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Resources for Supporting LGBTQ Survivors

The Alliance is dedicated to providing culturally relevant and accessible services for survivors who self-identify as LGBTQ+. We also collaborate with LGBTQ+ groups, organizations, and community leaders throughout the state in an effort to highlight and combat sexual violence in the historically marginalized communities.

Perhaps for some of you, I am the face of one of your fears. Because I am a woman, because I am Black, because I am lesbian, because I am myself – a Black woman warrior poet doing my work – come to ask you: are you doing yours?

— Audre Lorde

LGBTQ+ Resources Guide

This guide is comprised of resources for sexual assault crisis counselors that work with individuals who self-identify as LGBTQ+. Much of its content is also found on this web page.

Download the LGBTQ+ Resources Guide.

Assumptions & Dynamics

The Alliance believes that LGBTQ+ identities are not the consequence of trauma, but rather valid and beautifully nuanced identities. We believe that LGBTQ+ people face systemic and historical oppression and experience additional barriers when seeking services. We also believe that self-determination and self-identification are important and integral to a survivor’s identity, and we celebrate the uniqueness of each survivor.

Sexual violence happens in all communities; however, we know that marginalized communities disproportionately experience sexual violence and have less access to interventions when they are victimized. We live in a society that provides rights and privileges to cisgender heterosexual people, but LGBTQ+ people are not always afforded the same rights and privileges.LGBTQ+ people are often viewed as deviant, less than, or other. This societal stigma not only makes LGBTQ+ people more vulnerable to experiencing violence, but it also creates challenges when LGBTQ+ survivors seek services. Dominant narratives about sexual violence cast men as perpetrators and women as victims, which contributes to the erasure of LGBTQ+ survivors and the isolation that many LGBTQ+ survivors feel. When people from marginalized communities share their experiences with oppression, they are often met with disbelief or are victim blamed. This disbelief can often be traumatic, isolating, and lead to LGBTQ+ survivors not accessing needed service or interventions.

In addition, some LGBTQ+ individuals experience additional oppression and marginalization through other aspects of their identity. For example, BIPOC LGBTQ+ individuals experience increased violence, oppression, and barriers to assistance due to the intersectionality of their marginalized identities. As various forms of inequality and oppression often interact and exacerbate each other, it is essential that those who advocate for and serve LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual violence are aware of the intersectionality of structural inequality and systemic oppression, and its impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people. Advocates may need to do extra work to build trust with survivors and to ensure that they are providing culturally relevant and accessible services through an intersectional lens.

If I don’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies of me and eaten alive.

— Audre Lorde

Advocacy & Language

When working with individuals from LGBTQ+ communities, it is important to understand the language used. Language can be used in a way that is either validating or harmful to LGBTQ+ people. Learning to use respectful and validating language is a constant process because language is always evolving and changing. While new terms are continually being added, old terms are becoming outdated and disfavored, and previously offensive terms have been reclaimed. Below is listed a compilation of basic terms, concepts, and definitions that will help to create a foundation of knowledge and understanding to assist with navigating through any future language changes.

LGBTQ+ Resources in Connecticut

The Triangle Community Center
The Triangle Community Center (TCC) offers resources, a co-sponsored housing program, emergency financial assistance, and other direct services to theLGBTQ+ community in Fairfield County. TCC also works on HIV/AIDS-related outreach, testing initiatives, and creating a more informed LGBTQ+ community.
Queer Unity Empowerment Support Team
The Queer Unity Empowerment Support Team (QUEST), established in 2015, is a community-based collaborative formed to create healthy, inclusive, and safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ+ community, and their allies, in the Greater Waterbury area, fostering meaningful relationships, learning, and joy.
The Rainbow Center at UCONN
The Rainbow Center serves the University of Connecticut’s diverse community of gender identities, gender expressions, and sexualities by fostering personal growth, leadership development, and community engagement. It also provides students with resources, services, educational materials, training, and advocacy.
Connecticut Trans Advocacy Coalition
Connecticut Trans Advocacy Coalition (CTAC) aims to make Connecticut a safe and accepting place for the trans and gender non-conforming communities through education and social advocacy. CTAC is dedicated to the attainment of full human rights for all trans and gender non-conforming people.
Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective
Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective (HGLHC) currently provides medical services, dental services, support groups, and health education tailored to LGBTQ+ communities. HGLHC is especially proud of its services to people living with HIV/AIDS.
The New Haven Pride Center
New Haven Pride Center was started by activists working to get domestic partnership recognized by the New Haven Board of Alderman in 1991. It has since changed into a community center that offers a variety of support groups and programming geared toward the LGBTQ+ community.
PFLAG Hartford
Founded in 1972 as Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Inc., PFLAG is the nation’s largest family and ally organization. PFLAG Hartford offers support groups, advocacy, and education for families, allies, and people who are LGBTQ+.
GLSEN Connecticut
GLSEN Connecticut is an accredited chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). GLSEN Connecticut works to ensure safe schools for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. There are over thirty-five chapters around the country, working on a variety of issues, from public policy and teacher training to supporting students and educators.

LGBTQ Organizations Across the Country

Formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, GLAAD is a national organization that works to ensure adequate and accurate media representation of the LGBTQ community.
In Our Own Voices
In Our Own Voices (IOOV) develops the leadership of LGBTQ people of color and strengthens the voices of LGBT people of color in order to communicate their perspectives within the larger community effectively.
The Network / La Red
The Network / La Red is a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, BDSM, polyamorous, and queer communities.
Audrey Lorde Project
Audre Lorde Project (ALP) is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, trans, and gender non-conforming people of color center in New York City. Through mobilization and education, Audre Lorde Project focuses on community wellness and progressive social and economic justice.
Anti-Violence Project
Anti-Violence Project (AVP) empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through event organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy.
InterAct: Advocates for Intersex Youth
InterAct: Advocates for Intersex Youth is an advocacy organization that uses innovative legal strategies to advocate for the human rights of children born with intersex traits.
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders
Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) works to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.
FORGE is a national transgender anti-violence organization, federally funded to provide direct services to transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender non-binary survivors of sexual assault.

Queer Caucus Against Sexual Assault

Are you a sexual assault crisis counselor who self-identifies as LGBTQ+? We encourage you to join our Queer Caucus Against Sexual Assault! Email The Alliance for the meeting schedule.

The Gender Book

The Gender Book is an illustrated book that explores gender identity, expression, and the socialization of gender. It is available as a downloadable e-book on a donation-based pay-what-you-want basis or as a hardcover book. All proceeds go toward a scholarship.

The Stonewall Generation

“In The Stonewall Generation: LGBTQ Elders on Sex, Activism, and Aging, sexuality researcher Jane Fleishman shares the stories of fearless elders in the LGBTQ community who came of age around the time of the Stonewall Riots of 1969.

Queering Sexual Violence

Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Violence Movement is an anthology that puts queer, transgender and gender non-conforming survivors at the center of the anti-violence movement and creates a space for their voices to be heard.

CDC National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
This 2010 report discusses the rates of intimate partner violence and domestic violence experienced by LGBTQ+ people.
View Here
Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey
This report is the most extensive survey of transgender discrimination ever undertaken. Over 6,450 responses are included in the survey, which explored discrimination in all aspects of life.
View Here
NSVRC Sexual Violence & Individuals Who Identify as LGBTQ
This information packet contains nearly a dozen resources focused on serving, engaging, and collaborating with individuals and communities who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning. The packet contains resources to support counselors, advocates, preventionists, technical assistance providers, and allied professionals committed to affirming all individuals and communities.
View Here
Creating Safer Spaces for LGBTQ Youth: A Toolkit for Education, Healthcare, and Community-Based Organizations
This Toolkit has been developed to assist individuals, community-based organizations, providers, healthcare staff, educators, and others that see the value of incorporating key safer space components into their organizations so that young people survive and thrive. Recommendations serve as a guide and should be tailored to each individual young person and organizational setting.
View Here


(A)sexual is a documentary that focuses on asexuals — people who experience no sexual attraction — as they struggle to claim their identity in a sex-obsessed culture and face a mountain of stereotypes, misconceptions, and a lack of social or scientific research.

Rape for Who I Am

Rape for Who I Am is a documentary based in South Africa where homophobia is being ‘expressed’ through targeted rape of black lesbians. Four extraordinary women expose the harrowing experiences and struggles of African lesbians.

Boys and Men Healing

Boys and Men Healing is a documentary that focuses on the impact sexual abuse of boys and the importance of male survivors speaking out and healing.

No! The Rape Documentary 

No! The Rape Documentary is an award-winning documentary that features riveting testimonials from Black women rape survivors who defy victimization.

Download Posters and Brochures

LGBTQ Brochure SpanishDownload
LGBTQ Brochure EnglishDownload
LGBTQ Poster EnglishDownload
LGBTQ Poster SpanishDownload

Palm Cards

These materials were produced by Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence through the support of grant number 2012-WF-AX-0015 awarded by the state administrating office for the STOP Formula Grant Program. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in these publications are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the state or the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

Sources of Statistics

Human Rights Campaign: Sexual Assault and the LGBT Community
NISVS: An Overview of 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation
NISVS: 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation

Terms & Definitions

AGENDER: Describes a person who does not identify with a particular gender.

AROMANTIC / ARO: A lack of romantic attraction or interest. As romantic attraction exists on a different spectrum than sexual attraction, not all people who identify as aromantic also identify as asexual and vice versa.

ASEXUAL / ACE: A lack of sexual attraction or sexual interest.  As sexual attraction exists on a different spectrum than romantic attraction, not all people who identify as asexual also  identify as aromatic and vice versa. 

BISEXUAL: Describes a person who is capable of being sexually and/or romantically attracted to more than one gender(s)

CISGENDER / CIS: Describes a person whose gender identity is alligned with their sex assigned at birth. An “ed” should never be added to the end of cisgender (e.g., cisgender person or cis person).

CISSEXISM: A system of oppression that upholds that there are only two genders, which are considered the norm. Cissexism privileges cisgender people over transgender and gender non-conforming people.

DEMISEXUAL: Describes a type of orientation where sexual attraction or sexual interest is tied to romantic attraction. A person who identifies as demisexual may only feel sexual attraction to a person they have a close emotional bond with.

GAY: Describes a person with a gender identity of male who is primarily sexually and/or romantically attracted to those of the same gender. 

GENDER BINARY: An oppressive system that views gender as consisting only of two opposite categories – male and female. Under the gender binary, people are categorized as male or female based only on the person’s sex assigned at birth, and it assumes that the person’s gender identity, gender expression, and sexual and romantic attractions will align with the heteronormative expectations of each category.

GENDER EXPRESSION: A person’s external presentation or manifestation of their gender identity.

GENDERFLUID: A gender identity and/or gender expression that is not fixed but changes.

GENDER IDENTITY: A person’s internal sense of being female, male, neither,  both or other gender(s)

GENDER NON-CONFORMING: Describes a person with a  gender expression that does not conform to society’s standards of their gender identity and/or sex assigned at birth. 

GENDERQUEER: An identity commonly used by those who do not identify, or express, their gender within the gender binary.

HETERONORMATIVITY: The oppressive belief or assumption, predicated on the gender binary, that all people are heterosexual, or view heterosexuality as the “normal,” preferred, or expected sexual orientation. 

HETEROSEXISM: A system of oppression that deems heterosexuality as the norm, and any other sexual orientation as deviant and other.

INTERSECTIONALITY: The overlapping and interconnected systems of oppression relating to social categories (race, gender, orientation, economic class, etc.)  that exacerbate upon each other, increasing the oppression, discrimination, and barriers faced by marginalized people. An intersectional approach to working with LGBTQ+ survivors recognizes the multiple overlapping oppressions experienced by the survivor, and the unique needs that arise as result.

INTERSEX: Describes a person with a less common combination of anatomy, chromosome makeup, and hormone levels that are typically used to assign a sex assigned at birth. An “ed” should never be added to the end of intersex (e.g., intersex person).

LESBIAN: Describes a person with a gender identity of female who is primarily sexually and/or romantically attracted to the same gender.

OMNISEXUAL: Describes a person who is capable of being sexually and/or romantically attracted to all genders or any gender, though gender often still plays a role or a preference in one’s attraction.

NONBINARY / NB / ENBY: An umbrella term for all genders other than female/male or woman/man

PANSEXUAL: Describes a person who is capable of being sexually and/or romantically attracted towards people regardless of their gender identity. For some pansexual people, gender is not a defining characteristic of the attraction they feel to others.

QUEER: A reclaimed term that has historically been used as a pejorative term for those whose gender and/or sexuality did not align themselves with societal norms, has since been reclaimed and used as an inclusive term for all marginalized gender and sexual identities who exist outside of the expectations of the gender binary.

SEXUAL ORIENTATION: A person’s sexual, romantic, aesthetic, and/or other forms of attraction to others.

TRANSGENDER / TRANS: Describes a person whose sex assigned at birth differs from their gender identity. An “ed” should never be added to the end of transgender (e.g., transgender person or trans person).

TRANSPHOBIA: Systemic violence and prejudice against transgender people are associated with negative attitudes towards transgender people, such as fear, discomfort, distrust, or disdain.  This term is similar to other terms such as homophobia, biphobia, acephobia, and xenophobia, that denote similar systematic violence and prejudice against people with a particular identity.  It is important to note that these “phobias” exist both outside of and within the LGBTQ+ community.

Additional terms can be found at Trans Student Educational Resources.

Need Support?

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