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Advocating, Understanding, and Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth with Dr. Natasha Poulopoulos

This week's episode is a compelling and powerful discussion with Dr. Natasha Poulopoulos, a pediatric psychologist and advocate for gender diversity and inclusion. Dr. Natasha has achieved remarkable milestones, earning her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and her fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital. Beyond her impressive professional background, she actively promotes gender and sexual diversity by conducting educational seminars and training sessions within medical departments and hospital systems. Additionally, she has collaborated on numerous peer-reviewed articles, publications, and presentations.

Now that we've established Dr. Natasha Poulopoulos's expertise, it's crucial to shed light on the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ youth community. Every 45 seconds in the United States, one LGBTQ+ youth attempts suicide, demonstrating significantly higher rates of suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, bullying, trauma, and homelessness. Legislative actions in Florida, such as the criminalization of gender-affirming care, pose a threat to LGBTQ+ youth and their families. Dr. Natasha emphasizes the importance of understanding scientific evidence, data, and guidance from healthcare experts in supporting our most vulnerable young people. Join us on this episode of The Know to hear this impactful message about our shared humanity. Each of us should be able to embrace our unique identity and discover a sense of belonging through our inner knowing.

In this episode…

Keeping up with societal standards

Teaching inclusivity and empathy

Advocacy for our LGBTQ+ youth

Picking up on our parent’s behavior toward LGBTQ+ youth

Accepting all people

Proximal and distal stressors

Internalized homophobia and transphobia

Feeling a lack of acceptance

Practicing self-awareness and self-reflection

Gender transitions for minors

Anti LGBTQ+ bills

Gender transitioning narratives

Social transitioning

The stress of not feeling accepted

Acknowledging and accepting


“Mental health is really startling amongst LGBTQ+ youth. About half of LGBTQ+ youth considered suicide last year and the year prior. About a quarter of those kids attempted suicide.” (Data from the Trevor Project)

“By shifting how parents act and see the world, they could help kids be more inclusive, accepting, and empathic.” 9:50

“The majority of LGBTQ+ youth are homeless. 68% of LGBTQ+ youth are not accepted by their families. That is the stress that leads them to increased mental health with symptoms like depression, anxiety, and suicide.” 15:30

“It only takes one accepting adult to reduce suicidality for LGBTQ+ youth by 40%. It is remarkable to see what being accepted and loved can do.”

“It is really important that parents, families, educators, and people everywhere listen to these conversations and take it in. If it makes you uncomfortable, do not immediately come to a place of judgment. Nonaction is an action sometimes. I encourage people, before talking, to sit with their feelings and hold them for a little bit.” - Nikki Spo

“The distress of being unable to be accepted in terms of yourself and who you are is horrifying. I never wish that upon anyone.”

“I would love for politicians to step aside and let medical and psychological experts and educators decide how kids are educated and our youth’s access to things like gender-affirming care.”


0:00- 2:50 | Introduction

2:50- 6:45 | Dr. Natasha Poulopoulos’s background

7:40- 9:30 | Advocacy for our LGBTQ+ youth

9:30- 11:45 | What parents can do to build inclusivity for our youth

11:45- 14:20 | Navigating religion

14:20- 18:00 | Mental health in the LGBTQ+ community

18:00- 22:40 | Practicing self-awareness and self-reflection

22:40- 25:20 | Gender transitions for minors

25:20- 27:29 | Acknowledging and accepting

Connect with Dr. Natasha Poulopoulos

Connect with Nikki

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