Learning Materials

Below is a collection of resources to help you support LGBTQ folks in your community.

Understanding LGBTQ Identities

  • LGBTQ History | Tools, resources, and references on LGBTQ History from PFLAG, an organization made up of LGBTQ individuals, family members and allies. 
  • What is Sexual Orientation? | It may seem nearly impossible to talk about differences in sexual orientation. One reason is that when people think “sex,” they tend to think of sexual behavior. But sexuality encompasses a lot more than behavior.
  • Words Matter: Gender-Justice Toolkit | The “Words Matter” Gender Justice Toolkit is designed to facilitate uncomfortable and, at times, difficult conversations that can save lives. This specific toolkit has been designed with the goal of ensuring gender justice in mind, which means ending the violence that Black women and girls—Both cisgender and transgender, as well as gender-nonconforming people—experience simply as a result of who they are and how they exist in the world.
  • Improving the Lives of LGBT Older Adults | A report published by the Movement Advancement Project. It provides an overview of the unique challenges and inequities facing LGBT elders. It also offers detailed recommendations for eliminating—or at least reducing—inequities and improving the lives, and life chances, of LGBT older Americans.
  • LGBTQ Stories  | Popular stories on a range of topics—from pronouns to politics—that highlight the history of the LGBTQ community.

Understanding Transgender and Non-Binary Identities

Resources to Support LGBTQ Children & Youth

Recommended Books:
  • The Gender Quest Workbook: A Guide for Teens and Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity | This one-of-a-kind, comprehensive workbook will help you navigate your gender identity and expression at home, in school, and with peers.
  • Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families Adjust to a Gay or Lesbian Child by Michael LaSala. Through a qualitative, multicultural study of sixty-five gay and lesbian children and their parents, Michael LaSala, a leading expert on coming out, outlines effective, practice-tested interventions for families in transition. His research reveals surprising outcomes, such as learning that a child is homosexual can improve familial relationships, including father-child relationships, even if a parent reacts strongly or negatively to the revelation.
  • The Gender Creative Child by Diane Ehrensaft. In this up-to-date, comprehensive resource, Dr. Ehrensaft explains the interconnected effects of biology, nurture, and culture to explore why gender can be fluid, rather than binary. As an advocate for the gender affirmative model and with the expertise she has gained over three decades of pioneering work with children and families, she encourages caregivers to listen to each child, learn their particular needs, and support their quest for a true gender self.
  • Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together by Robert Bernstein. Written in 1996 and updated in 2003, this is Bernstein’s account of coming to terms with his daughter’s homosexuality and how the experience has enriched his life. The book acts as a guide for parents as they help their LGBT children prepare for others’ reactions to their sexuality. It has earned plaudits from the likes of Betty DeGeneres, Charles Harmon, and the Washington Blade, as well as a generation of parents and families.
  • This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question and Answer Guide to Everyday Life by Danielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo. Written in an accessible Q&A format, here, finally, is the go-to resource for parents hoping to understand and communicate with their gay child. Through their LGBTQ-oriented site, the authors are uniquely experienced to answer parents’ many questions and share insight and guidance on both emotional and practical topics. Filled with real-life experiences from gay kids and parents, this is the book gay kids want their parents to read.
  • Transgender Children and Youth: Cultivating Pride and Joy with Families in Transition by Elijah Neely. Elijah C. Nealy, a therapist and former deputy executive director of New York City’s LGBT Community Center, and himself a trans man, has written the first-ever comprehensive guide to understanding, supporting, and welcoming trans kids. Covering everything from family life to school and mental health issues, as well as the physical, social, and emotional aspects of transition, this book is full of best practices to support trans kids.
  • GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens |Frank information and advice for teens who are questioning their sexuality or have already come out. Topics include coming out, getting support, and the current LGBTQ rights movement.
  • Transgender Reading List for Children

LGBTQ Resources for People of Faith

Recommended Books:

If you have a suggestion for this list, email us at info@fcsj.org and we’ll add it to the page.