Information Services Librarian
Reference Desk: 860-679-2942
Information and Education Services
Top 5 Links
If you only have time for a quick overview, these are the links to look at!
These databases contain LGBT content
Human Diversity Overview
- LGBTTQQIA = lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual. It is commonly abbreviated as LGBT.
- GSM=gender and sexual minorities. It is another acronym occasionally used along with, or instead of, LGBTTQQIA
Sexual orientation – To whom a person is romantically, sexually, and/or emotionally attracted and how they themselves define that. A person may be attracted to the same gender (gay/lesbian), the opposite gender (heterosexual), more than one gender (bisexual), or not experience sexual attraction (asexual). Some people may be attracted to the same or both genders but still not identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Sexual orientation is how someone feels and identifies and is not related to specific behaviors or actions.
Sexual behavior – This is what an individual does; it’s important to not assume that sexual behavior and sexual orientation are the same. People may be sexual with others that don’t “fit” their sexual orientation.
- Gender Identity – One's inner sense of self as male, female, both, or neither. One’s gender identity can be the same or different than the gender assigned at birth.
- Gender Expression – Refers to the ways in which people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, and other parts of their presentation. Gender expression should not be viewed as an indication of sexual orientation.
- Gender Role – This is the set of roles, activities, expectations and behaviors assigned to females and males by society. Our culture recognizes two binary gender roles: masculine (having the qualities attributed to males) and feminine (having the qualities attributed to females). Other cultures have three or more gender roles.
- Cisgender – Individuals whose gender assigned at birth corresponds to their gender identity.
- Transgender – Individuals whose gender assigned at birth does not match their gender identity. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people additionally may identify as heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, two-spirit, queer, or asexual.
- Sex – Generally, a person's sex is considered their gender assigned at birth. Biological sex is determined by chromosomes, hormones, and internal and external genitalia. Given the potential variation in all of these, biological sex must be seen as a spectrum or range of possibilities rather than a binary set of two options.
- Intersex – some people are born with chromosomes, hormones, genitalia and/or other sex characteristics that do not conform to standard definitions of male or female; approximately 1% of the population is intersex.
Coming out – when someone tells others of their sexual orientation, gender identity, intersexuality, or any particular part of their life that may be met with rejection and violence. It is not a single event; it is a life-long choice in each new situation. Some people are “closeted/stealth” in some situations and “out” in others.