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Everyone has an inner RAINBOW

Back in graduate school, I completed my dissertation on Multicultural Identity Development. My chair, Dr. Mark Rosenblatt urged me to create my own minority identity development model. At that time, it seemed like an overwhelming task and I was scared of thinking outside the box. So, I attempted to improve someone else’s work. Dr. Pamela Hays had already come up with the very thorough: ADDRESSING Model. Using the word ADDRESSING as a mnemonic, each letter represents a category of social diversity. Here is her work:


Developmental and acquired Disabilities



Socioeconomic status

Sexual orientation

Indigenous heritage

National origin


Like I said, for the time (this was 10 years ago) it was very inclusive. However, I saw few ways in which it could be expanded to incorporate LGBT+ people. Therefore, for my project, I simply expanded a few items within her existing framework.

Here is my LGBT+ Adapted ADDRESSING Model:

Age & Generational influences



Religion & spiritual orientation

Ethnicity, race & Culture

Socioeconomic status & education

Sexual identity (see chart)


Nationality & Indigenous heritage

Gender identity (see chart)

Also, I expanded the Center for Gender Sanity’s Diagram of Sex and Gender:

Here’s Chandler’s┬áComplete Sexual Identity Model:

sexual identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, LGBT+, sex, gender

Since then, I have been presenting those expanded ADDRESSING & Sexual Identity Models to encourage corporations, agencies, therapists, and individuals to be more inclusive and accepting of diversity.

Then, yesterday after presenting at the Southern PFLAG Conference in New Orleans, it hit me. Here I am presenting this wonderful information but highlighting other people’s work. I revisited the idea of coming up with my own model. Once I sat down, I realized it was right in front of me, all along. Still diversity is what it is so the categories are very similar to Dr. Hays’ work. BUT, I MADE MY OWN MODEL:

Chandler’s RAINBOW Model (of course, that’s the name!)

Race: ethnicity, culture, family structure and spoken/written language(s)

Age and generational influences

Inherent and Acquired Disorders, Diseases and Disabilities: physical, neurological, mental, psychological, emotional, and behavioral

Nationality & Indigenous heritage: immigration status

Belief systems: religion, spirituality, political ideology, how you perceive others, the world and yourself

Orientation: complete sexual identity including: sex, gender identity, gender expression, gender expression attraction, practices, and sexual identity (see chart above)

Work status: socioeconomic status, education, employment/career, class, housing, safety, food security, life experience and income level

There you have it! Chandler’s RAINBOW Model in a nutshell. It is a handy mnemonic to trigger each category of diversity. Further, it is a way to do some much needed introspection about our privileges, biases, and stigmas. Just like with people, when utilized correctly there are no 2 RAINBOW’s alike. Once you’ve had a chance to identify, understand and accept your RAINBOW, you can begin working towards positive changes. Watch my latest training for more information and sharing is caring!!

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