To encourage critical thinking and community dialogue about the real people in all of our lives through fact-based learning about gender and sexual identity. Real people, real identities, real learning.
In 2015, co-founders Sharon Blalock and Krista Tillman began discussing the need for education beyond the stereotypes about LGBTQ+ people. They suspected that many Charlotteans were living, working and playing with LGBTQ+ folks, but had questions about LGBTQ+ identities. There was very little unbiased information available and none of it could be found in one place.
Sharon and Krista took their idea for identiversity to Foundation for the Carolinas, UNC Charlotte and the other original project partners in 2016. They too saw the need for education based upon curated, evidence-based research. While the need for identiversity is clearly widespread, the founders and the partners unanimously felt it was only fitting that the initiative should originate in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The identiversity digital learning hub is for everybody - all backgrounds and perspectives – and explores real learning about gender and sexual identity. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte leads the work on curating the most reliable and credible content available.
The curriculum consists of learning modules that organize the most current information on gender and sexual identity and presents it in an easily read – and dare we say entertaining - format. This information is extensively reviewed to make sure it’s based on widely accepted research practices and highly credible processes. We use only the most rigorously peer-reviewed academic articles. Journalistic pieces and additional information are based on evidence-based research. We also include reports from governmental agencies, like the Center for Disease Control (CDC), reports from nonpartisan researchers like PEW Research and the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, and other widely accepted groups like Gallup, where diverse groups of experts work to produce reports on specific topics.
We’re dedicated to authenticity and meeting people where they are so we include lots of personal stories about the Real People in all of our lives. The identiversity team makes sure the approach and content is right for the everyday user and we use these real stories, terms, and imagery to bring the information to life.
Frequently Asked Questions About identiversity
Why isn’t religion or faith addressed in the identiversity learning materials?
We have organized identiversity to be an educational site for gender and sexual identity, similar to the educational material presented in public university courses. The content on identiversity focuses on the findings from academic research and the experiences of people in the LGBTQ+ community. The identiversity learning hub provides a common platform of knowledge that any faith based organization, regardless of the religion, can use as they explore their own specific beliefs and teachings.
Why aren't resources and support organizations for the LGBTQ+ community provided on identiversity?
The mission of identiversity is to educate the general public and to serve as an evidence based resource about gender and sexual identity. There are many organizations focused on supportive resources and we encourage our users to visit those sites for support assistance
Why are Real People featured on identiversity?
Gender and sexual identity educational materials can be very dense, with extensive terminology and very detailed research data. Our approach is to bring to the community this detailed and credible information using layman’s terms. We believe the combination of the learning material with vignettes about Real People creates a more engaging learning environment and helps make the information more easily understood.
Is identiversity involved in political advocacy?
No. The mission of identiversity is education, targeting the general public, about gender and sexual identity. We do not take positions on political issues nor do we advocate on behalf of any particular group or issue.
How does the identiversity team curate the material and verify its credibility?
We use only the most rigorously peer-reviewed academic articles and studies. Journalistic pieces and additional information contained in identiversity are based on the peer-reviewed academic articles and studies.
Peer reviewed articles are written by experts and are subjected to the scrutiny of other experts in the field before the article is published. This peer review process is generally accepted to be the optimal way to ensure research adheres to the best-in-class standards and is derived from or informed by evidence collected through standard and rigorous scientific methods.
Does identiversity contain all available research on gender and sexual identity?
No. Although we strive to provide a robust representation of the scope of the best research available, identiversity is not a comprehensive literature survey of all published articles and/or studies relating to gender and sexual identity.