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June 4, 2024

ACT UP for Pride Month and beyond

June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate and commemorate LGBTQIA+ people, culture and activism throughout history. As LGBTQIA+ people, particularly trans and gender-diverse people, continue to face discrimination even in 2024, it is an important time to include, uplift, share and learn from their voices and histories. 

Deakin Library always encourages students, academics, researchers and members of the community to be intentional about making both your academic and leisure reading materials inclusive and diverse. Learning from the experiences and perspectives of people from different backgrounds, cultures and identities is critical to ensuring you have well-rounded knowledge, empathy and historical context.

One of the ways you can diversify your reading list for uni study is by following the ACT UP method for source evaluation, developed by Librarian Dawn Stahura in 2017.

ACT UP infographic

Infographic by Dawn Stahura, 2017, (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Download the PDF for screen reader functionality.

In ACT UP for evaluating sources: Pushing against privilege Dawn said, ‘ACT UP is more about shifting the research paradigm to make room for other voices…. By advocating for students to ACT UP, they recognize the importance of discerning fact from fiction and how these research skills allow them to be more socially just in all facets of their lives.’

How can you get started?

Below are some more resources and search strategies that will help you incorporate queer and trans perspectives and ACT UP in your research.

Search ‘queery’ tips


The language used by LGBTQIA+ communities to describe themselves and their experiences is constantly evolving. There have also been significant historical changes in the language and the expression of ideas relating to LGBTQIA+ people and their experiences. 

The following resources will help you identify and understand keywords that you can use to find LGBTQIA+ research and more resources:

Search symbols

Phrase searching (“…”) – put quotation marks around a particular phrase or title to search for those words in the order they appear in quotation marks, e.g. “gender identity”.

Truncation (*) – for alternative endings, e.g. LGBT*= LGBT, LGBTI, LGBTIQ, etc.

Note: Trans* will get trans, transgender and transsexual but also transport, translation, transnational.

Proximity searching allows you to search for terms that are close together, e.g. genderqueer N5 inclusion will find results with genderqueer within five words of inclusion. This works for Ebsco databases – check the ‘help’ for the proximity commands for other databases.

Boolean operators  

Use OR to combine synonyms and related terms or search for alternative spellings. For example:

Use AND to combine different keywords and concepts – e.g. “gender identity” AND discriminat*.

Combine and refine

The search process is iterative and there will never be one perfect combination of keywords and phrases for your topic. We encourage you to review how well your search results match your needs, continuing to tweak the search with different terms and functions to shape your results as needed.

There are likely to be different strategies for different aspects of your topic. Keep adapting and exploring new combinations as you learn more about your topic from different sources. For example:

Resources for respectful research methodologies and practices

Explore these resources to enable your research to be more inclusive and respectful:

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