Click through the sections below to learn more. (Click an area to open/close that section.)
LGBTQIA+: This is often the acronym used to refer to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and aromantic individuals. The plus is used to be inclusive of many other gender and sexual identities such as pansexual, two-spirit, bigender, etc.
Lesbian: women (as well as non-binary and GNC people who feel a connection to womanhood) who are attracted to other women.
Gay: this label can refer specifically to men who are attracted to men; people who are primarily attracted to the same or similar gender as their own or as an umbrella term for anyone who is not straight.
Bisexual: someone who is attracted to two or more genders; someone who is attracted to people of their own gender and other genders. This does not mean they are attracted to each gender the same amount, to the same degree, or at the same time.
Pansexual: someone who is capable of being attracted to any or all genders; or someone who does not see gender as an important factor in determining their attraction.
Queer: an umbrella term or identity taken on by some LGBTQIA+ people to describe a sexual and/or gender identity that falls outside societal norms. This term has a history of being used as a slur, and has been reclaimed by some members of the community. It is often chosen because of its ambiguity and multiple meanings. It is also often used as an umbrella term for LGBTQIA+ people.
Questioning: being unsure of one’s sexual/romantic orientation or gender identity
Asexual: an umbrella term, or stand-alone identifier, for someone who experiences little or no sexual attraction. Sometimes shortened to “ace”.
Aromantic: an umbrella term, or stand-alone identifier, for someone who experiences little or no romantic attraction. Sometimes shortened to “aro”
Agender: Someone who is without gender, gender neutral, and/or rejects the concept of gender for themselves.
Trans or Transgender: an umbrella term and identity for someone whose gender identity doesn’t match their sex assigned at birth
Cis or Cisgender: A person whose gender identity is the same as their sex assigned at birth
Nonbinary: umbrella term for people with gender identities that fall outside of the traditional conceptions of strictly either female or male
Genderqueer: umbrella term with a similar meaning to non-binary; it can be used to describe any gender identities other than man and woman, thus outside of the gender binary
Gender Non-Conforming: a personal identity, behavior, or gender expression that does not conform to masculine or feminine gender norms
Gender Fluid: Denoting or relating to a person who does not identify themselves as having a fixed gender and can vary over time
Two Spirit: A modern, pan-Indian umbrella term used by some Indigenous North Americans to describe Native people in their communities who fulfill a traditional third-gender (or other gender-variant) ceremonial role in their cultures
AFAB/AMAB: Assigned Female at Birth and Assigned Male at Birth.
Intersex: a sex category that includes people whose anatomy, chromosomes, or hormones do not completely fit into either of society’s typical definitions of male or female. About 1 in 2000 people are born intersex, and many individuals are operated on without consent to make them fit into societal sex and gender binaries.
Intersectionality: A term coined by law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in the 1980s to describe the way that multiple systems of oppression interact in the lives of those with multiple marginalized identities. Intersectionality looks at the relationships between multiple marginalized identities and allows us to analyze social problems more fully, shape more effective interventions, and promote more inclusive advocacy amongst communities.
Intersex: Adjective used to describe the experience of naturally (that is, without any medical intervention) developing primary or secondary sex characteristics that do not fit neatly into society's definitions of male or female. Intersex is an umbrella term and there are around 20 variations of intersex that are included in this umbrella term. Many visibly Intersex people are mutilated in infancy and early childhood by doctors to make the individual’s sex characteristics conform to society’s idea of what normal bodies should look like. Intersex people are relatively common, although society's denial of their existence has allowed very little room for intersex issues to be discussed publicly. Hermaphrodite is an outdated and inaccurate term that has been used to describe intersex people in the past.
Transitioning: An individualized process by which transsexual and transgender people “switch” from one gender presentation to another. There are three general aspects to transitioning: social (i.e. name, pronouns, interactions, etc.), medical (i.e. hormones, surgery, etc.), and legal (i.e. gender marker and name change, etc.). A trans individual may transition in any combination, or none, of these aspects.
Coming Out: “Coming out" describes voluntarily making public one's sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It has also been broadened to include other pieces of potentially stigmatized personal information. Terms also used that correlate with this action are: "Being out" which means not concealing one's sexual orientation or gender identity, and "Outing, " a term used for making public the sexual orientation or gender identity of another who would prefer to keep this information secret.
Gender Identity: A sense of one’s self as trans, genderqueer, woman, man, or some other identity, which may or may not correspond with the sex and gender one is assigned at birth.
Gender Expression: How one expresses oneself, in terms of dress, hairstyle, body modifications, accessories, makeup, and/or behaviors. Society, and people that make up society characterize these expressions as "masculine,” “feminine,” or “androgynous.” Individuals may embody their gender in a multitude of ways and have terms beyond these to name their gender expression(s).
Sex versus gender: Sex is the category a person is assigned at birth; in the United States this would be under male and female. This is generally determined based on genitals either in utero or after birth. The reality though, is that people’s biology is more diverse than society’s categories and requirements. Gender is what society determines you are, based on outward appearance and expression, such as man or woman. Gender is a socially constructed classification system that relies on “normative” assumptions of femininity and masculinity. Sex and gender are often conflated due to the cisnormative (the belief that all people identify with the sex they were assigned at birth) assumption that female = woman and male = man for everyone.
Heterosexism: The assumption that all people are or should be heterosexual. Heterosexism excludes the needs, concerns, and life experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer people while it gives advantages to heterosexual people. It is often a subtle form of oppression, which reinforces realities of silence and erasure.
Heteronormativity: A set of lifestyle norms, practices, and institutions that promote binary alignment of biological sex, gender identity, and gender roles; assume heterosexuality as a fundamental and natural norm; and privilege monogamous, committed relationships and reproductive sex above all other sexual practices.
Cissexism/Genderism: The pervasive system of discrimination and exclusion that oppresses people whose gender and/or gender expression falls outside of cis-normative constructs. This system is founded on the belief that there are, and should be, only two genders & that one’s gender or most aspects of it, are inevitably tied to assigned sex. Within cissexism cisgender people are the dominant/agent group and trans/gender non-conforming people are the oppressed/target group.
Cisnormative/Cisnormativity: The assumption that all individuals identify and maintain their sex that was assigned to them at birth. The act of viewing, expecting, and assuming that all individuals identify as cisgender unless otherwise specified or proven.
Transmisogyny: the intersection of transphobia and misogyny. Transmisogyny includes negative attitudes, hate, and discrimination toward transgender individuals who fall on the feminine side of the gender spectrum, particularly trans women.
Always ask about preferred pronouns because not everyone goes by she/he/they pronouns!
How to use they/them or alternative pronouns in English
What they/them alternative pronouns are and how to use them in sentences.
How to use they/them pronouns in Mandarin
他 is often considered as the gender neutral pronoun, but on popular social media sites such as Weibo is the use of TA/ta or the use of X也/
How to use they/them pronouns in Hindi
While there is a “they” pronoun, Hindi is a very gendered language. Here is a professor’s take on the use of Hindi to be more gender inclusive.
How to use they/them pronouns in Spanish
They/them interpretations will vary due to regional and country interpretations. Spanish is also a very gendered language. Here are various interpretations to break down the gender binary.
How to use they/them pronouns in French
French is a gendered language with no “official way” of referring to a gender neutral/non-binary person. The most common use is “iel” and “elle” along with “ol”, “al”, “ul” or “yul”. However, in French, one must use a sentence structure based on male or female aligned adjectives.
How to use they/them pronouns in Arabic
Arabic is also a gendered language with no official reference to non-binary/gender neutral person. There is no universal term embraced by Arabic-speaking people but here is some discourse around what word would be used.
Video Resources for Coming Out
YouTube videos to support you.
Additional Resources for Coming Out
Notes from Dr. Favero, a clinician working with LGBT patients for decades, gives his thoughts:
Resources for Clinican/Therapist:
Possible Resources for Patients:
Kenneady, D. A., & Oswalt, S. B. (2014). Is Cass’s Model of Homosexual Identity Formation Relevant to Today’s Society? American Journal of Sexuality Education, 9(2), 229–246. https://doi.org/10.1080/15546128.2014.900465
Educators and clinicians need to be aware of nonheterosexual youth’s use of the internet and provide quality online resources, including safety measures and critical thinking about resources they may come upon. Exploitation and misinformation is prevalent on the internet so having guidance in that aspect is extremely important. Also to note is that the Cass Model does not work for all nonheterosexual individuals, especially concerning non-cisgendered people. Multiple identities (gender, nationality, ethnicity, social status, etc.) intersect within the sexuality of individuals as well so these all have to be considered to treat the whole individual.
Ferdoush, Md. A. (2016). Revisiting Cass’s Model of Homosexual Identity Development in Context of Bangladesh Society. SAGE Open, 6(2), 2158244016651913. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244016651913
Cass Model of Homosexuality Identity Development was applied to 18 self-identified kotis (a category of homosexual people in Bangladesh society) and found that kotis in Dhaka cannot develop their sexual identity completely due to stigma, and that the model would be more applicable if stigma-management strategies were included and stigma was better addressed.
Adams, H. L., & Phillips, L. (2009). Ethnic Related Variations from the Cass Model of Homosexual Identity Formation: The Experiences of Two-Spirit, Lesbian and Gay Native Americans. Journal of Homosexuality, 56(7), 959–976. https://doi.org/10.1080/00918360903187895
Interviews with six-identified two-spirit, lesbian or gay Native Americans added empirical strength to claims of self-identitfied TsLG Native Americans that lived experience does not fit research literature. Half were unable to relate to key experiences presented by Cass with a different pattern of coming out and coming to terms with one’s identity.
Hidalgo, M. A., Ehrensaft, D., Tishelman, A. C., Clark, L. F., Garofalo, R., Rosenthal, S. M., Spack, N. P., & Olson, J. (2013). The Gender Affirmative Model: What We Know and What We Aim to Learn. Human Development, 56(5), 285–290. https://doi.org/10.1159/000355235
The Gender Affirmative Model that this clinic group uses takes into account: a) gender variations not being a disorder, b) gender presentations are diverse across cultures, requiring cultural sensitivity, c) gender is an interweaving of biology, development, socialization and culture and context, d) gender may be fluid, is not binary and can change with an individual across time, e) if there is pathology, it more often stems from cultural reactions (ex: transphobia, homophobia, sexism) than from within the child.
Shealy, C. R. (2015). Theories and interventions with transgender and gender non-conforming clients. 52. https://scholarworks.smith.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1759&context=theses
13 clinicians working with Transgender and gender non-conforming individuals were interviewed about their experiences. These clinicians struggle to apply developmental theory to gender development, with some clinicians able to use the theories while others do not. The use of empathy, validation and acceptance is more therapeutic by allowing for a working alliance and a reparative experience especially if they are not accepted by their families, communities and society as a whole.
Shulman, G. P., Holt, N. R., Hope, D. A., Mocarski, R., Eyer, J., & Woodruff, N. (2017). A Review of Contemporary Assessment Tools for Use with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Adults. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 4(3), 304–313. https://doi.org/10.1037/sgd0000233
Reviewed DSM and scales of measuring gender dysphoria, TGNC minority stress and related constructs. Call for researchers to give higher priority to psychometric investigation of best existing measures to inform best clinical research and practice. Broad but repeatable measure for progress monitoring is needed to cover key aspects of gender congruence, experiences and coping with stigma and discrimination, community connection and social support as well as general well-being.
Just make citation in APA of the paper and rephrase abstract.
Balsam, K. F., Molina, Y., Beadnell, B., Simoni, J., & Walters, K. (2011). Measuring Multiple Minority Stress: The LGBT People of Color Microaggressions Scale. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 17(2), 163–174. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023244
LGBT individuals who are also racial/ethnic minorities are also subject to microaggressions associated with racism and homophobia/transphobia. This study created a measurement tool to assess the intersection of these oppressions. The LGBT People of Color Microaggressions Scale is a 18-item self-report scale assessing microaggressions experienced by ethnic minority LGBT adults. The measure included three subscales: racism in LGBT communities, homophobia/transphobia in racial/ethnic minority communities and racism in dating and close relationships. Men scored higher than women, lesbians and gay men socred higher than bisexual men and women and Asian Americans scored higher than African Americans and Latinx.
Bauerband, L. A., Teti, M., & Velicer, W. F. (2019). Measuring minority stress: Invariance of a discrimination and vigilance scale across transgender and cisgender LGBQ individuals. Psychology & Sexuality, 10(1), 17–30. https://doi.org/10.1080/19419899.2018.1520143
The study assessed the Everyday Discrinimation Scale (EDS) and the Discrimination-Related Viligance Scale (DRVS) across cisgender and transgender individuals. Results show invariance testing may help with providing evidence for difference in minority stress experiences across LGBTQ identities and increase validity of analyses.
Franco, M. G., & O’Brien, K. M. (2018). Racial identity invalidation with multiracial individuals: An instrument development study. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 24(1), 112–125. https://doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000170
Racial identity invalidation has been a salient racial stressor to multiracial individuals, often affecting their mental health and well-being. This study produced a psychometrically sound measure to assess racial identity invalidation for use with multiracial individuals. The measure had three Racial Identity Invalidation factors/subscales: behavior invalidation, phenotype invalidation and identity incongruent discrimination. In line with the Minority Stress theory, racial identity challenges mediated relationships between racial identity invalidation and mental health/well-being outcomes.
Meidlinger, P. C., & Hope, D. A. (2014). Differentiating disclosure and concealment in measurement of outness for sexual minorities: The Nebraska Outness Scale. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1(4), 489–497. https://doi.org/10.1037/sgd0000080
LGB individual’s health and well-being are often impacted as a result of being or not being “out” or openness about one’s sexual orientation. The Nebraska Outness Scale (NOS) is a 10-item measure with a concealment (NOS-C) and disclosure (NOS-D) subscale. Concealment and disclosure are separate constructs and that concealment may be more relevant to across sexual orientation categories.
Meyer, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, Social Stress, and Mental Health in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations: Conceptual Issues and Research Evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129(5), 674–697. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.129.5.674
The Minority Stress Model is a conceptual framework for understanding sexual minority stress - explaining that stigma, prejudice and discrimination creates stressful social environments that can cause mental health problems. The model describes stress processes such as the experience of prejudice events, expectations of rejection, hiding and concealing, internalized homophobia and ameliorative coping processes.
Neilands, T. B., LeBlanc, A. J., Frost, D. M., Bowen, K., Sullivan, P. S., Hoff, C. C., & Chang, J. (2020). Measuring a New Stress Domain: Validation of the Couple-Level Minority Stress Scale. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49(1), 249–265. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-019-01487-y
The Couple-Level Minority Stress Scale (CLMS) has 8-item measure for couple-level minority stress factors: couple-level stigma, couple-level discrimination, seeking safety as a couple, perceived unequal relationship recognition, couple-level visibility, managing stereotypes about same-sex couples, lack of integration with families of origin and lack of social support for couples.
Norcini Pala, A., Dell’Amore, F., Steca, P., Clinton, L., Sandfort, T., & Rael, C. (2017). Validation of the Minority Stress Scale among Italian gay and bisexual men. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 4(4), 451–459. https://doi.org/10.1037/sgd0000243
The Minority Stress Scale is meant to evaluate the manifestations of sexual orientation stigma. It is a 50-item measure assessing structural stigma, enacted stigma, expectations of discrimination, sexual orientation concealment, internalized homophobia toward others, internalizaed homophobia towards oneself and stigma awareness.
Outland, P. L. (2016). Developing the LGBT minority stress measure [M.S., Colorado State University]. In ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. http://search.proquest.com/docview/1815028540/abstract/8FA35F4B3E97489APQ/1
The LGBT Minority Stress Measure was developed to be a comprehensive tool that encapsulates all major dimensions of minority stress outlined by Meyer’s (2003) LGB minority stress model. The LGBT Minority Stress Measure is a 25-item scale with seven subscales: identity concealment, everyday discrimination/microaggressions, rejection anticipation, discrimination events, internalized stigma, victimization events and community connectedness.
Testa, R. J., Habarth, J., Peta, J., Balsam, K., & Bockting, W. (2015). Development of the Gender Minority Stress and Resilience Measure. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2(1), 65–77. https://doi.org/10.1037/sgd0000081
The Gender Minority Stress and Resilience (GMSR) has 9 subscales accessing constructs such as gender-related discrimination, gender-related rejection, gender-related victimization, nonaffirmation of gender identity, internalized transphobia, negative expectations for future events, nondisclosure, community connectedness and pride.
Note: Several of these books are United States-centric/Euro-centric. White supremacy, along with colorism and racism are structures that cover all of the world, so there is always anti-racist work to be done regardless of where one lives.
Widely acclaimed anti-racist books
Anti-racist books written by Psychologists
Anti-racist books for Educators
General White Privilege Resources
Peggy McIntosh: Images of Color - Images of Crime
White Privilege - An Account to Spend
White People Facing Race
White Privilege - Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
White Privilege and Male Privilege
Resources for Unpacking Whiteness
What is White Privilege, Really?
Can POC be racist? Why Non-Black People of color can face racism and still be racist
Psych Articles related to White Privilege
Case, K. A., & Rios, D. (2017). Educational interventions to raise awareness of white privilege. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 28(1), 137–156. Scopus.
Cooley, E., Brown-Iannuzzi, J., & Cottrell, D. (2019). Liberals perceive more racism than conservatives when police shoot Black men—But, reading about White privilege increases perceived racism, and shifts attributions of guilt, regardless of political ideology. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 85, 103885. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2019.103885
Thiem, K. C., Neel, R., Simpson, A. J., & Todd, A. R. (2019). Are Black Women and Girls Associated With Danger? Implicit Racial Bias at the Intersection of Target Age and Gender. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45(10), 1427–1439. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167219829182
Guam, US Virgin Islands and American Samoa
Trans Resistance Movement
So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Joseph Grenny, Al Switzler and Ron McMillan
What are some common hidden disabilities?
Common Denominators: what do hidden disabilities have in common?
Challenges for a person with a hidden disability:
Buddhism and Psychology
Aich, T. K. (2013). Buddha philosophy and western psychology. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 55(Suppl 2), S165–S170. https://doi.org/10.4103/0019-5545.105517
Books written by Therapists:
Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom by Rick Hanson
Enough!: A Buddhist Approach to Finding Release from Addictive Patterns by Dr. Chonyi Taylor
Books written by Buddhist Monks:
A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life by Jack Kornfield
The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation by Thich Nhat Hanh