Paper Type

Master's Thesis


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling (MHC)


Public Health

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Kassie R. Terrell

Second Advisor

Dr. Nicholas de Villiers

Department Chair

Dr. Michele Moore

College Dean

Dr. Curt Lox


The concepts of gender and sexuality within counselor diversity training continue to expand and change over time; therefore, it is essential that mental health professionals are knowledgeable of the challenges faced by gender nonconforming (GNC) individuals, specifically cisgender men who wear makeup. This includes being aware of the biases and stigmas that GNC individuals face and understanding how those barriers affect their mental health.

Elements that are applicable to this population include: (a) the historical significance and implications of cisgender men who wear makeup, (b) social media platforms where cisgender men showcase their makeup skills, (c) cultural experiences of GNC people, (d) social and systematic barriers that GNC people face, and (e) the ways health professionals can apply this knowledge to their work with GNC individuals.

The primary purpose of this randomized experimental study was to examine the relationship among counselor age, gender, diversity training, and perceived counselor competence in working with cisgender men wearing makeup. Three research questions and three hypotheses were the subject of the data analyses in this study. Participants were at least 18 years of age and either a student in a Master’s counseling program or a counseling professional. Participants (n = 95) were randomized into the control group (n = 46) or the experimental group (n = 49) and completed a demographic questionnaire and the Sexual Intervention Self-Efficacy Scale (SISES); the SISES was adapted to fit the study. Participants in the control group responded to the questionnaire after viewing men without makeup; participants in the experimental group completed the same questionnaire after viewing cisgender men with makeup.

The results of the linear regression correlation analyses indicated that counselor gender, counselor age, and level of LGBTQIA+ community and gender minority training were not statistically significantly correlated with perceived counselor competency. Results suggested a slight difference between the control group and experimental group; specifically, participants in the experimental group reported lower perceived counselor competence than participants in the control group.

Implications for educators and practitioners are provided to bolster counseling professionals’ and counseling students’ competence when work with gender nonconforming individuals. Recommendations are also provided for enhancing supervision models, training and education, treatment planning, and social justice advocacy efforts.