As individuals we hold many identities, to value and honor this reality, the University of Chicago seeks to make my.UChicago and other online systems more inclusive to campus community members with diverse gender identities.
Current students may elect to indicate their gender identity, and/or their pronouns of reference in their student records. Updates to these identity categories can be made in my.UChicago.
Below you will find definitions of the various identity terms that are now available for you to optionally select in my.UChicago
A note on language: It is important to note that many gender identities exist globally and are not bounded by the same cultural and social understandings. That is, gender is a culturally constructed category understood differently depending upon on one's society. Here we are using U.S. - based defintions of pronouns of reference and gender identity to highlight some of the variance within the United States. We also reckognize the inherent problem with offering definitions related to these elements of social identity, as they can not be respresentative of all community members. As such, we offer these definitions as a starting point for understanding the nuances of gender, and to mark the significance of attempting, as imperfect as it may be, to increase inclusion of transgender, gender non-conforming and/or non-binary community members in our systems and campus spaces.
Pronouns of Reference
Pronouns are often used to refer to a person’s gender identity. Several systems of pronouns have been created to refer to others without assigning them into the gender binary system. Pronouns of reference are the set of pronouns that an individual would like others to use when talking to or about that individual.
He, him, his – pronouns typically used to refer to another person who identifies as masculine.
She, her, hers – pronouns typically used to refer to another person who identifies as feminine.
They, them, theirs – gender neutral or gender inclusive pronouns which do not associate a gender with the individual who is being discussed.
Ze, hir, hirs - gender neutral or gender inclusive pronouns created by transgender and non-binary communities which do not associate a gender with the individual who is being discussed.
Gender or gender identity is based on a group of emotional, behavioral, and psychological characteristics that typically classify an individual as “woman” or “man” or “gender queer/gender non-conforming” or “transgender.” Gender can be understood to have several components including gender identity, gender expression, and gender attributions.
Cisgender – a value-neutral term to describe people who identify/agree with the gender they were assigned at birth, often shortened to cis. A cis woman is a person who is assigned female at birth and identifies as a woman. A cis man is a person who is assigned male at birth and identifies as a man.
Transgender – a value-neutral term to describe people who do not identify/agree solely with the gender they were assigned at birth (sometimes referred to as an umbrella category under which a broad spectrum of gender identities exist). Often abbreviated as trans or trans*. Can be transman, transwoman and/or non-binary person.
Man – a gender identity that largely aligns with “masculine” traits and characteristics. Can be a cisgender man or a trans male/trans man, both are men.
Woman – a gender identity that largely aligns with “feminine” traits and characteristics. Can be a cisgender woman or a trans female/trans woman, both are women.
Gender Queer/Gender Non-Conforming – an inclusive category for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine – identities that are outside of the gender binary.