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What does LGBTQ+ mean?

What is cultural awareness?​

What is LGBTQ+ cultural awareness? 

Why is LGBTQ+ cultural awareness important? 

  • What Is Cultural Awareness?

    • Respecting the values, perceptions, experiences, and lifestyles of others.

    • Using verbal and non-verbal communication that conveys respect from the perspective of the person that you are addressing.

    • Using inclusive language without making assumptions about the lives, experiences, and relationships of others. 

    • Familiarity with fundamental concepts that define a population that you work with. 

    • Recognizing that every person, family, city, country, and socially defined group or demographic has cultural norms and expectations. ​​

    • Related concepts include cultural competence and cultural humility. 



  • Why Is LGBTQ+ Cultural Awareness Important?

    • One of the factors contributing to LGBTQ+ health and healthcare disparities is a widespread lack of LGBTQ+ cultural awareness education among healthcare practitioners. (1820-22)

    • Cultural awareness is an important part of therapeutic use of self, which is an important part of treatment. (32)

    • LGBTQ+ cultural awareness education can improve communication on LGBTQ+ topics. 

      • Many people feel that they don’t know what words to use when discussing LGBTQ+ topics or people—and, in an effort to avoid offending others, tiptoe around these conversations or avoid them altogether. However, avoiding discussions about these topics contributes to a widespread lack of understanding and can discourage open communication between practitioners and LGBTQ+ clients.

These videos demonstrate potential consequences of a lack of LGBTQ+ cultural awareness:




This page last updated: 2018

  • What Is LGBTQ+ Cultural Awareness?

    • Understanding and using terminology that carries connotations of respect, understanding, and acceptance.

    • Actively demonstrating safety and providing welcoming environments for LGBTQ+ clients.

      • The LGBTQ+ community is the most common target of hate crimes in the United States. (5) Many LGBTQ+ people are constantly looking for signs of safety or lack thereof, including in healthcare settings. Culturally aware interpersonal interactions and LGBTQ+-friendly clinical environments are important signals of safety for LGBTQ+ individuals. Click here for more information.

    • Knowing the correct name and pronouns to use for transgender clients, which may be different from a client’s legal name and sex.

    • Including transgender people in the correct spaces if dividing clients by gender in therapy groups or hospital rooms.

    • Understanding how gender identity and sexual orientation can impact health and healthcare needs. Click here for more information.

    • Being inclusive of all family structures.

    • Respecting that sexual orientation and gender identity are important aspects of who a person is, while recognizing that these are only parts of a whole person.

What does LGBTQ+ mean?
What is cultural awareness?
What is LGBTQ+ cultural awareness?
Why is LGBTQ+ cultural awareness important?
This website incudes

"Vanessa Goes To the Doctor" 

Created by the National LGBT Cancer Network

"Care to the Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming Identified Patient" 

Created by the Montgomery College Department of Nursing

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