Skip to Main Content

LGBT Studies Research Guide


LGBTQ Studies encompasses a broad range of disciplines that examine the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer experience. Whether your research is grounded in the arts, humanities, sciences, or social sciences, the purpose of this guide is to assist scholars in locating library resources related to LGBTQ topics. 

Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University

LGBTQ Search Terms

Gender and sexuality terms have evolved and proliferated over the last 30 years, and locating materials can prove difficult without substantial background knowledge of shifting terminology. This research guide provides users with a basic introduction to searching for and locating literature and videos by, about, and featuring Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and other non-normative sexual and gender-based minorities, including Intersex, Asexual, Genderfluid, Non-binary, and Two-Spirit identities. Much of what is considered “non-normative” may change depending on time, space, history, and geographical context, so what may be “transgressive” or “deviant” in one location may be fully accepted and embraced by society in another. This guide attempts to balance social differences in these groups and identities while also acknowledging their connections and shared experiences.

General search terms for LGBTQ+ resources and materials:

  • Gender
  • Gender nonconformity
  • Gender expression
  • Gender identity
  • Sexuality
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sexual identity
  • Sex
  • LGBTQ+
  • 2SLGBTQ+ 
  • Gender dysphoria
  • LGBTQ+ culture
  • LGBTQ+ artists
  • LGBTQ+ authors
  • LGBTQ+ studies
  • LGBTQ+ people
  • LGBTQ+ publishers

Homosaurus Overview

Emory’s library collections hold an incredible volume of resources on LGBTQ+ identities and communities, which can at times be difficult to find. There have been historical shifts in terminology, concepts, language, terms used, and general understandings and concepts when it comes to discussing sexual and gender diversity, expression, identities, and differences. 

Emory has implemented the use of “Homosaurus” to refresh and update our own back catalog to make sure that the resources you’re looking for are findable, accessible, and easy to get. Homosaurus is an international linked data vocabulary of LGBTQ+ terms which support improved access to library resources.

As a patron of the library, users may use Homosaurus if they wish to be provided with search terms that may be more familiar than those used by the Library of Congress. The use of Homosaurus’s inclusive terminology can help to mitigate the harm caused by outdated, inaccurate, or offensive terms from other vocabularies.

If you are interested in learning more about Library of Congress Subject Headings, please check out the following guide:

Community & Health Resources

Here are some other useful links to LGBT Resources at Emory.