LGBT Resources - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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LGBT Resources

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Sorting the Alphabet Soup of Sexual Orientation and Identity


"L" lesbian, dyke, gay woman, homosexual woman
Woman whose primary emotional and physical attractions are for other women.

"G" gay, homosexual, fag, faggot
Man whose primary emotional and physical attractions are for other men.

"B" bisexual, AC/DC
Man or woman with strong emotional and physical attractions to both men and women.

"T" transsexual, transgender, trans, ftm, mtf, transvestite, cross dresser, drag queen
But what do these mean? There is no single accepted definition.

The Social Work/Psychology fields treat Transgender and Transsexual as two separate issues. Transgender describes people who are not comfortable with the gender expression which their culture has assigned to them. (i.e. they are not comfortable or can't relate to the roles, clothes, or behaviors that are expected in someone of their sex.) Transsexual describes someone who is not comfortable in their body and feels that they were born into a body of the wrong sex.

Many popular works use Transgender as a continuum that goes from "mild" (cross-dressing) to "severe" (changing the body by surgery or hormones)

The Library of Congress does not distinguish between Transsexual and Transgender and uses Transsexual to cover both.

Other terms

"I" Intersexed, hermaphrodites
People born with some physical aspects of both sexes.

"Q" Queer, questioning
Any/all of the above

and, of course "H" Heterosexuals, hets, straight, breeders
People whose primary emotional and physical attractions are for people of the opposite sex.

Find resources in the catalog

Search the catalog using the following subject headings.

Heading Issue People

Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation
– Religious aspects – Judaism
– Religious aspects – Judaism
Homosexuality, male
– Religious aspects – Judaism
– Religious aspects
Homosexuality in the Bible

Gay men
Jewish gays
Jewish lesbians
Jewish gay men
Lesbian rabbis
Bisexual men
Bisexual women

Sexual Identity

Gender identity
-- Religious aspects

Female-to-male transsexuals

Find resources on the shelf

Judaism. Special topics. Homosexuality/Gays/Lesbians
BM 729 H6.5
Bible. Topics. Homosexuality
BS 680 H6.7
HQ 74 - 74.2.
Homosexuality including Lesbianism
HQ 75 - 76.95
HQ 76.97 - 77.2
HQ 77.7 - 77.95.
Same-sex marriage
HQ 1033 - 1034

Searching Jewish Databases


subject = Homosexuality
use keyword searches for: transsexual, transgender, hermaphrodites

Index to Jewish Periodicals

subject = Homosexuality ; Lesbians
use title keyword searches for: transsexual, transgender, hermaphrodites

Recommended websites

Jewish LGBT

"GayJews.Org is committed to providing up to date, accurate information for Orthodox Jews who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered."

Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center

A project of the Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation (an initiative of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion - the Virtual Resource Center requires free registration) 

World Congress of GLBT Jews

"The World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews: Keshet Ga’avah consists of organizations in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States.

The World Congress aims to be a networking resource for LGBTQ Jews from around the world to connect, engage, and support on regional, national, continental, and global levels. The Hebrew subtitle Keshet Ga’avah – Rainbow of Pride – emphasizes the importance of Hebrew to the World Congress."

Other LGBT


"Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the nation's largest family and ally organization. Uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality and full societal affirmation of LGBTQ people through its threefold mission of support, education, and advocacy."