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Self-Reflection Exercise

Being aware of our own assumptions, attitudes and beliefs is a great first step towards inclusive care. We all like to think that we are bias free and welcoming of everyone.  However, we all grew up in societies that reflect positive and negative messages about types of people and we have in many ways internalized those messages and attitudes to varying degrees. Read the following statements and consider your responses.  You may be surprised to find some hidden beliefs or assumptions!

Respond to the following statements with true or false:

  1. I am comfortable around queer people, unless they flaunt it.

  2. I would feel uncomfortable if I found out that my adult son feels he is actually a woman.

  3. LGBTQ2 teachers shouldn’t be ‘out’ to their students at school.

  4. It would disturb me to find out that my doctor is a lesbian/gay man.

  5. I would feel uncomfortable knowing that my son’s male teacher is gay.

  6. I would feel uncomfortable to see a person I assumed to be trans in the same public washroom I was in.

  7. I am surprised to meet LGBTQ2 couples that have been together a long time.

  8. I would be disturbed if I found out that my sister’s husband likes to dress in women’s clothing.

  9. I would be insulted if someone mistook me for a gay, bisexual or lesbian person.

  10. I would be surprised to meet a Muslim lesbian wearing hijab.

  11. I’m okay with same-sex marriage, but it bothers me that LGBTQ2 couples are allowed to adopt.

  12. I would be confused if I saw a trans acquaintance of mine with a heterosexual partner.

  13. I would be very upset if I saw my child’s daycare worker kissing their same sex partner before work.

  14. I would feel uncomfortable seeing two lesbians/gay men holding hands at my gym.

  15. I feel annoyed that Sexual Reassignment Surgery is covered by MSIP.

  16. I would be upset if my child told me that they were lesbian, gay or bisexual.

  17. I would feel offended if someone mistook me for a trans person.

  18. I feel uncomfortable if my co-worker divulges information about his same-sex relationship.

  19. I would feel surprised if a colleague invited me to go the Pride parade with them and their LGBTQ2 friends.

  20. I would be surprised to meet a Black trans person or lesbian.

  21. One would expect a child raised by LGBTQ2 parents to be queer also.

  22. I would be upset to find out that my child is learning about LGBTQ2 identities/communities/families as part of school curriculum.

  23. I would be uncomfortable if I learned that my church, temple or other religious group was welcoming to people with LGBTQ2 identities.

  24. I would be upset if my child brought home an openly gay/lesbian/bisexual friend.

  25. I would not expect a man using a wheelchair to be gay.

  26. I would feel uncomfortable if someone of the same gender expressed romantic interest in me.

  27. If I saw two women communicating in sign language, I would be surprised to learn that they are lesbians.

  28. I would feel comfortable working with clients/patients who identify as LGBTQ2.

  29. I feel knowledgeable about LGBTQ2 issues as they pertain to my area of work.

  30. I get upset and speak up if someone tells a homophobic joke.

  31. It bothers me when people say “That’s so gay!”

  32. I do/have done research on LGBTQ2 issues to educate myself.

  33. I use gender neutral language to describe my own sexual partner/relationship status, e.g partner vs. wife/boyfriend, etc

  34. I am comfortable working with colleagues of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

  35. I encourage education about sexual orientation and gender identity in my workplace.

*From Training for Change: Practical Tools for Intersectional Workshops





The Myth of Equality…

One of the most important myths to address on the road to inclusive care is the belief that all we need to do to provide inclusive care is to treat everyone the same. We all have the need to be treated with respect and kindness, but how we get these needs met might look different depending on a person’s life experiences.

Sometimes a picture is worth 1000 words! As depicted in the image above describe the difference between equity and equality:





If you want to read more about the differences between Equity and Equality see "Equity Vs Equality: 20 differences between Equity and Equality" at

QUESTION: Why can’t we treat everyone the same?

ANSWER: Because we are not all the same! Everyone has had vastly different life experiences based on who they are and how they show up in the world. When we say we “don’t see skin colour” or “sexual orientation doesn’t matter” we are minimizing the impact of racism and homophobia.

The important take away message from this section is that sometimes treating everyone the same means that we don’t recognize and respond to the unique needs of the person in front of us. Since we all don’t have the same privilege or power, treating everyone “equally” is not actually “fair”.


Two Spirit Elders


As described in the match up exercise, Two-Spirit is a term used by some North American Aboriginal societies to describe people with diverse gender identities, gender roles and sexual orientations. Myra Laramee coined the term in 1990; it was adopted at a gathering of Native American and Canadian LGBTQ people in Manitoba.


Pre-contact, two-spirit people were accepted and integrated into their communities. They often held respected and valued positions. Colonization brought a denigration of differing sexual orientations and gender identities. Two-spirit people describe a layered challenge navigating both an LGBTQ identity and an Indigenous identity. Listen to Ma-Nee Chacaby a two-spirit Ojibwa-Cree elder, talk about her memoir, A Two-Spirit Journey:

For more information and resources go to: