NOTE: The intended purpose of this blog is to advocate for LGBTQIA+ health and for the diverse LGBTQIA+ community to have access to inclusive, competent service providers.
As a reader, I hope that you will accept this as a term meant to include a large and diverse range of LQBTQIA+ adjacent identities. In this blog, I hope to include also identities such as transgender, transsexual, trans man, and trans woman that are prefixed by trans-, but also identities such as genderqueer, neutrios, intersex, agender, two-spirit, cross-dresser, genderfluid, and more.
For the sake of easier reading, I will write “LGBTQIA” and “LGBQIA community”, but know and understand that I believe all identities and individuals deserve accessible and approachable healthcare.
Healthcare continues to be a critical topic of discussion. More specifically, healthcare as it relates to people who are part of the LGBTQIA community.
The LGBTQIA community continues to face disparities in healthcare for a number of reasons— whether it be social stigma, institutional bias, or simply lack of education – LGBTQIA people have less access to healthcare than their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts.
Let’s discuss how LGBTQIA healthcare is lacking and what we can do to help close these gaps.
LGBTQIA Healthcare Inequities
The unfortunate truth is that there are healthcare providers who hold prejudices and negative biases against people in the LGBTQIA community. Because of this, LGBTQIA people are less likely to have health insurance or a primary healthcare provider, which leads to LGBTQIA healthcare concerns going unnoticed and untreated.
This is a major contributing factor for the higher disease transmission and progression rates in the LGBTQIA community. They’re at a higher risk for HIV/AIDS
Higher disease transmission and progression also affects mental health and well-being. With less access to proper healthcare, LGBTQIA people become susceptible to suicide ideation, mood disorders and anxiety, and alcohol and substance abuse.
Out of fear of judgment and scrutiny, LGBTQIA people are less likely to seek professional care when problems arise.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Because of disparities and inequities in healthcare, LGBTQIA people are not given the opportunity to live long, healthy lives.
Finding Doctors You Can Trust for LGBTQIA Healthcare
As an LGBTQIA person, it’s important that you find doctors who are supportive, accepting, and trustworthy to care for you.
These disparities are due to a lack of education and training for healthcare providers, limited health benefits for trans men and trans women, and institutional bias that has been weaved into the healthcare system for decades.
Here are some helpful resources when searching for a healthcare provider as a LGBTQIA person:
- World Professional Association for Transgender Health
- Care Dash (this website now has the option for healthcare providers to indicate if they are LGBTQIA-friendly)
You can also visit the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association’s (GLMA) website, whose mission is to ensure health equity for LGBTQIA people through research, education, and advocacy.
Bridging the Gap in LGBTQIA Healthcare
I am committed to providing safe and welcoming spaces as a healthcare provider, both in-person and online. I believe every human being deserves equal access to adequate healthcare no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.
If you are a healthcare provider who wants to become more educated about caring for LGBTQIA patients, check out the National LGBTQIA Health Education Center.
If you are an LGBTQIA person searching for a pelvic floor physical therapist, I’d love to hear from you and learn more about your concerns. Click here to book a FREE 20-minute discovery call with me.
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