LGBTQ+ Class Questions and Answers

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Q:

My facility currently has a transgender client with mild autism. The problem being, he has been unable to change anything legally- there are staff that must refer to him by his legal name and pronouns, not his authentic name and pronouns. This upsets the client quite a bit (understandably) and causes him to “overreact” according to some of the staff. It’s creating a divide within the facility. Does Shawn have any suggestions or has he had any similar experiences with how to handle this?
Thank you so much for your time and for Shawn’s expertise in his presentation.
A:

My question would be why do staff need to refer to him by his legal name/pronouns? I know of no reason why staff interacting with a patient need to do this, even when someone’s name and gender marker aren’t legally changed. The only time this needs to be used is for paperwork with insurance. Otherwise everyone should be aware of his affirmed name and pronouns. It sounds like the organization needs to look at its policies regarding transgender patients. If there is a valid reason, I would need to know more. Being mildly autistic doesn’t change this, in fact it may make it even more important to treat him properly. They are causing pain to the patient every time they dead name him or use the wrong pronouns. Just imagine how it would feel if you were in a facility where people basically let you know that you don’t exist to them.
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Q:
Is gender noise similar to the intrusive thoughts seen in OCD and other similar conditions, or does it act more like generalized/social anxiety?
A:
It can look like both, but it should be clear that it is not delusional or a maladaptive thought, but based on minority stress and associated fears in addition to dysphoria which can go from mild anxiety to full scale panic.
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