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LGBTQ Education: LGBTQ Youth

By The Numbers

• About 10% of the general population identifies as LGBTQ, but many more identify as not strictly heterosexual.


• 9 in 10 LGBTQ students in Maine heard homophobic remarks at school regularly.


• Only 2 in 10 LGBTQ students in Maine report being taught positive representations of LGBTQ people, history, and events.

Gender Spectrum Glossary

Gender Spectrum Glossary from Teaching Tolerance magazine.


Lesbian: Women attracted to other women.


Gay: Same-sex attraction. Sometimes used as an umbrella term.


Bisexual: Attracted to same and different genders.


Transgender: Identifying as a gender different than the gender assigned at birth.


Questioning: The process of questioning one's sexual orientation or gender identity.


Queer: A once derogatory term which as been reclaimed by the LGBT community. Sometimes used as an umbrella term ("the Queer Community") or as an identifier ("I'm queer").


Asexual: Lack of sexual attraction.


Pansexual: Attraction regardless of sex or gender identity (often overlaps with bisexual).


Intersex: A variety of conditions in which a person is born with an anatomy or chromosomes that don't fit the typical definitions of female or male. (Note: Not all intersex people consider themselves part of the LGBT umbrella.)


Non-Binary: Gender identities that do not to a strict masculine/feminine binary. (Related: genderqueer, agender, genderfluid.)

Note: With the exception of lesbian, all the above terms are only used as adjectives. So saying "a transgender person" or "a queer woman" is acceptable, while "a transgender" or "a queer" is not.

School Experiences of LGBT Youth

Local Resources



Aaron-Brush, G. (2015, February 10). "That's So Gay": From a Teacher's Perspective. Teaching Tolerance.


Dodge, A. M., & Crutcher, P. A. (2015). Inclusive Classrooms for LGBTQ Students. Journal Of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 59(1), 95-105.


Dykes, F. (2010). Transcending Rainbow Flags and Pride Parades: Preparing Special Education Preservice Educators to Work with Gay and Lesbian Youth. SRATE Journal, 19(2), 36-43.


Hughes-Hassell, S., Overberg, E., & Harris, S. (2013). Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ)-themed Literature for Teens: Are school Libraries Providing Adequate Collections? School Library Research, 16.


Payne, E. C., & Smith, M. J. (2016). LBGTQ-Inclusive School Cultures: What's Policy Got To Do With It? Huffington Post


Vecellio, S. (2012). Enacting FAIR Education: Approaches to Integrating LGBT Content in the K–12 Curriculum. Multicultural Perspectives, 14(3), 169-174.