Understanding the GLBT Community I am writing in reference to the letter “Promote Professionalism” (Nov. 25, 2008). I would like to thank ASHA for including the GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender] community in its multicultural division. Gay and lesbian issues need cultural sensitivity and speech-language pathologists need to know how to be culturally ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   January 01, 2009
Understanding the GLBT Community
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Special Populations / Transgender / Inbox
Inbox   |   January 01, 2009
Understanding the GLBT Community
The ASHA Leader, January 2009, Vol. 14, 4-46. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.14012009.4
The ASHA Leader, January 2009, Vol. 14, 4-46. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.14012009.4
I am writing in reference to the letter “Promote Professionalism” (Nov. 25, 2008). I would like to thank ASHA for including the GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender] community in its multicultural division. Gay and lesbian issues need cultural sensitivity and speech-language pathologists need to know how to be culturally sensitive.
As an out lesbian SLP, I would like to address some of the cultural inaccuracies in the letter. Being gay is not based on “how we characterize ourselves in the bedroom” nor is it a “sexual preference.” It is an orientation. It is not a political agenda. It is a cultural group. As a professional, I must find the courage to “come out” and unapologetically be who I am. I am a pediatric SLP whose clients sometimes ask, “Are you married?” to which I respond, “Yes.” This leads to, “What is your husband's name?” to which I reply, “I don’t have a husband,” which leads to an interesting conversation. I used to think I should stay in the closet at work. Then I looked at my colleagues who freely talked about their spouses with their clients and realized I should feel just as free to speak about my family.
ASHA should continue to support diversity. In fact, the letter-writer might want to attend training on understanding the GLBT community. You don’t have to agree with it, but you will someday work with a colleague/client/student/family member who is gay and would appreciate being treated without judgment. No special treatment is necessary, just sensitivity and understanding.
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January 2009
Volume 14, Issue 1