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Information and health resources for the LGBTQ community
Last Updated: Aug 12, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Marissa Gauthier, MSLIS
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Hongjie Wang
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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. 

LGBT Journals

  • Canadian Online Journal of Queer Studies in Education
    "The Canadian Online Journal of Queer Studies in Education was created to provide a forum for scholars, professionals, and activists to discuss queer topics in education and the social sciences in the Canadian context. For the purposes of this journal, the term education is understood broadly, to include all levels of education in every discipline. This journal is devoted to supporting and disseminating research and theory that promotes social justice for all queer people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, intersex, two-spirited and trans-identified people."
  • Journal of GLBT Family Studies
    "The Journal of GLBT Family Studies is the first journal to address the unique experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals in the context of the family. The journal publishes original research, as well as theoretical and review papers on topics exploring the impact of sexual orientation and gender identity on all aspects of family experience – including family structure, relationships, communication, therapy, and functioning."
  • Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling
    "The Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling provides a professional forum for research, best practices, and emerging trends and issues relating to counseling the GLBT community. Rather than narrowing the focus on a particular approach for treatment or a specific topic, this journal encompasses all aspects of LGBT counseling for youth as well as adults—with attention to the prevention of problems and the fulfillment of human potential at all stages of life."
  • Journal of LGBT Youth
    "The Journal of LGBT Youth is the interdisciplinary forum dedicated to improving the quality of life for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. This quarterly journal presents peer-reviewed scholarly articles, practitioner-based essays, policy analyses, and revealing narratives from young people. This invaluable resource is committed to advancing knowledge about, and support of, LGBT youth."


Cover Art
Our bodies, ourselves : a new edition for a new era - The Boston Women’s Health Book Collective
Call Number: WP 120 N532 2005

Cover Art
The Handbook of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Public Health - Michael D. Shankle
Call Number: WA 300 H236 2006


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