Michael Marshall

Black Lives Matter, Inclusivity, and LGBTQ and Mental Health Expert

Dr. Michael Marshall, MBBS, MRCPsych, DMCC, PgDip (Mental Health Law), CCT (Psychiatry), is a psychiatrist with a special interest in transgender and LGBTQ2S+ health and wellness.  He was the inaugural Program Director for the Gender Program at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Dr. Michael Marshall launched the innovative Gender Program with a view to providing comprehensive, multidisciplinary, wraparound care and wellness navigation to the gender diverse population in Edmonton and northern Alberta. He is also the Founder and Medical Director of The LGBTQ2S+ Wellness Centre in Edmonton.  This remarkable Centre exists as an oasis for the LGBTQ2S+ community – providing both a space to be and a place to belong.

Dr. Marshall is a clinician at heart and has been engaged with various projects related to the wellness of the trans community.  He is an advocate for the provision of good care and speaks widely on the systems that exist to inadvertently exclude the transgender community and in particular Black trans identities. With his lived experience in various developing and developed countries around the world, Dr Marshall has a global lens on wellness and what wellness encompasses.  He believes in community empowerment and role of individuals in the unit that is society.

As a proud Black man and proud member of the LGBTQ2S+ community, he has experienced the systems that he speaks about.  Dr Michael Marshall speaks and teaches on intersectionality, #BLM, diversity and inclusivity.  He works with organizations, governments and businesses to engage and include these populations in a respectful, empowering ways.  Dr Marshall is a sought-after expert on trans wellness and speaks internationally on trans matters. Dr Michael Marshall is a champion of LGBTQ2S+ people and in particular a champion of Black trans visibility.

Topic Presentations

We have experienced a difficult year so far.  2020 has seen an unexpected change in the world.  We are in the midst of a global pandemic.  #BLM has shaken the foundations of society and its structures and the social and economic repercussions of all of this are far reaching. The mental health consequences of this pandemic and the state of the world too, are far reaching.

In the midst of all this how are we taking care of our emotional and mental health needs?  The social isolation, the upheaval, the financial and family ramifications of the current state of affairs need to be examined.

Dr Marshall uses his training in the medical care of catastrophes to examine and offer a way to consider emotional and mental health needs as well as achieve and maintain wellness in the world we currently live in. 

The role of Black people and especially Black gender diverse people in the advancement of human rights, arts, theatre, science and in the world in general is often diminished.  In particular the role of Black trans individuals in the furthering of rights and other important aspects of life often goes unacknowledged.  Black bodies have contributed to a wealth of knowledge in the world and our lives matter.

Black trans lives are largely unseen.  Can you name a prominent Black Trans individual?  Can you name any Black trans individual?

The role of this talk is to elevate Black trans lives and achievements.    In this uplifting and celebratory talk, Dr Marshall identifies, highlights and educates on the courage, determination, resilience and successes of Black Trans individuals in the face of adversity.  

In 2020 the world watched while George Floyd was murdered in plain view.  This was on the background of repeated murders of Black people by the very people charged with community protection.  The mobile phone footage we see serve as reminders that Black individuals are not offered the same protections, humanity and dignity as other, non-Black people.

In 2020, we as Black people, are no further forward than the race protests of the 60s.  The difference now is that we have the mobile phone camera evidence of the repeated harm in broadcast worldwide and we have a denying of the systemic nature of race discrimination.

This is always a challenging topic - but here, Dr Marshall teaches that anti-Black racism is not so much individual but systemic and structural. That well meaning individuals participate in systems that perpetuate harm.  He outlines how benefiting from these systems leads to advantage not afforded to the Black person.

By the end of this talk, Dr Marshall hopes to have teased out a difficult topic and mobilize individuals to learn more and contribute. 

The world Intersectionality” was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 in an attempt to describe the overlapping identities that contribute to our personhood and selves.  She argued that people do not lead, in the words of Audre Lorde, single issue lives.  The advantage of the concept of intersectionality is that the whole person is seen rather than single parts of their lives in parallel.

Intersectionality as a concept has a lot to offer interpersonal relationships and the navigation of people in all spheres of life - work, personal and larger areas.

In this talk, Dr Marshall seeks to highlight the many parts of us as humans that contribute to the whole.  He looks at the effects of cumulative discrimination and experience in the context of these many parts. 

This talk is an amalgamation of my various talks on diverse minorities and their applicability to the workplace.  Here, I summarize the various concepts that I speak to - Black Lives; LGBTQ2S+ wellness, visibility and rights; and the intersections of the many parts of the whole person in the workplace.

In this talk, Dr Marshall raises awareness of the inadvertent micro and frank aggressions a lack of intentional examination of diversity in the workplace can result in.  He challenges the workplace to place the rights and dignity of the LGBTQ2S+ population front and centre in organizational policy and ethos. 

The 2SLGBTQ+ community have advised that their healthcare needs are not met.  There are significantly long waits for trans affirming healthcare - to the tune of years.  Basic affirming interventions are classed as cosmetic in a systemically sanctioned refusal of basic care.

Dr Marshalls expertise involves listening to the community in questions needs and designing healthcare systems that not only engage but keep persons healthy.  He has pedigree in designing healthcare systems - internationally and locally in Alberta.  He has been sought by various governments, health care providers and international organizations to write policy, design and operationalize their health care provision.  His recent work has involved working with and for the LGBTQ2S+ community and he has a track record of good system development.   

The foundations of our society and every day lives have been tested through the pandemic and never have we been forced to take a deeper look at ourselves, each other, and the current state of societal and world views. The news and media influence has become more divided then ever before, social movements have brought awareness to generations of systematic oppression, the environment is suffering due to global warming, and our work and social lives have been flipped upside down. The social isolation, the upheaval, the financial and family ramifications of the current state of affairs need to be examined.

Amid all this how are we taking care of our emotional and mental health needs? How do we move forward in an uncertain future? What are the mental health consequences we are forced to deal are difficult to identify and deal with within ourselves and within others?

Dr Marshall uses his training in the medical care of catastrophes, crisis management and mental health expertise to examine and offer a way to consider emotional and mental wellness support to maintain our relationships with ourselves and our peers.


Participants will learn:

  • Maintain clarity of what is in their control or out of their control while keeping grounded.

  • Recognize mental health symptoms in themselves and their peers.

  • How compassion and empathy erase stigmas and save lives

  • How to approach mental health conversations.

  • Develop a wellness roadmap for positive thinking and resilience.

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