Now that we have learned about some of the history, needs and experiences of LGBTQ2+ seniors, let's spend some time exploring how to make our services more welcoming and inclusive for LGBTQ2+ Seniors.
Download the self-reflection worksheet below:
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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!
Download the self-reflection worksheet now.
Sometimes a picture is worth 1000 words! Describe in your own words the difference between equity and equality.
If you want to read more about the difference between equity and equality, check out this resource.
TEASE YOUR BRAIN:
Why can’t we treat everyone the same?
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 we aren't recognizing and responding 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.