UC San Diego SearchMenu

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Ethnicity

Why did UC San Diego add questions pertaining to gender identity and sexual orientation to the Graduate Application?

On October 8, 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 620, which includes a request that UC provide the opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to report their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression on any forms used to collect demographic data.

In 2012, then UC President Mark Yudof created and charged the Task Force & Implementation Team on LGBT Climate and Inclusion (LGBT Task Force) with developing priorities, strategies, and expected resource requirements to advance recommendations submitted by the LGBT Working Group of the President’s Advisory Council on Campus Climate and Inclusion. On May 30, 2014, the LGBT Task Force presented a report to UC President Janet Napolitano with a recommendation to implement AB 620.

In September 2014, UC President Janet Napolitano formed the President’s Advisory Council on LGBT Students, Faculty, and Staff, which is comprised of faculty, LGBT Center staff, students, and community experts. They were charged with making the UC system a gold standard for LGBT issues, and to provide recommendations for the implementation of AB 620 by collecting data on gender identity and sexual orientation through the admission application.

Students will be provided with an avenue to update or change their gender identity or sexual orientation data through online campus student portals or an alternate method determined by the campus. 

Why are you asking about my sexual orientation?

Providing the LGBT community with the option to self-identify supports the University’s priorities of creating an inclusive and welcoming campus environment across the UC system. As with all other demographic questions on the admission application, providing gender identity and sexual orientation data will be voluntary, optional, and as required by law, not impact admission decisions.

What do the sexual identity terms mean?

  • Bisexual – A person whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is toward people of the same and other genders, or toward people regardless of their gender.
  • Gay – A sexual and affectional orientation toward people of the same gender.
  • Heterosexual/Straight – A sexual orientation in which a person feels physically and emotionally attracted to people of a gender other than their own.
  • Lesbian – A woman whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is toward people of the same gender.

What do the gender identity terms mean?

  • Gender Non-Conforming – People who do not subscribe to gender expressions or roles expected of them by society.
  • Gender Queer – A person’s whose gender identity and/or gender expression falls outside of the dominant social norm for their assigned sex, is beyond genders, or is some combination of them
  • Transgender – Used most often as an umbrella term; some commonly held definitions: 1) someone whose gender identity or expression does not fit within dominant group social constructs of assigned sex and gender; 2) a gender outside of the man/woman binary; 3) having no gender or multiple genders.
  • Trans Man/Trans Male – A female-to-male (FTM) transgender person who was assigned female at birth, but whose gender identity is that of a man.
  • Trans Woman/Trans Female – A male-to-female (MTF) transgender person who was assigned male at birth, but whose gender identity is that of a woman.

Why do you want to know my ethnicity?

This information is used for statistical purposes only by UC, government agencies, and researchers.  Providing this information is optional, and it does not affect your chances for admission.

What if I am biracial or multi-ethnic?

Select all categories that apply to you.