Resource Guide to an Anti-Oppressive Framework

Resource Guide to an Anti-Oppressive Framework

  • Intersectionality

  • The interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

  • Ableism (physical, neurodivergent or struggle with mental health)

  • Ableism is discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities. Ableism characterizes persons as defined by their disabilities and as inferior to the non-disabled.

  • Ex: Not considering access or accomodations needs when planning events.

  • Acephobia (Ace Erasure/Ace Exclusionism)

  • Fear, dislike, or hatred of asexual people and/or human asexuality; the belief that sex is a universal experience or that having sex is part of becoming an adult.

  • Ex: Assuming that ace folks are just “straight”, thus not part of the LGBTQIA community.

  • Ex: Telling someone they just haven’t found the right person.

  • Ex: “Oh, those teenagers/boys/people are only thinking about one thing.”

  • Adultism

  • adultism is defined as prejudice and accompanying systematic discrimination against young people.

  • Ex: Making comments like “you’re only insert age, what do you know about x topic?”

  • Ageism

  • prejudicial attitudes towards older people, old age, and the aging process; discriminatory practices against older people; and institutional practices and policies that perpetuate stereotypes about elderly people. Also linked to Adultism.

  • Ex: Assuming that because someone is elderly they shouldn’t drive without any knowledge of their health status.

  • Anti Semitism

  • Anti Semitism is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jewish people.

  • Ex: Assuming Jewish people are cheap or greedy.

  • Biphobia

  • Biphobia is the hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against bisexuality and toward bisexual people as a social group or as individuals.

  • Ex: Assuming bi folks are promiscuous and aren’t capable of commitment.

  • Ex: Assuming that bi folks are just going through a phase.

  • Ex. Assuming people in same-gender relationships are gay and people in different-gender relationships are straight

  • Christian Hegemony

  • Christian hegemony is the everyday, pervasive, and systematic set of Christian values and beliefs, individuals and institutions that dominate all aspects of our society through the social, political, economic, and cultural power they wield.

  • Ex: National observation (usually resulting in day(s) off from work) of Christian based holidays such as Good Friday, Easter & Christmas

  • Ex: Wishing someone a “Merry Christmas”.

  • Cissexism

  • Cissexism is the belief that transgender / non-binary people are inherently inferior to cisgender (denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their gender assigned at birth) people, resulting in the oppression of gender variant, non-binary and trans identities.

  • Ex: Using phrases like “ladies and gentlemen” which assumes that all of the folks you are talking to are cis.

  • Classism

  • Classism is prejudice or discrimination based on socioeconomic status.

  • Ex: Assuming that someone is homeless because of making bad decisions.

  • Colorism

  • A form of prejudice or discrimination in which people with lighter skin are treated better than those with darker skin. Different than racism in that it impacts people within the same racial group, stemming from White Supremacy. Proximity to whiteness is more valuable.

  • Ex: Beauty campaigns tend to highlight and lift up white and light skin folks as attractive.

  • Ex: Telling someone “You’re attractive for a dark skin person.”

  • Elitism

  • Elitism is the belief or attitude that individuals who form an elite — a select group of people with a certain ancestry, intrinsic quality, high intellect, wealth, special skills, or experience — are more likely to be constructive to society as a whole, and therefore deserve influence or authority greater than that of others

  • Ex: Assuming that someone with a college degree is more intelligent than someone without one.

  • Fatphobia

  • Blanket term for a type of oppression that people with large bodies experience. Although we are all affected by fatphobia, we are affected at different levels and to different degrees.

  • Ex: Equating someone’s health status to their body size.

  • Femmephobia

  • Femmephobia is hatred of all people who are perceived as femme, feminine, effeminate regardless of their gender.

  • Ex: Phrases like “no fats, no fems”

  • Ex: Equating things that are feminine as weaker or softer.

  • Islamophobia

  • Islamophobia is the irrational fear, hatred of, or prejudice against, the religion of Islam or Muslims, especially when seen as a geopolitical force or the source of terrorism.


  • Ex: Assuming that someone who is visibly Muslim, is of Arab descent. There are Muslims of other ethnicities and races.

  • Monosexism

  • A belief that having just one partner is superior to or more legitimate than bisexual, pansexuality, polyamory or other non-monosexual orientations.

  • Ex: Assuming that someone is in a monogamous relationship with their partner.

  • Racism

  • Rooted in white supremacy, racism is the hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against people of color.

  • Ex: A white person calling the cops on a person of color because they feel they don’t belong in their neighborhood.

  • Sexism

  • Ingrained and institutionalized prejudice, attitudes and behaviors based on a person’s sex or perceived gender.

  • Ex: Categorizing certain activities as unlady like that are socially acceptable for men/boys to do, like being promiscuous.

  • Ex: The discrimination or devalue women and girls.

  • Ex: Boys shouldn’t cry.

  • Transphobia

  • Transphobia is a range of negative attitudes, feelings or actions toward transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary individuals, or towards the trans community, based on the perceived gender of the person.

  • Ex: Asking a trans person what their “real” name is.

  • White Supremacy

  • The belief that white people are superior to those of all other races, especially the black race, and should therefore dominate society.

  • Xenophobia

  • Intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.

  • Ex: Believing that refugees will bring crime to the community.

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The Pride Youth Theater Alliance is fiscally sponsored by The Theater Offensive in Boston, MA whose mission is to present the diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lives in art so bold it breaks through personal isolation, challenges the status quo, and builds thriving communities.

The Pride Youth Theater Alliance is generously supported by the Mukti Fund, a small private foundation established in 1983 to support cultural heritage, environmental projects, and Queer Youth Theater.