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Sovtalk: Erasing invisible lines

On Tuesday, at the Center Club in Costa Mesa, California, Sovereign Health held its monthly networking luncheon and C.E. event. Thomas E. Freese, Ph.D., presented his talk “Providing Culturally Responsive Services to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals” to a room of health care professionals.

Freese began with a course on the different pronouns or identifiable terms that many people in the LGBT community use to describe themselves. He then went on to say that while these labels are helpful in establishing a rudimentary understanding of an individual, they cannot be fully understood as a person until there is a conversation. This may not sound revolutionary to most people, but for those in the LGBT community, being spoken to like a person doesn’t happen very often.

In most instances, labels are used to separate people rather than to understand them. Freese touched on the emotional damage that can occur when teens come out to their parents and get rejected. The LGBT community has higher instances of alcohol abuse, drug use and mental health issues because of nonexistent laws that are in place in society.

It is because of these invisible societal laws that violence often occurs. He asked the audience if they ever thought they would be beaten or killed for holding their wife or husband’s hand in public. Many gay couples have to think about where they are before doing such a simple act.

Using language to identify individuals and problems in society helps to break away these rules and connect people. Once a problem has a word attached to it, it cannot be ignored anymore.

If you are looking for more information from the event, below you will find tweets from the live reporting. To follow future education events hosted by Sovereign Health Group, use the hashtag #Sovtalk on Twitter. Contact the Sovereign Health newsroom and the author at

Heather Henretig, Chelsea Brigham and Chad Castruita Ron Buckley and Adam Schilling Thomas E. Freese, Ph.D. Discussing


About the author

Nick Mazmanian is a content leader and a digital media specialist for Sovereign Health. Found in a lone mountain cabin, after being sworn to silence for 10 years, he has created a large body of digital and print products that ranges from a novel, writing for video games, marketing copy, magazine articles, blogs and podcasts. For more information and other inquiries about this media, contact the author and designer at

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