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Equity, Diversity, & Inclusivity: Library Resources

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All sexual orientation definitions on this page are from the Human Rights Campaign's Glossary of Terms as well as Dictionary.com.

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Open Access Resources

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Sexual orientation: an inherent or immutable enduring emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to other people. Note: an individual’s sexual orientation is independent of their gender identity.

Journals

Books

Race Related Books

Further Resources and Definitions

LGBTQ: an acronym for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer." Other acronyms used are LGBTQ2S+ (including "Two-Spirit" and "+" which is meant to acknowledge additional identities not listed in the acronym), LGBTQIA (including "intersex, asexual/aromantic/agender"), or simply LGBT.

Queer: a term people often use to express a spectrum of identities and orientations that are counter to the mainstream. Queer is often used as a catch-all to include many people, including those who do not identify as exclusively straight and/or folks who have non-binary or genderexpansive identities. This term was previously used as a slur, but has been reclaimed by many parts of the LGBTQ movement.

See below for further resources and definitions organized by sexual orientation:

Lesbian

Lesbian: a woman who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to other women. Women and non-binary people may use this term to describe themselves.

Gay

Gay: a person who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to members of the same gender. Men, women and non-binary people may use this term to describe themselves.

Bisexual

Bisexual: a person emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to more than one sex, gender or gender identity though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree. Sometimes used interchangeably with pansexual.

Pansexual

Pansexual: someone who has the potential for emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to people of any gender though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree. Sometimes used interchangeably with bisexual.

Asexual

Asexual: the lack of a sexual attraction or desire for other people. Also included on the asexual (or "ace") spectrum are orientations demisexual and grey-asexual (or "grey-a"). See What Does It Mean To Be Asexual?

Romantic Orientation: While some asexual people also identify as aromantic (or "aro ace"), many other asexual people do desire romantic relationships. For asexuals who do not experience sexual attraction, romantic orientations can clarify who they prefer to date or form relationships with (eg. homoromantic, biromantic, panromantic, heteroromantic, and others).

Polyamory

Polyamory: the practice or condition of participating simultaneously in more than one serious romantic or sexual relationship with the knowledge and consent of all partners.

Although not a sexual orientation, polyamory is included in this guide because of the overlap between members of the poly community and members of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Databases

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Starting your search can seem daunting, but we can help you break things down into steps and give you some tips:

  • Check out our Foundational Tutorials (available in English et en Français!)
  • Use "quotation marks" to keep your search terms together (e.g. "coming out" will search for instances where those two words appear next to each other).
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The following are keyword search results from 300+ databases. Results include academic journal articles, ebooks, books, magazine/news articles, reviews, etc. These keywords, and any others you are interested in for your research, can also be searched in the journals and databases listed on this page.