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.
- Transgender 101: A Guide to Gender and Identity to Help You Keep Up with the Conversation
- Understanding Trans People: The Basics
- Frequently Asked Questions about Transgender People
- What does Transgender Mean?: Transgender People, Gender Identity and Gender Expression
- Supporting the Transgender People in Your Life: A Guide To Being a Good Ally
- Understanding Non-Binary People: How to Be Respectful and Supportive
- The Most Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Gender Pronouns
- Why it matters what pronouns you use to refer to people and what to do if you slip up
- Valuing Transgender Applicants & Employees: A Best Practices Guide for Employers
- An Introduction to Transgender People (Facebook Video) | There are at least 1.4 million transgender people living in the United States. We would like you to meet just a few of them.
- Trans in the South: A Guide to Resources and Services |400 Southern health service providers that the Campaign for Southern Equality team has confirmed to be trans-friendly and trans-competent.
Resources to Support LGBTQ Children & Youth
- Questions and Answers for Families of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender-Expansive and Queer Youth and Adults
- Questions and Answers for Parents, Families, and Friends of People Who Are Transgender and Gender Expansive
- Parents: Quick Tips for Supporting Your LGBTQ Kids—and YOURSELF—During the Coming-Out Process | There is no doubt that people have different and potentially complex responses and feelings to a loved one coming out…and this is absolutely normal. Here, then, are some tips from PFLAG on how to support your child or loved one, while making sure that you also get the support you need.
- In My Shoes: Stories of Youth with LGBT Parents | In a time when LGBT families are debated and attacked in the media, courts and Congress, from school houses to state houses across the country, five young people who are children of LGBT parents give you a chance to walk in their shoes – to hear their own views on marriage, making change, and what it means to be a family.
- “Our Trans Loved Ones” | Questions and Answers for parents, families, and friends of transgender and gender-expansive children, adolescents, and adults.
- My Kid Says They’re Transgender” | Many parents are terrified and filled with judgments when their kid comes out to them as transgender. Unfortunately, too many are too quick to reject their child. Here are the consequences.
- Be Prepared: Responding to Kids’ Questions on LGBTQ Topics | What can you say when a student asks you, “What does ‘gay’ mean?” or “Why does she look like a boy?” Find ways to interupt gender and LGBTQ put-downs.
- Diverse Lesson Plans For Your School — Gender and LGBTQ Inclusive | HRC Welcoming Schools lesson plans are here to help you make classrooms more welcoming, inclusive and safe. Find LGBTQ and gender inclusive lesson plans. Aligned with the Common Core Standards and are easily integrated into Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and anti-bullying programs.
- Resources for an LGBTQ and Gender Inclusive School | Inclusive schools create safe and welcoming learning spaces for all students; Proactively work to prevent and address bias-based bullying; Welcome all children and their families; Promote gender equity and support transgender and non-binary students.
- Printable Resource Guide for Parents/Families of LGBTQ Children
- 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
- Faith FAQ |Being LGBTQ does not impact a person’s ability to be moral and spiritual, and indeed many LGBTQ people are religious and active in their own faith communities. This can be a good time to explore and question in order to reconcile religion with sexual orientation and gender identity, and determine the next best steps for you and your loved one.
- Resources for Interfaith/Non-Denominational Communities | The work done between and among faiths is an important part of the movement toward full equality, since it brings together communities of faith with the LGBTQ community and their allies. Below are some organizations doing vital interfaith and nondenominational work.
- Resources for Atheists and Humanists | For atheists and humanists who identify as LGBTQ and their families, the coming-out experience can seem doubly alienating; there can be little question that those who do not believe can feel left out of the traditional discourse. Luckily, there is a plethora of resources available for LGBTQ individuals, their friends, and families that comes from an atheist or humanist perspective.
- Faith Resources for Muslims | Muslim communities have been subjected to Islamophobia, racism, and violence based on ignorance. In a number of ways, the contemporary Muslim experience mirrors the LGBT experience, and makes support for those whose identities intersect with both communities all the more important.
- All in God’s Family: Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families | Giving you opportunities to gather with other members of your congregation to pray, to learn, to share, and to work together to transform your lives, your congregation, and your world into a loving place in which God’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families can thrive.
- All in God’s Family: A Jewish Guide for Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families
- Unashamed: A Coming Out Guide for LGBTQ Christians, Amber Cantorna
- Building an Inclusive Church, A Welcoming Toolkit 2.0 | Helping Your Congregation Become a Community that Openly Welcomes People of All Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities
- A La Familia | A Conversation About Our Families, the Bible, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- Is it REALLY ok LGBTQ and Christian? | Yes, you can be gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer and a Christian, that being LGBTQ is a normal, natural part of the diversity of God’s creation.
- transACTION: A Transgender Curriculum for Churches and Religious Institutions | transACTION is designed to help churches and institutions address this issue of understanding and welcome by providing step-by-step training about the needs, apprehensions and fears of transgender people – as well as the wealth of gifts and graces they bring – while responding to the concerns of the church or religious institution.
- Faith In Our Families and be not afraid – help is on the way! straight for equality in faith communities to help you learn more about what you can do to be a better ally to individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ in your faith community.
- There are countless amazing films that focus on the intersections of faith and religion and LGBTQ+ identities. We recommend checking out a classic such as Prayers for Bobby or a documentary like For They Know Not What They Do.
- Use social media to spread the word about organizations that represent your faith tradition that are also welcoming, open, and affirming for those who identify as LGBTQ+. Use the list available at straightforequality.org/
FaithResources to get started
- The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage, Mark Achtemeier | In The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage, Achtemeier shares what led to his change of heart: the problems with excluding groups of people and the insights into the Bible’s message that led him to recognize the fullness of God’s love and support for LGBTQ persons.
- Jesus, The Bible, And Homosexuality: Explode The Myths And Heal The Church, Jack Rogers | Jack Rogers book is a classic. This version is revised and expanded to include a guide for group study and personal reflection.
- Bible, Gender, And Sexuality: Reframing The Church’s Debate On Same-Sex Relationships, James Brownson | A thought-provoking book by James Brownson develops a broad, cross-cultural sexual ethic from Scripture, locates current debates over homosexuality in that wider context, and explores why the Bible speaks the way it does about same-sex relationships.
- God And The Gay Christian: The Biblical Case In Support Of Same-Sex Relationships, Matthew Vines | Matthew Vine’s book has become an instant classic. Approaching the scripture from his background as a self-described conservative Christian, Vines affirms both an orthodox faith and sexual diversity.
- “Mom, I’m Gay” – Loving Your LGBTQ Child And Strengthening Your Faith, Susan Cottrell | Susan Cottrell, a Christian and a mom of a lesbian daughter, offers her hard won wisdom about how to respond with love and support as your child comes out. With practical advice and heartfelt encouragement, Cottrell guides readers through the fear and uncertainty Christian parents of LGBTQ children often feel.
- A Brief Guide to Ministry with LGBTQIA Youth, Cody Sanders | Despite our best efforts to create welcoming and affirming congregations, the reality is that church can still be a harmful place to LGBTQIA youth. Author Cody J. Sanders challenges pastors and church leaders to reflect on the various trials that adolescence brings for LGBTQIA+ youth
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