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Two hands outstretched toward each other with the pride flag in the background, including the stripes to celebrate Black and Brown LGBTQIA+ people, as well as the trans pride colours.

March 28, 2024

Finding trans histories and supporting trans people on Trans Day of Visibility and beyond

This Sunday 31 March is Trans Day of Visibility. It’s important to challenge the growing misinformation and disinformation being spread about trans people in society today, and one way of doing that is to read and share trans history and stories. 

We acknowledge trans visibility often comes at the cost of safety, and that not every trans person is safe to be visible all the time. We see you and hope these resources will help you see yourself represented in our collections. 

One of our key priorities in Deakin Library is advancing human-centred and inclusive knowledge systems and spaces. This includes promoting diverse voices in our collection, working to make our spaces safe and welcoming for everyone, and hosting events and activities that allow people to engage with a range of perspectives. 

How can you get involved in celebrating Trans Day of Visibility? Read on.


Some things you can do to find support as a trans person and/or to support the trans people in your lives: 


Selected documentaries available via the library: 


Selected books available via the library: 

Book covers for Black on Both Sides, Histories of the Transgender Child, Gender: A graphic guide, Trap Door and Before We Were Trans



The language used by trans (and broader LGBTIQA+) 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 LGBTIQA+ people and their experiences.  

These changes in language will be reflected in the research literature, which means that some historical terms and ideas about LGBTIQA+ people and issues you come across in older sources by and about LGBTIQA+ people may seem outdated and/or inappropriate.  

The following resources will help you identify and understand keywords that you can use to find LGBTIQA+ 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.

Wildcards (?) – for alternative spellings – e.g. coloni?ation will retrieve results for colonisation and colonization, colo?r will retrieve results for colour and color.

Proximity searching (/ or NEAR) allows you to search based on how closely two or more search terms appear in the search results – e.g., LGBT* /5 inclusion, LGBT* NEAR inclusion. 

Boolean operators  

Use OR to combine synonyms and related terms – e.g. (transgender OR “gender identity” OR nonbinary OR genderqueer).

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. 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: 

Search our Gender and Sexuality Studies Library Resource Guide or these specialist databases to find archival material: 


Image credit: Photo by Lisett Kruusimäe from Pexels

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