Twice a month, this Center of Excellence hosts webinars for health practitioners focused on best and latest practices to decrease behavioral health disparities impacting LGBTQ+ children, youth, young adults, adults, and older adults. CEUs and CMEs are available for both foundational and advanced topics.

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Interested in building foundational knowledge on LGBTQ+ behavioral health? Start here with our self-paced webinars! We strongly recommended that these webinars are viewed prior to attending our advanced topic webinars.

For an introduction to sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression check out our Learning About SOGIE animation and download the accompanying glossary for a list of terms commonly used in LGBTQ+ communities.


Sexual Orientation & Behavioral Health 101

Lyndsay Smith (she/her)
Jabari Lyles (he/him)

This webinar enables behavioral health service providers to be more equipped to support, treat and advocate for people with diverse sexual orientations. Considering a general lack of LGBTQ+-affirming knowledge among healthcare providers, along with data and research which suggests LGBTQ+ people are at higher risk for poor health outcomes, this webinar offers institutions the skills they need to minimize gaps. Participants will define sexual orientation and explore related terms and concepts in human sexuality, become more intimately aware of the unique experiences of people who have diverse sexual orientations, learn specific behavioral health disparities, including risk and protective factors for people of various sexual orientations, and gain a toolkit of best practices for applying this knowledge in the field.

Gender Identity, Expression & Behavioral Health 101

Lyndsay Smith (she/her)
Ezra Halstead (they/them and he/him)

This webinar provides foundational knowledge about gender identity and gender expression, and how to best provide services for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals across the lifespan. Participants will learn concepts relating to gender identity and expression, as well as the process of transitioning, and respectful terms. Important terms that will be defined include but are not limited to: transgender, cisgender, nonbinary, intersex, and pronouns. Social, legal, and medical types of transition will be reviewed, as well as potential interpersonal/familial and systemic barriers to transition. Risk factors and behavioral health disparities for adults and children in this community will be reviewed, as well as best practices service providers can use to create a respectful and welcoming environment.

Our live webinar series offers a deeper dive into specific topics as well as implications for behavioral health practice.


Advancing Black LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health: Contemporary Approaches to Understanding & Uprooting Intersectional Stigma to Promote Wellness


Skyler Jackson (he/him)

September 14, 2:30-4 p.m. ET

Accumulating research suggests that multiple, interlocking forms of stigma-related stress (e.g., racism, homophobia, transphobia) drive and maintain behavioral health disparities among Black LGBTQ individuals. Despite this knowledge, most research and clinical interventions related to stigma-related stress focus on one type of stigma (e.g., racism) in isolation from others (e.g., homophobia, transphobia). Intersectionality provides a framework to help researchers and clinicians better understand the multi-dimensional experiences of Black LGBTQ people, but the application of intersectionality to such empirical and clinical efforts remains in its infancy. To address this gap, this webinar includes emerging efforts to better understand and intervene upon links between intersectional stigma and aspects of behavioral health (e.g., mental health, HIV risk) among Black LGBTQ individuals. Delivered by Dr. Skyler Jackson (he/him), this presentation will (a) feature novel experience sampling research illuminating how daily events related to both one’s race and sexual orientation (i.e., intersectional experiences) are associated with day-to-day changes in Black sexual minorities’ psychological well-being and (b) overview recent clinical efforts to develop and test a group-based treatment to address intersectional stigma, mental health, and HIV risk among young gay and bisexual men of color. Future directions, including the applicability of results to clinical, community, and policy-level interventions will be discussed.


Hidden from Happiness: The Epidemic of Sexual Minority Depression and the Science of the Closet


John Pachankis (he/him)

Christopher Bellonci (he/him)

October 20, 1:30-3 p.m. ET

All sexual minorities experience the closet – a period in which they recognize their sexual identity but have not disclosed it to significant others – and the majority of the world’s sexual minority population is likely closeted. This talk positions the closet as a central experience of sexual minority development that can exert a powerful and potentially lasting impact on mental health. The talk will present a developmental model of the closet’s influence on mental health, delineating the structural influences that shape one’s experience of the closet; the stressors that take place after one has become aware of their sexual orientation but has not yet disclosed it, which often takes place during the developmentally sensitive period of adolescence; and potential lifespan-persistent mental health effects of the closet, even among those who do ultimately come out. The talk will conclude with a discussion on implications for structural and clinical interventions.  

Accreditation: The University of Maryland School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation: The University of Maryland School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Our monthly Ask Our Experts virtual sessions connect practitioners with consultants from across the country who provide technical assistance on a variety of subjects.

Ask Our Experts Session: Substance Use Disorders Impacting the LGBTQ+ Community


Michael Dentato (he/him)

Ryan Papciak (he/him)

Lawrence Bryant (he/him)

September 21, 1:30-2:30 p.m. ET

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