Ally Guide @ UIS: Suggested Readings

  • rainbow-book-375x250Don’t Be So Gay!: Queers, Bullying, and Making Schools Safe by: Donn Short, In “Don’t Be So Gay!” Queers, Bullying, and Making Schools Safe, Donn Short considers the effectiveness of anti-harassment policies and safe school legislation. After spending several months interviewing queer youth and their allies in the Toronto area, Short concludes that current legislation and its approach to school safety and homophobia has generally been more responsive than proactive. He suggests that while effective legislation is vital to establishing a safe space for queer students, other influences — including religion, family beliefs, and peer pressure — may be more powerful. Drawing on students’ own experiences and exploring how their understandings and definitions of safety might be translated into policy reform, this book offers a fresh perspective on a hotly debated issue. (Available at UIS Library)
  • Safe Spaces: Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGBT Youth by: Annemarie Vaccaro, Gerri August, Megan S. Kennedy, Safe Spaces: Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGBT Youth is the first book to offer a comprehensive view of the complex lives of LGBT youth of all ages, from kindergarten through college. Drawing on a wealth of research drawn from first-person accounts of students, family, educators, and community members, the authors not only chronicle the struggles of LGBT youth but also describe models of inclusive school and community environments.The authors address the breadth of experiences of LGBT youth—in and out of the classroom, at home and in the community, and in personal interactions with allies and antagonists. They also reveal how these young people, their friends and families, teachers, and dedicated allies stem the tide of LGBT exclusion. Most important, Safe Spaces offers action steps for readers who want to make their own homes, schools, and communities safe and welcoming spaces for LGBT youth. (Available at UIS Library)
  • Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is by: Abigail Garner, Abigail Garner was five years old when her parents divorced and her dad came out as gay. Like the millions of children growing up in these families today, she often found herself in the middle of the political and moral debates surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) parenting. Drawing on a decade of community organizing, and interviews with more than fifty grown sons and daughters of LGBT parents, Garner addresses such topics as coming out to children, facing homophobia at school, co-parenting with ex-partners, the impact of AIDS, and the children’s own sexuality. Both practical and deeply personal, Families Like Mine provides an invaluable insider’s perspective for LGBT parents, their families, and their allies. (Available at UIS Library) 
  • Everyday Activism: A Handbook for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual People and Their Allies by: Routledge, From same-sex marriages to hate-crime laws, gay, lesbian and bisexual people have fought an uphill battle to gain equal rights. Now a comprehensive new reference collects in one volume the strategies, hard data, and legal arguments that are central to the fight for equality in lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) life.Up-to-date and readable, Everyday Activism is the one essential book that provides the basic facts on the key questions faced by LGB citizens. (Available at UIS Library)
  • You Can Tell Just by Looking: And 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People By: Michael Bronski, Ann Pellegrini, Michael Amico, Breaks down the most commonly held misconceptions about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their lives In “You Can Tell Just by Looking” three scholars and activists come together to unpack enduring, popular, and deeply held myths about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, culture, and life in America. Myths, such as “All Religions Condemn Homosexuality” and “Transgender People Are Mentally Ill,” have been used to justify discrimination and oppression of LGBT people. Others, such as “Homosexuals Are Born That Way,” have been embraced by LGBT communities and their allies. In discussing and dispelling these myths—including gay-positive ones—the authors challenge readers to question their own beliefs and to grapple with the complexities of what it means to be queer in the broadest social, political, and cultural sense. (Available at
  • Setting Them Straight: You CAN Do Something About Bigotry and Homophobia in Your Life by: Betty Berzon, This reading offers advice and strategies for coping with and understanding homophobia when it is encountered in the workplace, in family relationships, in casual settings or anywhere else. (Available at Gender & Sexuality Student Services)
  • Bashers, Baitors, Bigots: Homophobia in American Society by: John P. De. Cecco, The largest collection of articles on homophobia published to date, this volume does much to expand the concept of homophobia as well as to discuss related research. Homophobia includes theoretical analyses of the concept of homphobia, critiques and innovations pertaining to its assessment, and its relationship to the biological sex of respondents, their self-perceived sex roles, and their etiological theories of homosexuality. (Available at Gender & Sexuality Student Services)
  • Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price by: Warren Blumenfeld, The hatred of lesbians, gay males, and bisexuals remains an “acceptable” prejudice in our society, despite the widespread damage it causes in all of our lives. Inviting sexual minorities and heterosexual men and women to become allies in the fight against homophobia, the contributors to this anthology explore how homophobia colludes with sexism by forcing people into rigid gender roles; how homophobia causes unnecessary pain and alienation in family relationships; how it works against health-care policy and arts administration that would benefit all members of society; and how homophobia leaves the policies of religious insitutions unfulfilled. In both personal and analytical essays, the contributors show how the fight to end homophobia is everyone’s fight if we are to bring about a less oppressive and more productive society. They offer concrete suggestions on transforming attitudes, behaviors and institutions. (Available at UIS Library)
  • Safe Zones: Training Allies of LGBTQIA+ Young Adults Edited by Kerry John Poynter, This book offers a model Safe Zone curriculum and a step-by-step guide for prospective Safe Zone trainers. It contains all the tools needed to implement, coordinate, and train participants in a Safe Zone program. The real-world tested curriculum is based on the author’s years of experience creating and facilitating Safe Zone programs at several major U.S. colleges and universities. It consists of two introductory chapters that explain Safe Zone programs and the learning style employed in the trainings followed by 6 chapters, each devoted to a specific Safe Zone workshop. The content draws on a number of academic disciplines: LGBTQ Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Sociology, Criminal Justice, History, Anthropology, and Psychology. A final chapter offers a comprehensive model of assessment. all handouts and activities used in this book are available as a download from Rowman & Littlefield. (Available at Gender & Sexuality Student Services, and Rowman & Littlefield)

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