President and CEO Sabrina Trocchi, PhD, MPA, discusses Wheeler's values and the importance of the LGBTQ+ community.

LGBTQ+ Events and Initiatives
We are proud to announce a series of events and initiatives
that are part of our ongoing effort to acknowledge, affirm, and celebrate our
LGBTQ+ clients, patients, students, and staff.

NEW! - LGBTQIA+ Advisory Board

Meetings: Every 2nd Wednesday of the month
UPCOMING: November 11, December 9, January 13
3:00-4:00pm on Microsoft Teams

A group of passionate individuals dedicated to ensuring the LGBTQIA+ community is provided equitable access to innovative care that improves health, recovery, and growth at all stages of life by strengthening and expanding on all services through identity affirming care.

The Board is looking for additional passionate individuals who are interested in helping Wheeler Clinic in this mission by regular attendance and participation in monthly meetings. The Board is especially interested in connecting with members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are currently participating in services at any of our Wheeler site locations. Also, Wheeler Clinic staff who have interest or experience providing care to the LGBTQIA+ community are encouraged to join. If you have any questions or would like to become a board member, please contact: Alana Embriano, Psy.D. by e-mail or 860-782-2521.

Creativity in Therapy

Throughout October, participants in our Extended Day Treatment program in Plainville and Middletown took part in an art project called "Torn Paper Transformations." the project celebrates the act of overcoming something and experiencing a transformation of some kind at some point.

Letting go of things can be hard. Whether it's past trauma, a loss we are grieving, unhealthy relationships, or destructive thinking, it can be challenging to find the balance between honoring what we have through but no longer letting it define us.

We believe that the idea of transformation is representative of many people’s journey to become their authentic/true selves. Learn more about Torn Paper Transformations.

Past Events and Initiatives

Moment of Silence in remembrance of Matthew Shepard
Wednesday, October 7th @ 12:00pm

In the early morning hours on October 7, 1998, then-college freshman Matthew Shepard was senselessly murdered in Laramie, Wyoming. This tragic event is widely seen as one of the most horrific anti-gay hate crimes in American history. We encourage anyone who is comfortable and willing, to practice a Moment of Silence in honor of Matthew Shepard, and in solidarity against anti-LGBTQ+ violence, crimes, and actions

GLAAD Spirit Day
Thursday, October 15th

According to GLAAD, more than 70% of LGBTQ+ students report being verbally harassed and hearing homophobic remarks from teachers and/or school staff because of their gender expression; 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ youth reported that they had been physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime due to their LGBTQ+ identity, and more than half of transgender and non-binary youth have seriously considered suicide (those numbers are even higher for LGBTQ+ youth of color).

Show solidarity with LGBTQ+ youth in the most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world. Each year, LGBTQ+ youth disproportionately face bullying and harassment, because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and physical presentation. Today, consider “going purple” by wearing something purple, or using the #spiritday hashtag to visibly increase awareness and show your support on social media platforms.

Click here to learn more about GLAAD Spirit Day, download resources, pledge your support, or to help spread the word!

Bridging the Gap: Providing Inclusive & Affirming Care for
the LGBTQ+ Community

Friday, October 16th
Click to Register

International Pronouns Day
Wednesday, October 21st

International Pronouns Day, which began in 2018 as a global platform with the mission to make “respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace”. As providers, treaters, educators, allies and supportive individuals, we have an obligation and responsibility to refer to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves. Below are some helpful tips for sharing your pronouns, and empowering your clients, patients, students, and other important people in your life, to feel safe to do the same:

Practice using your personal pronouns in everyday conversations and interactions (both verbal and written)
To the degree that you are comfortable and feel safe to do so, introduce yourself using your personal pronouns: “Hi, my name is Brandi, and I use she/her pronouns”. Use this as a pivot point to ask the person you are speaking with, what their pronouns are.

To the degree that you are comfortable and feel safe to do so, include your personal pronouns in your e-mail signature. This will let others know your personal pronouns, and indicate that you are creating a safe space for them to share theirs, if they feel comfortable to do so.

It’s “personal” not “preferred”
When referring to someone’s pronouns, use just the word “pronouns” or the phrase “personal pronouns”. The use of the phrase “preferred pronouns” indicates that the individual made a choice, when in reality, their pronouns and gender identity are an innate part of a person’s being - and not determined out of preference

Ask, don’t assume
It’s always respectful and appropriate to ask someone their personal pronouns. If they aren’t comfortable sharing, that’s okay! If they need to know more about personal pronouns, that’s your chance to shed some light on how pronouns are personally designated to reflect a person’s gender identity. Assuming you know someone’s pronouns based on their outward appearance, can be harmful.

It’s okay to stumble. Accept responsibility, and do better next time
It can sometimes be challenging to train our brains to shift away from the automatic process of determining or recalling someone’s past personal pronouns, or the pronouns we assume they identify with. This is often the case with people who we have communicated with using a certain set of pronouns for a prolonged period of time, who have recently made a change to their personal pronouns. It’s okay to trip up – the important part of this process is accepting responsibility and accountability in the moment, and moving on. Practice makes perfect, and ensuring that you are intentional and respectful in your communication will go a long way.

Create a safe space, but don’t have expectations
We have a responsibility to one another to create safe, affirming and encouraging spaces for those around us to be their authentic selves – including sharing and using their personal pronouns. We can do this by being open, encouraging, warm and inclusive – both in our words and actions. While our role is to create these environments and spaces, that doesn’t mean that others will be willing, comfortable, or at a place in their journey to share their pronouns or other personal information about their gender identity or sexuality at that time – or ever. Creating the space and being affirming is enough. If/when people are ready and comfortable, you’ll be prepared to offer them a soft, safe place to land.

October is LGBTQ+ History Month

In 2018, the Pride Flag was redesigned by graphic designer Daniel Quasar. The redesign added a five-colored chevron to the rainbow Pride Flag to “place a greater emphasis on inclusion and progression”. The black and brown in the chevron represent both marginalized LGBT communities of color, and those living with AIDS and those no longer living, and the pink, light blue, and white colors in the chevron represent Transgender Pride. The flag itself as a whole represents the continued need for forward movement and progress around LGBTQ+ rights. In the spirit of solidarity with and acknowledgement for the LGBTQ+ community, we have created a special edition Wheeler logo that incorporates the Progress Pride Flag colors.

LGBTQIA Resource List

Click to download

Visibility Campaign Stories

Visibility Campaign stories are pulled from Wheeler's diverse and talented staff to shed light on the rich cultural diversity that exists in our workforce.

A $100,000 gift is funding the creation of a specialized service to provide transgender adolescents and young adults with peer support, medical care, and gender-responsive therapy. “Walk With Me” will launch this spring at Wheeler’s community health centers in Plainville and Hartford. It is an outpatient treatment track for LGBTQ+-identifying young people ages 10-25.
Wheeler shares stories during LGBTQ+ History Month of our diverse and talented staff to shed light on the rich cultural diversity that exists in our workforce.
As part of LGBTQ+ History Month, we are sharing our very first Visibility Campaign, where we look to our diverse and talented staff, to tell their stories and shed light on the rich cultural diversity that exists in our workforce.
As part of LGBTQ+ History Month, we are sharing our very first Visibility Campaign, where we look to our diverse and talented staff, to tell their stories and shed light on the rich cultural diversity that exists in our workforce.
More than 60 community leaders, donors, neighbors, and Wheeler staff and trustees celebrated Wheeler’s newly renovated and expanded Family Health & Wellness Center in Plainville.
Wheeler received a $5,000 grant from the Bristol Brass General Grant Fund at the Main Street Community Foundation to support its Walk With Me program. The grant will be used to support the work of a peer support specialist and enhance and expand parent/caregiver services for LGBTQIA+ families.
John and Brian Pica-Sneeden started their foster care journey nearly 30 years ago. Since then, they have adopted six of their foster children – one as recently as last month!
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