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LGBTQIA+: A word on words...

Helpful terms

cis(gender) relating to an individual whose self-identity conforms with the correspondence between their gender and biological sex

genderqueer relating to an individual who doesn't subscribe to subscribe to traditional or conventional gender distinctions

heteronormative/cisnormative the assumption that each individual corresponds to an either/or gender and sex identity and that normal attraction occurs only occurs between conforming males and females

intersectionality acknowledges the relationships, influences, and negotiations among the different parts of one's identity (e.g. gender, sex, class, ethnicity); also, a framework for situating one's self in and with the world (see: Crenshaw, 1989).

transgender relating to an individual whose gender self-identity does not correspond with their biological sex

Tip: Use the term preferred by the individual, and use it with respect.

Subject headings, keywords, and cataloging

Official cataloging and classification schemes have yet to integrate the full spectrum of terms that LGBTQ communities use to describe themselves. For a variety of reasons, traditional terms such as homosexuals, gays, lesbians, sexual minorities, transsexual, and transvestism are commonplace. The use of queer and transgender has made relatively recent inroads. In other cases, older terms are employed, e.g. female/male impersonator for drag performer.

If, for instance, you are interested in writings by LGBTQ youth, some of your subject terms might be gay youth or gays' writings. You can also change gay to queer, as some titles may reflect this shift.

At the top of each search results page are links to suggested topics on which you can browse for additional resources: Library Catalog Results Screen for Queer Youth