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LGBTQ Studies Research Guide

To assist library patrons find research material on the topic of LGBTQ related matters.

About this Guide

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) research is a rapidly growing field of study within academics. The sources listed in this guide offer an entry point to resources that focus primarily on various aspects of LGBTQ studies, including databases, print materials, and online resources that focus on LGBTQ subject areas, including history, celebrities, authors, relationships, and more.

Symbols of LGBTQ Pride

Safe Zone

Safe Zone Training is a national program to visibly mark people and places as "safe" for LGBTQ+ individuals. Mississippi University for Women is a safe zone for awareness, respect, and understanding of all individuals whom identify as LGBTQIA+.

Training conducted by MUW Counseling Center


LGBTQ is an acroym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender.

LGBTQIA/ GSM/ DSG- initials used as shorthand or umbrella terms for people who have non-normative (or queer) gender or sexuality, there are many different initialisms people prefer. LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual or Ally. The "+" at the end indicates an effort to be more inclusive. GSM is Gender and Sexual Minorities; DSG is Diverse Sexualities and Genders. Other options include the initials GLBT or LGBTQIA+ and the acronym QUILTBAG (Queer [or Questioning] Undecided Intersex Lesbian Trans* Bisexual Asexual [or Allied] and Gay [or Genderqueer]).

Rainbow Flag

The best-known, six-stripe version of the rainbow pride flag was established in 1979, and still assigns a meaning to each color: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony and purple for spirit. 

Wong, Curtis M. "The History and Meaning of the Rainbow Pride Flag," Huffington Post, 2019.

Double Woman Symbol

Also known as "the mirror of Venus," this symbol represents the planet Venus, metal copper and femininity. The double woman symbol represents woman loving woman. 

Double Man Symbol- This symbol is derived from the astrological symbol of Mars. Mars was the Greek God of War and patron of warriors. The arrow is a phallic symbol. The double man symbol represents man loving man. 


GAA quickly adopted the Greek letter lambda as its logo, to symbolize the exchange of energy (lambda represents wavelength in physics), and it became the main symbol for gay and lesbian activism until it was supplanted in the late 1970s by the pink triangle. 

("Gay Activist Alliance," 1969: The Year of Gay Liberation, New York Public Library's Online Exhibition Archive.)


LGBTQ terms and definitions are always evolving and changing and often mean different things to different people.  They can also be starting point for discussion and understanding. The resources below will help differentiate the meanings and variations of LGBTQIA+ vocabulary.

Mississippi Pride

Looking for a pride event? Below are resources from various Mississippi cities with pride parades, festivals, and more. Image from Starkville Pride 2019 Parade.