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Purpose: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and/or asexual and other sexual and gender diverse persons (LGBTQIA + or SGD persons) experience barriers to equitable health care. The purpose of this article is to describe a collaborative process that resulted in core cultural competency recommendations addressing training for those who provide health care and/or social services to LGBTQIA + patients.

Methods: In 2018 and 2019, Whitman-Walker Health, a Federally Qualified Community Health Center in Washing- ton, DC, and the National LGBT Cancer Network purposively selected leaders of community clinics and community-based organizations, cultural competency trainers, and clinicians and researchers with expertise in SGD health with diverse lived experiences to develop consensus-based cultural competency recommendations. Recommendations were developed through a synthesis of peer-reviewed studies, publicly accessible curricula, and evaluations of SGD cultural competency trainings; two in-person convenings; and iterative feedback from diverse stakeholders.

Results: Five anchoring recommendations emerged: (1) know your audience; (2) develop and fine-tune the curriculum; (3) employ both adult and transformational learning theories; (4) choose multiple effective trainers; and (5) evaluate impact of training. These recommendations promote an ongoing process of individual and organizational improvement and a stance of humility rather than competence to be mastered.

Conclusion: By setting core cultural competency standards for all persons involved in health care and social services, these recommendations complement existing clinical competency recommendations to advance SGD health equity.


This article was originally published in LGBT Health and can be accessed at

This Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License [CC-BY] (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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