Category Archives: Uncategorized

biUK Report Cites Our Research on Positive Identity

The Bisexuality Report, about the experiences of bisexual identified people in the UK (United Kingdom), cites our research on positive bisexual self-identity.  Check out this fascinating report online, including a podcast and video interviews with the authors:

The reference for the report is:  Barker, M., Richards, C., Jones, R., Bowes-Catton, H., Plowman, T., Yockney, J. & Morgan, M. (2012). The bisexuality report: Bisexual inclusion in LGBT equality and diversity. Milton Keynes: The Open University Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance. ISBN: 978-1-78007-414-6.


Feb 22nd Book Signing

We will be having a book signing of A Positive View of LGBTQ at Morris Book Shop (882 E. High St., Lexington, KY) on Wednesday, February 22, from 6:30 to ­ 8:00 p.m. Refreshments provided by the Department of Women and Gender Studies (UK).  Come enjoy conversation with the authors and community.

Ellen Riggle (Departments of Gender and Women’s Studies and Political Science) and Sharon Rostosky (Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology), University of Kentucky, have recently published a book that focuses on the positive experiences in LGBTQ lives. The book, A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being, includes stories that people shared when asked the simple but novel question, “What is positive about having a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer identity?” The answers focus on themes such as the benefits of personal authenticity and insights, having stronger relationships with family and friends, flexibility in gender expression and roles, increased compassion for others, fighting for social justice, and a sense of community belonging. The book includes activities to inspire readers to cultivate their own positive narratives and strengths.

Book Reviews

We like the early reviews of our book!

A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being

A standout in a sea of polemical studies, this title combines personal accounts, critical psychology, and counseling models to develop a positive, benefits-based analysis of gay culture. Riggle (gender & women’s studies, political science, Univ. of Kentucky) and Rostosky (psychology, Univ. of Kentucky) surveyed over 1000 LGBTQ-identified people across the United States (as well as some in Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand) to develop a narrative picture reinforcing the positive aspects of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or queer. Organized into eight themes, this book uses personal anecdotes and quotations to convey, among other things, what it might look like to live an authentic LGBTQ life, maintain healthy relationships, live as a model for others, work for change, and identify in solidarity with the larger queer community. Accompanying each theme is a brief, scholarly summary of the topic, along with reflections and exercises for the reader. VERDICT A welcome tonal change in queer literature, this is useful for those not only just coming out but also who have been out for a long time and need support in finding positive meaning in their lives. (Library Journal, Starred Review )

Strength, benefits, well-being—these are words some would not readily associate with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer community. In fact, the word “community” itself may not come readily to mind, but as Riggle and Rostosky argue, the media omit and overlook many affirming aspects of a large majority of LGBTQ lives. Authoritative narratives and first-person accounts identify and explore eight positive commonalities, such as how LGBTQ individuals live authentically with increased insight and have strong emotional connections within and beyond families of choice, making this volume, complete with exercises and activities, a refutation of negative stereotypes. Readers will appreciate the authors’ discussion of the too frequently dismissed phenomena of how prejudicial treatment can inspire one to embrace life with “greater understanding,” empathy, and compassion, enabling individuals to heal and nurture themselves and others. End notes and resource and reference listings conclude a useful and valuable resource.  (Booklist )

Talks and Workshops

In October, we (Ellen and Sherry) traveled to Boulder, CO to give a keynote talk at the Celebrating Queer Identities event.   The talk, A Positive View of LGBTQ Identities, is based on our forthcoming book.  We also conducted an inservice workshop for counselors at the CAPS center at the University of Colorado.  This workshop, Beyond Minority Stress to Strengthening LGBTQ Well-Being, is based on the lessons learned from our research about enhancing well-being for LGBTQ identified people.

The Celebrating Queer Identities event was sponsored by several area groups in Boulder:  Boulder Valley Safe Schools Coalition, CU’s GLBTQ Resource Center, Out Boulder, the Parent Engagement Network, City of Boulder Human Relations Commission, Boulder County Commissioners, PFLAG-Boulder, Boulder County Aging Services Division, CU’s Counseling and Psychological Services, CU’s Psychological Health and Psychiatry, OASOS and the St. Vrain Valley Safe Schools Coalition.

We applaud these groups for embracing and celebrating LGBTQ identities!

LGBT Identity Study Now Open

LGBT Identity Study – Now Open for Participants
Researchers studying the experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender identified individuals are seeking participants for a study of positive perceptions and strengths associated with LGBT identities.  The study is being conducted by Ellen Riggle, PhD, and Sharon Rostosky, PhD, at the University of Kentucky.  If you identify as LGBT and are age 18 or over, please go to

to participate in the study or for more information about the study. Participants will be eligible to enter a drawing for an online gift certificate.

Please share this link as appropriate.

Book Announcement!

Ellen Riggle and Sharon Rostosky have completed their book – A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being.  The book will be published by Rowman & Littlefield and is set to release December 16, 2011.  More information about the book is available under the Positive View tab.

Study of Parents of LGBT Individuals

Survey for Parents of LGBT Individuals

This survey is now closed.

(Check back for soon for a summary of the results.)

Researchers studying the positive perceptions and experiences of parents of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) identified individuals are seeking participants to answer a short online survey. The study is being conducted by Ellen D.B. Riggle, PhD, and Sharon S. Rostosky, PhD, at the University of Kentucky. If you are a parent of a person who identifies as LGBT, please go to

for more information about the study. If you volunteer to participate, the survey will take approximately 10‐15 minutes to complete.

If you are not eligible for this study but know someone who is, please help us by passing this information along!

Thank you!!

For more information about this and other related research, visit us online at

2 New Articles are in Print!

We have 2 new articles in print. We are excited that both appear in Psychology & Sexuality, a new journal that focuses on “advancing research and global perspectives on sexualities.” These 2 articles companion studies to our earlier article on the positive aspects of gay and lesbian identities. Check these out:

Riggle, E.D.B., Rostosky, S.S., McCants, L.E., & Pascale-Hague, D. (2011). The positive aspects of transgender self-identification. Psychology & Sexuality, 2, 147-158.

Rostosky, S.S., Riggle, E.D.B., Pascale-Hague, D., & McCants, L.E. (2010). The positive aspects of a bisexual self-identification. Psychology & Sexuality, 1, 131-144.