TPC Journal-Vol 11-Issue-3 - FULL ISSUE

370 Christian D. Chan, Camille D. Frank, Melisa DeMeyer, Aishwarya Joshi, Edson Andrade Vargas, Nicole Silverio Counseling Older LGBTQ+ Adults of Color: Relational–Cultural Theory in Practice Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) communities have faced a history of discriminatory incidents with deleterious effects on mental health and wellness. Compounded with other historically marginalized identities, LGBTQ+ people of color continue to experience disenfranchisement, inequities, and invisibility, leading to complex experiences of oppression and resilience. Moving into later stages of life span development, older adults of color in LGBTQ+ communities navigate unique nuances within their transitions. The article addresses the following goals to connect relational–cultural theory (RCT) as a relevant theoretical framework for counseling with older LGBTQ+ adults of color: (a) explication of conceptual and empirical research related to older LGBTQ+ adults of color; (b) outline of key principles involved in the RCT approach; and (c) RCT applications in practice and research for older LGBTQ+ adults of color. Keywords: relational–cultural theory, theoretical framework, older adults, LGBTQ+, people of color Multiple forms of oppression have been historically documented across conceptual and empirical literature for the broad spectrum of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) communities across the life span (Chan, 2018; Chan & Erby, 2018; Meyer, 2014, 2016; Singh, 2013). Further, Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) have experienced multiplicative deleterious effects combined with psychosocial factors that culminate in racial discrimination and marginalization (David et al., 2019; Sue et al., 2019). Oppression for BIPOC communities and LGBTQ+ communities often cascades across the life span and culminates in a number of health disparities (Choi & Meyer, 2016; Fredriksen-Goldsen et al., 2015, 2017). Given these complex dimensions with social identities, researchers have expanded their focus to examine social conditions, such as education and health care, to accentuate the needs of older LGBTQ+ adults of color (Howard et al., 2019; Kim et al., 2017). Although researchers have given more attention to LGBTQ+ BIPOC (e.g., Jackson et al., 2020; Velez et al., 2019), older adults within these communities are typically omitted in practice, advocacy, and policy (Kimmel, 2014; Porter et al., 2016; Seelman et al., 2017; South, 2017). Combined with this pattern of exclusion, older LGBTQ+ adults of color are forced to navigate a dearth of resources and complicated climates that fail to properly recognize multiple overlapping forms of racism, heterosexism, genderism, and ageism (Kim et al., 2017; Woody, 2014). Within the counseling profession, gaps in culturally responsive services and advocacy combine with alarming rates of barriers, health disparities, and underutilization of mental health services (Chan & Silverio, in press; Kim et al., 2017; Lecompte et al., 2021). Relational–cultural theory (RCT) operates as a cohesive and modern theoretical approach founded on values of feminism, equity, empowerment, and social justice (see Comstock et al., 2008; Duffey & Trepal, 2016; Hammer et al., 2016; Kress et al., 2018). Instances of disconnection can be prominent at older adult stages of life (Seelman et al., 2017), and RCT offers a purposeful framework for increasing relational The Professional Counselor™ Volume 11, Issue 3, Pages 370–382 © 2021 NBCC, Inc. and Affiliates doi: 10.15241/cdc.11.3.370 Christian D. Chan, PhD, NCC, is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Camille D. Frank, PhD, NCC, LPC, is a lecturer at Eastern Washington University. Melisa DeMeyer, PhD, NCC, LPC, is an assistant professor and program coordinator at Oregon State University-Cascades. Aishwarya Joshi, MA, NCC, LPC, is a doctoral candidate at Idaho State University. Edson Andrade Vargas, PhD, is a visiting assistant professor at Palo Alto University. Nicole Silverio, MA, NCC, LMHC, LMFT, is a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Correspondence may be addressed to Christian D. Chan, 228 Curry Building, Department of Counseling and Educational Development, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, P.O. Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402,