UK Professors Publish Book To Give a Positive View of LGBTQ Identities


By: Jonathon Spalding

Listen to the podcast with Ellen Riggle and Sharon Rostosky.

LEXINGTON, Ky.—What’s positive about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer identities? According to a new book by Ellen Riggle and Sharon Rostosky, “A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being”, LGBTQ people experience plenty of positives.  The idea for the book started with the simple but novel question and quickly grew into a large online survey with responses from over 1,000 people from across the U.S. and abroad.

“It is the right question at the right time. People want to share their positive experiences,” said Riggle, UK professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Political Science.

Riggle and Rostosky will hold asigning for their new book on Wednesday, Feb. 22,from 6:30-8 p.m., at the Morris Book Shop, 882 East High St., Lexington, KY.

What was expected to be a small project attracted such an inspiring amount of positive feedback from the community that the authors wanted to share the stories with a broad audience.  Using personal narratives from their research, the book focuses on how LGBTQ-identified individuals can cultivate a sense of well-being and a personal identity that allows them to flourish in all areas of life.

 “There are real strengths, real benefits and a real sense of authenticity and meaning that can come from embracing LGBTQ identities,” said Rostosky, professor of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology. “We want these positive themes to be the first things that come to mind when people think about LGBTQ identity.”

The stories in the book are organized into eight themes that illustrate how a sense of well-being is connected to living an authentic life, forming strong relationships, having compassion for others, fighting for social justice, and feeling a part of a larger community. Each chapter has activities to inspire readers to create their own positive narratives. 

“We hope that LGBTQ individuals and their family, friends and allies will gain an expanded positive perspective from these stories,” said Riggle.  “These are stories that the media rarely portray, but that need to be told and need to be heard.”

“A Positive View of LGBTQ” is now available locally at the Morris Book Shop and online at For more information about the book or its authors visit   Ellen Riggle is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Political Science; Sharon Rostosky is Professor of Counseling Psychology (University of Kentucky).

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