Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska 4-26-19

On April 26, Dr. Holt had the honor of presenting and moderating an interactive session on the importance of workplace safety and bolstering a welcoming environment for LGBTQIA+ employees.

This interactive session dove into how to make the workplace setting a more safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ employees, including the impact of the physical environment, employee interactions, inclusive messaging, and how to make closeted employees feel comfortable coming out. Attendees engaged in a robust discussion and Q & A session, which included roleplaying.

The audience consisted of BCBSNE employees as well as invited guests from Omaha area ERGs who were interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion. All attendees received a signed copies of PRIDE: You Can’t Heal if You’re Hiding From Yourself.

The following comments were written by attendees on how the session influenced them or what they learned:

Dr. Holt you are amazing. I feel your passion. The power in your story makes me speechless. I learned today to always be sensitive and to be kind. Always be open and love everyone. I learned so much in this session. I could talk for hours! Thank you!

I appreciate the openness of the session. It’s actually very refreshing to have such frank conversations about gender and sexual identity within my workplace. We can actually start making change now and I’m not the only one who wants to!

Excellent presentation. Balance between presentation and Q & A. It was illuminating to hear how a LGBTQ identified person perceives even walking into a workplace. Particularly as a straight man, (I feel) that my employer does not have easily accessible resources for someone struggling with LGBTQ related issues.

I really enjoyed this. I want to increase the diversity and inclusion in Blue Cross Blue Shield. I feel that the organization would be very receptive to change to increase acceptance and inclusion for our LGBTQ community. Thank you for doing this and opening the door for this opportunity to grow! I learned valuable input on how our company can increase resources and inclusion for our LGBTQ community. And there are many others within the work place that are supportive of this movement.

Very enlightening! People are struggling in ways that I had not thought of and I can do more to be visibly affirmative.

I think this was an amazing first discussion and was much needed. I got some great ideas about how to make LGBT issues more visible and how to work with concerned employees.

I learned don’t force someone to come out. Let them come out when the person is comfortable. (Want to) start an ally and LGBTQ+ committee.

(Influenced me into) being my true authentic self. Helping get education/visibility out in our workplace.

Breakthrough thinking! Learned trust and direction on how to begin/manage change. How simple the path is to making change for the better.

I learned it is important to continue to understand the struggles and solutions our coworkers and friends deal with and how we can help. BCBSNE is taking steps to be more accepting and inclusive.

Learned awareness of how the workplace is perceived. I appreciate the tip of asking a person who is either trans or gender neutral what pronoun should be used…I love that. It’s so respectful.

I will be more open about being an ally. Have more signs/visibility for people who are looking for an ally. One in five people need an ally just to be who they are.

I have always said we need to be more visible, but it’s nice for people to agree. We just need action!

This helps me understand that being an ally is ever so important and possible.

This will help conversations with family and friends along with coworkers. I learned don’t force them out and drop hints.

Learned to be more openly supportive and how to introduce yourself in a way to make someone feel safe.

This was very enlightening as I ‘assumed’ BCBS was just as inclusive at Mutual of Omaha. Always keep open channel of communication.

Midwestern University – AZCOM 3-11-19

Creating a Safe and Welcoming Environment for LGBTQ+ Patients

On March 11, Dr. Holt had the honor of presenting two workshops on the Midwestern University – Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine campus.

These interactive workshops dove into how to make the healthcare setting a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ patients, including the impact of the waiting room, intake forms, and patient interactions. In addition to discussing what LGBTQ+ patients are at higher risk for, we discussed how to start conversations on sensitive topics, such as sexual health, trans health, coming out, and LGBTQ+ suicide risks. These workshops included a robust Q & A session as well as roleplaying.

The audience consisted of students who were interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ health. All attendees received signed copies of Coloring Book for Healers.

The following comments are from students who attended one of Dr. Holt’s workshops:

Excellent advice on how to open the discussion of LGBT issues with patients. I learned how to welcome LGBT patients and make them feel at ease and deliver the best care possible.

Great session. The verbiage was very useful. It was helpful to learn nonjudgmental phrases to use to get the info I need and build a rapport. I learned how to address and make LGBTQ people feel welcoming in my future practice.

Very inspiring. It gave me a lot of hope for practicing LGBTQ+ friendly medicine in the future. The information was presented in such an open and accepting fashion and answered a lot of questions I had about how to go about it. I will make a point to introduce myself using my pronouns and live genuinely, so that I can inspire others as you have with me.

This was very informative and gave me a lot to think about in terms of how I want to conduct my future practice. It’s easy to forget the privilege of walking into a healthcare setting and feeling comfortable automatically. There are small but significant things I can put in place to help create a more welcoming and comfortable environment for my future LGBTQ+ patients. I learned to open dialogue with a future patient in a way that will be affirming and create a sense of safety, but will also allow me to provide the highest quality of care possible.

As a gay man, I felt even more welcome and comfortable during the presentation since the speaker was openly gay. I liked how he composed himself while talking about topics of sexual orientation. I am debating whether to become more open about my sexual orientation socially and in my career and hope to use this presentation as motivation in the process. The most important thing I learned is how important the “waiting room” reception is to make the person feel at ease from the get go. This is what I realized from the start during Dr Holt’s presentation and felt very at ease.

Great talk. I enjoyed the role playing exercises and learned a lot about conversing from a physician’s standpoint. I learned communication techniques and how to normalize conversations. These techniques will be important in establishing great patient trust.

This talk will greatly influence how I practice medicine and take care of my patients in the future. I feel 100x more confident welcoming an individual into my office and how to address them and risk factors they have. I will be more open-ended in questions I ask and how to address their concerns at different times.

Thank you for this presentation! I’ve learned a lot and think the med school curriculum could benefit greatly with more sessions like this. I learned how to be more welcoming/accepting to LGBTQ patients in practice; and how to present myself to patients to address issues LGBTQ patients may have.

This was very helpful. This is the talk I wish our school had given us on LGBTQ issues. It is very helpful having a rundown of what issues to be aware of. I learned we have some very concrete ways to talk to our patients and open up conversations.

Very helpful in how to make LGBTQ patients feel welcome, so they can get the best overall care. I learned to make my patients feel comfortable to share whatever they need to in an environment that welcomes all.

Great. More confident in my history taking. The stories are the best. I learned how to make a comfortable environment besides just being open and honest and available to patients.

Very good start to learning more; like the ideas of things to say with the specific examples; and gives me an idea to start going forward before habits are formed. I learned how to open the door for a conversation to begin.

Very educational and eye opening. I learned a lot. I learned to tell a patient that they are safe here and with me.

I learned direct tools in my future practice for creating an open environment; the ability to start a conversation to make any type of person feel comfortable; and there are simple ways to provide inclusive care.

This is so needed as part of the regular medical education. I learned setting the stage in your waiting room is hugely important. I will get a rainbow pin.

I knew members of the LGBTQ+ community were at greater risk for mental health and other health related concerns, but I was not aware of just how much. It makes me want to put a greater effort towards treating that community to help them achieve greater health and wellness. I learned how to have a conversation about difficult topics and being honest; how to give options; and make sure they are comfortable to talk.

I’ll be more more aware of this community. I’ll also feel more comfortable in treating them should they be my patient and in how to address them and their concerns. I learned to admit when you don’t know something and to give options to the patient.

This talk brought a lot of awareness and insight to special concerns in the LGBTQ+ community and gave me a better understanding of how I can better care for them. Being direct with LGBTQ+ patients is a good way to build trust, and it’s okay to work together with trans patients to learn how you can be a better physician for them.

This will help me know how to better navigate situations involving any of my patients in the LGBTQ community. One of the best things you can do for your patients is to be open with them and to make them feel comfortable opening up with you.

This educated me on how to approach LGBTQ patients in clinical scenarios. I learned nonverbal inclusivity in a major aspect of care.

I learned a lot about how to approach these important conversations. Really appreciated the information. Will strategize to incorporate info for my future practice.

I will be open and welcoming with my patients. Made are realize how important subtle details can be to my patients. I learned to show that I am accepting all my patients regardless of how they identify.

I learned making sure patients know that you appreciate their identity; keeping your questions open ended; not even asking question just making open ended talking points; how I can make patients more comfortable and how easy it is for me to make a patient feel respected and welcomed.

I didn’t consider the little details like a waiting room and how they influence a patient experience. The little details in intake form, waiting room, a pin, etc, are really all it takes to open a door into LGBTQIA+ sexual history.

I learned how to be a better future physician for all my patients; the use of gay vs queer; learning how to invite an LGBTQ+ patient to discuss their experiences; and how to be welcoming verbally and physically to LGBTQ patients.

This talk made me more aware of how I can approach and talk to patients rather than rely on the patient to do all the hard work. I learned how to open up conversations, subtle ways to make patients more comfortable, and new way to approach/think about LGBTQ patients!

I’ll be more open, welcoming, and normalize things more. I learned the importance of verbal and non-verbal cues in providing a welcoming environment for frank discussions.

Helps me understand how to better serve LGBTQ community and shows that I am welcome to them. Ask open ended questions! Very different from what we are traditionally taught, but very important to get the real info.

I learned setting up waiting room and intake forms; and how to bring up LGBTQ health issues in way that won’t make the patient feel uncomfortable or are awkwardly direct/ inadvertently offensive.

Will pay more attention to clinic/hospital setting and waiting room and make it more inclusive and friendly to all. I’ll introduce myself with pronouns and ask how they’d like to be addressed – this creates a safe space and the patient will be more inclined to open up.

Establishing rapport early (as early as giving options on an intake form) can create a welcoming experience that opens the door for a strong physician/patient relationship. Whether LGBTQ+ or not, every patient wants and desires to feel safe and comfortable trusting their doctors.

I learned how to open the door, improve intake process, set stage for comfortable waiting space, and encourage use of pronouns.

This talk will help me understand the language/pronouns/issues to use/address when serving the LGBTQ community.

Be aware from beginning as soon as visit starts; acknowledge their gender and what they want to identify as. I learned to assess their level of wanting to discuss it and to refer out if uncomfortable/not equipped to treat.

I will be more conscious with conventional proceedings/terms. I learned different methods to approaching sensitive topics in and outside the medical setting.

I will use this info to help create a safer and more comfortable environment for all my patients. I learned how to create a more inviting environment for LGBTQ people.

KCU February 4-5, 2019

Creating a Safe and Welcoming Environment for LGBTQ+ Patients

On February 4 and 5, Dr. Holt had the honor of returning to his alma mater, Kansas City University, to discuss LGBTQ+ healthcare with faculty, staff, students, and administration. His visit included meetings with administration, committees, and student groups on how to incorporate LGBTQ+ health into the curriculum. In addition, he had the opportunity to present workshops, presentations, sessions, and moderate a panel of LGBTQ+ patients in front of over 400 attendees.

Many topics were discussed on how to make the healthcare setting a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ patients, including the impact of the waiting room, intake forms, and patient interactions.

One of the highlights of the visit was a meet and greet with KCU’s SAFEE group, which is a student led advocacy group for LGBTQIA students. A book signing was held with SAFEE members.

The following are written comments from students who attended one or more of the Dr. Holt’s presentations:

This presentation was very informative and made me feel much more comfortable in my ability to professionally navigate a patient situation with LGBTQ+ issues. -22 y/o m

Very positive. Thank you for taking the time to come talk with us. I learned examples of how to best set the scene to make patients comfortable. – 27 y/o f

Dr. Holt is a wonderful presenter. My favorite part of the lecture was his ability to talk about all aspects of care. He discussed everything from the appearance of the waiting room to how to have an open discussion with LGBTQ+ patients. If the patient is comfortable talking with the physician, then it becomes easier for the physician to identify risk factors that may affect the patient’s health. – 23 y/o f

This talk has opened my mind on how to interact and fulfill the needs/concerns of the LGBTQ community to improve the quality of life for these individuals mentally, physically, and emotionally based on their personal struggles and life complications. – 23 y/o f

I hadn’t thought about small things/subtleties that can make my practice more accepting off the bat. The lecture and panel are integral to med school education and needs to be a mandatory part of curriculum. – 25 y/o f

I learned a completely new perspective of healthcare that I have never thought about before. – 24 y/o m

Today’s panel positively influenced the way I will approach patients that identify themselves as LGBTQ – especially trans patients. I am very glad that this training was provided to me and my classmates. I believe it makes the difference. – 25 y/o f

I will take this newfound knowledge about treating the LGBTQ community and apply it to my own clinical practice. I want to treat patients respectfully and be a resource. – 25 y/o f

This 100% needs to be a part of our curriculum. I feel empowered – am thankful for everything I learned because I feel better equipped to care for my patients. – 26 y/o f

This talk will help how I practice medicine and treat my LGBTQIA patients. – 23 y/o f

What a great experience to be able to hear from individuals in the LGBT community first hand about their healthcare experiences. This is a unique opportunity to hear about these experiences in a safe environment where students can ask questions. – 29 y/o f

I will be more open about addressing certain topics and showing/verbalizing acceptance. I learned strategies to open my conversations about gender and how the patient wants to be addressed. – 26 y/o f

Thank you very much! This will definitely help me care for future patients! I learned the risk of suicide attempts amongst the LGBTQ+ community – especially who is at the highest risk. – 25 y/o f

Amazing! This will prevent me from being assumptive and intrusive into my patient’s life without earning their trust. I learned how to open myself up and visibly be an ally well before I even meet a patient. – 28 y/o m

I will be more equipped to properly acknowledge not only my future LGBTQ patients, but also family. I learned NOT to encourage some one to prematurely come out. – 27 y/o f

Grateful that I and my fellow students can hear personalized experiences from people of the LGBTQ+ community. This is the kind of dialogue our school and ALL medical students need to have. – 26 y/o m

I will now better serve my future LGBTQ patients. I learned how to make the waiting room more welcoming. – 26 y/o f

Excellent lecture. Appreciated info on how I can incorporate open ended questions on my intake forms as well as in interviews. This will help me approach the topic without being too invasive. I also really appreciated you addressing how to address the anatomy that these patients may not identify with. – 30 y/o f

The most helpful new thing I learned was how to set the stage for talking about those issues without directly asking the questions. – 29 y/o m

This was the lecture I’ve been waiting for all year! Appreciated the real-life examples of how to interact with and gain the trust of our patients. This session reinforced the importance of pronouns and sensitivity when being a physician and advocate for my patients. – 27 y/o f

I really enjoyed listening to the panelists and learning how little things like a sign in your waiting room can make a huge difference. I also learned ways to phrase things to make my patients more comfortable. Lean into the uncomfort. – 24 y/o f

Provided good background info and good foundation on treating/managing the LGBTQ community. Gave insight into important things to pay attention to with this group. – 29 y/o f

Using the vocabs of LGBTQ people is very important. I will be more aware of the words I use in the future. Dr. Holt gave a lot of good examples of conversations and actions we can take to help LGBTQ population/patients feel more comfortable seeking appropriate healthcare and trusting their doctors. – 25 y/o f

I appreciated the advice from Dr. Holt on how to approach a discussion about doing sensitive exams on people who identity may not align with their anatomy. – 31 y/o m

Felt the first hour was useful in establishing current stats and severity of the issues that are being faced by the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ awareness and sensitivity are critical to providing quality care. – 24 y/o f

This reinforced pretty much everything I always believed. Also, gave me skills and abilities to be able to communicate with people within the LGBTQ community. – 27 y/o f

Thank your for your honesty in sharing your stories and opinions. This was super helpful to try to understand where trans patients are coming from. – 34 y/o f

I thought the panel was great. The statistic that 40% of adult trans individuals have attempted suicide is tragic. – 24 y/o m

I learned to be more cognizant of my use of pronouns. Especially, because the initial introductions can go a long way towards building long term trust. The panel was exceptionally helpful to understand how fluid each person’s experience and preferences are. – 39 y/o m

Inspired me to be more aggressive about advocacy wherever I end up working. Even though I am LGBTQ, I still have a long way to go in order to learn how to advocate/support. Many people’s intentions are good, yet their delivery can be wrong/hurtful. I learned even more the importance of empathy. – 30 y/o f

This helps provide me a scaffolding to make my future practice welcoming and identified as an ally. I learned helpful tips for how to normalize conversations. – 34 y/o f

I think the talk helped me to understand another perspective. I did not have the knowledge to understand the healthcare and social challenges of the LGBTQ community. This talked helped to open my eyes and acknowledge my own need to actively create a welcoming environment for all my patients.- 22 y/o f

I thought this was a beneficial seminar because it educated me how to provide the best care, but also be sensitive to how patients identify themselves. The personal stories were invaluable and have helped me with how I want to approach healthcare for the LGBTQ community. – 27 y/o f

This talk and panel will help me be more aware of the LGBTQ patients I encounter and how I can help them and feel comfortable coming to me with health issues. – 27 /yo f

I learned lots of small things I can do to be more inclusive. LGBTQIA people are a unique population who deserve healthcare that is tailored to their specific needs. – 23 yo f

When I’m a practicing physician, I will make sure pt intake forms represent all my patients. I will create a safe environment for open discussions. – 27 y/o f

I think today’s panel is something everyone needs. Today gave me insight on how to make my future LGBTQ patients more comfortable in the clinic and how a positive experience can change their life. – 24 y/o f

I thought it was very thoughtful and it was great to hear about first hand experiences of the individuals here today. I hope this is something we can definitely continue. – 28 y/o f

This panel opens the door for me (and other students) to explore how our behaviors can be examined in both personal and professional settings regarding being the best provider we can be. – 27 y/o f

CCSF 2-9-19

LGBTQ Medical Case Scenarios: An Experiential Learning Perspective

The presentation consisted of reviewing LGBTQ medical case scenarios through the lens of City College of San Francisco medical interpreter students. The class divided into small breakout groups, which allowed an experiential learning perspective. After discussing a particular case as a smaller group, the group would present the case to the whole audience with Dr. Holt as the facilitator.

The audience consisted of medical interpretor students. Afterwards we had a book signing for the book PRIDE, which were donated to the students compliments of Dr. Holt.

Audience feedback/impact of this presentation:

It is a great learning experience. I learned how to approach a friend, a family member, or someone in the medical field in regards to gender and sexual orientation.

Thank you so much for such an inspirational/powerful speech. I’ve never had any ideas about how to differentiate the LGBT identities until I heard what you shared. I learned the difference between sexual orientation vs. gender identity; ways to open the door for anyone who is struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity; and that trans person can come out at any age.

The vignettes are very interesting and they support learning. Thank you very much. I learned about individual struggles. Let us continue to find solutions and continue to love one another regardless of differences.

Thank you for coming today! I really learned a lot. I will make sure to always be aware of how I use my words when I interpret for people of different identities and sexual orientation.

Thank you for sharing all of the information. I learned the psychological impact/affect of ‘coming out’ in terms of timing and making decision.

Generally, I learned a lot of new things about LGBTQIA. The most important thing I learned is how to approach and address patients/clients who are LGBTQIA.

Vignettes definitely stimulate thoughts on the community and promote understanding of the various aspects and characteristics of the community. I learned the social issues the community faces and the resulting potential health disparities they may suffer. I am more sensitive to how I can interact with this community in order to better help them in my interpreter role.

Thank you so much for coming and teach us about LGBTQIA community. I learned things I didn’t know before and now I can apply this knowledge when I start working as an interpreter and in my social life as well. This talk reinforced that it doesn’t matter how we identify ourselves, we are still human beings and differences don’t make us worse or better people.

I really appreciate you coming to our class to speak. It was very helpful. I learned to be more sensitive to all because we don’t want patients to be uncomfortable. We want them to feel safe to talk about anything.

I learned to say ‘we are all on a spectrum’, to use the word ‘trans’, and how to introduce myself buy using ‘I am _____ and I go by she/her. And you are?’

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is truly inspiring – especially because there are people struggling even with all the resources. I loved this talk and all the cases because I feel more prepared about the approach towards LGBTQIA patients. Also, I will use a rainbow pin to open the door to conversations.

Great presentation. I learned how to communicate with someone who is uncomfortable or may not want to disclose sex, gender, or self identification; to ask open ended questions; and use non-gendered language.

I really enjoyed listening to you speak. I learned how to open the door for LGBTQIA. Also, I learned more information about LGBTQIA such as no assumptions and to be more understanding.

It was great to finally know what LGBTQIA really stands for. I learned how to react or how to talk to people who are struggling. Also, the way to welcome them: rainbow flag, intake form, pronoun, bathroom… mindblower. I never thought of these ways.

I have a deeper understanding of LGBT; more open minded and accepting; and probably can save a life.

Awesome. This presentation should be available in every college, high school, middle school, etc. I know more about how to interact with LGBTQ people more appropriately and respectfully. Thank you so much for doing this.

I learned the difference between gender and sex. Better understanding of client population.

Good opportunity to reflect on gender issues. I will be more conscious of using terms to help patients feel safe.

Thank you very, very much for sharing your story. I wish my country is more open-minded regarding LGBTQIA. I am sure there are many people who want to know about you and need help from you!

It’s a very beautiful and inspiring talk. I learned how to treat others with respect as a peer and a human. ‘Follow your heart and passion and doors will open’.

Inspiring, powerful story! Thank you for sharing. Always great to hear different ways of how to navigate difficult situations and the exact phrases.

Great scenarios to practice. I learned the hardships that trans have to deal with in health related things.

It was an amazing opportunity for me to understand LGBTQIA more and better. Thank you so much. Everything was so important for me to learn.

OMED 10-7-18

Creating a Safe and Welcoming Environment for LGBTQ+ Patients

This interactive session dove into how to make the healthcare setting a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ patients, including the impact of the waiting room, intake forms, and patient interactions. In addition to discussing what LGBTQ+ patients are at higher risk for, we discussed how to start conversations on sensitive topics, such as sexual health, trans health, coming out and LGBTQ+ suicide risks. This interactive session included a robust Q & A session on LGBTQ+ health. 

The audience consisted of medical students, resident physicians, and practicing physicians who attended the SOMA educational track of the OMED conference in San Diego.


My coming out story entitled, You Can’t Heal if You’re Hiding From Yourself, can be viewed here.

CCSF 9-15-18

LGBTQ Medical Case Scenarios: An Experiential Learning Perspective

The presentation consisted of reviewing LGBTQ medical case scenarios through the lens of City College of San Francisco medical interpreter students. The class divided into small breakout groups, which allowed an experiential learning perspective. After discussing a particular case as a smaller group, the group would present the case to the whole audience with Dr. Holt as the facilitator.

The audience consisted of medical interpretor students. Afterwards we had a book signing for both of the books PRIDE, which were donated to the students compliments of Dr. Holt.

Audience feedback/impact of this presentation:

Very good choice of vignettes covering diverse issues. As a gay man a lot of the topics were familiar to be, but the presentation helped me expand my knowledge. Very good ideas on how to be more welcoming to LGBTQ patients through visual tags/badges. – M

Your speech is very helpful for us as interpreters. We learned a lot about LGBTQIA. This will help me to serve our patients better. – M

I learned how to open the door with someone who is struggling, because it is applicable to not only gender issues but any issues to ensure that others feel like they can depend on someone. I will try not to assume people’s gender but if I do, I will try to be open, apologize if I offended them, and ask open ended questions. – M

Great scenarios and I learned a lot. Some of the cases Dr. Holt mentioned are impressive and will help me in my future career. I learned the definitions of gender identity, gender nonconforming, gender dysphoria, etc. Also how to respond in an open-ended and gender-neutral language when talking to LGBTQ people. – F

I learned to always ask open eded questions to avoid offending anyone; don’t out someone when they are not ready; don’t assume things; and be sensitive about offending unintentionally. The talk is going to make me more aware of my behaviors and actions towards a patient. This is also a life lesson that can be used towards building relationships with anyone. It helped me think more deeply. – F

Great vignettes! They were a good eye opener and also good info for everyday life and to practice as HCI. I already considered myself very open to understanding the LGBTQIA community. But for sure I didn’t know many things I learned today. Very important info to keep on mind when interacting with people from this community and other ones, too. – F

Thanks for this presentation. It was very helpful, informative, and enjoyable. We can’t label anyone. We have to go with how they identify themselves. The talk is going to make a big difference with how to open the door to others and make them feel accepted. – F

Good material to learn from. I learned pansexual and other LGBTQIA vocabulary. Learned how to approach and deal with LGBTQIA community. – M

Very informative. I learned acceptance for everyone. I have more knowledge. – M

Everything was explained clearly and I learned a lot about how difficult trans people’s lives can be. I will be more open and sensitive when the patient is trans. – F

Very educational. I learned concepts and words I’ve never heard before or that I have known, but I couldn’t understand their full concept. I learned the difference among sexual orientation and gender identity, and gender nonconformity vs gender dysphoria. This talk will help me to communicate much better with the LGBTQIA community. – F

Before this class, vague knowledge about LGBTQ. After class, I have a clearer picture. I leaned the definitions and differences of LGBTQ; and how to handle and treat the community of LGBTQ in a comfortable and reasonable way. Don’t make any assumptions for any patients you meet. Also, ask and clarify before any actions and decisions. – F

Discussions are thought provoking. I learned the term genderqueer, putting up a sign, and wearing a LGBTQ affirmative pin. – F

CCSF 3-17-18

LGBT Medical Case Scenarios: An Experiential Learning Perspective

The presentation consisted of reviewing LGBT medical case scenarios through the lens of medical interpreter students. The class divided into small breakout groups, which allowed an experiential learning perspective. After discussing a particular case as a smaller group, the group would present the case to the whole audience with Dr. Holt as the facilitator.

The audience consisted of medical interpretor students. Afterwards we had a book signing for both of the books PRIDE, which were donated to the students using prize money received from Dr. Holt for being an invited  audience member for the 60th birthday show taping of the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Audience feedback/impact of this presentation:

Extremely well put together scenarios relevant to real life situations that occur. I learned don’t assume, use the same terminology used by the person, and show sensitivity to all genders. – M

This class with Dr. Holt is really helpful and useful to understand what is going on in the LGBTQ community. I’m so glad to learn how to interact with LGBTQ people, how I can be closer to them, and how I can help them. – F

Good open-minded discussion for me. I would never know how to deal with this issue without this class. I learned how to ask questions appropriately that related to sexual orientation. – F

I learned the differences between sex and gender, use their terms in clinical settings, and use open-ended language. Respect their gender choice and never assume. – F

I learned how to properly address trans people. Suicide attempt rate is scary. I’ve always considered myself open-minded, but I learned more. – M

Very informative. Learned the best approach to refer to someone from the LGBTQ community. – M

Vert informative. Some scenarios complex and challenging to unpack in a short session. However; provided a crash-course on important issues. – F

Discussing all different case studies lend me to learn more specific ideas and notions about LGBTQ. I learned how to react or respond and be “opened up” in coming out situations. – F

Good info. Very educational. Be sensitive to patient needs. – F

Very informative. I learned very much. This topic is very complex. I learned that I know nothing or very little about gender. – M

Love the case studies as a learning modality. Also case studies are relevant to interpreters. Thank you for making your time available to us. Please continue what you do. I learned to be inclusive, maintain a safer zone, and create a safe personal space. – M

I’m so happy to have had the experience to learn more about the LGBTQ community. Thank you so much! Don’t identify someone’s sexual orientation by their physical appearance. Learned to open the door to help others in need and make them feel welcome. – F

I learned a lot from this lecture. Learned how to communicate with trans. I learned how to assist trans in medical setting. – M

They were eye-opening and educational cases. I feel empowered to work with LGBTQIA community in a helpful and understanding way in the future. Never ever assume! I will consciously and actively do my best to respect people that I  encounter. I will apologize if I make any mistakes and be affirmative, supportive and thankful when someone discloses their stories. – F

I learned to treat others with respect. This section is not just for LGBT patients, but applies to all other patients who are struggling with something difficult to deal with. – F

It is a good lecture. I learned how to address people who are trans. I am OK with someone who is trans and will treat them equally. – F


Coming Out Safely

Coming Out Safely  

With recent releases of LGBTQ+ themed movies and other social media, there seems to be a renewed interest around issues of coming out.  In addition to my “How to Come Out Safely” video series, I am writing a synopsis of my thoughts on the subject.

First: Coming out is a personal decision that can only be made by you. Do NOT come come out until you personally feel ready and have the support to do so.

Stages of Coming Out

Stage 1: You may have periods of uncertainty about your sexuality or gender identity. That is totally OK. Each person must take their time to discover who they are. You can take as much time as you need. The important thing is to not feel pressured to “decide” or to let others decide for you. Once you feel pretty certain about who you are, you can move on to stage 2.

Stage 2: Acknowledging to yourself who you are. At this stage two things may occur almost simultaneously. First thing: A sense of relief to acknowledge to yourself how you identify. Second thing: OMG. Now what? Am I going to be accepted? How do I come out? How will my parents react? Etc. This is a stage you should not hang out in by yourself. It’s time to move on to the next stage to get support.

Stage 3: Reach out to others who you are pretty sure will be accepting. This is an important time to build a supportive team of people who will love and support you for who you are. This may include your best friends, your school counselor, your school’s GSA or QSA club, etc. There are also online resources where you can find additional support. Once you have a great support team in place, you may choose to proceed to stage 4.

Stage 4: Coming out to others outside your supportive inner circle. This may be the time you begin to come out to people who may not be as supportive. Please remember you do NOT have to come out to anyone you don’t want to. Only come out to people if you feel it will make you feel better doing so. The most important thing above all others is to be safe. HAVE A SAFETY PLAN in case coming out to someone doesn’t go well. That may mean have a safe place to go to if the person you come out to is not accepting.

Please remember that are many people across the world who support you in your journey. The trevor project has a 24/7 hotline 1-866-488-7386 that is there to support you along the way.

Time To THRIVE Conference

Presenting at the Time To THRIVE Conference was an amazing experience!

I loved attending the Time To THRIVE Conference in Orlando over President’s Day Weekend. The annual national conference promotes safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ+ youth. It is always such an honor to meet people from across the country that share the common goal of helping LGBTQ+ youth in any way they can.

I had the privilege of presenting two workshops at the conference this year with Sameer Jha. Our first workshop was entitled, “The Intersection of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Mental Health: Creating an LGBTQ+ Safe Space Through an Experiential Learning Perspective.” Over 75 participants attended this workshop making it one of the best attended workshops of the entire conference.

The second workshop was entitled, “How To Help an LGBTQ Colleague Who Is Afraid to Come Out”. At both workshops, Sameer and I facilitated robust interactive discussions with the attendees.

Betty DeGeneres Receives Award

Betty DeGeneres received the Conference’s “Upstander Award” for her promotion of safety, inclusion,  & well-being for LGBTQ+ youth. She has written two books: “Love, Ellen – A Mother/Daughter Journey” and “Just a Mom”. It was a tremendous joy for me to exchange with Betty signed copies of our books. She is an inspiration to me and countless others across the globe. I first met Betty in 2012 in San Diego at the Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership Conference. The world is better with people like Betty in it.

LGBTQ+ Youth Summit

On the last day of the conference LGBTQ+ youth from the Orlando area were invited to attend the youth summit. The summit supplied lunch for the youth followed by a panel presentation about being LGBTQ+ in corporate America. Before the panel started, I was given the opportunity to introduce myself, my book and my coloring book.

I was able to give away free copies of my coloring book to all attendees of both workshops as well as give away free copies of my book and coloring book at the youth summit. This act of kindness was a way of me paying it forward with the money I received for being an audience member in The Ellen DeGenerous Show’s birthday celebration.

I look forward to attending next year’s conference in Anaheim.