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University of Illinois Springfield

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Allied Resource Office University of Illinois Springfield

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Lesbian Guide @ UIS

Welcome to the Lesbian Resource Guide @ UIS. This is a guide to help lesbians at UIS to find the resources they may need. We want to make sure that queer women at UIS are able to find support on this campus. One of the ways we can do this is to find online and print resources that are relevant to lesbians whether that be resources about coming out, fashion, health, or finding a book for class. The Lesbian Resource Guide is a living document which means that we are open to suggestions for other resources that we might have missed. If you would like to leave a resource suggestion please email us at LGBTQA@uis.edu

Lesbian is a term used to describe female-identified people attracted romantically, erotically, spiritually, and/or emotionally to other female-identified people. The term lesbian is derived from the name of the Greek island of Lesbos and as such is sometimes considered a Eurocentric category that does not necessarily represent the identities of African-Americans and other non-European ethnic groups. This being said, individual female-identified people from diverse ethnic groups, including African-Americans, embrace the term ‘lesbian’ as an identity label. ( See http://www.uis.edu/lgbtqa/about/lgbtqaterminology/).

Online Resources

Coming Out

http://www.hrc.org/issues/pages/lesbian
The Human Rights Campaign has an article about coming out as lesbian.

I Think I Might Be A Lesbian, Now What Do I Do?

http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=730&Itemid=336

An online brochure from Advocates for Youth.

Elderly Lesbians

http://www.oloc.org/
Old Lesbians Organizing for Change works to combat ageism in the LGBTQ community by social networking with lesbians age 60 and over

Fashion

http://fashion.allwomenstalk.com/fabulous-fashion-blogs-for-lesbians
All Women Stalk is a lesbian fashion blog.

Illinois Gay Wedding

http://www.engaygedweddings.com/illinois-gay-wedding.html
This is a website that provides resources for Illinois same sex couples who want to get married or have a commitment ceremony.

Lesbian Chicago

http://thelstop.org/
The L Stop is an online resource for Chicago’s lesbian community that has article with a wide range of topics.

Lesbian Feminist History

http://www.lesbianherstoryarchives.org/history.html
The Lesbian Herstory Archives serves to preserve materials relevant to lesbian lives.

Lesbian Health

http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/book/companion.asp?id=10&compID=88&page=5

This website has a list of resources for LGBTQ people who want to have an accepting health care provider.

Lesbian Stereotypes

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/24/lesbian-stereotypes-_n_3808202.html
Here is a Huffington Post article that analyses some lesbian stereotypes and explains why they are problematic.

http://jezebel.com/5205953/pssst-the-girls-guide-to-lesbian-cliches–stereotypes
Here is a list of popular lesbian stereotypes from the feminist website Jezebel.

Pop Culture and Special Interests

http://www.afterellen.com/
After Ellen is a website that is devote to lesbian pop culture, entertainment, and celebrities.

http://www.autostraddle.com/
Autostraddle is a website that talks about LBTQIA women and a wide range of topics from food/DIY, politics, feminism, gender, technology, and others.

Queer Disabled Dating

http://www.autostraddle.com/misadventures-in-queer-lady-dating-while-disabled-its-not-me-its-you-175782/
This is an article that talks about the intersectionality of disability and queerness when dating.

Spiritual Resources

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/links/lindex/glbt.shtml
This is a website to learn more about the Jewish faith and it contains LGBTQ resources.

http://www.nehirim.org/
Nehirim is a national inclusive community of LGBTQ Jewish people.

State Rights

http://www.lambdalegal.org/states-regions/
This is an interactive map that shows which states have marriage equality and workplace protections for LGBTQ people.

Widow Support Group

http://www.lesbianwidow.org/

Lesbians In Grief Healthy Transitions or L.I.G.H.T. serves lesbians of all ages as they go through the loss of a partner.

Books from Lending Library

Learn more about our lending library at http://www.uis.edu/lgbtqa/programs/library/.

Nine Nights on the Windy Tree
The Girls’ Next Door
The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For
Rubyfruit Jungle
Choices
An Emergence of Green
Well of Loneliness
Desert of the Heart
Sex and Other Sacred Games: Love, Desire, Passion, and Possession
Aya The Secrets Come Out: Volume 3
Worlds Apart: An Anthology of Lesbian and Gay Science Fiction and Fantasy
The Lesbian Primer
Lesbian Teachers: An Invisible Presence
Invisible Lives
Dyke Life
Lesbian Studies Present and Future
What a Lesbian Looks Like: Writings by Lesbians on their Lives and Lifestyle
Journal of Lesbian Studies
Lesbian Woman
Sappho Was A Right-On Woman
Woman+ Woman
Sisters, Sexperts, Queers
The Lesbian Path
A Restricted Country
Loving Boldly: Issues Facing Lesbians
Sunday’s Women
Lesbian Culture: An Anthology
Lesbian Texts and Contexts
Lesbian Subjects
Lesbian, Women & Society
Butch/femme
Inventing Lesbian Cultures in America
Lesbian Ethics
NWSA Lesbian Issue
Call Me Lesbian
The Lesbian Issue
Lesbian Philosophy: Explorations
Lesbian Psychologies
Making A Way: Lesbians Out Front
Lesbian Quotations
My Lesbian Husband
Lesbian (Out)Law
Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold
Lesbian Passion: Loving Ourselves and Each Other
Lesbians Over 60 Speak for Themselves
The Joy of Lesbian Sex
Lesbian Sex
The Lesbian Community
Surpassing the Love of Men
Ceremonies of the Heart
This is What Lesbian Looks Like
Looking Like What You Are: Sexual Style, Race, and Lesbian Identity
My American History
Dyke Ideas
The Femme Mystique
Lesbian Couples
The Lesbian Family Life Cycle
Of Woman Born
Surface Tension
Boston Marriages
We Say We Love Each Other
And Say Hi to Joyce
Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers
Why Can’t Sharon Kowalski Come Home?
Politics of the Heart: A Lesbian Parenting Anthology

Lesbians in History

These lesbians can be found in the LGBTQA Resource Office’s History Display which can be found online at http://www.uis.edu/lgbtqa/programs/lounge/.

1.    Willa Cather is an American writer who is best known for her novels “O Pioneers!” and “My Antonia.”- http://www.uis.edu/lgbtqa/willacarther/

2.    Bessie Smith is an American blues singer who is known for her recording “Downhearted Blues.”-http://www.uis.edu/lgbtqa/bessiesmith/

3.    Virginia Wolfe is a British writer who helped create the Hogarth Press and two of her novels are “Orlando” and “Mrs. Dalloway.”-http://www.uis.edu/lgbtqa/virginiawoolf/

4.    Audre Lord is an American poet and served as the Poet Laureate of New York from 1990-1991. -http://www.uis.edu/lgbtqa/audrelorde/

5.    Barbara Jordan is an American politician who served in the senate and gave a speech in support for the resignation of President Nixon.-http://www.uis.edu/lgbtqa/barbarajordan/

6.    Eleanor Roosevelt is an American reformer, diplomat, and writer. Some of her accomplishments include participating in the League of Women’s Voters, and the Women’s Trade Union League. -http://www.uis.edu/lgbtqa/eleanorroosevelt/

 

Frequently Asked Questions at UIS

Have a question to add or ask please write us at lgbtq@uis.edu.

1. Where do I go to meet other lesbians at UIS or Springfield? What support services are available?

Weekly LGBTea, weekly support group called “Explore Yourself.” Meetings and socials sponsored by the student group Queer Straight Alliance (QSA). Local area LGBTQ youth attend the Phoenix Center youth group.

2. What academic opportunities are there at UIS?
Women and Gender Studies at UIS would be a great program for anyone who would be interested in studying subjects related to sexual orientation, gender, or feminism. Here are some of the offered courses: WGS 232: ECCE: U.S. Sexual Minorities, WGS 301: Women, Gender & Society, WGS 357: LGBTQ & Allies Peer Education, WGS 411: Feminist Theories, WGS 418: Queer Theory.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Lesbians

http://thefbomb.org/2009/12/questions-about-lesbianism/
Here are some questions that address misconceptions that some people have about lesbians.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marissa-higgins/10-things-lesbians-hate-to-hear_b_3518106.html
Here is a list of ten things that lesbians hate to hear from their heterosexual peers.

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/help-my-roommates-lesbian
I need advice. I think that my roommate is a lesbian. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/meet-other-young-lesbians
Over the past year, I have been going through a slow coming-out process within myself and have realized that I am a lesbian. The problem is I don’t know where to meet other lesbians, and I feel very alone. I am not interested in meeting other women in a bar since I didn’t like doing that when I was straight. Can you recommend some places where I could go to meet other young lesbians?

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/should-i-tell-my-gyn-im-having-lesbian-sex
Is it necessary to tell my gynecologist that I am bisexual and engaging in lesbian sex when I go for my yearly checkup?

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/less-painful-pap-smears
I am a lesbian who does not enjoy penetration and does not include this in my sexual repertoire. I am concerned, however, about Pap smears. I find the speculum very uncomfortable, even painful — my last Pap was agonizing and embarrassing. If I didn’t know how important this annual exam was, I would just stop going.
I am seeking ways to make this experience less traumatic, so my question to you is, is there a way I can obtain a speculum of my own so I can practice at home? Any other advice on the subject of less painful Paps would be appreciated!

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/how-can-i-tell-my-religious-parents-im-lesbian-without-them-disowning-me
I have a question that I am very afraid to ask anyone else. I am a 21-year-old college student who has been in a three-year lesbian relationship with my college roommate. We are both deeply in love with each other and when it came time to tell her parents about our relationship, they were very supportive of our decision. My parents, on the other hand, are a different story. I was brought up in a very strict Roman Catholic family, where homosexuality is very much frowned upon. How can I tell my parents that I am a lesbian and make them understand without disowning me?

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/stereotypical-lesbian
I’ve recently told a couple of my friends that I’m a lesbian, and they responded with a comment like, they already knew, or that they weren’t surprised. I guess I have two questions. First off, is there a stereotype for lesbians, and if it’s that obvious that I’m gay and a lot of my friends know, then how come I can’t find a girl that I can share pleasurable experiences with?

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/homophobic-roommate
I’m a lesbian and I think that my roommate could be slightly homophobic. We have never really had a great relationship but now that I’ve come out to her, we don’t talk much at all. How do I talk with her about this issue so that we can put it behind is without making it so awkward?

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/rumor-control-she-gay
There’s a rumor going around that I’m either gay or bisexual, and I have no idea how it got started because I’ve never said anything about anything to anyone! But it’s spreading rather quickly and is causing me great psychological pain and I don’t know what to do.

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/lonely-lesbian-wants-be-less-lonely
I’m a young lesbian and I masturbate a lot because of the lack of dating and sex. I live in a very small town. What and where can I meet other lesbian girls? Should I stop masturbating?

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/should-i-explore-my-sexuality
I’m about to enter college and female, and, just recently, I’ve been attracted to a few girls. I also get aroused when I see two women having sex or kissing. I’ve had three boyfriends in high school, and I think I am still attracted to men. I would really like to experiment with girls to see if I am a lesbian or a bisexual. What should I do?

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/lesbian-questioning-if-shes-bisexual
When I was a teenager, I thought I was straight. During college, I came to the realization that I was a lesbian. I am quite comfortable with identifying as a lesbian, but occasionally I find myself attracted to men. In my heart, I know that I am actually bisexual, but it really bugs me! Recently, I found a guy that I really would have liked to dated, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it because I was afraid of how it would look. People (myself included) always seem to think that bisexuals are really either just promiscuous or just tragically confused.
I am still primarily attracted to women (especially for long-term relationships), so should I just stick with being lesbian? Is it fair to date a man when it’s likely that it won’t work out? How do I get my friends and family to understand what being bisexual really means? More importantly, how do I get myself to understand what this means? What if I really AM tragically confused?

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/how-do-i-know-if-my-girlfriend-lesbian
My girlfriend really likes looking at women more than men. She is always commenting on their bodies and how well “that woman” looks. She is 29 years old and has never really enjoyed men until me but steps away from making a major commitment to me. Is it possible that she likes women?

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/bad-experiences-men-lesbian
I am a woman who has always been attracted to other women. Until recently, I was attracted to men as well. Now I am almost exclusively attracted to women… which would be fine, except that I think this attraction has a lot to do with painful experiences I’ve had with men. When I was younger, my father was dominant and somewhat abusive, and my first boyfriend was emotionally manipulative and pressured me to have sex with him. After breaking things off with him, I had a very positive sexual relationship with a woman. Am I a lesbian, or am I a bisexual who is just afraid of men? If the latter is true, is there any way to get over this fear?

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/interested-lesbian-sex
We are two straight sophomores who are considering lesbian activity. This is not a joke. We have always been intrigued by lesbians and have been asking the question, “How do they do it?” Obviously, a great deal of the enterprise must involve oral activity, but what else can we do?

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/woman-woman-oral-sex-it-better-give-receive
As a lesbian who has recently “come out,” I’ve noticed some women get into giving oral sex more than receiving it. Why is that?

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/safer-sex-between-women
I am a young gay female. I am in the middle of a relationship. It is the first time for both of us. A friend gave us a book of stories and poems, etc. about gay relationships. In a couple, there were mentions of safe sex. I never realized that sex between two women was not safe. If you could give me any details of safer sex, it would ease my mind.

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/where-can-i-get-dams-oral-sex
Do you know where I can get dental dams for lesbian oral sex and why these are barely promoted compared to condoms?

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/can-sexually-transmitted-infections-stis-be-transmitted-during-sex-between-women
I’m a twenty-one-year-old lesbian. I’ve only had three sexual partners, all female, only one of whom has ever had sexual contact with a man. I recently had a pap smear come back abnormal and when I went in for the colposcopy, the doctor said he saw definite papilloma effect. I’m still waiting for the biopsy results. If I do have HPV, as seems almost certain, how did I get it? I thought it was virtually impossible to pass STDs from woman to woman during sex. Does anyone actually have any data on the risk of passing HPV woman to woman?