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Dinwoodie, Greenhill & Cookson (2020) ‘Them Two Things are What Collide Together’_ Understanding the Sexual Identity Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People Labelled with Intellectial Disability

Keates, N., Dewar, E. & Waldock, K. E. (2022). “Lost in the literature.” People with intellectual disabilities who identify as trans: a narrative review. Tizard Learning Disability Review, 27(1), 46–52.

de Lacerda, N. & Mota, M. (2020). P-06-16 Dealing With the Intersection Between Intellectual Disability and Gender Dysphoria. A Case of Female-to-Male Civil Identity Change. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 17(6), S212.

Ramasamy, V. R., Rillotta, F. & Alexander, J. (2020). Experiences of adults with intellectual disabilities who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender within mainstream community: a systematic review of qualitative studies. JBI Evidence Synthesis, 19(1), 59–154.

Sommaro, Anderssom & Skagerstorm (2020) A deviation too many_ Healthcare professionals' knowledge and attitudes concerning patients with intellectual disability disrupting norms regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity

Zoutenbier, Y., & Kef, S. (2019). Gender identity disorder in persons with visual and intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 63, 890-890.

A narrative review of the literature about people with intellectual disability who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or questioning 


Nathan J Wilson, Jemima Macdonald, Brenda Hayman, Alexandra M Bright, Patsie Frawley, Gisselle Gallego 

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities (2018), 22(2), 171-196. 

DOI: 10.1177/1744629516682681



This narrative review of the research literature presents a summary about the key issues facing people with intellectual disability (ID) who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or questioning (LGBTIQ). The aim of this review was to consolidate research of the topic; to identify whether any pilot studies reporting social/sexual/educational interventions had been published; and to offer some perspective on the type of future research required to better inform policy, practice and theory that may lead to better outcomes for people with ID who identify as LGBTIQ. Almost all of the research literature on the topic is either exploratory or descriptive which serves to outline the range of issues faced by people with ID who identify as LGBTIQ. Urgently needed as the next step, however, is a concerted effort to conduct a range of innovative educational and social interventions with collection of targeted and appropriate outcomes data.





Gender Identity, Cross‐Dressing and Gender Reassignment and People with Learning Disabilities


Daniel Wilson

Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 4-11.



This paper addresses the question of gender and identity in relation to a number of considerations for supporting men with learning disabilities who cross‐dress (wearing the clothes of the opposite sex), or want gender reassignment (accessing hormonal and surgical treatment to develop the physical characteristics of the opposite sex). Drawing on practice experience, it identifies a number of issues which will need to be considered when working on these topics, and presents a model for taking forward work with staff and service users.




Who’s Missing? Awareness of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People with Intellectual Disability


A. Noonan, M. Taylor Gomez

Sex Disabil (2011) 29:175–180

DOI 10.1007/s11195-010-9175-3



This article arose from an Australian project designed to develop educational

and training material in relation to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) people

with disability. The project was supported by the Queensland Association of Healthy

Communities (QAHC) and the Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental

Disability (QCIDD). A resource was developed and its aim is to create greater awareness

and understanding within the community that LGBT people with intellectual disability

exist and to provide education and training to disability organizations. We aim to present

the complexity of issues which prevent LGBT people with intellectual disability from

living full lives and having opportunities for sexual expression.




Social inclusion of LGBTQ and gender diverse adults with intellectual disability in disability services: A systematic review of the literature


Elizabeth Smith, Tessa-May Zirnsak, Jennifer Power, Anthony Lyons, Christine Bigby

J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2022;35:46–59.

DOI: 10.1111/jar.12925



Background: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and gender diverse

adults with intellectual disability experience exclusion within disability services.

Objective: This review explores the experiences of social inclusion/exclusion of this

cohort in the context of disability services.

Search Method: A systematic search was conducted of peer-reviewed research published

between January 2014 and April 2019. Five databases returned 66 articles

plus three from hand searches.

Appraisal and Synthesis: Nine articles were included in this review. The Critical

Appraisal Skills Programme tool was used to assess the quality of the research. NVivo

12 was used as a tool to organise the articles.

Results: Marginalisation of LGBTQ adults with intellectual disability in western societies

is mirrored in disability organisations. There remains a dearth of research into

experiences of transgender people with intellectual disability who use disability


Conclusions: Research into interventions that support the inclusion of this cohort in

disability support services is needed.




Gender Dysphoria, Autism and Intellectual Disability: A Systematic Review


Emma Walker, Catherine Walton

Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2023)



Background Gender dysphoria (GD) appears disproportionately common in people with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

Concurrent intellectual disability (ID) may limit assessment of these individuals and their access to gender-affirming healthcare. This study aims to summarise knowledge on the presentation of GD in those with co-occurring ASD and ID.

Methods A systematic search was conducted of five online databases from 1984 to September 2021, for articles pertaining to GD in people with ASD and ID. Additional studies were obtained from personal research. Results were screened against defined eligibility criteria, with data extracted on participant characteristics and clinical presentation. 

Results From 149 total articles, 10 were included (case studies (n = 4), cross-sectional studies (n = 2), systematic reviews (n = 4)).

Conclusions GD does affect this population and can cause significant distress; two cases reported subsequent self-harm or suicidality. Further conclusions were limited by the paucity of relevant literature and further research is required.




The experiences and support needs of people with intellectual disabilities who identify as LGBT: A review of the literature


Edward McCann, Regina Lee, Michael Brown

Research in Developmental Disabilities 57 (2016) 39–53



Background: People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) can face many challenges in society including accessing education, care and support appropriate to individual needs. However, there is a growing and evolving evidence base about the specific needs of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in this regard.Aims: The aim of this review was to explore the experiences of people with ID who identified as LGBT through an examination of studies that addressed their views and highlighted specific issues, concerns and service responses.

Methods and procedures: A comprehensive search of relevant databases from February 1995to February 2015 was conducted. Studies were identified that met specific criteria that included: empirical peer reviewed studies, the use of recognised research methods and focused on people with ID whom identified as LGBT. The search yielded 161 papers intotal. The search was narrowed and 37 papers were screened using rigorous inclusion and exclusion criteria. Finally, 14 papers were considered suitable for the review.

Outcomes and results: The data were analysed and key themes identified that included accessing health services, gender and sexual identity, attitudes of people with ID regarding their LGBT status, and education, supports and therapeutic interventions.

Conclusions and implications: There is a need for service providers and carers to be more responsive to the concerns of people with ID who identify as LGBT to improve their health and well-being by reducing stigma and discrimination and by increasing awareness of their care and support needs. The implications are discussed in terms of policy, education, research and practice developments.




Telling our story: a narrative therapy approach to helping lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with a learning disability identify and strengthen positive self-identity stories


Anna Elderton, Sally Clarke, Chris Jones and James Stacey

British Journal of Learning Disabilities (2013), 42, 301–307




Historically, and to a somewhat lesser extent presently, people with learning disabilities have had little or no voice in the stories other people (particularly professionals) tell about them and their lives. Four psychology workshops, based on a narrative therapy approach, were run for a group of people with learning disabilities who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) who regularly attend a support group called ‘Mingle’. The workshops invited members to tell their stories, especially the parts not usually told. The aim was to support people to identify and strengthen positive self-identities. Workshops were facilitated by two trainee clinical psychologists within a Community Learning Disability Team (CLDT).




Seeking Safer Sexual Spaces: Queer and Trans Young People Labeled with Intellectual Disabilities and the Paradoxical Risks of Restriction


Alex McClelland, Sarah Flicker, Denise Nepveux, Stephanie Nixon, Tess Vo, Ciann Wilson, Zack Marshall, Robb Travers & Devon Proudfoot

Journal of Homosexuality, 59:808–819, 2012

DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2012.694760



Young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people labeled with intellectual disabilities have unique sexual health needs that are not being met. Denial by others of their right to pleasure and the exercise of heightened external control over their sexuality are commonplace. Current research indicates that these youth are at heightened risk for compromised sexual health. This study aimed to explore the ways in which social and environmental conditions influence vulnerability to adverse sexual health outcomes for this population. We used a community-based research approach to conduct qualitative interviews and focus groups with 10 young LGBT people (aged 17–26) labeled with intellectual disabilities. Participants reported multiple limitations on their autonomy that resulted in having sex in places where they did not feel comfortable and were unlikely to practice safer sex. Attempts by authority figures to protect youth through limits on their autonomy may be unintentionally leading to negative sexual health outcomes.




Cross dressing and gender dysphoria in people with learning disabilities: a descriptive study


Georgina Parkes (Specialist Registrar Psychiatry of Learning Disability, Community Learning Disability) & Daniel Wilson (Sexual Health Worker and Counsellor) 


British Journal of Learning Disabilities (2009), 37, 151–156




We aimed to determine the characteristics of people with learning disability who cross-dress or who have gender dysphoria. Using a retrospective review of anonymised data from clinical records about people referred to a specialist service. All 13 participants cross-dressed and 12 were biological males. Only one person was in a core transsexual group which may do better from sex reassignment surgery. There was a high level of mental health problems and high levels of reported childhood abuse. Three people were unhappy about their homosexual feelings, and two people had capacity issues. People with learning disabilities experience a wide range of gender identity issues similar to those seen in the nonlearning disabled population. They would benefit from a more person centred understanding. People with learning disability may need longer assessments and more psychotherapeutic exploration and intervention prior to thinking about hormone and surgical interventions. Deciding treatment in someone’s best interests for those lacking capacity presents complex ethical dilemmas.




Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in People with Developmental Disabilities


Cheryl Bedard, Hui Lan Zhang, Kenneth J. Zucker

Sex Disabil (2010) 28:165–175

DOI 10.1007/s11195-010-9155-7



The purpose of this descriptive study was to survey and compare. A sample of

32 people who have a developmental disability were asked to complete five questionnaires

(i.e., demographics, sexual orientation, sexual history, recalled childhood gender identity

and adult gender identity). Comparisons were made regarding their sexual orientation and

gender identity, as well as differences based on their diagnosis that may not have been

related to their developmental disability. One case study was presented to aid in better

understanding of a transgendered individual. Research results showed that most subjects

perceived themselves as heterosexual (87%), followed by those that saw themselves as

bisexual or questioning (9.7%) and lastly those that reported that they were interested in

same sex partners (3.2%). No differences were found for diagnostic category. Four subjects

scored within the range to indicate that they had gender identity dysphoria (GID). Again,

no differences were found for diagnostic category. Interesting findings resulted when

comparisons were made to other measures and to other studies. It is proposed that it is good practice for professionals to rule out the possibility of ambivalence about gender and

sexual issues caused by social and life experiences, especially regarding abuse and the lack

of information/education. However, their identities, gender identity and/or sexual identity,

must be honored as we do with the general population.




Genderidentiteitsstoornissen bij mensen met een verstandelijke en visuele beperking [UA(1] 


Zoutenbier, Y.D., Kef, S. (2018)

Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Zorg aan mensen met een verstandelijke beperking (NTZ), 3, 170-183. 


 [UA(1]Deze had je een engelse variant op de website staan, maar dat is alleen maar een abstract van een conference presentatie - dus ik zou het veranderen in de Nederlandse versie die in de NTZ staat



Professionele en academische onderzoekers die op zoek zijn naar netwerken om informatie uit te wisselen met anderen m.b.t. het transgenderthema, kunnen onder meer terecht bij:

  • Vlaams-Nederlandse netwerk “LGBT onderzoek”, Aanmelden via Laura Baams:

  • EPATH, de European Professional Association for Transgender Health, heeft ook een Student Initiative dat PhD studenten die werken rond het transgender thema verenigt en met elkaar in contact brengt.

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