LGBTQ+ individuals face a number of life challenges in a society that still privileges heterosexuality and a binary perspective on gender. While the challenges and hardships that LGBTQ+ individuals face can have negative impact on mental health and wellbeing, career development, and overall life satisfaction, too often the narrative presented to LGBTQ+ individuals is one in which their future is foreclosed as one in which they will be unhappy, disenfranchised, targeted for discrimination, and victims of violence. Specific information on positive outcomes for LGBTQ+ youth and examples of how to support LGBTQ+ youth and their families in moving towards a balanced approach to addressing challenges while supporting growth and development will be provided. A brief contextual presentation will be followed by a case presentation and discussion.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss a variety of sexual & gender identities
  2. Identify unique life challenges for LGBTQ+ youth
  3. Describe ways to promote growth, development & resilience of LGBTQ+ youth


Sidney M. Trantham, PhD is an Associate Professor and received his Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of Florida (Gainesville). His doctoral work focused on exploring the impact of early childhood sexual experiences on the psychological functioning of adult males. He was a Harvard Clinical Fellow (1996 – 2000) at the Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he completed his clinical psychology internship and neuropsychological post-doctoral fellowships, as well as engaged in research identifying early cognitive markers of HIV-related dementia. His work at Fenway Health (1999 – 2006) in Boston, Massachusetts included working with adults to address a variety of issues related to sexual identity development. In addition to his university appointment, Dr. Trantham maintains a private practice where he provides integrative psychological, neuropsychological, and gender assessment as well as psychotherapy with children, adolescents, adults, and families. Areas of clinical interest and expertise include working with transgender and non-binary children and adolescents, sexual and racial identity development, and mood disorders.

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