Providing Culturally Humble Services to

LGBTQ+ individuals


About Nhan

My Story

  • Nhan Pham, MBA
  • Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Dominican University of California 
  • A member of the LGBTQ+ community 
  • Board member of the Spahr Center 
  • Vietnamese immigrant
  • Christian (Catholic) 

As Pride month is coming to an end, I want to reflect on my journey as a gay man in this world (I know it sounds cliché, but hear me out). Coming out for us, queer people is difficult because we fear rejection from loved ones, violence, and emotional pain. For me, I feared being rejected by my friends and loved ones. Thus, I did what I do best: I ran away from my problem. I moved across the country for college so I could have a fresh start and a chance to find myself. However, it didn’t work out as expected, as I learned running away from my past would create more issues. Especially when I didn’t know how to love myself, physically and emotionally, which created many mental health challenges.

At some point during my freshman year, I decided to come out to my parents and family and expected the worst—rejection. I had it easy; my family accepted me for who I am and didn’t reject me, but it was still a journey because they needed to adjust and understand my needs. During that time, I was away at college and realized I needed my family’s support to work on my mental health challenges, so I decided to move back home.

Passing forward, I am still learning how to love myself and working on my mental health. I am also continuing to figure out myself and where I belong on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Thus, being gay is not the end of the ultimate, but more like a journey, as I am still learning and understanding myself.

Thank you for reading through my story. I am sharing this as I dream that one day we will not need to come out anymore and the younger LGBTQ+ generation can be happy and proud of who they are. In the end, LOVE is LOVE! 

p.s. If your children, grandchildren, family, friends, or someone you know is LGBTQ+, please be there to love and support them because their journey ahead will not be easy!


What is S.O.G.I.E.

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression Affirming Approach and Expansive Practices

S.O.G.I.E. Importance

Understanding and knowledge of terminology, definitions, an affirming approach and practices.

S.O.G.I.E. Importance

Better prepare themselves and learn how to implement any youth-based program or provide services to all individuals.

Common Terminology


Refers to the way one expresses their gender identity. It is the physical manifestation of one’s gender identity through clothing, hairstyle, voice, body shape, etc.

Many transgender people seek to make their gender expression (how they look) match their gender identity (who they are), rather than their sex assigned at birth. Someone with a nonconforming gender expression may or may not be transgender.

Gender/Gender Identity

Refers to the individual identification of a person’s gender, as defined by that person, and can differ from their sex assigned at birth. 

It is one’s internal sense of being a “man or woman”, neither of these, both, or other genders. Everyone has a gender identity, including no gender identity. For transgender people, their sex assigned at birth (male, female) and their gender identity are not necessarily the same.


Is a person’s physical, romantic, emotional, aesthetic, and/or other form of attraction to others. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same.

Trans people can be heterosexual/straight, bisexual, lesbian, gay, asexual, pansexual, queer, etc. just like anyone else. For example, a trans woman who is exclusively attracted to other women would often identify as lesbian.

Gender Neutral

Is inclusive of all genders, as opposed to gender-specific. A “gender neutral” restroom is one that everybody can use. It is not only for “gender-neutral” people.


Refers to non-trans from the Latin prefix meaning “on the same side,” as opposed to trans, which means “across.” A term for someone who exclusively identifies as their birth assigned sex.

Men who were assigned male at birth and women who were assigned female at birth. The term cisgender is not indicative of gender expression, sexual orientation, hormonal makeup, physical anatomy, or how one is perceived in daily life.


Is a gender identity which refers to a gender which varies over time. A gender fluid person may at any time identify as male, female, agender, or any other non-binary identity, or some combination of identities. Their gender can also vary in response to different circumstances.

Genderfluid people may also identify as multigender, non-binary and/or transgender. Genderfluid people may feel more comfortable using gender neutral pronouns and may have an androgynous gender expression. Being genderfluid has nothing to do with which set of genitalia one has, nor their sexual orientation.


Refers to being open with attraction to members of all sexual orientations and or gender identities including heterosexual/straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc.


Is an umbrella term describing a wide range of people who do not conform to heterosexual/straight and/or gender norms; a reclaimed derogatory slur taken as a political term to unite people who are marginalized because of their nonconformance to dominant gender identities and/or heterosexuality.

It is sometimes used as a shortcut for LGBT while at other times used to distinguish politically queer people from more mainstream LGBT people. Because of its origin as a derogatory slur, this term should be used thoughtfully. If you’re not queer, or for public communications, LGBTQ is often more appropriate currently.


Refers specifically to people who have an experience of transitioning (socially and/or medically) from living as one gender to living as another gender. Transgender should almost always be used as an adjective.


Is a gender identity specific to Native American culture.

If someone is two-spirited, their body simultaneously houses both a masculine spirit and a feminine spirit, and can also mean that they fulfill both gender roles describing a range of gender and sexual orientation categories from cultural traditions, both historical and current.

It is important to acknowledge and honor this identity as OCF celebrates and engages native practices at the core of our content and circle practice.


bipoc and white lgbtq+ disparities

58% of LGBTQ adults are White

42% of LGBTQ adults identify as people of color.



2. One in five youth in the juvenile justice system identify as LGBTQ, 85% of whom are people of color.
1. LGBT people of color face high rates of unemployment: 15 percent of African American LGBT adults are unemployed, as are 14 percent of Latinx LGBT adults and 11 percent of API LGBT adults—compared to 8 percent unemployment for the general population.
3. Gay and bisexual men of color continue to make up the majority of new HIV/AIDS infections in the U.S., with Black men accounting for 39 percent of 2014 HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men, and Latinos accounting for 24 percent.
4. 31% of Black LGBTQ respondents had their work hours reduced due to COVID-19, compared to 23% of Black respondents, 28% of LGBTQ respondents and 22% of the general sample population.
5. LGBTQ+ high schoolers of color are also more likely to attempt suicide (27%) compared to LGBTQ+ high schoolers (22%) and non-LGBTQ+ high schoolers (5%) in the United States.

6. 18% of Black LGBTQ respondents became unemployed due to COVID-19, compared to 16% of Black respondents, 16% of LGBTQ people, and 12% of the general sample population.


Being an Ally

• Someone who supports the LGBTQ+ community
• Someone who cares and is concerned about the well-being of the community
• Someone who confronts challenges that LGBTQ+ community experience
• Someone who stands up for the community

Recognize your privilege and use it for the greater good


Get educated about the LGBTQ+ community


Use the right pronounce




It is ok to make a mistake, just apologize and ask for guidance


Don’t assume


Speak up against prejudice!