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Malathy is a 30-year-old woman of colour whose family you have cared for since they immigrated to Canada 10 years ago. Malathy is the eldest daughter of the working class family. Recently, she has visited your office several times with complaints of fatigue, weight loss and an inability to concentrate. For the past several visits, you have attributed these concerns to the fact that she is in the process of completing a demanding Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at a prominent university and that her symptoms are due to overwork. Today, however, you realize that the situation is far more serious.

Malathy has come to your office today in a distraught state:

  • She was dishevelled, crying, and present with several bruises

  • She tells you she had a fight with parents regarding her refusal to continue seeing a man her parents set her up with

  • Malathy shares that she as always known that she is sexually attracted to other women, and that she is in love with her long-time girlfriend (but the relationship has been under some tension lately - the girlfriend disagrees with Malathy’s reluctance to “come out“ to her family)

  • During the fight with her strict parents, she divulged this information to her parents and demanded that they respect her wishes

  • The conversation ended when Malathy’s father grabbed her and struck her, saying that he would not let a “daughter like you“ live, citing some religious scriptures.

  • Malathy fled the house and called your office for an emergency appointment - you’re the only person that she can trust to help her.


What should you do ?


What are the unique coming-out issues faced by a lesbian in an ethnic minority community?


What are the issues faced by a woman of colour in the lesbian community that is predominantly white?