Resources

This page is a place where I share useful information for queer youth and their families, as well as positive representations of queer characters in fiction. New resources will be added here regularly, so please check back soon!

If you have any resources of your own that you’d like to be added to the list, feel free to message me at rainbowdustportraiture@gmail.com!

Online resources:

Trans Student Educational Resources: Trans Student Educational Resources is a youth-led organization dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment. In addition to our focus on creating a more trans-friendly education system, our mission is to educate the public and teach trans activists how to be effective organizers.

TSER has also created the Gender Unicorn, a tool that explains the difference between sexual/romantic attraction, gender identity, gender expression, and sex assigned at birth.

TRANSformation PA: The ACLU of Pennsylvania’s site for trans education and advocacy. Contains sections on how to volunteer, your rights as a trans person, personal stories of trans people, and upcoming events and legislative updates regarding trans rights.

Advocates for Youth: Advocates for Youth partners with youth leaders, adult allies, and youth-serving organizations to advocate for policies and champion programs that recognize young people’s rights to honest sexual health information; accessible, confidential, and affordable sexual health services; and the resources and opportunities necessary to create sexual health equity for all youth.

Hey Epiphora: Useful for both queer and cishet youth and adults, Epiphora runs a blog that reviews sex toys and educates her readers on safe materials and ethical toy companies. She’s witty, brutally honest, and an extremely valuable (as well as entertaining!) resource.

Maebright: Based in Massachusetts, Maebright offers resources and training on LGBT issues for non-profits, schools, businesses, and government agencies and helps these organizations create policies and practices that provide a more culturally competent and LGBT-friendly environment. Maebright has also created several useful handouts, including this list of movies and TV shows with queer themes.

Them.: Queer news site. Also is active on social media.

Philadelphia Gay News: Queer news site, local to Philadelphia, USA.

In-person resources:

Mainline Youth Alliance (Wayne, PA): Held weekly at the Main Line Unitarian Church in Wayne, PA, MYA is a safe space for youth ages 14-22 to meet and discuss their experiences as queer or questioning and develop supportive friendships with their peers. MYA meets 7-9 PM on Friday evenings.

The Mazzoni Center: Health care provider in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Provides healthcare, counseling, hormone therapy, legal services, and HIV prevention and care.

Fenway Health: LGBT health care, research and advocacy organization, headquartered in Boston, MA. Offers LGBT parenting/family planning services, HIV resources, addiction recovery programs, and more.

Hotlines:

Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic, CHOP: 267-426-5980

Trevor Hotline Peer Support (11a-5a EST): 877-565-8860

Trevor Text (3p-1a EST): Text  “START” to 678678

LGBT 24/7 Hotline: 866-488-7386

Books:

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community by Laura Erickson-Schroth: This is an excellent, comprehensive book with lots of useful information on trans health, trans lived experiences, and transition information for both trans people themselves and their families.

Whipping Girl by Julia Serrano: A book that discusses the author’s experiences with and theories on trans-misogyny and sexism/cissexism.

The Invisible Orientation by Julie Sondra Decker: Highly informative book on asexuality, useful both for asexual people and their families.

All of Jessica Valenti’s works: The Purity Myth, Full Frontal Feminism, He’s a Stud She’s a Slut, Why Have Kids?, Sex Object: A Memoir. More feminist than queer focused, but highly informative and thought provoking.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo: Novel with a trans main character.

In the Blood by Lisa Unger: Novel with a trans main character.

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta: A young Nigerian girl displaced during the civil war begins a powerful love affair with another refugee girl from a different ethnic community. When the pair are discovered, she must learn the cost of living a lie amidst taboos and prejudices.

The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater: A young adult series that’s somewhere between magical realism, fantasy, and urban fantasy, with casually queer characters and a fandom that firmly headcanons polyamory.

The Diviners by Libba Bray: A fantasy/magical realism series set in the 20s with multiple queer characters (including an asexual character!)

Television:

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Comedy show with bisexual and gay main characters and epic, queer-community-oriented jokes.

Steven Universe: Cartoon that subverts typical gender and sexuality norms for children’s programming. (Here’s an article from the Vulture discussing Steven Universe and its queer representation.)

Glee: Has some potentially problematic or triggering plotlines involving its gay characters, but the show typically portrays its gay characters in a good light and explores both the ups and downs of multiple queer relationships.

She-Ra: The Netflix reboot of the original show has a queer showrunner, an all-female writer’s room, and a diverse cast of characters. There are queer relationships, boys who can openly express their emotions, and examples of non-sexual intimacy. (Here’s an article from Them discussing the show further.)

The Fosters: A television show that features an interracial lesbian couple raising several children, some biological and some adopted. The show features one of the youngest queer teenagers on television.

EastSiders: A dark comedy following a gay couple who struggle with infidelity and substance abuse. In this article the creator talks about his struggles to create queer characters that would feel realistic and not one-dimensional, but also don’t purposefully avoid stereotypes.

LGBTQ People:

Note: While this is obviously not an exhaustive list, these are LGBTQ people who have had a meaningful impact on my development as a queer person and who I consider to be role models. I place an emphasis on trans and gender-nonconforming queer people, as they can often be ignored or overlooked by traditional media.

Jacob Tobia: Genderqueer icon and writer. Facebook Instagram

Jeffrey Marsh: Genderqueer icon. Frequently posts uplifting messages on their social media. Facebook Instagram

Alok Vaid-Menon: Gender nonconforming performance artist, writer, and poet.  FacebookInstagram

Isabella Bennett: Transwoman artist and musician in the pantomime band Steam Powered Giraffe. InstagramSPG Instagram SPG Website

Laverne Cox: Transwoman actress and activist. Instagram

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