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University of Southern MaineLibraries

LGBTQA+ Resources at USM

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


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.


  • 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.


  • 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) :

What LGBTQ students want from their faculty (University of Pennsylvania):

  • 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.