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Manual Prepared by Danielle Hernandez

Graduate Assistant
LGBTQ+ Culture Center


What is an Ally
According the University of Michigans Spectrum Center, an ally can be defined as,

Typically any non-LGBT person who supports and stands up for the rights of LGBT people,
though LGBT people can be allies, such as a lesbian who is an ally to a transgender person.

Its true! Anyone can be an ally to any number of infinite identities, communities, and experiences. You may already
identify yourself as an ally to the LGBTQIA community, or perhaps another community. Many people identify themselves
as allies of racial/ethnic groups (i.e., the Hispanic community), of religions (i.e., Islam), of movements (i.e., Black Lives
Matter), etc.

The most important part of being an ally is being altruistic and remembering that you are there to help another
community, not to elevate yourself or tell others what is best for them.

4 Steps to Becoming an Ally

Like anything else, acting as an ally is a process. Here are some basic steps you can take toward being an ally:

1. AwarenessGet to know a group that you wish to be an ally of. Understand the differences between your
experiences and the experiences of those in that group. Get to know people in that group by reaching out to them
and hearing their stories.

2. Knowledge/EducationSeek information pertaining to the institutional structures that affect your allied
group. Learn about policies and laws that affect your group. Learn about the various cultures that are experiences
within the group. Learn the terminology used by these groups and be able to engage with it.

3. SkillsLearn to take your awareness and knowledge and find ways to communicate it to others. You can
acquire these skills by attending workshops, role-playing with friends or peers, and developing support connections.

4. ActionTake what you know and believe in to work with allied communities in affecting societal change. This
could take many forms, from taking part in demonstrations to helping your community hand out informational

(Adapted from the Gettysburg College Office of LGBTQA Advisings Safe(r) Zone Training)

Intro to Identity
Identity is complex and can change throughout a persons life. Sometimes it is hard to express your identity with words,
as it is first and foremost, a lived experience. However, many people come up with words to describe their identities and
to form community. In this section, we will engage with some of this terminology and the concepts behind them.

Sex and Gender
Before jumping into specific terminology and definitions, we will explore some concepts which are vital to understanding
LGBTQIA terminology: sex and gender.

Sex and gender are often mistaken as terms that can be used interchangeably. Actually, these terms describe separate

Sex is determined by a persons chromosomes and is expressed physically through primary

and secondary sex characteristics. Some cultures reflect sex through medical labelling.

Gender is a complex, social construct. It refers to an identitysometimes people describe

it as what they feel they are. It can be expressed through mannerisms, clothing,
hairstyles, activities, etc.

In our society, sex and gender are often

considered in terms of binaries (man or
woman/male or female), although a person
can identify anywhere between, around, or
outside of these two labels. Binaries do not
reflect all sexual and gender diversity.
Additionally, our culture views sex and gender
as fixed to one another. For example, it is
often assumed that if someone is male, that
they must identify as a man, and if someone is
female, that they must identify as a woman.
However, sex and gender exist on separate
axes and can vary independent of each other.

In addition to sex and gender, we also discuss

sexual orientation. What many think of as
sexual orientation, however, are actually two1

Sexual orientation refers to who you desire to engage in sexual acts with/who you wish to have sexual
relationships with

Romantic orientation refers to who you desire to engage in romantic gestures with/who you wish
to have romantic relationships with

Just as sex and gender can vary independently of one another, so too can sexual and romantic orientation. For
instance, a woman who is sexually attracted to only men may not be romantically attracted to only men, but
instead may be attracted romantically to all genders.

Various parts of a persons identity can exist independently of each other, and they can vary greatly from what
are often considered the two choices that our society offers us. A worksheet on the following page offers a
chance for you to explore this idea with your own identity. Feel free to engage with it, charting out your identity
or expanding the spectrums to fit you.

1 There are actually more than two. We only discuss two for the sake of simplicity. Learn more at
Frequently Encountered Terminology
There are some terms that you may have already encountered and been unfamiliar with. One of them has already been
mentioned in this manual: LGBTQIA. Heres what this acronym stands for:

Lesbiana woman-identified person who experiences attraction to those of the same gender
Gaya person who experiences attraction to those of the same gender; often used to describe people who
identify as men, but can be an umbrella encompassing all genders
Bisexuala person who experiences attraction to those of the same gender as well as one or more other
Transgenderan umbrella term for those who feel their assigned sex at birth does not align with their gender
identity or the gender they were raised as; also used to describe those who do not identify within a binary
gender system; this term is often shorted to trans
Queera reclaimed work and umbrella term encompassing all LGBTQ+ identities; also used to describe
nonLGBTQ+ people who identify with certain social or political ideologies, lifestyles, etc.
Questioningthe Q actually represents two terms; the second is questioning, a term used to define someone
who is in the process of exploring identities and is unsure of what they identify as. Note: a person can be out as
one thing while questioning other identities.
Intersexa person whose chromosomes and/or physical sex characteristics (primary and/or secondary) do not
align with the medical binary model (i.e., male/female, XX/XY)
Asexuala person who does not experience sexual attraction/desire toward any group of people; this is not the
same thing as celibacy
Aromanticthe A also represents two terms; the second is aromantic which describes a person who does not
experience romantic attraction toward any group of people

Other frequently encountered terms include:

Pansexuala person who experiences sexual attraction to others with no regard of gender
Omnisexuala person who experiences sexual attraction to all genders
Polyamorousrefers to having romantic, emotional, and/or sexual relationships with multiple partners at once
Coming outthe process by which someone comes to accept their own identity and/or the process by which
someone shares these identities with others; this is a lifelong process, rather than a single event
Outingthe act of exposing a persons sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status without the
permission of the person; it may be malevolent or accidental
Closetedor in the closet, refers to an LGBTQIA+ person who does not want to disclose or cannot disclose
their identities to others; in the African American community, this is often referred to as Down Low or D/L
Heterosexismprejudice against individuals/groups who display non-heterosexual behaviors/identities; any
attitude, action, or practice that subordinates people because of their sexual orientation
Heteronormativitysocietal and institutional norms that assume every person to be heterosexual, therefore
marginalizing those who do not identify as heterosexual
Homophobiathe irrational fear and intolerance of/discomfort with a persons real or perceived sexual
orientation; this is not exclusive to heterosexual/non-homosexual individuals
Cisgender A person whose gender identity is aligned to what they were designated at birth, based on their
physical sex; A non-trans person
Transitionthe coming out process of a trans person; may include a social transition and/or a physical transition
Transphobiathe irrational fear and intolerance of/discomfort with gender non-conforming
expression/identity; this is not exclusive to heterosexual or cisgender people

Misgenderingattributing a gender to someone that is incorrect/does not align with their gender identities; can
be malevolent or accidental
Gender Dysphoriathe emotional or mental dissonance between ones desired concept of their body and what
their body actually is; comes from psychiatry and replaces Gender Identity Disorder in the current edition of
the American Psychological Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)2
Gender Affirmation Surgerysurgical procedures that alter or change physical sex characteristics in order to
better express a persons gender identity; sometimes called Gender Confirming Surgery or Sex Reassignment
Surgery (SRS)
AFAB/AMABstands for Assigned Female/Male at Birth and refers to a person who was deemed to be the
female/male sex at birth by way of subjective viewing and labeling of the bodys characteristics; may also be
written as DFAB/DMAB, replacing the word assigned with designated
MTFstands for Male to Female and is used to identify a person who was designated a male sex at birth and
currently identifies as female, lives as a woman, or identifies as feminine.
FTMstands for Female to Male and is used to identify a person who was designated a female sex at birth
and currently identifies as male, lives as a man, or identifies as masculine.
Two Spirit(ed)Native American term to describe person who embodies attributes of both masculine and
feminine genders, have distinct gender and social roles in their tribes, and are often involved with rituals; their
dress is usually a mixture of male and female articles and they are seen as a separate or third gender; the term
two-spirit is sometimes considered specific to the Zuni tribe; similar identity labels vary by tribe such as Wintke
(Lakota), Hee-man-eh (Cheyenne), and Nedleeh (Navajo)

Mahu a Native Hawaiian terms to describe those who embody both male and female spirit

Definitions adapted from the University of Michigans Spectrum Center, Gettysburg Colleges Office of LGBTQA Advising,
the University of CaliforniaDavis LGBTQIA Resource Center, and the University of WisconsinMadisons LGBT Campus

Out-of-Date Terminology
The LGBTQIA+ community is one that has been progressing exponentially in terms of social acceptance, civil rights, and
visibility. As such, discussing issues pertinent to this community has become more and more necessary. With more
discussion comes more terminology which may seem to evolve every day! Below you will find some terminology that is
now considered out-of-date as well as some terminology that is often problematic within the LGBTQIA+ community.

These terms should be avoided unless a person specifically wishes to be identified using these terms.

Homosexualthe term homosexual or homosexuality has clinical roots and has a history of being used
aggressively by anti-gay extremists; rather than call someone [a] homosexual, gay [man] or lesbian is often

2 For past DSM Criteria, see: and for current DSM Criteria, see
Homosexual relationship/couple/sexidentifying a relationship, couple, or sexual act as homosexual not only
employs a term considered clinical and offensive, but also implies that it is different than, or second to the
relationships, couples, or sexual acts of people who are straight
Sexual preferencethis phrase suggests that sexuality is something which is simply preferred and thus
changeable; using the term sexual orientation is more validating of a persons identity
Gay marriageimplies that marriage between persons of the same sex is limited to people who identify as gay
men and lesbians; it is exclusive of bisexual, pansexual, transgender, and nonbinary individuals; preferred
term marriage equality

Preferred pronounsas with the term sexual preference, this term implies that a persons pronouns are not
mandatory, just preferred; instead refer to a persons pronouns as pronouns
Transgendereda suffix of ed implies something that happened to someone; use transgender instead
Crossdresserused to refer to a person who wears clothes, makeup, etc. that is considered to be appropriate
for another gender, but not ones own; usually refers to something that is part-time; this term should not be
used unless a person self-identifies as a crossdresser and wishes to be referred to as such; sometimes
considered a preferred term to transvestite
Transvestiteused to refer to a person who wears clothes, makeup, etc. that is considered to be appropriate
for another gender, but not ones own; usually refers to something that is full-time; this should not be used
unless a person self-identifies as a transvestite and wishes to be referred to as such
Transsexuala term that was used to specifically refer to trans people pursuing gender or sex affirmation
surgeries; it should not be used interchangeably with transgender; do not use it to refer to a transperson unless
they self-identify as transsexual
Sex changereferred to what we now call Gender Affirmation Surgery, Gender Confirming Surgery, or Sex
Reassignment Surgery (SRS)
Intersexedthe same applies for this term as for the term transgendered; use intersex instead
Hermaphroditean outdated, inaccurate, and potentially offensive term previously used to describe people
who are intersex; only use if a person self-identifies with this term
Trans*the term trans is a shortening of transgender and is an umbrella term for many transgender identities;
the term was previously denoted with an asterisk after it to further imply inclusivity of many identities; the
asterisk outdated and no longer required as the term trans is already inclusive, in and of itself GLBTthe
acronym used prior to LGBT

Terms adapted from the GLAAD Media Reference Guide, the University of CaliforniaDavis LGBTQIA Resource Center
Glossary, Trans Student Educational Resources, and the University of WisconsinMadisons LGBT Campus Center

Possibly Contentious Terminology

Some terms may be encountered within the LGBTQIA+ community, but can be divisive amongst various members of the
community, between people of different sexual orientation or genders, and amongst different generations within the
community. These terms may not be appropriate for allies to use and should be approached with caution:

Queeralthough widely used, queer is a relatively new terms. It was once derogatory, but has been reclaimed by
the currently generation of LGBTQIA+ individuals. There is disagreement over whether the term should be used
between young people, and especially between younger people and older generations of the community. Some
people identify as queer, while others may prefer other terms.
D*ke/F*g/F*ggot/Tra**ythese slurs commonly used against lesbians, gay men, and transpeople have
sometimes been reclaimed by certain people within these respective identity groups; they are highly divisive even
within these groups; they should almost never be used by someone outside of the group (i.e., a person who is not
trans should not use the t-word even if they have trans friends who do use it); a good rule of thumb is to treat
these words as you would a racial slur

What is Privilege?
Everyone experiences privilege and everyone experiences oppression. It is important to become aware of the privilege
we all experience so that we can better empathize with those we are allied to and better fight against oppressive societal
structures. The University of CaliforniaDavis defines privilege as "a set of unearned benefits given to people who fit
into a specific social group. Considering privilege with an open mind can help allies become aware of the privileges we
experience that may be a daily struggle for LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Trans Needs
The acronym LGBTQ often lumps together sexual orientation and gender identity. While trans and nonbinary people may
share similar struggles as LGB people, they also struggle with unique experiences that need to be acknowledged and
understood. They face specific risk factors that impact their physical health, mental health and academic performance,
yet often have fewer resources available to them. Here are some specific concerns of trans folks:

What Trans Students Are Up Against How You Can Help Them
Physical Health
Higher rates of unsafe sex Provide students with safe sex resources
More risk of HIV contraction developed for trans individuals (i.e., HRCs Safer
Illegal/unsafe hormone therapy treatments Sex for Trans Bodies, Springtide
Inadequate medical insurance and care Resources Trans Women Safer Sex Guide)
Medically unsupervised silicone injection Help students search for trans-friendly medical
complications professionals (i.e., Positive Link, Planned
Parenthood, IU Student Health Services)
Advise students against obtaining medical
treatments from unlicensed sources

Mental Health
Dysphoria Listen to the students concerns
PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) Be a safe space for the student Help
Anxiety and depression the student find a mental health professional
Suicide ideation, attempt, and completion who is trans-friendly (i.e., CAPS,
Middle Way House, Indiana Transgender

Death by homicide (especially for Provide a safe space
transwomen and trans students of color) Take student concerns seriously
Highest rates of homelessness of the LGBT Encourage students to be open with you about
community safety concerns
Physical and verbal abuse from parent[s] Report instances of harassment
Highest rates of bullying/harassment for Put students in touch with RPS (Residential
those questioning their gender identity Programs and Services) if a student is homeless
Juvenile detention or at risk of homelessness
Discuss safety planning with at-risk students

Sources: Bowers et al., 2015; GLSEN School Climate Survey, 2014); Lucassen et al., 2014; National Alliance to End
Homelessness, 2012; National Association of School Psychologists, 2014; Rosario, 2009

What to Do When a Student Comes Out to You
The Dos and Donts
Coming out to someone is something that takes serious consideration, even if that student has come out to others in the
past. When a student chooses to come out to you, it was a big decision and they have probably thought a great deal
about possible reactions from you (Harrington et al., 2014). Because of this, it is important to respond calmly and
Do Dont
Validate their identity/experience Act surprised
Thank them for confiding in you Ask nosy questions
Ask how you can help support them Make it about you
Listen actively Rush/interrupt them
Know this doesnt change your relationship Make assumptions
Talk about confidentiality Say youve always known
Identify yourself as a safe space Launch into the dangers of being out

Providing Resources
If students ask for resources and you are unsure of which resources are available, help them search for some resources
online. If you dont have access to a computer or are unsure of where to start, you could ask someone else with the
persons permission. A good way to ask this is:

I am not sure, but would you be alright with me calling the LGBTQ+ Culture Center to ask?
I dont have to tell them your name or why I am asking.

It could also be helpful to keep the resource guide included in this packet on hand in your office or work space.

When there are Safety Concerns

Occasionally a student may bring up safety concernseither immediate or projected. The best thing to do in this case is
to get more information. Every situation involving safety is unique. Here are some tips:

If they fear violence or harassment from their roommate, contact RPSthey are able
to find alternative placements and are good about switching rooms around for safety
reasons. Their contact information is included in the resource guide of this packet.

As an IU employee, you are a mandated reporter or sexual misconduct. If you feel a

conversation is headed in this direction, you can interject and remind the student that
you are mandated by law to report. If a student chooses to disclose, information about
reporting can be found at If they choose not to disclose this
to you they can be redirected to resources from Middle Way House or CAPS where the
information will be kept confidential. These contacts can be found in the resource

If a student identifies an abusive relationship, stalking, etc. they can be directed to resources
from Middle Way House and to CAPS.

If they are concerned about family reactions to coming out (i.e., homelessness, being
financially cut-off, physical abuse), talk the student through these risks or help them to
identify a family member that may be supportive (not necessarily in the immediate

When a student is coming out to you, it is important that you not make it about you. This means putting aside any
personal biases you may have. It also means remaining calm although this can be an exciting and scary moment for you,
as well (Logie et al., 2015). While these feelings and concerns should not come up when speaking with a student, it is
important to take some time to debrief afterwards. When confidentiality restricts you from sharing this encounter with
others, here are some self-care tips for you:

If the conversation was very emotional, take time to calm down (i.e. go for a walk, meditate, listen
to music)

Talk to a colleague or close friend without revealing identifying information about the student

Take some time to reflect (i.e., writing in a journal, just sitting with your feelings, drawing
a picture)

Be aware of your biases and then actively work on them (i.e., doing research, attending LGBTQ

Speak with someone at the LGBTQ+ Culture Center confidentially (you dont need to use names)

Follow Up
Sometimes a student was just in need of a listening ear, but sometimes, they are interested in following up after the
initial coming out. It is important to continue to be there for a student who has entrusted confidence in you, but it is also
important to remind the student that the relationship needs to maintain professionality. A gentle reminder that you are
still their professor or still staff early on can prevent confusion later on. And remember, a student may come out to you
in a different way at a later time. For instance:

A student who originally comes out as a lesbian, later comes out as a transman

A student who at first comes out as bisexual, later identifies more strongly with the pansexual

A student who came out to you as questioning, later comes out to you as straight and cisgender

It is important to treat additional coming out conversations with the same regard as the first. Remember the list of Dos
and Dont above.

Listening and Conversation Skills
When speaking with a student who is opening up to you or who is in need of guidance, it is important that the student
feels heard, validated, and helped through your conversation.

Active Listening
There are five simple steps to active listening:

1. Pay Attention (i.e., make eye contact, put away your phone, turn away from your computer)
2. Show That You're Listening (i.e., nodding, summarizing what the student says)
3. Provide Feedback (i.e., I understand what youre saying, That sounds tough, Good job!)
4. Defer Judgment (i.e., checking in with your biases after supporting a student)
5. Respond Appropriately (i.e., dont act shocked, dont joke about serious matters)


Open Ended Questions vs. Closed Questions

Open ended questions are questions that pave the way for a longer, open-ended answer. They are conversation starters.
Closed questions are questions which may result in a single, concise answer. They are often yes or no questions or
information-seeking questions, and do not progress a conversation.

When working with students who are seeking support and guidance from you, it is alright to asked closed questions to
obtain basic information (such as their name, whether or not they are safe, if they have sought other services before,
etc.). However, practicing some open ended questions will help make the conversation focused on the student. It also
allows them to get in touch with their feelings as opposed to feeling interrogated. (Hill, C. E., 2014).

A very common open ended question used is, How does that make you feel? This is a great question to use, although
re-wording it may make it seem less clinical. You could also try:

What does that bring up for you?

I think Im hearing that you are upset; is that correct?
or You seem really excited, yeah?

You can usually turn a closed question into an open ended question. Consider beginning questions with How,
What, In what way, or Tell me about Here are some examples of closed questions that have been opened up
for the student:
Instead of: Where are you from?
Try: Tell me about your hometown.
Instead of: Are you scared to go back home during the break?
Try: What are some of your concerns going back home?
Hill, C. E. (2014). Helping skills : facilitating exploration, insight, and action. Washington, D.C. : American Psychological
Association, [2014].

Empathy vs. Sympathy
Students seeking support from you, sharing their stories with you, or coming out to you often share sad stories and may
be experiences many negative emotions. It is important that when you listen and speak with them, that you avoid
sympathy and strive for empathy.

Sympathy simply reflects that the student is in a negative situation at the moment, but maintains a wall of separation
between the student and the sympathizer. At worst, it may discredit a students experience, instead telling them to
focus on what they do have going on for them. For instance, Dr. Brene Brown, a Social Work researcher and professor at
the University of Houston, demonstrates what sympathy may sound like:

Statement: I had a miscarriage.

Response: Well at least you know you can get pregnant.

Empathy occurs when you try to understand where a student is coming from. Dr. Brown notes that it may require the
listener to become vulnerable themselves, allowing themselves to find times that they may have felt similarly in their
own lives. Empathy may not offer a solution to the problem, but it validates a students experience. An example of the
beginning of an empathetic conversation offered by Dr. Brown is:

I dont even know what to say. Im just so glad you told me.

A segment from her talk, The Power of Vulnerability which shows the difference between empathy and sympathy in a
short animation, can be viewed at

Pronouns Guide
You may be most familiar with only two pronouns: she/her and he/him. However, some people use other pronouns as
they feel they better fit with their gender identities.

Asking a Persons Pronouns

It has often been best practice to ask an unknown persons pronouns politely. While it is better to ask, than to
incorrectly assume the pronouns that a person uses, it can also be a tricky topic. Some people have come to ask
questions such as:

What pronouns do you use?

or What are you preferred pronouns?

to identify themselves as allies and to foster a safe space for self-disclosure of gender identity. However, immediately
asking a persons pronouns, or going around a meeting room or classroom and asking members to Share your name
and pronouns, may force a person to out themselves of misgender themselves (this term is defined in the subsection,
When You Make a Mistake). A student not yet out, may feel like they are being forced to share this information if
directly addressed. Instead of asking people to self-identify pronouns, you might try saying:

How would you like to be addressed?

or Hi, Im Martha and I use she/her pronouns.
This allows people the chance to identify pronouns or perhaps just a name or title.

Encountering Unfamiliar Pronouns

Sometimes a person will tell you that they use a set of pronouns you are unfamiliar with. There is a chart listed below
with some common pronouns, but there are many more (i.e. per, fae, thon). When you are unsure about how to use a
pronoun, you can politely ask the person to model its use for you. For instance:

Im not familiar with those pronouns. Could you go over them with me so I know Im using them correctly?

Cartoon by Robot Hugs;

When You Make a Mistake

You may slip at times and use the wrong pronouns for a person, especially if you are using these pronouns for the first
time. This is called misgendering. If you make a mistake, quickly correct it. Dont linger on your mistake. For instance:

She was telling meIm sorrythey were telling me about their class.

Sometimes you may only realize your mistake after the fact. In this case, it is respectful to make a brief apology in
private. That may sound like:

Hey, Im sorry I misgendered you back there. Ill be more

careful in the future.

Consider it similar to the way you may use an incorrect last name
after a friend gets married:

This is my friend Sarah SmithI mean Jones. Shes Jones


We dont linger on this so dont linger on misgendering.

Correcting Others
Cartoon by Robot Hugs;
Now that you understand proper pronoun use, you can politely
correct the way others use pronouns. For instance, if you are
speaking with a colleague who misgenders one of your students, the conversation may look something like this:

Was Dan able to find that book? I know he was having trouble finding it.
I think Dan uses she/her pronouns. And yes, she found the book at the library.
Please note: Not everyone is comfortable with you sharing their pronouns as they may not yet be out to everyone. It is
important to know how people wish to be referred to in public before offering corrections on their behalf.

A Note on Culture

Pronouns and pronoun use may vary depending on a persons culture. Not only might pronouns be unique to a culture,
but their use may reflect particular power dynamics, respect, and individualistic or collectivist values (Yu et al., 2016).

Commonly Encountered Pronouns

The following chart shows some common pronouns like, she, he, and they, and a few less common ones:
She/Her She laughed I called her Her eyes gleam That is hers She likes herself

He/Him He laughed I called him His eyes gleam That is his He likes himself

They/Them They laughed I called them Their eyes gleam That is theirs They like themself

Ze/Zir Ze laughed I called zir Zir eyes gleam That is zirs Ze likes zemself

Ze/Hir Ze laughed I called hir Hir eyes gleam That is hirs Ze likes hirself

Ey/Em (Spivak) Ey laughed I called em Eir eyes gleam That is eirs Ey likes eirself

Intentional Language
We convey a lot through the words we choose in daily conversation. Frequently, we use language that may unknowingly
be perpetuating heteronormative (that straight is the norm) and cisnormative (that cisgender is the norm) values. By
practicing use of intentional language throughout our lives, we can help LGBTQIA+ individuals feel safer and more
valued. It is an excellent and simple form of daily activism.

Here are some tips for making intentional language a part of your day:

Referring to your own relationship in a more inclusive way and asking about others relationships in an inclusive
way. Do not assume gender through your questions. For example:

Instead of saying Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?

Try Do you have a partner/significant other?
Are you seeing someone/in a relationship?

Instead of saying My husband is planning a party.

Try My partner/spouse is planning a party.

Practice using gender neutral pronouns, such as the singular they, when you are speaking to a group or about
an unknown person. This may include:

Instead of saying Id like everyone to bring his or her textbook to class tomorrow.
Try Id like everyone to bring their textbook to class tomorrow.

Instead of saying Ladies and gentlemen

Try Can I please have everyones attention.

Instead of saying Im not sure who she is, but she seems nice!
Try Im not sure who they are, but they seem nice.

Using the term person rather than man or woman. For instance:

Instead of saying Can you get the attention of the woman with the baseball cap for me?
Try Can you get the attention of the person with the baseball cap for me?

Children begin forming gender identities as early as 2 years old! When working with kids:
Instead of saying Your little girl is so cute!
Try Your little one/friend is so cute!
Instead of Saying What a strong little boy/What a sweet little girl
Try What a great friend we have here!
Instead of Saying Is it a boy or a girl to someone who is expecting
Try When are you due?

Campus and Community Resources
Listed below are some resources that may be helpful to LGBTQIA+ students and those working to help them.

RPS Statement on Diversity

RPS seeks to celebrate the diversity of students on campus as it pertains to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender,
gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, and ability. Bigotry, harassment, intimidation, threat, or abuse of any
kind will not be tolerated in IUs residential communities and will be responded to appropriately

Phone: (812) 855-1764


IUs Nondiscriminatory Policy

Indiana University prohibits discrimination and harassment based on arbitrary considerations of such characteristics as
age, color, disability, ethnicity, sex, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or
veteran status.

Phone: (812) 856-1291


Bloomingtons Nondiscriminatory Policy

The City of Bloomington stands by equal opportunity for all citizens. It also seeks to eliminate discrimination in
education, employments, and access to public accommodations (i.e. housing) based on race, religion, color, sex, national
origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability.

Phone: (812) 349-3559


Spectrum Hall
Spectrum is an inclusive residential learning community designed to make all students of all gender and sexual identities
feel comfortable and supported.

Phone: (812) 855-1764


Student Advocates Office

The Student Advocates Office helps IU students resolve personal and academic problems so that they may maintain
progress toward earning a degree. They are the home to trained Victims Advocates who can aid you in the reporting
process of in incidents of sexual assault, harassment, intimate partner violence, and stalking. They also have the ability
to connect you with campus and community resources as well as academic support. Additionally, they aid students in
financial appeals and have emergency financial assistance.

Phone: (812) 855-0761
Name/Gender Record Changes
Indiana Universitys Preferred Name Policy reads:

Indiana University recognizes that faculty, staff, and students may use names other than
their legal names to identify themselves. Except when the use of an individuals legal (or
primary) name is required by law or policy, individuals will be identified in Indiana
University systems and procedures by the preferred name that they have designated in
accordance with this policy.

All Indiana University students, faculty, and staff can change their preferred name through Student Center > Personal
Information > Names. This will be reflected on course rosters, in the IU address book, on university ID cards, etc.

Phone: (812) 856-1291


However, to change your Primary Name which is what appears on official documents, proof of a legal name change must
be presented to the Office of the Registrar. This could be a social security card, marriage certificate, or official court

Phone: (765) 973-8288


You are also able to file a name change, gender record change, and pronoun change (she/her; he/him; or they/them)
with IU Student Health Center. However, your legal name and the gender marker on your insurance policy will still need
to be used to file claims through your insurance provider. Their statement reads:

A secure web-form has been developed that will allow students to discreetly provide both their preferred
name and gender marker to then be added to their electronic medical record at the Health Center
Students may access this web-form by either clicking the graphic below or by visiting the websites of
either the Division of Student Affairs or LGBTQ+ Culture Center.

Phone: (812) 855-4011


LGBTQ+ Culture Center

The LGBTQ+ Culture Center (formerly LGBTQ+ Culture Center), located at 705 E 7th St., serves as a resource and
information center for campus and community individuals, groups, events, and activities.

Phone: (812) 855-4252

LGBTQ+ Culture Center Student Groups
There are a number of student groups focused on support, advocacy, and social activities that run under the LGBTQ+
Culture Center. They change regularly and a current list of groups can be found through the LGBTQ+ Culture Center

Phone: (812) 855-4252


Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers counseling, psychiatric care, and support group environments to the
IU community. The first two sessions are free of cost. Heres what CAPS has to say if you are a faculty or staff member:

If you see a student in trouble, you can help. Because you work closely with students every day, you have a
unique perspective on changes in their behavior or mood. If you are concerned in any way about a student, we
invite you to speak with a CAPS counselor. When students are troubled, they often talk about their problems
with faculty and staff they trust. Here are a few signs that indicate CAPS should get involved:
The student continues to have problems after repeated attempts to help
The student's academic or social functioning deteriorates
The student seems increasingly hopeless or helpless
The student shows significant changes in behavior or mood
You feel your role is changing from trusted advisor to counselor

Phone: (812) 855-5711

E-mail: (Do not e-mail to consult about a student; Call and ask to speak with Dr. Stockton)

The Center for Human Growth (CHG), located in the School of Education, offers counseling for individuals, couples, and
families on a sliding scale (pay what you can). Counselors are also available for education purposes. Counseling may also
be available in various languages (availability based on the current counselors' native languages.)

Phone: 812-856-8302

Prism Youth Community

Prism Youth Community is an inclusive social group for youth celebrating all sexual orientations, gender identities, and
gender expressions. Any person between 12 and 20 years old is welcome to join. Weekly meetings are free, as are our
special events and many field trips. You don't need to identify as LGBTQ to attend. Allies are also welcome!

Additionally, Prism+ was recently created as an extension of the Prism Youth Community. It is geared specifically for
young adults ages 1823. The group meets biweekly at Boxcar Books from 23:30pm.

Phone: (812) 250-6566


BiComm Bloomington is a community group for those who identify within the umbrella of bisexuality (i.e., bisexual,
trisexual, pansexual, omnisexual). They meet the second Monday of each month from 6:30-8:30pm at La Casa, IUs
Latino Cultural Center, located at 715 E 7th Street.


HIV/AIDS Resources
Various HIV/AIDS resources and support are available in the community and on IUs campus. The LGBTQ+ Culture Center
offers free HIV testing every Thursday from 11am-2pm.

The IU Student Health Center also provides testing for HIV/AIDS as well as other STIs. They also provide pre-exposure
prophylaxis (PrEP) to IU students, staff, and faculty who are HIV positive and to HIV negative patients who are at high
risk of contracting the HIV virus.

Phone: (812) 855-7338

IU Healths Positive Link is a community resource for comprehensive prevention and holistic social services for those
impacted by HIV in south central Indiana. They provide a continuum of services, at no cost, to the community to
address the health and well-being of those living with or at risk for HIV and are located at 333 East Miller Dr. They also
run an HIV/AIDS support group.

Phone: (812) 353-9150


Middle Way House

Middle Way House envisions a community where individuals live free from violence and the threat of violence; a
community characterized by equality across the gender spectrum and social and economic justice; a community where
everyones contribution is honored and individual and group differences are valued; a community where everyone is
adequately fed, housed, educated and employed; a community that provides opportunities for meaningful participation,
personal growth, and creative expression. Middle Way Houses Vision

Office Phone: (812) 333-7404

24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (812) 336-0846