LGBTQ Identity Question
The Caltech family is diverse and supportive. Our community is built on the foundations of our Honor Code, our policy of collaboration, and our passion for solving problems in the world of STEM. In order for every member of this community to contribute at their highest potential, everyone must feel comfortable and respected in every aspect of their identity.
At Caltech, we know that you are more than just a set of grades, scores, and activities. Our application review process is holistic, and we strive to understand as much as we can about you and the context in which you have developed as a student, problem solver, and individual. The higher the pixel count, the clearer the picture, and the better our grasp on whether Caltech will be the optimal college fit for you.
Answering this question will in no way negatively impact your application. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is committed to Caltech's Nondiscrimination Policy and Code of Conduct. If you are interested in learning about about Caltech's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community and resources, please feel free to contact the Center for Caltech Diversity at 626.395.6207 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://diversitycenter.caltech.edu.
Identity Terms & Definitions
The following definitions are broad and do not cover the entire scope of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is very important to respect people's desired self-identifications and never assume another person's identity based on these definitions or that person's outward indicators.
The type of inherent sexual, emotional, and/or romantic attraction one feels toward others. Sexual orientation exists on a continuum and is not a set of absolute categories. Sexual orientation evolves through a multistage developmental process and may change over time.
A medical term designating a certain combination of chromosomes, external gender organs, secondary sex characteristics and hormonal balances.
A socially constructed system of classification that ascribes qualities of masculinity and femininity to people. Gender characteristics can change over time and are different between cultures. A person's gender identity is internal it and is not necessarily visible to others.
A person who is sexually, emotionally, and/or romantically attracted to a sex other than their own.
A person who is sexually, emotionally, and/or romantically attracted to a gender other than their own.
A woman who is sexually, emotionally, and/or romantically attracted to women.
- A man who is sexually, emotionally, and/or romantically attracted to men.
- Also an umbrella term to refer to all LGB people.
A person who is sexually, emotionally, and/or romantically attracted to two sexes or two genders, but not necessarily simultaneously or equally.
A person who is sexually, emotionally, and/or romantically attracted to members of all gender identities/expressions, not just people who fit into the standard gender binary.
- A person who is sexually, emotionally, and/or romantically attracted to many genders and/or does not represent cultural norms for sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
- Also an umbrella term to refer to all LGBTQ people.
A person who is not sexually attracted to any gender.
A person whose experience of their own gender matches the sex they were assigned at birth.
A person whose sexual anatomy and/or chromosomes at birth do not fit within "female" or "male."
- A person who does not identify with their assigned sex at birth or the traditional gender binary system of male or female, and who may live their life as another gender.
- Sometimes an umbrella term to refer to all trans* individuals.
- A person whose gender identity is different from their biological sex, who may live their life as another sex, and/or who may undergo medical sex-reaffirming treatments.
A person who does not identify with society's traditional gender binary, expectations of masculinity and femininity, or how they should identify their gender.
A person whose gender identification and presentation shifts along a spectrum of gender identities and/or expressions.
A person who is unsure of or in the process of exploring and discovering their own sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
These definitions were captured from the following university sites. For a more comprehensive list of definitions, please visit: