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University of Southern Maine
Libraries & Learning

LGBTQIA+ Resources at USM

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

Finding Sources

Keyword Searching

Silhouette of a brachiosaurus in front of a rainbowFinding LGBTQIA+ related material in the library catalog and databases can be a bit of a challenge. For a comprehensive list of search terms and combinations, check out Emory University’s “Subject Headings Related to LGBT Culture & Diversity” and “Subject Headings Related to General Queer Studies” or Homosaurus. You can also check out more terms under “Crash Course: Pride 101” for more ideas and links to learn more! 

As terminology evolves over time, older materials may use older terms that the community finds hurtful today. Additionally, the Library of Congress cataloging system (and the Dewey Decimal System, which is used in public libraries) uses harmful language to describe queerness that does not accurately reflect contemporary views and understandings of the queer community. 


To search for academic articles and materials, start with OneSearch, which searches for everything USM library owns. For more specific searches, check out the following databases. You can also check out the Women and Gender Studies Libguide for even more recommendations!

To find films and educational video content, you can search our URSUS catalog or check out:

USM's LGBTQ+ Collection in the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine

Black cardboard box with a circular image of the monopoly board and the phrase "Gay Monopoly A Celebration of Life" where the second O in Monopoly is the double male symbolUSM's LGBTQ+ Collection in the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine is the largest collection of Maine LGBTQ+ materials! It consists of collections of personal papers and archives of organizations active in the LGBTQ+ communities of Maine. The manuscript collections date from the 1970s to the present. There are also rare or unique print materials about the community (all 1970s or later), including a unique series of 42 newspapers by community groups around the state. Here is a Guide to Finding Materials in the Special Collections. You can also search the LGBTQ+ Collection in our Digital Commons.

Digital Transgender Archive

Logo for the Digital Transgender Archive, a light blue circle beneath a dark blue swoop and an orange brushstroke next to the circleThe Digital Transgender Archive (DTA) allows greater accessibility of transgender history by providing an online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world. The DTA uses the term transgender to refer to a broad and inclusive range of non-normative gender practices. They treat transgender as a practice rather than an identity category in order to bring together a trans-historical and trans-cultural collection of materials related to trans-ing gender. They collect materials from anywhere in the world with a focus on materials created before the year 2000.

Focus / Maiden Voyage - Boston Chapter

Cover of a magazine with the text FOCUS: a journal for gay women 60¢ and a sketch of a seated witch with a long hat, a double female sign necklace, and a black cat standing on the witch's legsThe Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) was a lesbian organization founded in 1955 in San Francisco by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon for the purpose of self-knowledge and self-acceptance, public education, involvement in research, and lobbying to change the laws criminalizing homosexuality. The DOB took up political activism to lobby for the rights of lesbians, promoting individualism with a decreased emphasis on societal conformity. During the 1960s many regional chapters were chartered around the country and globally, continuing the organization even after the closing of the San Francisco national office in 1978.

The Boston chapter was founded in 1969 during a period when many homophile organizations were forming in Boston. They published a newsletter, originally entitled Maiden Voyage, until 1971 when it was renamed Focus. The publication runs from December 1969 to October 1983, which was archived and is available for searching via the History Project

Gay Community News (GCN)

Mimeographed copy of the "Gay Community News" with the headline "Gay and Aging" featuring a group of 4 aging men. Secondary headline reads "N.H. Cops Seize Mailing List"Gay Community News was an LGBTQ+ newspaper based in Boston that ran from 1973-1999. The first edition of Gay Community News was published on June 17, 1973. The paper was founded by a group of eight Boston gays and lesbians who were looking for a better way to communicate with the local gay community. In less than a year, Gay Community News developed from a two-page mimeograph to an eight-page, tabloid-style newsprint. In 1975, the distribution of Gay Community News expanded, and it became a regional voice for the gay community in the Northeast. In the summer of 1978, the membership of Gay Community News voted to become a national newspaper in both its focus and distribution. By 1991, the Gay Community News was the oldest, continuously published, national gay newspaper. Despite its popularity, the Gay Community News continuously experienced financial difficulties. On July 3, 1992, the Bromfield Street Educational Foundation ceased publication to restructure the organization. Publication resumed in 1993, as a bimonthly 28 to 32-page tabloid, till the last issue was issued in 1999.

Site works best in Google Chrome browser. 

Lesbian Herstory Archives

3 purple rectangles stacked on top of each other with one word per rectangle in white font reading "Lesbian Herstory Archives"The Lesbian Herstory Archives exists to gather, preserve and provide access to records of Lesbian lives and activities. Doing this also serves to uncover and document our herstory previously denied to us by patriarchal historians in the interests of the culture that they served. The existence of the Archives will thus enable current and future generations to analyze and reevaluate the Lesbian experience. 

The Lesbian Herstory Archives was founded in the 1970s when a group of women involved in the Gay Academic Union realized that Lesbian history was “disappearing as quickly as it was being made.” Their mission is to gather and preserve records of Lesbian lives and activities so that future generations will have ready access to materials relevant to their lives.

OutHistory with "Out" written in pink, "History" written black, and ".org" written in pink running adjacent. Below this, the phrase "It's About Time!" is written in purple was founded in October 2008 by Jonathan Ned Katz, author of Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. (1976) and other books on the history of sexuality and gender. 

When the Internet became part of everyday life in the 21st century, Katz understood that the work of documenting, archiving, and presenting new discoveries and chronologies, begun in 1976 should continue on a freely accessible public history website. Katz's long history as a community-based scholar and history activist led him to imagine this site as a place of active community participation in the process of discovering and writing LGBTQ histories.

Reflecting the importance of history from below to the civil rights and liberation movements of the 1960s, Katz welcomed the participation of amateur and professional historians; independent researchers working on their own and those based in colleges and universities. The site is a space where everyone has a forum to learn, contribute, publish, and share our research with others.


LGBTQ Nation

General news, opinion, and arts and culture


News on LGBTQ+ athletes and sports fans.


Alifestyle site for lesbian moms and other LGBT parents, offering a mix of parenting, politics, diversions, and resources.


General news and entertainment


          A queer book blog by Dahlia Adler (she/her).



In recent years there has been an explosion of LGBTQ+ podcasts. Here are some great ones.


This podcast covered a huge range of topics within the LGBTQ+ community, from the importance of a gaggle, to LGBTQ+ and economics, and how to navigate being an LGBTQ+ child of immigrants.


Standup comic, Cameron Esposito, interviews some of the brightest luminaries in the LGBTQ+ family. QUEERY explores individual stories of identity, personality and the shifting cultural matrix around gender, sexuality and civil rights.

LGBTQ&A: the Most intresting people in the world are Queer.

This podcast started as a way to document modern LGBTQ+ history and get beyond transition and coming out stories, to get to know each person, their accomplishments, their failures, and how to they got to where they are today. ​

Me and my Asexuality

Model and activist Yasmin Benoit explores Asexuality and its place in society.

Trans 20:20s

An eight–part podcast series created by leading writer and filmmaker Juliet Jacques, looking at life for young trans, non-binary and gender diverse people from across the UK and beyond, at the start of the 2020s.

Making Gay History

This podcast brings the largely hidden history of the LGBTQ civil rights movement to life through the voices of the people who lived it.


Not sure where to start? Here are some fun fiction reads suggested by USM faculty and staff.

Most are available through USM libraries.