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LGBTQIA Studies: Research and topic suggestions

A guide to online and print resources on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and queer people, gender expression, and sexual identity.


Looking for a topic?

Consider one of these:

  • gender identity and American (or another nation's) cultural norms
  • sexual orientation-- what does biological research tell us about it?
  • how sexual orientation (who you're attracted to) differs from gender identity (who you are)
  • LGBTQIA marches and political movements
  • LGBTQIA mental health; research shows LBGTQIA people have higher overall rates of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders
  • opposition to gay rights
  • discrimination and treatment in the workplace (search also phrases such as "openly gay teachers")
  • violence and bullying of LGBTQIA people
  • gender nonconforming children in schools
  • legal rights of transgender people
  • bisexuality and issues that are unique to bisexual people
  • asexuality-- what is means, how it is often misunderstood
  • marriage of LGBTQA people to heterosexuals in order to "pass" (especially in traditional cultures)
  • LGBTQA couples of differing nationalities-- can they live in the same country?
  • gender dysphoria and the controversy of diagnosing "gender identity disorder" in the mental health profession
  • queer film festivals as a step toward visibility
  • same-sex marriage -- who supports it, who opposes it
  • new reproductive technologies for LGBTQIA people
  • queer performance art
  • LGBTQIA rights worldwide (focusing on the "LGBTQIA climate" in a specific country or region)
  • LGBTQIA writers
  • LGBTQIA pioneers and activists
  • coming out stories/ coming out process
  • LGBTQIA themes/ homosexuality in the Bible
  • lesbian and gay parenting
  • transgender visibility and "passing"
  • transgender history-- e.g., search transgender history in San Francisco
  • lesbian and gay history-- at what point did sexual behavior come to be seen as an identity?
  • history of bisexuality-- at what point was it recognized as an identity?
  • LGBTQIA history-- the influence of cultural norms and attitudes of a specific century or decade, and how/why people hid their feelings of same-sex attraction
  • lesbian and gay history-- was there a time period and location in which the social climate was more accepting of same-sex attraction and desire?
  • biography of a specific person in history whose trans identity or same-sex attraction was known or documented


It Gets Better

Topic suggestions

More topics:

  • how people who identify as non-binary navigate a world that sees gender in binary terms
  • contrast how LGBTQIA people experience life in other countries outside of the United States
  • compare and contrast laws and culture within Asian countries-- which are the most friendly to LGBTQIA people
  • how well does medical establishment treat transgender people?
  • the history of how LGBTQIA people have or have not been integrated into the priesthood of a particular faith
  • what new elements have LGBTQIA people brought to a particular faith
  • how the nonbinary identity differs from the transgender identity


Scholarly and nonscholarly articles on LGBTQ topics can be found in the following sources (accessible to current Northeastern affiliates)

For cultural studies, current events, political aspects, and all interdisciplinary topics:

For psychological aspects:

For sociological aspects:

For health aspects:


Additional databases