Experiences of lesbian and gay occupational therapists in the healthcare system

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Narrative data from open-ended questions from a descriptive cross-sectional survey surrounding the experience of 24 lesbian and gay occupational therapists in their work and patient roles are discussed. An iterative and inductive analysis of therapists' responses resulted in identification of three emergent themes: deciding when to come out, the culture of the setting impacts if and to whom I come out; and shades of discrimination affect the work and patient role. Findings are discussed in relation to the implications for occupational therapists and other allied healthcare providers as a way to inform professionals and educators of the lived experience of lesbian and gay therapists, the impact of embracing diversity through one's attitude, knowledge and skill through education, and advocacy at the professional and pre-service levels.

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Journal of Allied Health

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