Resources for Self-Advocates, Families and Allies About Coming Out

Thomas Caswell is a self-advocate from Vermont and is a 2018-2019 SARTAC Fellow. Thomas’ project created resources for youth and adults with developmental disabilities coming out as lesbian, gay or bisexual. He also researched and is recommending other resources geared toward self-advocates, their families and allies. Thomas worked in partnership with Champlain Community Services and Green Mountain Self-Advocates in Vermont.

“Coming Out” is a saying that means telling others about your:

  • Sexual orientation (who you love or are attracted to)
  • and your gender (how you feel – like a man or a woman or both or neither)


#1 Thomas Talks About Coming Out. Twice. Thomas talks about growing up with autism and growing into his life as a gay man. This podcast was produced by Rumble Strip.  Click here to listen to this podcast. Below you can download a transcript of this podcast.

HANDOUTS (download below)

#2 What the Words Mean – A Basic List of LGBTQ Words

#3 Advice For Someone With A Disability Who Wants to Come Out Or Explore Their Sexuality

#4 Top Ways Teachers and Service Providers can Support a Person with a Disability Who is Coming Out LGBTQ

#5 Guidelines for self-advocacy groups to be welcoming of people who are LGBTQ

#6 Annotated Bibliography: Green Mountain Self-Advocates created a list of resources about being LGBTQ and having a Disability. Each resource is followed by a short description.


#7 Advice for people with disabilities coming out as LGBTQ

#8 Tips for Teachers and Services Providers on Supporting People with disabilities Coming Out as LGBTQ

#9 Suggestions for Families, Allies and Peers

Recommended Resources:

Coming Out As You is a pocket-sized booklet that guides you though the process of deciding who to tell and what to share. It is different for each person. Sometimes a person decides not to tell and that is okay.

Be Yourself: Questions and Answers for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning Youth by PFLAG.

Welcoming Schools is an excellent website with resources for creating safe and welcoming schools for all children and families.

Guide To Being A Straight Ally this is an open and straight to the point guide on being a good ally.

Our Children focusses on sexual orientation and gender expression. Learn about how to support LGBTQ loved ones and for those looking for support for themselves. For resources in Spanish go to

Faith in Our Families: Parents, Families and Friends Talk About Faith, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

be not afraid – Understanding our religious beliefs and our relationships with LGBTQ people.

Go to for links to resources for People and Families of Faith and Families of Color.


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