Devan Nambiar, MSc., coordinates most of RHO’s training, education initiatives, and delivers RHO’s core training. He has been working in the gay/queer/ ethno-racial communities and MSM/HIV sector for over 20 years in regional, national and international capacity.
He was one of the co-investigators of the national Trans*Needs Assessment Project, Canadian AIDS Society (2013-2015). In 2015, he and Dr. Kucharski created an education module for healthcare providers: Cancer Screening and LGBTQ Communities (MainPro-M2 credits). In his previous position at the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange, Devan co-authored, A Practical Guide to Complementary Medicine and A Practical Guide to Herbal Therapies for PHAS (CATIE, 2004), contributing editor to the Practical Guide to Nutrition for PHAS (CATIE 2007), Managing Your Health (CATIE, 2009). He coordinated the research project Mobilizing Ethno-racial Communities against HIV Stigma and Discrimination, CAAT, OHTN and was one of the Co-principal Investigator of Improving the Capacity of the HIV Sector to respond to the Ethno-Racial MSM: Tapping Front-Line Expertise and Wisdom, OHTN (2007-2008). From 1998-2002, Devan initiated an antiretroviral drug recycling program at Gov. Hospital of Thoracic Medicine, Tambaram Sanatorium, Chennai, India.
In 2006, he was the recipient of the Canadian AIDS Society Leadership Award. In his professional capacity, Devan is a guest lecturer at medical schools on cultural and clinical care, and presents to psychologist interns on counselling competencies for LGBTQI2S. In addition, he reviews policies for inclusivity on sexual and gender minorities, provides input on community based research and has served on numerous boards and Ethics Review Board.
Providing culturally and clinically competent care to LGBTI2S seniors
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and two-spirit seniors (LGBTI2S) have experienced high levels of discrimination, state sanctioned homo/bi/transphobia in Canada. With the recent apology by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on November 28, 2017 to LGBTI2S Canadians on the horrific ‘gay purge’ that took place from 1950’s to early 1990’s on a federal level affecting approximately 9,000 LGBTI2S Canadians.
The workshop will provide a historical context on LGBT2S and its impact on LGBTI2S seniors. Many LGBTI2S seniors grew up in an era when it was a criminal offense to be LGBTI2S. LGBTI2S was diagnosed as a mental illness until 1973 in DSM III. For many senior LGBTI2S the years of criminalization, imprisonment, harassment, fired from jobs, shame based trauma, assault, medical assessment of their sexual lives have created a huge burden on the mental , emotion, sexual, spiritual and physical health. The burden has affected their sense of identity and affects their well-being on an intersectional and multidimensional level.
Due to the repressive social conditions they grew up in many LGBTI2S seniors have not accessed primary health care and afraid to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity. This has resulted in chronic health conditions for many LGBTI2S persons as they enter the twilight of their years. LGBTI2S seniors continues to remain an invisible aging population. HIV positive and transgender LGBTI2S seniors have higher rates of health disparities and are at risk of experiencing greater stigma.
Health care and social service providers are a crucial link to provide culturally sensitive and respectful services to aging LGBTI2S seniors. This presentation will explore the practical and useful steps to engage in best practices culturally and clinically in homecare, HRT, palliative care by building foundational knowledge. The interactive case studies will probe and stimulate discussions on how to work with LGBTI2S seniors, diffusing the fear, shame, stigma experienced by them.
The session uses a blended learning style utilizing didactic, videos, quiz/ exercises and case scenarios to build knowledge and practical tools in becoming confident and knowledgeable to provide optimal care to LGBTI2S seniors.