Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
University of Southern MaineLibraries

LGBTQA+ Resources at USM

Information and links to resources for LGBTQA+ folks and their allies.

Action

General things
This is not about “being” and ally - it isn’t an identity that you assume, it’s about taking actions that can help reduce anti-LGBTQ+, homophobic, transphobic, etc. actions and environments.

Here are some ways you can do that:

Use your privilege

  • If you are a cis heterosexual person, use that privilege to make space and speak up for LGBTQ+ people.
  • If you are an LGBTQ+ person who feels safe and secure enough, make space and speak up for other LGBTQ+ people.

Language

  • Avoid anti-gay/anti-LGBTQ+ language, jokes and statements. Challenge them when others display this behavior.
  • Be conscious of other people’s pronouns - offer yours, ask for theirs, remember them when they are shared, include them on your name tags, email signatures, and bios.
  • Use gender neutral terms when discussing significant others, partners, spouses, parents, etc.
  • Use gender neutral greetings like “friends,” “folks,” “guests,” "everyone," etc.
  • Avoid stereotypes and be aware of your own biases.

Action/Occupation

  • Don’t assume everyone is heterosexual, cisgender or expresses their gender in a traditional, binary way.
  • Educate yourself. Use the Books and More section of this guide to educate yourself about the LGBTQ+ community. Don't rely on the LGBTQ+ people you meet to educate you. But do reach out to the people who run USMs Safe Zone training. They would love to answer your questions.
  • Create an atmosphere of acceptance and celebration of diversity.
  • Provide information and referrals of resources for LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • Join the LGBTQ+ community and advocate to protect civil rights, constitutional freedoms and protection from oppression and prejudice.
  • Subscribe to mailing lists, social media accounts, podcast and blogs.

 

 

 


Faculty and Staff
As a faculty or staff member on campus you have a great opportunity to create space and support for LGBTQ+ students and your fellow USM colleagues who are LGBTQ+.

Supporting Students:

Ask Me': What LGBTQ Students Want Their Professors to Know (Chronicle of Higher Education) :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnbnF8QAnsY
 

What LGBTQ students want from their faculty (University of Pennsylvania): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1TPJoYKw5E

  • Be open and honest about what you know and don't know
  • Ensure that forms, applications, or surveys are inclusive of pronouns, preferred names, relationships, etc.
  • Ask for names and pronouns before class
  • Look at books, journals and other resources, with the help of the library, to continue to educate yourself about issues facing LGBTQ+ individuals in your area of study or field of work.
  • Look at course curriculum and syllabi to find ways to include LGBTQ+ examples, perspectives, authors, etc. The library can help.
  • Find ways to include Safe Zone or other trainings into staff development.
  • Ensure that publications and fliers are inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
  • If appropriate, create publications specific to the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • Make sure students know about ways to change their names in the systems, even if they haven't legally changed it.
  • Manage your classroom for anti-LGBTQ+ behavior.
  • Be aware of the resources available to LGBTQ+ students on your campus

 

Supporting Colleagues:

  • Be aware that LGBTQ+ policies and procedures are not enough. It also depends on the work environment and culture.
  • Be aware that a colleague may be out to you but not to others.
  • Don't make assumption about people based on appearance.