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About 'GLBTQ' and GLBTQ Youth
This page was last updated on 06/15/11. If you know of errors please click here to let us know.


What do the words "gay," "lesbian," "bisexual," and "transgender" even mean? What is "sexual orientation" and what's the difference between that and "gender identity"? Why do some people call themselves "queer" and what should I call my friends, my acquaintances, my students, my teachers, my colleagues, myself, or my family members who may be sexual minorities in one way or another? Below are a few places to find out what other people think and how experts use the terms. But know that each person should get to define his or her own self and use what ever labels feel right for that definition ... or no labels at all.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people are increasingly visible in our schools. Why? Probably partly because young people in general are reaching puberty at younger ages than they did in generations past. And probably partly because sexual minority young people are growing up in the midst of a civil rights movement, feeling both an urgency and an increasing sense of community in their normal adolescent quests for identity and integrity. Recent studies have shown that, on average, lesbian and gay youth first become aware of their same-gender attractions at an average of 9-10 years old and first identify as lesbian or gay at an average of 14-16 years old.

Be Yourself: Questions and Answers for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Youth: from PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays: http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Be_Yourself_TT.pdf  (pdf format)

Bisexuality 101: a resource packet with a fact sheet, resource lists and articles from PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/BisexualityResourcePacket.pdf   (pdf format)

Creating Safe Space for GLBTQ Youth: A Toolkit: This 79-page manual from Advocates for Youth can be downloaded free. It includes excellent sections specifically on supporting youth of color and trans youth and 12 lesson plans for any youth program or 8-12 classroom. Go to: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/safespace/index.htm or http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/safespace/safespace.pdf  ( PDF version)

Definitions: from Public Health - Seattle & King County. http://www.metrokc.gov/health/glbt/definitions.htm

83,000 Youth: Selected Findings of Eight Population-Based Studies: This Safe Schools Coalition report is the first-ever compilation of quantitative research that explores the particular needs of gay, lesbian, and bisexual high school students and sheds light on the issue of anti-gay harassment in schools. The studies include six statewide surveys, two administered in urban school districts and one conducted in the schools of 55 American Indian tribes. http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/83000youth.pdf (pdf format)

Experiences, Vulnerabilities and Risks of Lesbian and Gay Students: by Caitlin Ryan & Donna Futterman (2001) in The Prevention Researcher: http://www.tpronline.org/articles.cfm?articleID=123 

For Better or For Worse comic strip: For five weeks in 1993, Artist Lynn Johnston devoted her strip to telling the story of Lawrence coming out to his friends and parents. The strip was pulled from a number of papers: http://www..cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs.cmu.edu/user/scotts/bulgarians/fbofw/index.html  

Gender Variance: A Primer: A thumbnail on the transgender community, explaining what it is and who it covers, from Gender Education and Advocacy. http://www.gender.org/resources/dge/gea01004.pdf  (pdf format)

GLBTQ Youth: fact sheet available on line and in print, from Advocates for Youth: Suite 200, 1025 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005; Phone: 202-347-5700; Web site: www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/factsheet/fsglbt.htm and  http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/factsheet/fsglbt.pdf (pdf format)Hot Seat Questions About Transgendered People: Short, snappy answers to all those irritating yet inevitable questions reporters like to ask us.  http://www.gender.org/resources/dge/gea01002.pdf (pdf format)

Glossary for school employees: from the Safe Schools Coalition: http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/glossary.pdf  (pdf format)

Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: Booklet (1) explains what we know about sexual development, using studies reported in peer reviewed journals, (2) reports verbatim the policies of a number of professional associations regarding "reparative therapies," (3) explain that there is disagreement among religious leaders about homosexuality and (4) outline students' legal rights and the obligations of schools regarding those rights. Available on line:  http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/publications/justthefacts.html and http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/facts.pdf  (pdf format) For hard copies (limited amounts), please contact Renee Lyles of the American Psychological Association: rlyles@apa.org

Lesbian and Gay Adolescents: Identity Development an excellent article by Caitlin Ryan, M.S.W., and Donna Futterman, M.D. online: http://www.tpronline.org/articles.cfm?articleID=342 or order a copy of the back issue of Prevention Researcher in which the article was published: 1-800-929-2955 ext 19.  

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth Issues: a fact sheet from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States: http://www.siecus.org/pubs/fact/fact0013.html and http://www.siecus.org/pubs/fact/FS_lgbt_youth_issues.pdf (pdf format)  

A Path to Greater Understanding: This web page introduces you to ten people whose stories may surprise you. If you have always wondered what "transgender" and "intersex" meant, check this page out. If you have wondered whether there was a place in religious institutions for gender-different people, check this page out and consider ordering the booklet by the same name: http://www.madeinimage.org/

Perguntas e Respostas sobre Orientação Sexual e Identidade de Género: "Questions and Answers About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" in Portuguese: http://www.ex-aequo.web.pt/arquivo/perguntas.pdf (pdf format)  

Nuestras Hijas y Nuestros Hijos: Preguntas y respuestas para padres de gays, lesbianas y bisexuals: the pamphlet "Our Daughters & Sons" in Spanish, from PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays: http://www.pflag.org/publications/NuestrasHijas.PDF (pdf format)

One Umbrella, Many People: Diversity Within the LGBT Communities: Within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities there is a tremendous diversity of experience. This activity from GLSEN will hopefully encourage you to learn more about LGBT people from different backgrounds. http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/library/record/1292.html and  http://www.glsen.org/binary-data/GLSEN_ATTACHMENTS/file/246-1.pdf  (pdf format)

Our Daughters & Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered People: from PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays: http://www.pflag.org/publications/OurDaughtersandSons.PDF  (pdf format)

Quick Facts on Sexual Minority youth, Harassment and Sexual Minority Parents and the Children: from the Safe Schools Coalition: http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/quickfacts.pdf (pdf format)

Respecting the Rights of GLBTQ Youth, A Responsibility of Youth-Serving Professionals: This entire issue of Advocates for Youth's journal Transitions (Vol. 14 June 2002) is worth reading. The contents include: 3Rs & GLBTQ Youth, Latino YMSM, Stressors for GLBTQ Youth, Transgender Youth, Harassment in School, Serving HIV-Positive Youth, Youth Activism, Coming Out?, Creating Inclusive Programs, Emergency Contraception, Abstinence-Only Education, Bill of Rights, and GLBTQ Youth of Color. For the pdf version, go to: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/transitions/transitions1404.pdf (pdf format) or, for html, go to: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/transitions/transitions1404.htm

A Straight Guide to GLBT Americans: from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) This first of its kind guide to GLBT Americans written for straight people walks you through the emotional spectrum that people typically feel after someone comes out to them, outlines myths and facts about GLBT people, and gives easy ways for straight people to learn more and demonstrate their support for GLBT Americans. Download A Straight Guide to GLBT Americans [PDF 851K]* here.   Request a free copy of A Straight Guide to GLBT Americans http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/campaign/straight_guide

Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack II Sexual Orientation ~ Daily effects of straight privilege: based on Dr. Peggy McIntosh's: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, this was written by a number of straight-identified students at Earlham College looked at a few examples of the privilege which straight people have.  http://www.cs.earlham.edu/~hyrax/personal/files/student_res/straightprivilege.htm and http://www.campusactivism.org/uploads/straightprivilege.pdf  (pdf format)

Using Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Youth Data from the Oregon Healthy Teens Survey to Address Health Inequities: Based on the 2007 Oregon Healthy Teens Survey, this PowerPoint presentation:
http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/LGBdata-fromOregonHealthyTeensFinal.ppt - shares findings, reaches these conclusions:

Youth Resource: a Web site created by and for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) young people 13 to 24 years old, takes a holistic approach to sexual health by offering support, community, resources, and peer-to-peer education about issues of concern to GLBTQ young people: http://www.youthresource.com/

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