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Finding Out

Finding Out
An Introduction to LGBTQ Studies

Fourth Edition

August 2022 | 416 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Finding Out, Fourth Edition introduces readers to lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer (LGBTQ) studies. By combining accessible introductory and explanatory material with primary texts and artifacts, this text/reader explores the development and growth of LGBTQ identities and the interdisciplinary nature of sexuality studies. Now available in a digital ebook format, the fourth edition has been thoroughly updated to include a new chapter on "Trans Lives and Theories", and new readings. Chapters include more discussions of important and current issues in LGBTQ studies such as the emergence of non-binary identities, and issues of race and class, making Finding Out, Fourth Edition an even more comprehensive introduction to the field.
Section I: Histories and Politics
Chapter 1 Before Identity
Chapter 2 Sexology in the 19th Century
Chapter 3 Sexology, Activism, And Science in the 20th And 21st Centuries
Chapter 4 Imagining Liberation
Section II: Theories and Interventions
Chapter 5 Queer Normalization and Beyond
Chapter 6 Queer Diversities
Chapter 7 Trans Lives & Theories
Chapter 8 Intersectionalities
Section III Representations
Chapter 9 Queer and Trans Literatures
Chapter 10 Visual and Performing Arts
Chapter 11 Film and Television
Chapter 12 Digitally Queer and Trans
Conclusion: Queer and Trans Cultures: the Search for Queer Space

"The best, most comprehensive, most accessible /introduction/ to LGBTQ studies available on the market today."

Justin A. Martin
University of Tennessee at Martin

"Well written and comprehensive. I don't know of any other text that is as comprehensive for introductory queer studies."

Andy Wible
Muskegon Community College

While I have decided to not adopt it on our reading list, I will be suggesting it as a supplementary text for those students wanting to independently study the history of LGBTQ+ issues.

This text a very well considered, well written and offers an appropriate and concise introduction to LGBTQ+ studies.

Mr Matt James Townsend
Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS), Aberystwyth University
December 20, 2023
Key features


  • New chapter 7 explores the topic of trans lives and theories, with new primary sources.
  • A completely reorganized structure brings together important discussions of history, politics, culture, and representations of LGBTQ people in a coherent and intellectually stimulating fashion.
  • Thoroughly updated content includes recent and relevant historical, political, social, and cultural developments, issues, and research, particularly focusing on national and international developments in the last four years.
  • Expanded discussions and enhanced analyses of key topics and theories, including queer theory, offer a robust exploration of the field.
  • Comprehensive overviews of current, important issues in LGBTQ studies present a more complete introduction to LGBTQ studies.


  • Context—taken from history, literature and the arts, media, politics, and more—provides a framework for student understanding.
  • An accessible writing style and carefully structured textual material give readers an easy-to-understand introduction to an otherwise complex emerging field of study.
  • Lambda Links connect chapter topics to similar content in another chapter to help facilitate analysis and discussion.
  • A collection of primary source readings within each chapter strengthen foundational concepts and contextualize key topics—all related to LGBTQ rights and issues.
  •  "Find Out More" notes direct readers to relevant studies and information within each chapter.
  • Discussion questions and suggestions for further reading encourage readers to continue their own exploration of the many contexts in which same-sex desires and gender variance exist.
  • Boldfaced terms in each chapter are defined in the glossary to ensure readers accurately understand and know how to appropriately use common LGBTQ terms.

Addition of new chapter 7 on trans.

Old chapter 5 eliminated, and material incorporated into new chapters 2 and 3.

New titles for several chapters: 2, 3, 4, 9, 12, Conclusion.

Chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5 of 3rd edition split and incorporated into new chapters 2, 3, and 4.

All chapters updated to reflect national and international events from 2016-22.

Deborah T. Meem

Deborah T. Meem is Professor Emerita of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her academic specialties are Victorian literature, LGBTQ Studies, and the 19th-century woman’s novel. She earned a PhD from Stony Brook University in 1985. Her work has appeared in Journal of the History of Sexuality, Feminist Teacher, Studies in Popular Culture, and elsewhere. She has edited four works by Victorian novelist and journalist Eliza Lynn Linton: The Rebel of the Family (Broadview, 2002), Realities (Valancourt, 2010), The Autobiography of Christopher Kirkland (Victorian Secrets, 2011), and Sowing the Wind (Victorian... More About Author

Jonathan F. Alexander

Jonathan Alexander is Chancellor’s Professor of English and Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Irvine. He is author, co-author, or editor of twenty-one books, including several works of queer creative nonfiction, including Stroke Book: The Diary of a Blind Spot (Fordham, 2021) and the “Creep” Trilogy, consisting of Creep: A Life, a Theory, an Apology (punctum, 2017), Bullied: The Story of an Abuse (punctum, 2021), and Dear Queer Self: An Experiment in Memoir (Acre Books, 2022).  He is also published extensively in LGBT and sexuality studies, including the books: The Routledge Handbook of Queer Rhetorics ... More About Author

Key Beck

Key Beck is a community activist and independent scholar. Their areas of interest are racial equity, gender and sexuality, and empathy-based intersectionality. They earned their MA from the University of Cincinnati in 2013. They have partnered with non-profits, educational institutions, and governmental and social service agencies. They are a member of Storefronts, a resident-led social practice group that uses art to examine the inequalities that exist in their neighborhood and the greater Cincinnati area. They were recently featured in Cincinnati Magazine (2020) and were honored with a 2020 LGBTQ+ Leadership award... More About Author

Michelle A. Gibson

Michelle A. Gibson is Professor Emerita of the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her scholarship focuses on Sexuality Studies and pedagogy. Her most recent writing applies queer and postmodern identity theories to pedagogical practice and popular culture. With Jonathan Alexander she edited QP: Queer Poetry, an online poetry journal, and she and Alexander also edited a strain of JAC: Journal of Advanced Composition titled “Queer Composition(s).” With Deborah Meem she coedited Femme/Butch: New Considerations of the Way We Want to Go (2002) and Lesbian Academic Couples (2005). More About Author

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ISBN: 9781071848036