Microaggressions and the LGBTQ+ Community

  • Things You Can Do To Your Physical Space
  • Things You Can Say and Do

Things You Can Do To Your Physical Space

  • Display a pride flag, sticker, or other sign/symbol to show support for LGBTQ+ patients. 
  • Post a non-discrimination policy in a visible location. 
  • Include LGBTQ+ people in brochures, promotionals, and other handouts.
  • Have diverse and inclusive posters, magazines, etc. throughout the space.
  • Have a gender inclusive bathroom that is easily accessible to all patients.
  • Hire diverse staff
  • Train all staff to be LGBTQ+ affirming

Things You Can Say and Do

  • Have LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and practices
  • Wear a nametag with your pronouns on it. 
  • Make sure your youth patients know their rights
  • Have parents/guardians leave the room as many LGBTQ+ youth are not yet out to their families and may not feel comfortable being outed to them. 
  • Ask youth for their pronouns. 
  • Respect their choice to use different names/pronouns when their parents/caregivers are or are not present. 
  • Use gender neutral pronouns (they/them) unless someone tells you which pronouns they use. 
  • Instead of asking if someone has a boyfriend or girlfriend, ask if they are sexually active and then ask them to describe their partner(s). 
  • Utilize gender neutral terms such as “chest” and “underwear” instead of “breast” and “panties.” 
  • Apologize for mistakes. When apologizing, be sure to avoid getting defensive, discussing how challenging this is for you, and becoming overly apologetic. 
  • Address others when they make mistakes. Use these moments as learning opportunities for other staff to make a safer and more inclusive environment.