Willy Wilkinson, MPH - Writer and Public Health Consultant
Training Topics
Terms and Identities
Ever wonder what those words mean or what’s okay to use? Trainings give an opportunity to delve into the language that is used to describe LGBT folks, even the ones you think are “bad” words. Terms can change from block to block, community to community, and generation to generation. We’ll pick them apart and get a better understanding of the identities and cultures that go with them. We’ll look at what words are neutral and descriptive, what words might be considered “fighting words,” and what words have been reclaimed from a negative connotation to a prideful, affirming connotation. 
Transgender 101
Want to learn more about the difference between transgender and transsexual? Are you curious about hormones and surgeries for people who go from one gender expression to another? Not just for those unfamiliar with transgender issues, trainings delve into the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, the spectrum of gender identity, transition-related care, health care access, and legal issues for transgender people. Participants problem solve on how to address clients whose identity may be unclear, and explore treatment issues for trans clients with multiple concerns. Organizational policy and procedure issues such as intake forms and gender-specific environments (restrooms, support groups, housing) are also addressed.
Socioeconomic Issues
Want to know more about the social issues that LGBT people face? Concerned about how a lack of family acceptance can impact LGBT folks? Society’s difficulties accepting sexual and gender diversity can severely impact the well-being, safety, and socioeconomic status of LGBT people. Trainings address discrimination, family issues (both family of origin and family of choice), hate violence, and economic survival.
Health Disparities
What are LGBT health concerns? When LGBT people are kicked out of their homes, discriminated against in employment and housing, and/or are unable to access respectful, competent health care, they are at risk for poor health outcomes with sometimes life-threatening consequences. Willy’s trainings offer research data and information resources on how LGBT people are disproportionately impacted by medical, mental health, substance abuse, and other health concerns.
How to Show Respect
Do you ever feel unsure about how best to interact with people who may be different from you? When health service providers communicate respectfully with LGBT clients and patients, they build trust and lay the groundwork for healing partnerships. Trainings cover how to comfortably address and refer to LGBT people, as well as their partners and families. Participants develop skills for appropriate name and pronoun use with transgender and gender non-conforming people, and explore strategies for what to do when it is unclear what is appropriate.
Legal Rights & Responsibilities
Want to learn more about your legal responsibilities when working with LGBT populations? Health service providers benefit from an understanding of the legal rights of LGBT people and the legal responsibilities of health service organizations, within a public health framework. Trainings address:
  • The legal rights in health care settings of same-sex couples in domestic partnerships and marriages
  • The right of transgender and gender non-conforming people to receive services based on their gender identity and expression (and what that means for gender-specific services), and
  • How organizations can provide non-discriminatory services while legally protecting themselves from internal and external complaints.
Identifying and Accessing LGBT Resources and Referrals
What do you do when you have an LGBT client whose needs cannot be met by your organization? How do you find legal resources, housing, or a support group in your area? Trainings provide local, state, and national resources that can assist you to more effectively serve your LGBT clients. Participants also develop skills for locating appropriate information and resources.
Marketing and Outreach Strategies
Say you want to get the word out to the local LGBT community that your organization welcomes LGBT program participants, but you’re not sure what to do. Whether your organization is located in an area with a vibrant LGBT community, where many resources exist for LGBT people, or one that is relatively isolated, where there are few resources and support systems for LGBT community members, trainings offer strategies for having a visible presence in the LGBT community and informing people about your services.
Creating a Non-Discriminatory Environment
The best outcome of LGBT training is that health service organizations work towards equal access for LGBT clients while ensuring full participation from non-LGBT clients. Providers create a non-discriminatory service environment when they:
  • Handle social interactions appropriately
  • Employ LGBT-affirming treatment strategies and service approaches, and
  • Develop and implement LGBT-inclusive policies and procedures.
Trainings provide opportunities for health service providers to ask questions, explore organizational improvements, and ultimately improve the health, well-being, and successful treatment outcomes of this marginalized, underserved population. 
Thank you for your commitment to LGBT-inclusive services.