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University of Southern MaineLibraries

LGBTQA+ Resources at USM

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

Finding You

No matter who we love or who we're attracted to, we're all still human beings with the same basic emotional needs as everyone else. Who we are as a person isn't limited by our sexuality. It is only one part of us. Nor does identifying as LGBTQ+ change who we were before we figured it out. Just because a person comes out as LGBTQ+ does not mean they must automatically like rainbows, unicorns, and glitter. And, if a person likes rainbows, unicorns, and glitter, that doesn't mean they are LGBTQ+.

Everyone's process of how they came to understand their gender and sexuality is different. The books on the left are some of them.

Coming Out of the closet is a term LGBTQ+ folks use to describe telling someone that they are LGBTQ+ since society assumes everyone is straight.

Coming Out is a multi step process and is a continual process. LGBTQ+ writer Jacob Tobia talks about it as being a snail with a shell. LGBTQ+ people can choose to go back into their shell at anytime.

“When a snail hides in its shell, we don’t delegate responsibility the same way. A snail only hides in its shell because the world outside feels hostile. If a snail recoils at the sight of you, it’s not because the snail is cowardly or lying or deviant or withholding, it’s because you’ve scared it. When queer people hide our identities, it’s not because we are cowardly or lying or deviant or withholding, it’s because the world and people around us felt predatory; because someone scared us—intentionally or unintentionally—and we were trying to protect ourselves.”

-Tobia, Sissy: A Coming of Gender Story

The first step is you realizing you're LGBTQ+

The next step is telling others that you are LGBTQ+. This could be friends or family or coworkers. Everyone's process is different and unique.


Coming out Guides (HRC)

Coming Out Handbook (Trevor Project)

Coming Out Resources for Students (GLSEN)