Skip to main content


Working with Rainbow Rangatahi

Developing Understanding, Confidence and Competence

Dr Gloria Fraser & Lucy McLean


Thursday, 8 Aug 2024


9:00am - 3:00pm


Novotel Hamilton Tainui

7 Alma Street
Hamilton Central 3204


Lunch & Tea Break Catering

Workshop Notes


Bookshop at Seminar

Rainbow rangatahi (young people of diverse genders, sexualities, and sex characteristics) are overrepresented in statistics relating to bullying, family rejection, homelessness and negative mental health outcomes. Many rainbow young people report concerns that helping professionals will be discriminatory or will respond with surprise and discomfort when they seek support or assistance. Now more than ever professionals and the organisations they work for need to better understand and respond to the specific vulnerabilities of this diverse community of young people.

Join clinical psychologists Dr. Gloria Fraser and Lucy McLean for this informative, practical and positive workshop. Participants will leave with an increased understanding, and a kete of inclusive and practical tools which can be implemented immediately into your work (and organisation) to create a safe, affirming and effective space for rainbow rangatahi.

Some of the key content areas Lucy and Gloria will explore include:

  • Intersectionality and minority stress.
  • LGBTQIA+: Definitions and the responsive use of the right terms and pronouns.
  • Intersections of identity and mental health. Asking about identity.
  • Practice considerations:
    - An introduction to gender-affirming care.
    - Common professional ‘missteps’ and how to avoid them.
    - Identity development and sharing.
    - Self-reflection and self-disclosure.
    - Micro and macro ideas for creating rainbow friendly services.

This workshop provides a foundational understanding of the experiences and needs of rainbow youth for mental health and helping professionals, educational practitioners, and those working in community-based settings.

Gloria Fraser (Kāi Tahu, Pākehā, she/her) is a clinical psychologist and academic. Gloria is a Lecturer in Health Psychology in the School of Health at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, and works clinically with tamariki, rangatahi, and their whānau. Her work focusses on cultural competency (particularly for Māori and rainbow communities), eating disorders and body image, and youth wellbeing. Gloria’s PhD research explored mental health support experiences among rainbow people in Aotearoa. In partnership with rainbow community organisations, Gloria developed a resource to guide mental health professionals in their work with rainbow people.

Lucy McLean (Pākehā, they/she) is a Queer clinical psychologist with a background in community advocacy, crisis counselling, and youth work. Lucy works clinically with young people in the community, with a particular focus on supporting LGBTQIA+ youth. They wrote their master’s thesis on climate-related distress, drawing on their lived experience and Queer Theory, and facilitate workshops on this topic. Lucy is passionate about creating mental health systems that meet the needs of diverse communities.