Skip to content
Support Provided By: Learn more
  • Discussion guide

We Are The Radical Monarchs: Discussion Guide

Helpful Concepts, Language, and Explanations


Gender: refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex. Behavior that is compatible with cultural expectations is referred to as gender-normative; behaviors that are viewed as incompatible with these expectations constitute gender non-conformity.

Sex: the public classification of people as “male or female" at birth, based on bodily/anatomical characteristics such as chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, and genitalia (GLAAD)

Gender Identity: A person’s private sense of and experience with being a boy or man, girl or woman, or a gender that may or may not correspond with the individual’s biological sex. Gender identity is personal and is not visible to others.

Gender Performance/Gender Expression: External manifestations of gender, expressed through one's name, pronouns, clothing, haircut, behavior, voice, or body characteristics. Society identifies these cues as masculine and feminine, although what is considered masculine and feminine changes over time and varies by culture. Typically, transgender people seek to make their gender expression align with their gender identity, rather than the sex they were assigned at birth.

Gender Non-Conforming: This is a term used to describe people whose gender expression is different from conventional expectations of masculinity and femininity. Not all gender non-conforming people identify as transgender, nor are all transgender people gender non-conforming.

Sexual orientation: Describes an individual's enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction to another person. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same. Transgender people may be straight, lesbian, gay, or bisexual. For example, a person who transitions from male to female and is attracted solely to men would identify as a straight woman. (Not the same as gender identity.)

Cisgender: A term used by some to describe people who are not transgender. "Cis-" is a Latin prefix meaning "on the same side as," and is therefore an antonym of "trans-." A more widely understood way to describe people who are not transgender is simply to say non-transgender people.

Transgender (adj.): An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. People under the transgender umbrella may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms – including transgender. Some of those terms are defined below. Use the descriptive term preferred by the person. Many transgender people are prescribed hormones by their doctors to bring their bodies into alignment with their gender identity. Some undergo surgery as well. But not all transgender people can or will take those steps, and a transgender identity is not dependent upon physical appearance or medical procedures.


Race: a social and political construct (race is not biological); “a power construct of collectd or merged difference that lives socially” (Kendi)

Racism: a system of advantage based on race that is historic and deeply embedded in institutional structures and benefits White people. Or, a marriage of racist policies and racist ideas that produces and normalizes racial inequities (Kendi). Racism is different than prejudice, hatred, and discrimination. Racism includes one group having power to carry out systematic discrimination through the institiutional policies and practices of the society.

Discrimination: harmful acts commited against a person due to an aspect of their identity (often discimination involved institutionalized power and exclusion)

Prejudice: a preconceived judgment or opinion, usually based on limited information.

Anti-Racist: One who is expressing the idea that racial groups are equals and none need developing, and is supporting antiracist policy through their actions or expressing antiracist ideas.

Racist: “One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or inaction or expressing racist ideas.” (Kendi)


Dismantling Racism

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

Kendi, Ibram X. (2019). How to Be an Antiracist. New York, One World Publishers.

Racial Equity Institute

About the authors

Marilyn Hollinquest

Marilyn Hollinquest, Co-Founder of the Radical Monarchs, is a social justice advocate who specializes in young women of colors empowerment. She has 15 plus years of experience as a teacher, community advocate and scholar. Marilyn received her M.A in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University, and B.A in Community Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz. Marilyn is passionate about the marriage of theory and practice (praxis) which is at the core of her commitment to the authentic inclusion of disenfranchised peoples. She currently builds radical community in her chosen home of Oakland, CA and is a proud Tulare, CA native.

Anayvette Martinez

Anayvette Martinez Co-Founder of the Radical Monarchs is a San Francisco native and child of Central American immigrants. Anayvette's varied interests in advocacy, community organizing and empowerment led her to pursue her undergraduate degree at the University of California Los Angeles and later her Master's degree at San Francisco State University in Ethnic Studies. Over the past fifteen years she has developed and managed education, social justice, and gendered support programs focused on empowerment and safety for youth, families and their adult allies. Anayvette currently lives and loves in East Oakland with her two children.