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L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ Resources

A guide to resources for researching LGBTQ+ topics, reading LGBTQ+ voices, and seeking LGBTQ+ literature and media.

Welcome

Triton College Library has a wide array of resources for research into LGBTQ+ topics. This is a general purpose guide for researching LGBTQ+ topics, reading LGBTQ+ voices, and seeking LGBTQ+ literature and media. 

Pride Flags

Pride 2022

Many of you may know that Pride takes place every year during the month of June. With Chicago having a robust and active LGBTQIA+ community, as well as one of the biggest Pride events in the U.S., you may be used to seeing rainbow flags this time of year.

Map of 10 cities in the U.S. with the most popular pride parades

(This map comes from an August 2021 update of an article by Joshua Crespo of Redfin. Crespo created this map using web search data from Google Trends.).

Why do we celebrate Pride?

Pride month is celebrated in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. Stonewall was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States, and laws supporting LGBTQIA+ rights came about as a result of the increased visibility of the movement after Stonewall.

But Pride is not just about honoring our past. It's also about celebrating the dignity, equality, and increased visibility of LGBTQIA+ people as a social group. It's a time for LGBTQIA+ people and allies to get together to honor our history; those who fought for our rights and those who are no longer with us; and spread positivity and joy together as a social group. Common Pride activities include marches, parades, picnics, and demonstrations.

Why are there more flags than the rainbow flag? What do the different flags mean?

The original Pride Flag was created by Gilbert Baker, who designed the flag to fly over the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in June 1978. The colors of this flag represent sex, life, healing, sunlight, nature, magic and art, serenity, and spirit. The original Pride Flag was intended to be inclusive of all LGBTQIA+ identities and is pictured below. For more information on the history of Pride Flags, check out this 2022 listicle by Equality Maine.

The Original Pride flag, a rainbow flag with vibrant colors in descending order of pink, red, orange, yellow, green, teal, blue, and a deep purple. (This image of the original Pride Flag comes from Equality Maine's listicle, linked above).

As of 2022, there are a wide variety of Pride flags, some of which are inclusive of all LGBTQIA+ identities, and some of which are representative of individual identities. For more information on current Pride flags, check out this 2021 article by Queer In the World.

Can I wish my LGBTQIA+ friends "happy Pride"?

You can absolutely wish your LGBTQIA+ friends and family "happy Pride"! Pride is about recognizing that until recently it was not possible for many LGBTQIA+ people to be out. Wishing the LGBTQIA+ people in your life "happy Pride" is one way of showing your support.

Can I attend a Pride event as an ally?

Allies have been welcome at Pride events since the beginning. You will certainly be welcome at a Pride event! For more information about what to expect at a Pride event and how to be an ally, check out this article from My Resource Center.

When is Chicago Pride?

There are three separate events happening as part of Chicago's Pride celebration. This year, Chicago Pride Fest is June 18-19 hosted by the Northalsted Business Alliance, Pride in the Park is June 25-26 in Grant Park, and the Chicago Pride Parade is on June 26. A parade map is available here from Chicago Pride.

Reviewing the Acronym

LGBTQIA+ is an acronym which refers to the wide variety of identities outside of cisgender heterosexuality.

General terms:

  • Cisgender - A term used to refer to an individual whose gender identity aligns with the one associated with the sex assigned to them at birth
  • Heterosexual - Refers to a person who is emotionally, romantically, and/or physically attracted to a person of a different gender. Also referred to as straight

LGBTQIA+ terms:

  • Lesbian - Refers to a woman who is emotionally, romantically and/or physically attracted to other women
  • Gay - A term used to describe people who are emotionally, romantically and/or physically attracted to other men
  • Bisexual - The term refers to a person who acknowledges in themselves the potential to be attracted - romantically, emotionally, and/or sexually - to people of more than one gender
  • Transgender - Often shortened to trans. A term describing a person's gender identity that does not necessarily match their assigned sex at birth. This word is also used as an umbrella term to describe groups of people who transcend conventional expectations of gender identity or expression
  • Queer - A term used by some LGBTQ+ people to describe themselves and/or their community. The term is considered by some to be inclusive of the entire community. For some LGBTQ+ people, the term is seen as a slur when used by people who are not members of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Questioning - Describes those who are in the process of discovery and exploration about their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or a combination thereof 
  • Intersex - Refers to people who are biologically between the medically expected definitions of male and female
  • Ally - In the LGBTQ+ community, this term is used to describe someone who is supportive of LGBTQ+ individuals and the community
  • Asexual - Sometimes abbreviated as ace, the term refers to an individual who does not experience sexual attraction
  • Agender / Nonbinary - Agender refers to a person who does not identify with or experience any gender. Nonbinary refers to people who do not subscribe to the gender binary. Nonbinary people may understand their identity as falling under the transgender umbrella and may be transgender as well
  • Pansexual - Refers to a person whose emotional, romantic and/or physical attraction to people is inclusive of all genders

Each of these terms has a structured meaning, but their individual meanings are slightly different for the people who use them.

(These terms are sourced from PFLAG's National Glossary of Terms, see link above)

Queer Theory Texts

General Reference