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Identity Impact

When Society’s Expectations Collide With The Authentic Self

In Identity Impact, Dina Proto, a Registered Nurse, outlines the clinical connection between societal expectation of gender identity and role as children develop and the potential increase in health complications disparities throughout their life span.

Drawing from her more than 25+ years in healthcare – as bedside nurse in critical care, hospice, administration and everything in between – she challenges us to examine this critical question:

What is the potential fall out when a child’s identity doesn’t fit neatly into society’s box?

Proto believes that while we all struggle through the stages of growth, those along the LGBTQ+ continuum experience an additional layer of identity development, as well as stages of grief, that impact their coping mechanisms.

She asserts that the very people in our lives trained to mold and shape us into adults are, in fact, ill-prepared to guide the development of those within the LGBTQ+ community due to a lack of understanding, relevant research, and mandated ongoing education and training. Proto believes that by opening up the conversation around gender identity we can stop the cycle of treating health complications only after they occur, and start providing education to prevent them.