Gender and sexuality are central features of identity development in adolescence. When a person’s internal experience of gender and/or sexuality does not match what would typically be expected based on their external appearance, it can cause great distress and difficulty. This workshop will help caregivers learn how best to respond and support youth in these situations. Participants will develop an awareness and understanding of what this experience can be like, and how to create more accessible and welcoming environments for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, two-spirited, transsexual, queer and questioning individuals.

About This Workshop

Workshop Outline

Day 1

  • Identity: “Who am I?”
  • Aspects of Gender and Sexual Identity
  • Language and Terms
  • Your Context
  • Origins: Where Does it all Begin?
  • Deconstructing the Binary View
  • Gender and Sexual Identity Spectrum
  • Minority Stress
  • Vulnerability of LGBTQ Youth
  • Vulnerability in Physical Health
  • Developmental Guideposts
  • Experiences of Being Different
  • What’s My Comfort Zone?

Day 2

  • Affirmative Approach
  • Strategies to Support What’s Needed
  • The Coming Out Process
  • The Transgender Journey
  • Family Factors
  • Family Developmental Phases
  • Keys for Supporting Families
  • Creating Safer Schools
  • Planning for Your Context

2 day version
The two day training provides a comprehensive overview of the topic and offers an opportunity to explore one’s own setting and response. Strategies addressing a wide range of settings and situations will be explored.

1 day version
The one day workshop covers much of the same overview as the two day version, with focus more specifically on key strategies that apply across settings. (Please note that the Public Workshop is our one day version.)



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Resource Manual

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On-site Training

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Method of Delivery

Lecture, video, personal reflection, case study review and small group discussion

Target Audience

This is an introductory-intermediate level workshop intended for counselors, teachers, social service and health care professionals, school administrators, youth care workers and anyone seeking a better understanding of ways to create more accessible and welcoming environments for LGBTTQ youth.