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Identity Stress & Resilience Among LGBTQ+ Populations Who Defy Dichotomies

Walking Between Worlds

Tuesday, November 15, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET

Many global cultures rely on strict binary definitions of identity to categorize their population into distinct, dichotomized groups (e.g., gay vs. straight, man vs. woman, Black vs. White). However, these blunt binary categories do not reflect human diversity. Many social groups—including many sexual and gender minorities—identify in ways that do not fit into such rigid categories. For example, people identifying with a bi+ identity (e.g., bisexual, pansexual, sexually fluid) or a gender nonbinary identity (e.g., enby, genderqueer, Two Spirit) defy, blur, or transgress conventional binary classification. Although mental health providers are increasingly trained to intervene upon anti-LGBTQ+ related stress, few clinicians are equipped to intervene upon the unique—and often hidden—identity-related challenges faced by individuals who defy binaries. Towards that goal, this webinar introduces a new and powerful cross-population framework—border identity stress and resilience theory—which highlights the theorized psychosocial challenges (and potential strengths) associated with holding an identity that defies binary categorization. Drawing upon existing (but previously isolated) scholarship on bi+, nonbinary, bicultural, and Multiracial individuals, the presentation will explore how border identity stress and resilience theory can advance our understanding of the mental health of LGBTQ+ people—and all who break binaries. Clinical implications and applications will be discussed.

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