The Pride Center


The Pride Center creates, sustains, and strengthens an open, inclusive, safe, and affirming gathering space and campus environment for individuals of all sexual orientations, romantic orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions as well as their allies. With a focus on community building and advocacy, The Pride Center offers educational and 2SLGBTQIA+-centered social justice programming for students, staff, faculty, community members, and allies of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

As a result of ongoing efforts to serve the campus and local San Diego 2SLGBTQIA+ community, SDSU is ranked as one of the “Best of the Best” for queer students, scoring a 5 out of 5 on the Campus Pride Index. The Pride Center also recognizes that inclusivity is not static and that identities are dynamic and fluid. As such, The Pride Center continues to strive to provide and promote a space where all 2SLGBTQIA+ people are seen, accepted, and valued.

Explaining the Acronym: 2SLGBTQIA+

During the spring 2023 semester, The Pride Center, in collaboration with the Native Resource Center initiated a change from the "LGBTQIA+" acronym used across SDSU to "2SLGBTQIA+" with the intention of affirming and empowering Two-Spirit (2S) people. The hope is to create a more welcoming and safe campus community. While unable to fully capture the many experiences people have and not attempting to rigidly define any identity, The Pride Center has broken down the acronym.

(2S) Two-Spirit: encompasses many identities, and although it is a newer term, it represents identities that have always existed and always will. The Two-Spirit moniker is not a monolith. It does not look the same or mean the same to every tribe and/or Indigenous community. Two-Spirit connects the concepts of gender and sexuality while resisting the division between sexuality and spirituality as a result of colonization. Two-Spirit is placed at the beginning of the 2SLGBTQIA+ acronym to acknowledge that Native people and Native identities came before any concept of the Western-defined identities in the rest of the acronym. Moreover, it brings awareness to the racism and violence Native people have faced and continue to face. It is imperative not to co-opt language, claim, and/or use Two-Spirit as an identity as a non-Native individual.
(L) Lesbian: broadly describes women who are attracted to other women. The term comes from the Greek poet Sappho of Lesbos whose work was seen as influential in the ancient world, becoming a symbol of desire between women. The "L" for lesbian has not always come before the "G" in the acronym. During the gay rights movement in the 1970s, tension grew between gay men and lesbians with lesbians experiencing sexism. The "L" was moved in front of the "G" in the acronym to honor the role of lesbians in the gay rights movement and what was then called the AIDS crisis, symbolizing how these individuals kept the community together even in dark days.
(G) Gay: was not used in relation to sexuality until the mid 20th century with the gay rights movement increasing the use of the term. While gay has a history of being misused and carrying a negative connotation, it is not a bad word and should never be used as a slur. Gay is an identity, and while the term has been used to specifically refer to men who are attracted to men, it is also commonly used to describe someone who is attracted to people of the same gender and an array of other non-heterosexual relationships; including the physical, sexual, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction people may feel for each other.
(B) Bisexual: the modern definition of bisexuality emerged in the 1910s to refer to sexual and romantic attraction. Starting in the 1980s, the definition began to signify attraction to more than one sex and/or gender; meaning bisexual people may not be attracted to only two genders. The term pansexual also became more known and used in the following years. Pansexuality eliminates gender all together in reference to attraction. Pansexual is broadly defined as attraction to all; thus it is not limited by sex and/or gender. Some people may identify as both bisexual and pansexual, and some may identify as one or the other or neither.
(T) Transgender: transgender (trans) is an umbrella term describing someone who does not identify with their assigned gender at birth. The word transgender became widespread in the 1990s due to increased awareness surrounding the social construction of sex and gender. However, the existence of more than two genders parallels the existence of humans, showing up in several cultures worldwide and across time, including Two-Spirit people within Native communities. Trans identities are wonderfully diverse. Transgender individuals may identify with multiple terms, including non-binary, genderqueer, and many more. While these identities fall under the transgender umbrella, people who hold these identities may not always identify as trans. Transgender folks may choose to transition socially and/or medically; however, not all trans folks transition for a variety of reasons.
(Q) Queer or Questioning: the term queer describes the fluidity of identity within sexuality and gender. Queer is believed to have been first used in relation to a person's identity in the late 1800s as a slur. Today, many people reclaim the term and use queer to self-identify. The history of reclamation began during the gay rights movement as a strategy to disarm homophobic people and demand more action to respond to the AIDS crisis. Queer, in a modern and reclaimed context, is expansive and can encompass all non-heteronormative and non-cisnormative identities, relationships, and/or partnerships. The "Q" also represents folks who are questioning and exploring their identities within the context of sexuality and gender. It is important to hold space within the community for folks questioning the presumption of heteronormativity and cisnormativity for themselves.
(I) Intersex: our bodies are more complex than the rigid boxes created for determining and assigning the sex of a baby at birth. Intersex is an umbrella term used to describe someone who has sex traits and/or reproductive anatomy not falling within normative binaries of male and female. Common variations in sex chromosomes, hormones, genitalia, and/or gonads inevitably make any claim for rigid sex and gender binaries fail. Despite these variations, many intersex people are nevertheless assigned male or female at birth which can have harmful impacts on the individual's health and wellbeing. In reality, intersex variations are normative and changing intersex traits should not be done without the individual's informed consent.
(A) Asexual: asexuality (ace) is a spectrum of identities involving little to no sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is separate from romantic attraction, and an ace person may choose to pursue romantic relationships and/or have sex for various reasons. The term graysexual (gray-ace) falls under the asexual umbrella and describes experiencing sexual attraction rarely – only experiencing sexual attraction under specific circumstances, moments, or periods. Another identity under the asexual umbrella is demisexual, referring to a person who only experiences sexual attraction when a strong emotional bond is present.
(+): used to indicate the vast spectrum of sexual orientations, romantic orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions a person may hold over their lifetime.

SDSU resides on Kumeyaay land and it is crucial to acknowledge and understand the space(s) one occupies, including the identities within Native communities that have been erased due to colonization, racism, and violence.

Two-Spirit is an umbrella term connecting the concepts of gender and sexuality. The identity Two-Spirit does not look the same or have the same meaning for every tribe and Native community. In some tribes and Native communities, the term Two-Spirit is not used. The Two-Spirit identity is only for Native people and is not intended for non-Native people to co-opt.

Two-Spirit is placed at the beginning of the 2SLGBTQIA+ acronym to acknowledge that Native people and Native identities came before any concept of the Western identities represented in the rest of the acronym. Moreover, it brings awareness to the racism and violence Native people have faced and continue to face.