SOCIAL WORK AND LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL,
AND TWO-SPIRITED PEOPLES
Dr. Norma Jean Profitt
Professional Building - Office 310
Telephone/voice mail: 452-0495
Rationale for course:
Social workers interact and work with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirited peoples as colleagues, clients, and fellow citizens on a daily basis, oftentimes without knowing they are doing so. Yet social workers are often ignorant about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirited peoples’ lived experience, the forms of oppression they confront, and the joys and difficulties they face in their everyday lives. Furthermore, social workers may not be cognizant of the ways in which their beliefs and practices are oppressive to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirited peoples. Social workers have a professional and ethical responsibility to learn about and work to eliminate injustice and discrimination based on sexuality, and to practice competent and ethical social work with this population. This course is an opportunity for social work students to learn about heterosexism and its effects, some issues in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirited peoples, and how we can enrich our social work practice with and in the service of this social group.
This course examines some of the concepts and definitions concerning sexuality, gender expression, and sexual orientation in the context of a dominant heterosexual world. It examines issues of concern to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and two-spirited peoples and the place of social work in working with this population.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to critically examine how heterosexism as a social structure and system of beliefs and practices affect us all, and in particular, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirited peoples. Students will develop a theoretical framework for understanding gender expression, sexuality, and sexual identity that moves beyond a heterosexist frame. A range of issues and practical realities will be explored in the context of heteronormativity as a dominant mode of oppression. This course examines these issues and realities from the perspective of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirited peoples, that is, from the view of those who have been marginalized. Students will reflect on their own social location and develop a political-personal manifesto for working with this group.
Objectives of this course:
I will distribute readings in class. Readings under the class date should be read for that class. Please find attached a selected bibiography.
Assignments and Evaluation:
1) Class participation:
I will not be marking class participation, however, I expect the following:
-attend class punctually
and let colleagues and the professor know in advance if you will be absent or
late for class,
-come prepared for class by reading and thinking about the assigned material,
-participate in homework and in-class exercises,
-refrain from sidebar conversations,
-contribute constructively to class discussions and class process by drawing on your own experience, knowledge, and readings,
-when absent, arrange to catch up and obtain notes, articles, etc.,
-listen to and engage with colleagues by asking them questions, seeking to understand their experience, stretching the boundaries of your own perspective, and maintaining an attitude of intellectual inquiry and compassion.
2) Personal Reflection
Piece Due date: February 27
Maximum 6 pages, plus references
This assignment requires that you
reflect on the work we have done in the first three classes on heteronormativity
and locate yourself in terms of gender, sexual orientation, and sexual identity
as it intersects with race, class, ability, and so forth. You will need to reflect
on and analyze where you have come from and where you are at presently, integrating
the ideas, concepts, and insights from class discussion that are relevant to
Suggested areas to address and add your own:
-reflection on the social messages and practices that have shaped gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, and sexual identity,
-how these have been intertwined with race, class, ability, etc.,
-integration of key concepts from class and readings into your analysis of personal experience,
-and identification of your learnings and challenges and curiosities for future growth.
3) Social documentation for social
To be compiled in a scrapbook format and with a minimum of 20 entries
Due date: up until April 12
Over the span of the course, observe and document aspects of heterosexism and homoignorance in all its manifestations. Clip newspaper articles, find advertisements, listen to the radio for news and sound bites, hear the lyrics of songs, listen to people’s speech, observe the world about you, read social work articles - are lgbt peoples included and how? What discourse is being mobilized to justify exclusion? What is the subtext? How are lgbt peoples excluded and given the message they are less than? With each entry, include a succinct comment on representation and reality.
4) Personal manifesto for working
with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirited clients
Maximum 8 pages, plus references. Due date: April 12
This is an opportunity for you to review some literature on social work and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirited peoples and draw on it to articulate a personal vision and social work practice for working with this social group. What attitudes, values, principles, and practices will you employ? What will this look like in your social work practice? While there is significant room for creativity in this assignment, be sure to address two areas: 1) your theoretical framework and value position in relation to heteronormativity, gender, sexual orientation, and sexual identity and 2) your actual social work practice.
5) Hate is not a family value
Maximum 3 pages, plus attachments if appropriate. Due date: submit at any time until April 12
Identify a legal issue to examine, find a pamphlet from a community agency or resource, or choose some other piece of our everyday world that negatively affects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirited peoples and requires analysis and change. Identify how the issue, resource, etc. affects everyone as citizens and in our work as social workers with this group. Provide two references to substantiate your assertions and describe how it could be changed to reflect affirmative practice.
Completion of assignments # 2, 3, 4, and 5 - grade in the A range
#2 Personal reflection piece
#3 Social documentation - social consciousness
#4 Personal manifesto for working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirited clients
#5 Hate is not a family value
Completion of assignments # 2, 3,
4 - grade in the B range
#2 Personal reflection piece
#3 Social documentation - social consciousness
#4 Personal manifesto for working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirited clients
Please submit in writing by the second
class what grade you will contract for in this course. Please note that all
assignments must be completed at a B- standard. If they are not, they will be
returned to you to be reworked and resubmitted. As a guideline to determine
the grade in the A or B range, I will be marking written work on content (knowledge
base, critical analysis, originality, clarity of argument and ideas, assignment
criteria) 75%; organization and presentation (organization of material, grammar,
punctuation, writing skills) 15%; scholarly integrity (proper cites and references,
recognition of others’ work, and use of a range of materials, including
Class 1 - January 5
Professor and student expectations
Review of course outline
Homework for next class
Class 2 - January
12 - The gay and lesbian social movement and heterosexism as a dominant form
of social organization and oppression
History, community, and culture
Chapter 6, In the spirit of Stonewall, in L. Feinberg, Trans liberation (pp. 95-105). Boston: Beacon Press.
Chapter 3 - Development of community and culture, in S. Hunter, C. Shannon, J. Knox, & J. I. Martin. (1998). Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths and adults: Knowledge for human services practice (pp. 37-53). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
The oppression of heterosexism
Chapter 2 - The oppression of heterosexism, in S. Hunter, C. Shannon, J. Knox, & J. I. Martin. (1998). Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths and adults: Knowledge for human services practice (pp. 21-36). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Handout and homework for next class
Class 3 - January 19 - Exploring concepts and definitions - Heteronormativity as a dominant social structure
Heteronormativity, homoignorance, gender, sex-gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual identity, sexuality, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and so forth.
DiBernard, B. (1998). Crossing the road, or what’s a nice lesbian feminist like you doing in a place like this? Reflections, Winter, pp. 39-48.
Tafoya, T. (1997). Native gay and lesbian issues: The two-spirited. In B. Greene (Ed.), Ethnic and cultural diversity among lesbians and gay men (pp. 1-9). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Class 4 -January 26 - Beginning with our lived experience
Through the identification of formative moments, we will trace our lived experience of our sexed-gendered identities and link some of these to aspects of heteronormativity and homoignorance. We will share our formative moments and pull out some elements of a social collective analysis of heterosexism and identity formation.
Class 5 - February 2
The Matthew Shepard Story (originally aired on NBC in March 2002) and discussion
Class 6 - February 9 - Coming Out - Models of coming out and issues of diversity
Chapter 4, Individuals: Coming out and identity development, in S. Hunter & J. C. Hickerson, (2003). Affirmative practice. Understanding and working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons (pp. 91-111). Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.
Chapter 5, Individuals: Disclosures, in S. Hunter & J. C. Hickerson, (2003). Affirmative practice. Understanding and working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons (pp. 113-140). Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.
Smith, A. (1997). Cultural diversity and the coming-out process: Implications for clinical practice. In B. Greene (Ed.), Ethnic and cultural diversity among lesbians and gay men (pp. 279-301). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Class 7 - February 16 - Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth
Video: Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth
Sheridan, P. M. (1997). Preparing to work with lesbian, gay and bisexual youth. In M. Schneider, (Ed.), Pride and prejudice: Working with lesbian, gay and bisexual youth. Toronto: Central Toronto Youth Services.
Rivers, I. (1997). Violence against lesbian and gay youth and its impact. In M. Schneider (Ed.), Pride and prejudice: Working with lesbian, gay and bisexual youth. Toronto: Central Toronto Youth Services.
Class 8 - February 23 - Community resources, social workers, and affirmative practice
Guest speakers - social workers as
allies of lgbt peoples
Gaps in access and service delivery
Chapter 9, Requirements of practitioners and social service agencies, in S. Hunter & J. C. Hickerson, (2003). Affirmative practice. Understanding and working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons (pp. 219-242). Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.
Class 9 - March 8 - International Women’s Day - We are family
What is family?
Couple life and legal issues for couples and community.
Benkov, L. (1994). Choosing children: Biological parenting. In L. Benkov, Reinventing the family (pp. 108-143). New York: Crown Publishers Inc.
Modern parenting, and The parental urge, in M. Riordan, (2001). Eating fire. Family life on the queer side (pp. 115-148). Toronto: Between the Lines.
Class 10 - March 15
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirited peoples’ health issues and the impact of heterosexism on health
Brotman, S., & B. Ryan. (2002). Reclaiming space - regaining health: The health care experience of two-spirit people in Canada. Gay and lesbian social services, 14(1), 67-87.
Ryan B., S. Brotman, Y. Jalbert, & B. Rowe. (2002). The impact of coming out on health and health care access: The experiences of gay, lesbian, bisexual and two-spirit people. Journal of Health and Social Policy, 15(1), 1-29.
Gruskin, E. P. (1999). Multiple
influences, accessibility, and isolation (Chapter 6) and Sexual health and domestic
violence (Chapter 7). In E. P. Gruskin, Treating lesbians and bisexual women:
Challenges and strategies for health professionals (pp. 75-103). Thousand Oaks,
Class 11 - March 22
Effects of marginalized status on mental health
Chapter 10, B. Greene, Ethnic minority lesbians and gay men. In B. Greene (Ed.), (1997), Ethnic and cultural diversity among lesbians and gay men (pp. 279-301). Thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage.
Class 12 - March 29
-Other life course issues:
Middle and older adulthood
-An introduction to transgender and transgender issues
Ramirez Barranti, C. C., & Cohen, H. L. (1998). Lesbian and gay elders: An invisible minority. In R. L. Schneider, N. P. Kropf, & A. J. Kisor (Eds.), Gerontological social work: Knowledge, service settings, and special populations (pp. 343-367). Second edition. New York: Brooks/Cole.
Chapter 14, Midlife and aging, in S. Hunter & J. C. Hickerson, (2003). Affirmative practice. Understanding and working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons (pp. 349-373). Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.
Feinberg, L. Living our true spirit, in L Feinberg, (1998), Trans liberation: Beyond pink or blue. Boston: Beacon Press.
Class 13 - April 5
Collective reflection on course and feedback.
Abelove, H., Barale, M.A., & Halperin, D.M. (1993). The lesbian and gay studies reader. Routledge: New York.
Adam, B. (1987). The rise of a gay and lesbian movement. Boston: Twayne Publishers.
Alderson, K. (In press). Beyond coming out: Building a positive gay identity. Toronto: Insomniac Press.
Anzaldua, G. (1987). Borderlands/la frontera: The new mestiza. San Francisco: Spinsters/Aunt Lute Book Company.
Aronson, J. (1998). Doing research on lesbians and caregivers: Disturbing the ideological foundation of family and community care. In. J. Ristock & C. Taylor (Eds.), Inside the academy and out: Lesbian/gay/queer studies and social action (pp. 161-182). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Bass, E., & Kaufman, K. (1996). Free your mind: The book for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth and their allies. New York: Harper Perennial.
Beemyn, B., & Eliason, M. (Eds.). (1996). Queer studies: A lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender anthology. New York: New York University Press.
Benkov, L. (1994). Reinventing the family: The emerging story of lesbian and gay parents. New York: Crown Publishers.
Bennett, K. (1992). Feminist bisexuality: A both/an option for an either/or world. In Closer to Home: Bisexuality and feminism (pp. 205-231). Seattle: Seal Press.
Blasius, M., & Phelan, S. (Eds). (1997). We are everywhere: A historical sourcebook of gay and lesbian politics. New York: Routledge.
Butler, S., & Rosenblum, B. (1991). Cancer in two voices. San Francisco, CA: Spinsters Book Company.
Califia, P. (1996). Sex changes: The politics of transgenderism. San Francisco: Cleis.
Chesley, L. C., MacAulay, D., & Ristock, J. (1998). Abuse in lesbian relationships: Information and resources/Violence dans les relations lesbiennes. Ottawa: Health Canada.
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Dunne, G. A. (1998). Living “difference”: Lesbian perspectives on work and family life. New York: Haworth.
Dworkin, S. H., & Gutiérrez, F. J. (Eds.). (1992). Counseling gay men and lesbians: Journey to the end of the rainbow. Alexandria, VA: American Association for Counseling and Development.
Eliason, M. J. (1996). Who cares?: Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in the health care system: Institutional barriers to care. New York: NLN Press.
Faderman, L. (1981). Surpassing the love of men: Romantic friendship and love between women, from the Renaissance to the present. New York: Morrow.
Faderman, L. (1991). Odd girls and twilight lovers: A history of lesbian life in twentieth-century America. New York: Columbia University Press.
Feinberg, L. (1996). Transgender warriors. Boston: Beacon Press.
Feinberg, L. (1998). Trans liberation: Beyond pink or blue. Boston: Beacon Press.
Findlay, B. (1996). Finding our place: Transgendered law reform project. Vancouver: High Risk Project Society.
Fuss, D. (Ed.). Inside/Out: Lesbian theories, gay theories. New York: Routledge.
Garber, L. (Ed.). (1994). Tilting the tower: Lesbians teaching queer subjects. New York: Routledge.
Gibson, P. (1994). Gay male and lesbian youth suicide. In G. Remafedi (Ed.), Death by denial: Studies of suicide in gay and lesbian teenagers. Boston: Alyson.
Gillespie, P., with photographs by G. Kaeser. (1999). Love makes a family: Portraits of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents and their families. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.
Greene, B. (Ed.). (1997). Ethnic and cultural diversity among lesbians and gay men .Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Grossman, A. H. (1997). Growing up with a spoiled identity: Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth at risk. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 6(3), 45-56.
Gruskin, E. (1998) Treating lesbians and bisexual women: Challenges and strategies for health professionals. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Hassel, W. (1992). Survivor’s story. In G. Herek & K. Berrill (Eds.), Hate crimes. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Herdt, G. (1997). Same sex, different cultures: Gays and lesbians across cultures. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
Herek, G. (Ed.). (1998). Stigma and sexual orientation: Understanding prejudice against lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Herek, G. M., & Berrill, T. (Eds.). (1992). Hate crimes: Confronting violence against lesbians and gay men. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Herman, D. (1994). Rights of passage: Struggles for lesbian and gay legal equality. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Heron, A., & Maran, M. (1991). How would you feel if your dad was gay? Boston: Alyson.
Hildalgo, H., Peterson, T. L., & Woodman, N. J. (Eds.). (1985). Lesbian and gay issues: A resource manual for social workers. Silver Spring, Md.: National Association of Social Workers.
Hunter, S., Shannon, C., Knox, J., & Martin, J. I. (1998). Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths and adults: Knowledge for human services practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Hunter, S., & Hickerson, J. C. (2003). Affirmative practice. Understanding and working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.
Hutchins, L., & Kaahumanu, L. (Eds.). (1991). Bi any other name: Bisexual people speak out. Boston: Alyson Publications.
Island, D., & Letellier, P. (1991). Men who beat the men who love them: Battered gay men and domestic violence. New York: Haworth Press.
Jackson, K., & Brown, L.B. (1996). Lesbians of African heritage: Coming out in the straight community. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 5(4), 53-67.
Jagose, A. (1996). Queer theory: An introduction. New York: New York University Press.
Kincaid, J. (1997). My brother. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Kinsmen, G. (1996). Sexual colonization of the Native peoples. In G. Kinsmen, The regulation of desire: Sexuality in Canada (pp. 71-74). Montreal: Black Rose Books.
Laird, J. (1994). Lesbian families: A cultural perspective. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 64(2), 263-296.
Laird, J., & Green, R.-J. (Eds.). (1996). Lesbian and gays in couples and families. A handbook for therapists. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc.
Lauritsen, J., & Thorstad, D. (1995). The early homosexual rights movement 1864-1935. Revised Edition. Ojai, CA: Times Change Press.
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Lorde, A. (1980). The cancer journals. Argyle, NY: Spinsters, Ink.
Lorde, A. (1984). Sister outsider: Essays and speeches. Trumansburg, NY: Crossing Press.
Luczak, R. (Ed.). (1993). Eyes of desire: A deaf gay and lesbian reader. Boston: Alyson.
Mallon, G. P. (Ed.). (1998). Foundations of social work practice with lesbian and gay persons. New York: Haworth Press.
Markowe, L. A. (1996). Redefining the self: Coming out as a lesbian. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
Martindale, K. (1994). My lesbian breast cancer story: Can I get a witness? In M. Oikawa, D. Falconer, & A. Decter (Eds.), Resist: Essays against a homophobic culture. Toronto: Women’s Press.
Mason-John, V., & Khambatta, A. (1993). Lesbians talk: Making Black waves. London, England: Scarlet Press.
Moraga, C. (1983). Loving in the war years: Lo que nunca paso por mis labios. Boston: South End.
Moraga, C., & Hollibaugh, A. (1983). What we’re rolling around in bed with: Sexual silence in feminism. In S. Snitow, C. Stansell, & S. Thompson (Eds.), Powers of desire: The politics of sexuality (pp. 394-405). New York: Monthly Review.
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Olivier, C., & Targett, L. (1993). Within reach: Meeting the needs of gay and lesbian New Brunswickers. Fredericton, NB: New Brunswick Coalition for Human Rights.
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Riordan, M. (1996). Out our way: Gay and lesbian life in the country. Toronto: Between the Lines.
Riordan, M. (2001). Eating fire. Family life on the queer side. Toronto: Between the Lines.
Ristock, J. L., & Taylor, C. G. (Eds.). (1998). Inside the academy and out: Lesbian/gay/queer studies and social action. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
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Rust, P. C. (1997). Coming out in the age of social construction: Sexual identity formation among lesbian and bisexual women. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 1(1), 25-54.
Rutherford, E. (1993). Nine lives. The autobiography of Erica Rutherford. Charlottetown, PEI: Ragweed.
Savin-Williams, R. C. (1994). Verbal and physical abuse as stressors in the lives of lesbian, gay male and bisexual youths: Association with school problems, running away, substance abuse, prostitution, and suicide. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62(2), 261-269.
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Shallenberger, D. (1998). Reclaiming the spirit: Gay men and lesbians come to terms with religion. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Shernoff, M. (1996). Gay men choosing to be fathers. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 4(2), 41-54.
Shernoff, M. (Ed.). (1997). Gay widowers: Life after the death of a partner. New York: Haworth Press.
Silvera, M. (Ed.). (1992). Piece
of my heart: A lesbian of colour anthology. Toronto: Sister Vision Press.
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Stone, S. (Ed.). (1990). Lesbians in Canada. Toronto: Between the Lines.
Swan, T., and the Hamilton Lesbian and Gay Social work Group. (1998). Towards anti-heterosexist social work: Issues and resources. Prepared for the Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Social Work Caucus of the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work.
Sweasey, P. (1997). From queer to eternity: Spirituality in the lives of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. London: Cassell.
Tasker, F. L., & Golombok. S. (1997). Growing up in a lesbian family: Effects on child development. New York: Guilford Press.
Tierney, W. G. (1997). Academic outlaws: Queer theory and cultural studies in the academy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
The In Your Space Collective, Slone, A., & Tamaki, M. (Eds.). (In press). Wet behind the ears: Young lesbian and bisexual women. Toronto: Women’s Press.
Thompson, K., & Andrzejewski, J. (1988). Why can’t Sharon Kowalski come home? San Francisco, CA: Spinsters/Aunt Lute Books.
Tucker, N. (Ed.), with L. Highleyman & R. Kaplan. (1995). Bisexual politics: Theories, queries, and visions. New York: Haworth.
Van Wormer, K., Wells, J., & Boes, M. (2000). Social work with lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. A strengths perspective. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Warner, M. (1994). Fear of a queer planet: Queer politics and social theory. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minneapolis Press.
Weston, K. (1991). Families we choose: Lesbians, gays, and kinship. New York: Colombia University Press.
Wilhoite, M. (1990). Daddy’s roommate. Boston: Alyson.
Wittig, M. (1992). The straight mind and other essays. Boston: Beacon Press.
Yogis, J., Duplak, R., & Trainor, R. (1996). Sexual orientation and the Canadian law: An assessment of the law affecting lesbian and gay persons. Toronto: Emond Montgomery.
Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social
Services: Issues and Practice, Policy and Research. New York: Haworth Press.
Journal of Lesbian & Gay Studies. Durham: Duke University Press.
Journal of Homosexuality
Native Social Work Journal/Nishnaabe kinoomaadwin naadmaadwin. Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON.
GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies
Journal of the History of Sexuality
differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies
WEBSITES AND E-MAIL LISTS:
EGALE (Equality for Gay and Lesbians
Halifax Gay and LesbianYouth Project
Transgender OUTreach Central
Access to TG-OUTreach lists and member links.
"Lesbi-health" e-mail list
on lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered women's health, BC Centre of Excellence
for Women's Health. For more information:
2013 - Introduction to Social Welfare
SCWK 3213 - Women and Social Work
SCWK 3243 - Community Organization
SCWK 3873 - Social work and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Two-Spirited Peoples