Ever-Expansive Care: Supporting LGBTQ Patients and Families

Meredith Cox, MDiv


Pediatr Nurs. 2021;47(6):305-308. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


I cannot remember the specific instance of when someone first prayed for me using my pronouns, but I will never forget the feeling. It still washes over me to this day when someone offers their voice in prayer for me using they/them pronouns as they, in turn, fully honor me and my story. It feels like coming home after a weary journey. Much of my existence as a nonbinary person is erased daily – I must constantly advocate for myself as I educate and forgive. When someone prays for me, though: "May Meredith have peace, let them know they are loved…," my whole being is filled with teeming energy and affirmation all at the same time. I am a spiritual care provider, and in my years of preparing for and doing this work, I have been prayed for many times. When I experience the feeling of reassured wholeness as someone uses my pronouns in prayer, it keeps me going. Prayer is intimate to me – a blessing of one person bestowing their heart for another. One may or may not find the practice of prayer as something of significance to them and their journey, but I truly believe in the impact we as health care providers can have through every interaction when we offer someone this kind of deep respect and knowing. When we understand an identity in the LGBTQ community and make the conscious effort to use the pronouns and name a transgender or nonbinary person uses, we offer wholeness, blessing this person and their existence in a world that too often offers them shame. We make a difference.