You Can’t Tell By Looking: It Works Both Ways for LGBT Clients
Some older clients and patients we encounter are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). We cannot tell this by their appearance and they may not self-identify right away. We need also to reverse the perspective: LGBT individuals cannot tell by looking which providers are affirmative. This fact may be even more relevant than is often recognized. Typically, providers are trained to be affirmative, to leave any prejudice outside their office, and to be open to learning new information about their clients and communities. However, if clients do not know of their affirmative perspective, they may not be trusting and willing to be open. This essay suggests some resources for gerontology practitioners to provide appropriate affirmative and welcoming services for these individuals.