to find a safe space to talk about issues on campus.

We have an incredibly diverse student cohort and team of staff and I think it is important to be able to see your community reflected in the UC wider community.

Iain Walker

Professor of Psychology; Head of Discipline of Psychology

Discipline of Psychology, Faculty of Health

Email: Ph: ext 5288

About me:

I joined the University in Feb 2018. I have been an academic for more than 30 years and still love it.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

Social justice is something I care a lot about. As a seasoned academic, a line manager, a colleague, a supervisor, and a teacher, it is my responsibility to ensure that all feel able to work and study safely and have access to the wonders and opportunities universities provide. I want to give forward the things that have benefited me over the years. I want to create the conditions in which colleagues and students can flourish. I don’t want anyone to feel they cannot participate fully in all that a university can offer.


Mel Triantafyllou

President UC Public Health Society, Research Assistant (HRI), Masters Public Health Student, Prospective PhD Candidate 2020

Faculty of Health and the Human Research Institute

Email: Ph: 0422 226 959

About me:

I am the President of the UC Public Health Society, Public Health student mentor and I work at the Human Research Institute.  I grew up in a country town and moved to ACT to study as a mature aged student, only knowing only one person in the area. The daunting experience has taught me a lot and I strongly believe that no one should have to face those kinds challenges on their own. Outside of work and study I love to hit the slopes in winter and enjoy the great outdoors in the warmer months- cycling, fishing and all water activities. I am a foodie at heart and enjoy a good laugh.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

Uni life can be daunting! However, having an open and accepting social circle or a friendly face to chat to, as well as being able to connect with community members is a valuable step towards helping you achieve your educational goals.

 Shane Parnell

Student Services Officer / SRC Diversity Officer / Faculty of Science and Technology Education Officer

Student Connect / Student Representative Council / Faculty of Science and Technology


About me:

I am a current employee of the University working for the Student Centre as well as the Faculty of Science and Technology. I am currently completing my Masters of Information Technology and Systems as well as being the elected Diversity officer onto the Student Representative Council.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I decided to become an Ally as working closely within the Student Body as well as being a student myself I can see an opportunity for influence and education while providing long term support to our fantastically diverse University.


Astrid Watts

Student/Disability Advocate, Student

Business, Government & Law 

Email: Ph: 0410 866 892

About me:

I am an Indigenous, Pansexual, Full-time politics student, passionate about LGBTIA rights.  When not studying you can usually find me at mizuna express relaxing.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

To support my community and to show that.


Jace Reh


Business, Government & Law 


About me:

I am a full-time student at the University of Canberra and am transgender. I am the current Rainbow UC President and well as the PIRaNaS Social Media Co-ordinator. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending as much time as possible with animals.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

As an LGBT+ student, I believe that the visibility of our community is vitally important and the best possible option is if this voice comes from someone within the community. Being able to speak on behalf of and with guidance from the LGBT+ community is what I hope to achieve within the ALLY Network.


Kristian Barnes

Student Rep for Nugunnawal Centre, Treasurer, Diversity and SSAF Officer

Global Student Recruitment


About me:

I am a full-time student studying a Bachelor of IT. I also work with the SRC in a variety of roles and I am constantly doing a variety of tasks. Once I have free time on my hands, I generally stick to the cinemas to watch whatever movie is showing.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I decided to become an ALLY as my role in the SRC, I work extremely close with the student body. I believe that all students should be proud of who they are with the UC community and should have an ALLY they can approach.

Katherine Jefferies

Paralegal, Vice-President UCSRC, Representative for BGL, Student

Office of General Counsel & University Secretary, UC Student Representative Council, Faculty of Business Government & Law

Email: / Ph: 6201 2908

About me:

Full time Law and Business Student, part time Paralegal and Vice-President of the UCSRC. If I’m ever not on the Uni Campus (which is rare), you can find me playing sport, in the kitchen or visiting my family back in Wagga.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

Being both a student and a staff member has exposed me to the entire University, and I have seen and admired the work that ALLY does. Coming from Regional NSW, I understand the importance of community. The ALLY community has so much to offer both staff and students. Working closely with the student body means that inclusiveness and respect are always at the forefront of everything I do. These are also the key messages shared by the UC ALLY Network, and is why I chose to become an ally.


Mia McGaffin

Communications Officer for the DVCA, Student

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Faculty of Business, Government and Law

Email: OR

About me:

I am a full-time politics and media student at the University of Canberra and I also work as the communications officer in the DVCA office. I grew up on a farm in a small country town and moved to the beautiful capital in 2018 and I absolutely love it here. My passion is politics and I’m a total foodie! When I’m not working or studying, you can see me just hanging out with friends or binge-watching some of my favourite TV shows.

Why I decided to become an ALLY:

I am passionate about politics, so I have always displayed an invested interest in human rights and the fair treatment of others. Being an ALLY means that I will be able to connect with the UC community and advocate for respect and inclusiveness for all staff, students and visitors at UC.

The ALLY network is involved in a number of key events at UC, as well as in the general Canberra community. Check back here regularly for details of upcoming events and activities that are being supported by the UC ALLY network.

IDAHOBIT Day - May 17 is a day to stand with the LGBTIQ communities to champion inclusion, and build a better world for the people in the communities. On May 17 2019, the ALLY Network will be hosting a cupcake stall to help raise awareness and funds for IDAHOBIT.

On Friday, August 30, the ALLY Network and the University of Canberra celebrated 'Wear it Purple Day'. This was to raise awareness on campus to foster a safe, empowering and inclusive environment for young rainbow young people. Despite the windy weather, we had many people come out to show their support, grab a free cupcake and meet with members of the ALLY network.

We were lucky enough to have WIN News come and talk to our very own Welfare Officer and member of the ALLY network, Nathan Jones, to talk about how UC is creating a safe environment and study space.

The ALLY network's goal is to ensure members of the UC community always feel that they are safe and have a support network for LGBTQI+ and inspire UC to be committed to a community of respect, diversity and social equality.

Key Contacts

Gay information Counselling Service (GICS)

Phone: (02) 6247 2726

If you are unable to contact the GICS, callers from the ACT may call 1800 18 4527 between 7.30pm and 10pm local time. Your call will be diverted to the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service of NSW.

Lesbian Counselling Service Phone: (02) 6247 8882 (6.30pm-8.30pm, Monday).
QLife counselling Service

Phone: 1800 184 527 (3pm-12am, 7 days)

QLife offers phone chat counselling from 3pm-Midnight in your State or Territory, everyday.

Additionally, they also have an online chat service available from 3pm-Midnight everyday.

Aids Action Council

Phone: (02) 6257 2855

Aids Action Council provides counselling services to people living with and/or impacted by HIV, and LGBTIQ+ people and their allies across Canberra. - Gay and lesbian Counselling ServicesPhone: (02) 8594 9555 (office hours). Offers phone support for all ages.
A Gender Agenda (AGA)

Phone: (02) 6162 1924

AGA works with the intersex, trans and gender diverse community. This includes intersex people, transgender people, people who cross-dress and other gender variant or gender non-conforming people.


24/hr Helpline : 13 11 14

Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Diversity ACT

Phone; (02) 6231  3126

Diversity ACT is a community based charity based in the ACT that exists to support LGBTQI+ people in the Canberra region.

BeyondbluePhone: 1300 22 4636
Beyondblue provide Australians with support for people suffering from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. They teach Australians ways on recognising, dealing and maintaining mental health issues.
Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA)


IHRA is an independent support, education and policy development organisation, by and for people with intersex Variations or traits. Our Work focuses in human rights, bodily autonomy and self-determination.

Parents, Family and Friends for Lesbian and Gays Capital Region  (PFLAG)
Phone: 0419 124 826
PFLAG is a social/support network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, their parents, family and friends, in the ACT and surrounding region.

Sexuality and Sexual Orientation - Terms of Reference

Ally (Heterosexual Ally, Straight Ally):

Someone who is a friend, advocate, and/or activist for LGBTQ people. A heterosexual ally is also someone who confronts heterosexist’s in themselves and others. The term ally is generally used for any member of a dominant group who is a friend, advocate or activist for people in an oppressed group

Sexual orientation:

refers to an individual's sexual and romantic attraction to another person. This can include, but is not limited to, heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or asexual. It is important to note, however, that these are just a handful of sexual identifications - the reality is that there are an infinite number of ways in which someone might define their sexuality. Further, people can identify with a sexuality or sexual orientation regardless of their sexual or romantic experiences. Some people may identify as sexually fluid; that is, their sexuality is not fixed to any one identity.


an individual who identifies as a woman and is sexually and/or romantically attracted to other people who identify as women.


an individual who identifies as a man and is sexually and/or romantically attracted to other people who identify as men. The term gay can also be used in relation to women who are sexually and romantically attracted to other women.


an individual who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to both men and women.


an individual whose sexual and/or romantic attraction to others is not restricted by gender. A pansexual may be sexually and/or romantically attracted to any person, regardless of their gender identity.


Asexual orientation that reflects little to no sexual attraction, either within or outside relationships. People who identify as asexual can still experience romantic attraction across the sexuality continuum.


an individual who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to the opposite gender.


a term used to describe a range of sexual orientations and gender identities. Although once used as a derogatory term, the term queer now encapsulates political ideas of resistance to heteronormativity and homonormativity and is often used as an umbrella term to describe the full range of LGBTIQ+ identities.

Gender Queer:

People who reject static, conventional categories of gender and embrace ideas of gender (and often sexual orientation). They are people whose gender identity can be both male and female, neither male or female or a combination of male and female.


An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.


The concept of dividing sex or gender into two clear categories. Sex is male or female, gender is masculine or feminine.


Someone who doesn’t identify exclusively as female/male.


A term used to describe when a person’s gender identity matches social expectations for their assigned gender at birth

Gender diverse:

People whose understanding of expression of gender does not conform to social expectations based on their sex assigned at birth

Affirmed gender:

The gender to which one identifies, which may or may not match the individual’s gender at birth.

Societal attitudes and Issues

Gender Expression: 

Refers to how an individual expresses their socially constructed gender. This may refer to how an individual dress, their general appearance, the way they speak, and/or the way they carry themselves. Gender expression is not always correlated to an individuals’ gender identity or gender role

Homophobia and biphobia:

Refer to negative beliefs, prejudices and stereotypes about people who are not heterosexual.


Refers to negative beliefs, prejudices and stereotypes that exist about transgender and gender diverse people.


Is the set of beliefs that privilege heterosexuality, heterosexual relationships and CIS gendered identities over non-heterosexual relationships and non-normative gender identities (Leonard, Mitchell, Patel, & Fox, 2008). Heterosexist provides the "social backdrop" for homophobic and transphobic prejudices, violence and discrimination (Fileborn, 2012).


is the view that heterosexual relationships are the only natural, normal and legitimate expressions of sexuality and relationships. These assumptions are reinforced through cultural beliefs and practices and through social and political institutions such as the law, family structures and religion (Fileborn, 2012).


a term that describes the privileging of certain people or relationships within the queer community (usually CIS gendered, white, gay men). This term also refers to the assumption that LGBTIQ+ people will conform to mainstream, heterosexual culture, for example by adopting the idea that marriage and monogamy are natural and normal.