Learn about Sexual & Gender Diversity!
I am not only a staunch advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights in general, but also as they apply to communities that utilize the services of interpreters and translators. As such, I will continue to update this page with relevant resources!
Gallup predicts that in the near future, the proportion of LGBTQ adults will exceed 10%. You’re going to interpret for someone who falls in this group sooner or later (if you haven’t already), so make sure you’re prepared and culturally competent.
I’ve done my best to make this guide both friendly to beginners, yet still have something of value for those who are more familiar with sexual & gender diversity. All resources are rated between 1 and 3 stars. These stars correspond with the level of prior knowledge you should have with the subject in order to understand the information.
If you have minimal knowledge about a particular subject, you should start off with resources that are marked as 1 star (beginner). If you start reading resources that have 2 or 3 stars and discover you’re having difficulty understanding them, try reading resources that have one star first.
While I have done my best to provide ratings and descriptions for all resources provided, I am unable to review resources in languages other than Spanish. Resources in non-English languages are listed in their own section towards the bottom of this page.
Contents of this Page:
|🏅 Resource Spotlight
|Jump to Section
|Jump to Section
|Resources by Subject
In reverse LGBTQIA order
|Jump to Section
|∟ Asexual Umbrella
|Jump to Section
|Jump to Section
|∟ Trans, Nonbinary, and Gender Nonconforming
|Jump to Section
|∟ Bi+ Umbrella
|Jump to Section
|∟ Lesbian and Gay
|Jump to Section
Languages in alphabetical order
|Jump to Section
|∟ American Sign Language
🏅 Resource Spotlight
- ⭐ “Queer-Friendly Interpreters and Translators” Facebook Group
I started this Facebook group because I saw the need for a community in which interpreters and translators alike could have discussions about sexual and gender diversity. I regularly post educational resources, much like the resources you find in this resource guide, to further our understanding of LGBTQIA+ topics and terminology. Please make sure to answer all the membership questions when requesting to join! This is an excellent place to find additional resources on gender & sexual diversity in your non-English language(s).
- ⭐⭐ Modii.org
While this website is available in Spanish by default, the English version of the site is translated by real professionals. Why do I love Modii? This is where I first heard the term “gender and sexual diversity” and if you sign up for their newsletter, you will get notifications about when they offer free trainings. I’ve attended their “Inclusive Communication, Part 2” free training (in Spanish) and it was absolutely lovely! The training included topics about gender equality, sexual and gender diversity, sexual and reproductive health, and young people. They have TONS of resources available for free on their website!
- ⭐⭐⭐ National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center – Learning Resources
This website is an absolute treasure trove of information on health in sexual- and gender-diverse populations. Not only do they have articles, publications, and videos, they also hold webinars and have learning modules that allow you to earn certificates on different topics. I love all their information about LGBTQIA+ mental health and use them extensively in my presentations.
Appreciate These Free Resources?
I share and produce free resources for interpreters because I believe all interpreters should have the same opportunities for professional growth. At the end of the day, we’re all on the same team and our goal is to provide the highest quality of service to the marginalized populations we serve. If you’d like to support my mission, please consider contributing to my Ko-Fi!
- ⭐ “Heteronormativity & Cisnormativity” on LGBTQ+ Primary Hub
This webpage gives a good rundown of what heteronormativity and cisnormativity are, why this is a problem, and provides a short video on the topic. The LGBTQ+ Primary Hub is a UK-based website for primary school teachers to “enhance the delivery of LGBTQ+ inclusive education in primary schools by providing teachers with the support they need.”
- ⭐ Pronouns Matter
This website is an excellent starting point for anyone who would like to learn more about pronouns. It answers common beginner questions like: why do pronouns matter? How do I use pronouns? What do I do if I make a mistake?
- ⭐⭐ “What Does Queer Mean?” by Daniel Villarreal on LGBTQ Nation
In case you’ve ever been wondering what the word “queer” means (in English), this article gives a really great breakdown of how the definition of queer isn’t as straightforward (ha!) as many people would like, and how depending upon who you talk to, it could potentially be a slur.
Resources by Subject
In an effort to encourage folks to learn more about identities that come at the end of the LGBTQIA acronym, I’ve grouped these resources in reverse LGBTQIA order. I find that the identities that come at the beginning of the acronym are often the identities that more folks are familiar with.
- ⭐ What is Asexuality?
I love that this guide starts off with a bit of humor! This is a very thorough, but very engaging introductory guide to what asexuality is. It also has links to a bunch of resources including a glossary and downloadable versions of the page in different formats.
- ⭐⭐ “Understanding Asexuality” by the Trevor Project
This article starts off succinct but does emphasize that asexuality is an umbrella term, giving definitions of many different asexual identities, which may be intimidating for a beginner. The section on frequently asked questions is geared more towards young people who may be wondering if they’re asexual, but has a lot of really great informative answers that can help you to expand your understanding.
- ⭐⭐ “What is hyposexuality and how is it different from asexuality?” by Olivia Petter on Independent
This is a very common misconception about asexuality, and contributes to the medicalization of asexuality! This article doesn’t give in-depth explanations of these terms, so it is recommended that you have at least some prior knowledge before reading it.
- ⭐⭐⭐ “ASEXUALITY a brief introduction” on Asexuality Archive
This is a page that links to a whole book (yes, a book) that you can purchase OR download for free as a PDF. The page itself lists the table of contents that shows you the wide range of information you’ll find about asexuality in it! While the first few sections of the book are easily beginner-level materials, as the book progresses it gets into more specific information about asexual identities that easily progress to advanced-level topics.
- ⭐ “Educate Yourself #4intersex” on #4intersex
This website has 3 pdf documents (“Intersex 101,” “Intersex 102,” and “Ally Do’s and Don’ts”) designed to help you learn about the issues intersex people face. It also has a video as well about intersex medical consent issues in a short video. It’s a good starting point, but can also serve as a way to expand upon your existing knowledge.
- ⭐⭐ “Intersex for Allies” by Intersex Human Rights Australia
This page answers a bunch of common questions about intersex people, such as how common intersex people are, what issues intersex people face, whether intersex people face health issues, and more. The text is a little bit higher register than I would expect for an introductory resource. I like that it has a focus on intersex in the medical world, and how this often isn’t in line with what intersex people feel, think, and believe. There are also a few short videos you will find on this page, as well as links to additional resources.
- ⭐⭐⭐ “Eight Names for the SAME thing: Penis, Phallus, Clitoris, Phalloclitoris, Micropenis, Microphalus, Clitoromegaly and Pseudo-Penis” on the blog of Mx. Annunnaki Ray Marquez
This blog post, written by a gender & intersex activist is one of my favorites of all time! Full disclosure: it has detailed pictures and diagrams of genital anatomy and goes in-depth into how we develop in utero. It uses anatomical terms and explains how the genital tubercule may develop in intersex people. Even if the article itself is difficult for you to understand, the photos themselves are incredibly enlightening.
Trans, Nonbinary, and Gender Nonconforming
- ⭐ “About Transgender People” by The National Center for Transgender Equality
This is a really great starting point to learn about transgender people, as well as (to a more limited extent) nonbinary people. There are videos, articles, and FAQs. Some highlights include a video called “Understanding Transgender People: The Basics,” a page of frequently asked questions about trans people, and another video “An Introduction to Transgender People.”
- ⭐ “Celebrating Gender Diversity Around the World” on Outright International
While the first half of this page gives short definitions of different sexual orientations, the second half of this page gives examples of genders in cultures around the world. I actually learned a lot from this page myself! It includes gender identities from the Americas, Pacific Islands, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. This is a great page for those folks who believe that nonbinary gender identities are a “new thing” or exclusive to Western cultures.
- Related Resource: A more advanced resource on this topic (“A Map of Gender-Diverse Cultures”) is available in this same section, but is ranked at 3 stars (Advanced).
- ⭐ “Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary People” by The Trevor Project
This article is a great read for interpreters! It’s in plain language and provides an introduction to topics such as: the difference between gender and sex, the basics of gender, forms of address that show respect, tips to increase understanding, as well as common mistakes and what to do if you’ve made one.
- Related Resource: Feminuity’s Article “We Can’t Call Ourselves Allies; We Have to Do the Work” highlights some important points about allyship. Make sure to read this before calling yourself an “ally.”
- ⭐⭐ “You Might Wanna Learn More About Trans People” Facebook Group
I’ve learned a lot from this Facebook group! According to the group description, You Might Wanna Learn More About Trans People is “an international educational family, dedicated to understanding and embracing the transgender, non-binary, metagender, and gender-diverse community.” You can ask questions here, but I highly recommend having a basic understanding first. You’ll get answers from trans and nonbinary folks who are ready and willing to answer your questions, so long as you come to the table with a desire to learn and do better.
- ⭐⭐⭐ A Map of Gender-Diverse Cultures on Independent Lens
This page has an interactive Google map with markers that describe how cultures across the world see gender diversity. This is the most comprehensive source I’ve found to date of world gender customs! Each point contains information about each gender identity or gender custom, which is an excellent starting point for researching these identities further. It also contains many useful links on this topic as well!
- Related Resource: For a more basic resource on genders across the world, see “Celebrating Gender Diversity Around the World” which is also listed in this section, but is ranked at 1 star (Basic).
- ⭐⭐⭐ Nonbinary Wiki
A great resource for all things Nonbinary. Many pages are translated (by real people). I recommend starting on the “Dive In!” page, and going to the “Identities” section, though the “Practical Resources” section is useful as well, though it’s geared towards nonbinary people.
- Related Resource: If you speak German, you’ll want to check out Nichtbinär-Wiki which is listed as a “friend” of Nonbinary wiki. It’s in German and listed in the section on Non-English Language Resources.
- ⭐⭐⭐ “’Truly Listen to Us’: Recommendations for Health Professionals to Bolster Wellbeing of Nonbinary Individuals” by M. Killian Kinney and Darren Cosgrove on PubMed
This is the peer-reviewed article that I based a lot of the final portion of my Interpreting for Gender & Sexual Diversity presentation on. Affirming providers are incredibly important for the health of nonbinary folks, but mistreatment is common. The study discussed in this article offers some ways that healthcare professionals can enhance nonbinary healthcare through improved access and better interpersonal care.
Bisexual, Pansexual, and other Multi-Attraction Spectrum Orientations
- ⭐ “Understanding Bisexuality” by the Trevor Project
This article provides a modern and easy-to-understand definition of bisexuality, including a history of the etymology of the term, as well as its evolution over time. It also gives a definition of pansexuality and gives a brief rundown of some of the other identities that full under the multisexual umbrella. I really love the section on why it’s important to support bisexual youth, and as with other articles on the Trevor Project, this one contains a section of frequently asked questions as well.
- ⭐⭐ “A Short History of the Word ‘Bisexuality’” by Martha Robinson Rhodes on Stonewall
Written by Martha Robinson Rhodes, who has a PhD in bi history, this article explains the historical evolution of the term “bisexuality” in the English language starting in 1859. It also talks about the introduction of the term “pansexual” in the 90’s as well, and how the “shifting use of language” has been used to erase bi+ people’s identities.
- ⭐⭐ “5 Myths About Bisexuality That Contribute to Bi Erasure” by Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro on Bustle
I love that this article is fun and includes memes! Before it even goes into the myths, it actually clears up some of the confusion surrounding the definition of bisexual and has lots of links to great resources within it. I have to say, the 5 myths they chose are incredibly relevant and dispelled in a very easy-to-understand (and relatable!) way.
- ⭐⭐⭐ Mspec Wiki
Mspec is short for “multi-attraction spectrum.” This wiki includes detailed entries on both sexual and romantic orientations, such as bisexual, pansexual, panromantic, polysexual, polyromantic, and more.
Lesbian and Gay
- ⭐ “Understanding Gay & Lesbian Identities” by the Trevor Project
This article is great because it starts off explaining the usage of the word “gay” which is incredibly relevant to people like us who work with language. The FAQ or frequently asked questions section of this article go over common questions and misconceptions about gay and lesbian people.
- ⭐⭐ “HIV/AIDS, Gay Communities, and the Struggle for Gay Rights” by Dan Royles on the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
This is an essay details the history of how the HIV/AIDS epidemic devastated gay and lesbian communities in many ways. The initial response to the epidemic by governments was nonexistent and fueled by rampant homophobia. However, this resulted in a resurgence of queer activism in order to fight for healthcare, raise awareness, and drive policy changes. Despite advancements in treatment, the ongoing impact of AIDS continues to shape discussions around sexual freedom, safe sex practices, and the rights of sex- and gender-diverse communities.
- ⭐⭐⭐ “A Half-Century of Conflict Over Attempts to ‘Cure’ Gay People” by Stephen Vider and David S. Byers for TIME
I really like the fact that TIME magazine comes right out of the gate at the beginning of this article talking about mistakes they’ve made in the past in promoting the false narrative that homosexuality can be cured. As medical interpreters, it’s incredibly important for us to understand the history of the health care system (and mental healthcare system) in which we interpret. Before 1973, the American Psychological Association (APA) considered homosexuality a mental health disorder, and this article details this history.
Non-English Language Resources
This is just the start of a collection of resources in non-English languages! If you have a resource you’d like to share here, please feel free to contact me. Please note that while I cannot verify the content of sources in languages other than English or Spanish, I usually try to get multiple speakers of a language to verify a source before posting it here.
American Sign Language
- “How to sign ‘gay’ or ‘queer’? American Sign Language users don’t agree” by Amanda Morris, Alexa Juliana Ard and Anna Lefkowitz in The Washington Post
It’s important to remember that language can be very personal. Both definitions and terminology can vary from person to person when it comes to identity. It’s important to vet your sources and ask yourself, “How do people refer to themselves?” This article (with gifs!) shows some of the many ways Deaf queer folks express their identities in ASL. It covers the terms queer, bi, nonbinary, transgender, drag queen, drag king, gay, lesbian, and how some signs are actually offensive!
Listed as a “friend” of the Nonbinary wiki, this is “a wiki about nonbinary identities written in the German language.”
- Progetto Genderqueer – Non Binary Blog
An attendee at a training I gave in early 2022 shared this resource that they had been referencing for nonbinary pronouns in Italian!
- ⭐⭐ Call Me Latine
This website is available both in English and Spanish and actually came about from a viral post by James Lee in which he writes about why he calls himself Latine (not Latinx or Latino). It provides an excellent rebuttal to the use of Latinx that is not rooted in gender binarism. His website also provides information on gender-neutral Spanish.
- ⭐⭐ Guía de lenguaje para la inclusión de personas no binaries
The only required knowledge for reading this guide from start to finish is an open mind. I initially wanted to give this 3 stars because it’s so extensive, but I think the layout of this Spanish language guide for inclusion of nonbinary people is very well laid-out. If you follow it from start to finish you will have a very comprehensive understanding of the topic. It’s 104 pages, but the text is large and I’d say about a dozen pages are illustrations. Visually, it’s very fun, which is an added bonus!
- ⭐⭐ Modii.org
This website is also listed in the “Resource Spotlight” section. While this website is available in Spanish by default, the English version of the site is translated by real professionals. Why do I love Modii? This is where I first heard the term “gender and sexual diversity” and if you sign up for their newsletter, you will get notifications about when they offer free trainings. I’ve attended their “Inclusive Communication, Part 2” free training (in Spanish) and it was absolutely lovely! The training included topics about gender equality, sexual and gender diversity, sexual and reproductive health, and young people. They have TONS of resources available for free on their website!
Scan to Share
Did you know? If you would like to share this page easily or save it for later, you can always use the camera on your phone to scan the QR code shown here! Cool, huh? 😎