Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Media Toolkit

Social workers recognize that there is much room for improvement in the treatment of LGBTQ individuals in the United States.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community has made great strides toward equal rights in recent years. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional, many states have given LGBTQ parents the right to adopt, major public officials and celebrities have come out as gay, lesbian or transgender, and various entertainment media have embraced LGBT families as the “new normal” in America.

That said, social workers recognize the LGBTQ community has many challenges ahead and the treatment of individuals who are LGBTQ is still a “Tale of Two Cities.”

For example, while LGBTQ families are shown more on TV and film, bullying of LGBTQ youth is still pervasive. Although many states are ending laws that discriminate against gay and lesbian people who want to marry or adopt, there are still many states that resist such changes. And as members of the LGBT community age, they face unique barriers in getting health and mental health services.

During National LGBTQ Pride Month in June NASW can offer experts to help you better cover social issues related to the LGBTQ community. NASW can help you find experts you can interview, topics you can cover during Pride Month, data and other resources, and a glimpse of how the LGBTQ community is covered in the news and entertainment media.

Meet the Experts

Gary Bailey

Gary Bailey, MSW, ACSW

Gary Bailey is president of the International Federation of Social Workers, a professor at the Simmons College School of Social Work, and a past president of the National Association of Social Workers. Bailey is a leading expert on social work and LGBT issues and has authored chapters on social work practice with people who are LGBT in several publications. He has also written about LGBT issues for Huffington Post.

David Fawcett

David Fawcett, PhD, LCSW

David Fawcett is an expert on stigma and mental health and substance abuse problems in the LGBT community in Florida. Separate from his clinical practice, he presents workshops on chronic illness, substance abuse and mental health in the LGBT community.

Paula Foster

Paula Foster, MSW, LCSW

Paula Foster, who serves on the National Association of Social Workers Board of Directors, has developed extensive educational workshops to train social workers in Tennessee to serve people living with HIV/AIDS. As a therapist Foster has also worked with young LGBT clients.

Forrest Hong

Forrest Hong, PhD, LCSW, C-ASWCM

Forrest Hong is vice president of Your Care Manager, a Los Angeles company that advises clients on long-term care options and other services that are available to keep their elderly parents in a safe environment. He also advises Baby Boomers caught between caring for their children and elderly parents. Hong is an expert on issues affecting elderly members of the LGBT community.

Ellen Kahn

Ellen Kahn, MSW

Ellen Kahn is director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Children, Youth and Families Program. Kahn provides national leadership and expertise in public education and advocacy to achieve full equality for LGBT families. She also serves as president of the board of directors of Rainbow Families DC, a support and education organization for LGBT families in the Washington, D.C. area.

Dimas Moncada Jr

Dimas Moncada Jr., LCSW

Dimas Moncada is based in California and is an expert on HIV/AIDS care and prevention, cancer patient care, learning disabilities among youth, child/family dysfunction, trauma, and aging issues in the Latino LGBT Community.

Noel Ramirez

Noel Ramirez, MSW

Noel Ramirez is a gay rights activist who specializes in health and empowerment among LGBT youth and transgender issues in Philadelphia. He is a 2008-09 Schweitzer Fellow and Penn Social Policy & Practice alum who now works as a case manager at the Dorothy Mann Center for Pediatric and Adolescent HIV.

Michael Ian Rothenberg

Michael Ian Rothenberg, PhD, LCSW

Michael Ian Rothenberg, PhD, LCSW is an internationally recognized specialist in human sexuality, sexual behavior and LGBT mental health. As an expert in sexuality, he has been an invited lecturer at The University of Oxford, Yale University and Peking University (Beijing, China). He is both a clinician in private practice and a faculty member at the University of Central Florida School of Social Work where he teaches clinical graduate courses including Human Sexuality and The Gay and Lesbian Experience in American Society.

Caitlin Ryan

Caitlin Ryan, MSW, ACSW

Caitlin Ryan is a family counseling expert, working with members struggling to accept and support children who are LGBT. She heads up the Family Acceptance Project, an organization that monitors and evaluates progress made on this subject.

Evelyn Tomaszewski

Evelyn Tomaszewski, MSW

Evelyn Tomaszewski is NASW senior policy associate in the Human Rights and Social Justice Department and directs the NASW HIV/AIDS Spectrum Project. She is staff to the NASW National Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues, and she can address the impact of policy, programs, and laws on LGBT individuals and families. Her work focuses on building capacity to address LGBT human rights, violence prevention and early intervention, and HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment.

Darrell Wheeler

Darrell Wheeler, PhD, MPH, ACSW

Former NASW President, Darrell Wheeler, is dean of the University at Albany School of Social Welfare and an expert on HIV/AIDS in the African American community. His work has shown understanding of social work practice methods combined with data and evidence to develop and implement innovative programs and policies. A renowned educator and medical and psychiatric researcher, Wheeler can address an array of LGBT issues.

NASW Resources


NASW Press

Effects of Conservative Religion on Lesbian and Gay Clients and Practitioners

This publication enables social workers to help LGBTQ people reconcile their faith and their sexuality. It also gives guidance for social workers who were raised with conservative religious values to better serve clients who are LGBTQ.

Prejudice to Pride: Moving From Homophobia to Acceptance

LGBTQ people use their experiences and knowledge to overturn myths and help the public better understand and support the LGBTQ community.

Affirmative Practice: Understanding and Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons

This publication provides a history of LGBTQ communities and the cultural, political and other issues that surround them. It also looks at various approaches to therapy for LGBTQ individuals.

Other Resources

Media Toolkits

Media Contact

For more information or to arrange an interview with one of our experts, contact NASW Communications Director Greg Wright at gwright.nasw@socialworkers.org.