LGBTQ Advocacy

Unlearning Binary Thinking: Embracing Full Spectrum Frameworks to Better Serve Trans and Non-Binary Youth in Systems of Care

J. O'Dougherty

J. O’Dougherty

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Workshop Session #2

9AM - 10AM -

Session Overview

What are non-binary identities and how can learning more about them increase the efficacy of our work with all youth? What is binary thinking and how can it limit creativity and damage rapport with clients and colleagues? Built on the general understanding of identities existing on spectrums, this session will offer a conceptual framework through which professionals can begin to unlearn binary thinking in order to better serve all youth in systems of care.


J. O’Dougherty (they/them/theirs) has a background in gender equity work, sexual violence prevention education, menstrual and sexual health education in classroom and community environments. Prior to their work with the RISE program at the LA LGBT Center, J. spent a year in classrooms throughout rural Oregon, leading conversations with students (K-12) and parents about consent and respect. J. has provided consultation for the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force and the UO Senate’s policy committee to better support sexual assault survivor autonomy in institutions of higher education. Over the past four years J. has facilitated trainings for athletes, university students and parents regarding gender equity and issues of sexual violence. They have a bachelor’s degree in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of Oregon and completed a thesis on the application of queer theory to sexual violence prevention strategies with youth. Throughout their own academic and career development, J. has worked with the compassion and dedication to provide advocacy, awareness and education to their communities.