Skip to content

Recommended LGBTQ+ Resources for Educators

We are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in every aspect of our work.


At The Warhol, you will encounter artworks and artifacts that represent historic and contemporary LGBTQ+ experiences in a variety of ways. We celebrate gender diversity and encourage educators to use the following resources to foster more inclusive learning environments and to prepare for your visit to the museum. For more information, please contact or explore the resources recommended below.

Glossary of Basic Gender-Related Terminology

  • Birth Sex/Biological Sex:​ A specific set of genetic, chemical, and anatomical characteristics that we are either born with or that develop as we mature. Types of birth/biological sex include female, male and intersex.
  • Cisgender:​ (adjective; pronounced “siss-jendur”) A person who identifies with the biological sex they were assigned at birth
  • Drag: Drag is a form of art, personal expression, and entertainment that plays with gender norms. A drag queen is most often a gay man who dresses as a woman and exaggerates certain feminine characteristics, but anyone can participate in the art of drag, including trans people and women (who may be called drag kings).
  • Gender Expression:​ The external display of one’s gender, through a combination of dress, demeanor, social behavior, and other factors, generally measured on scales of masculinity and femininity.
  • Gender Identity:​ The internal perception or personal sense of one’s gender, and how they label themselves. Common identity labels include man, woman, genderqueer, trans, and more. Everyone has a gender identity.
  • LGBT / LGBTQ / TGNC/ +:​ Acronym used as shorthand or umbrella term for all people who have a non-normative (or queer) gender or sexuality. There are many different initialisms people prefer. LGBTQ is Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer (sometimes people add a + at the end in an effort to be more inclusive, and/or add I for Intersex and A for Asexual [or Allied]); GSM is Gender and Sexual Minorities; DSG is Diverse Genders and Sexualities; TGNC is Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming.
  • Queer:​ A term that was originally used as a derogatory slur but has been reclaimed by members of LGBTQ+ communities to describe people who don’t conform to traditional social norms around gender and heterosexuality. Many queer-identified people have taken back the word to use it as a symbol of pride and affirmation of difference and diversity.
  • Sexual Orientation:​ The nature of an individual’s physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction to another person. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same. Trans and gender-variant people may identify with any sexual orientation, and their sexual orientation may or may not change before, during or after gender transition.
  • Transgender (Trans):​ An umbrella term used to describe people whose true gender identity does not match the sex or gender they were assigned at birth.


Adapted from:

The Safe Space Kit: Guide to Being an Ally to LGBT Students

Human Rights Campaign Glossary of Terms

Gender Inclusive School Communities: A policy and procedure guide to ensure the success of transgender students within Pittsburgh Public Schools, by Thrive and PPS

Responding to Anti-LGBTQ+ Language

You may overhear students using derogatory anti-LGBTQ+ language, creating an unsafe environment, and reinforcing negative stereotypes. Harassment does not go away on its own —rather than ignoring it, respond quickly with a straightforward response. Make it clear that anti-LGBTQ+ put-downs, bullying, and insults will not be tolerated. Rather than repeating the hurtful language, explain that using the name of any group of people as an insult is never ok, or simply that the words used are unacceptable. Reaffirm that all people deserve respect.

Adapted from:

What Do You Say to “That’s So Gay” and Other Anti-LGBTQ* Comments?
By the National Education Association Welcoming Schools Initiative


People’s pronouns relate to their gender identity. By providing an opportunity for people to identify and share their pronouns, you are showing that you don’t assume their gender based on their physical appearance. Including and correctly using an individual’s pronouns is a first step towards respecting their gender identity and creating a welcoming environment.

Misgendering refers to the experience of being labeled by others as a gender other than the one you identify with. If you accidentally use the wrong pronoun when identifying someone, try to correct yourself and start using the right pronoun —everyone makes mistakes, but making a correction shows that you are working to respect the other person.

When addressing groups of people or people whose pronouns you haven’t been told, you can use gender-neutral language such as, “friends,” “folks,” “all,” “y’all,” or “yinz” rather than “guys,” “ladies,” “ma’am,” or “sir.”

Adapted from:

Pronouns: A Resource
Supporting Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (GNC) Educators and Students, by GLSEN

Age-Appropriate Resources

Nuanced concepts like gender identity, expression, and sexual orientation can be complex for young learners. We like the Gender Unicorn graphic, developed by Trans Student Educational Resources, a youth-led organization, as a tool for exploring the overlapping dimensions of gender and attraction with students.


Additional Recommended Resources:

The National Education Association Welcoming Schools Initiative

MTV Decoded