Awareness and Celebration of LGBTQ+ Community

Awareness and Celebration of LGBTQ+ Community

International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is March 31st, 2020. It is a day to celebrate transgender people, their contributions to society, as well as raise awareness of the discrimination they face worldwide. The Indiana University East Campus Library is a dedicated Safe Space and our librarians and staff participate in regular training and professional development, such as Safe Zone, to better serve those members of the community who identify as LGBTQ+. This past month, IU East librarians Beth South and KT Lowe had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Social Workers 3rd Annual Conference on Serving Sexual & Gender Minority (GSM) populations. This conference was hosted by NASW’s Indiana Chapter Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.  While this conference does present some content through the social worker lens, it is a really great resource and educational opportunity to anyone needing or wanting to have a better understanding of working with GSM populations.

Breakout sessions included caring for transgender and gender diverse youth, providing therapy, addressing spirituality, talking about safe sex, providing support to LGBTQ+ youth in k-12 as well as college, being mindful of microaggressions and race, as well as the challenges of working with LGBTQ+ individuals across the lifespan.

One of the more in depth and beneficial sessions for Assistant Librarian of Access & Technical Services Beth South was the session focused on working with LGBTQ+ Individuals Across the Lifespan. Beth is also the archivist for the IU East Campus and currently is collecting oral histories and artifacts for the IU East LGBTQ+ Archive Collection, which can be viewed online at She was particularly interested to gain a better understanding of the different gender and sexual identities, especially between youth and younger adults vs older adults, appropriate terminology, and discover new ways to make the library more welcoming and inclusive in terms of accessibility, providing access to reliable and up to date LGBTQ+ related resources, and considering the best approach to cataloging and archiving LGBTQ+ collections. 

This particular session spanned several time slots and covered a little bit of everything; myths & facts about identity and coming out, terms related to sexuality, symbolism and flags, creating an affirming organization or space, brief case studies on various age groups, and even providing a brief history of LGBTQ+ historical moments, United States centric, noting that, with the exception of the Stonewall Riots which were led by trans women of color, these events were mostly led, enacted, or focused on gay, white men, i.e. Bowers v. Hardwick, Harvey Milk elected & assassinated, founding of Act Up, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The presenters wanted to recognize that even though gay, white men certainly face discrimination and hardships related to being LGBTQ+, in the historical context, they still entertain a level of privilege in terms of visibility not always afforded to other LGBTQ+ folks like gay men of color or trans women.

This conference provided a lot of resources, but one of the more notable handouts of interest to our librarians was a list of books, in order by age groups. The IU East Campus Library already has many of the suggestions listed and you can check them out.

For youth:

   And Tango Makes Three

At New York City’s Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches.

10,000 Dresses

Bailey longs to wear the beautiful dresses of her dreams but is ridiculed by her unsympathetic family which rejects her true perception of herself.

I am Jazz!

From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way.

Heather Has Two Mommies

Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, two pets—and two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn’t have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same.

King & King

When the queen insists that the prince get married and take over as king, the search for a suitable mate does not turn out as expected.

All Families Are Special

Students in Mrs. Mack’s class describe their families–big or small, living together or apart, with two moms or none–and learn why every family is special and important.

It’s Okay to be Different

Illustrations and brief text describe all kinds of differences that are “okay,” such as “It’s Okay to be a different color,” “It’s Okay to need some help,” “It’s Okay to be adopted,” and “It’s Okay to have a Different nose.”

A Tale of Two Mommies

                A young boy describes to two other children how his two mommies help him with all his needs.

Daddy, Papa, and Me

                The story of a toddler’s daily activities with two loving fathers.

For adults:

She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders

She’s Not There is about a person bearing and finally revealing a complex secret. As James evolves into Jennifer in scenes that are by turns tender, startling, and witty, a marvelously human perspective emerges on issues of love, sex, and the fascinating relationship between our physical and intuitive selves.

Transgender 101:  A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue

  • What does it mean to be transgender?: an introduction to the term
  • Sexual orientation vs. gender: what’s the difference?
  • Coming out as transgender: when, why, and how people come out
  • Transition: the social, the emotional, and the medical
  • The history of transgenderism and its evolution over time
  • Transgenderism as a mental health issue: the controversy over gender identity disorder
  • Discrimination: exploring the barriers that transpeople face
  • Lesser-known types of transgenderism: understanding cross-dressers, genderqueer people, drag queens, and more.

The Transgender Handbook: A Guide for Transgender People, Their Families and Professionals (eBook)

This handbook is written for transgender people, their families and friends; for professionals who in their day-to-day job may encounter transgender people; and for students, teachers, educators, academics, and members of the public at large with an interest in transgender people. This handbook gives an in-depth overview on a wide spectrum of issues encountered by transgender people, from childhood to later on in life. Key topics addressed include medical and surgical treatments, access to transgender health care, sexuality, mental health issues, fertility, education, and employment.

A Positive View of LGBTQ Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being (eBook)

Annotation A Positive View of LGBTQ starts a new conversation about the strengths and benefits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGTBQ) identities. Positive LGBTQ identities are affirmed through inspiring firsthand accounts. Focusing on how LGTBQ-identified individuals can cultivate a sense of well-being and a personal identity that allows them to flourish in all areas of life, the authors explore a variety of themes.

The Art of Coming Out: Cartoons for the LGBTQ Community

This book is a collection of cartoons for the LGBTQ community. It is divided into three chapters: the discrimination; the struggle; the affirmation.

Queer Social Work: Cases for LGBTQ+ Affirmative Practice (eBook)

This collection of case studies that model LGBTQ+ affirmative social work practice offers real-life scenarios from a range of social work scholars, educators, and practitioners, representing diverse sexualities, genders, and intersectional identities. Together, they demonstrate contemporary, multilevel, queer-affirming social work practice with LGBTQ+ people and communities.

Gender and Sexual Diversity in U.S. Higher Education Contexts and Opportunities for LGBTQ College Students (eBook)               

This volume includes this enlarged body of research on LGBTQ students, taken in the context of widespread changes in public attitudes and public policies related to LGBTQ people, integrating scholarship and student affairs practice. Specific foci include: transgender identity development, understanding intersections of sexual orientation and gender identity with other salient identities such as faith/religion/spirituality, race, social class, and ability, and studies about LGBTQ students in special-mission institutions (for example, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, religiously affiliated institutions, or women’s colleges). This list is not comprehensive and there are many other books available through IUCat related to LGBTQ issues as well as databases for relevant articles. If you need any assistance in researching LGBTQ+ related topics or accessing these books, just Ask Us! If you need a safe place to study or relax, the library welcomes you. If you need additional health or wellness support, you can chat with a counselor or visit the Center for Health Promotion in Hayes Hall 064 for more information. 

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