Why is LGBTQ Affirming Healthcare Important?

There’s an urgent need for more research into inclusive healthcare practices for the LGBTQ community. That’s because we suffer higher rates of medical conditions such as mental health issues, drug and substance abuse, self-harm, and suicide. We also have a harder time finding medical providers we can genuinely open up to about our healthcare needs. LGBTQhealthcare.com offers comprehensive answers to most of your medical inquiries.  

Factors That Prevent Equality in Healthcare Provision for LGBTQ Patients

The LGBTQ community has made great strides in campaigning for and receiving long-withheld civil rights. Although commendable, the following factors still hinder our access to quality healthcare services:

1). Lack of Adequately Trained Medical Providers

Most don’t understand the unique aspects of the LGBTQ community’s healthcare needs. These include hormone therapy, gender confirmation surgery, STD prevention and treatment, understanding intersex patient needs and much more. While a doctor might be conversant with lesbian or gay people, they might still be unable to help bisexual, trans, and intersex patients adequately.

2). Low Numbers of Openly LGBTQ Medical Providers

Due to intolerance and negative societal perceptions, many medical providers who’d identify in the LGBTQ community decide to remain in the closet. The fear of being judged by their peers, faculty, and patients might lead to internalized homophobia. This situation makes it hard for LGBTQ patients to find doctors who can empathize with them.

3). Stereotypes, Stigma, and Open Discrimination

Widespread ignorance about the LGBTQ community ultimately results in low-quality healthcare. Some medical providers assume HIV and STD rates among them are solely a result of sexual promiscuity. Some doctors also show implicit and explicit bias against members of the community.

4). Lack of Clear LGBTQ-Focused Policies

Some medical forms only have the “male” and female” option when asking about gender. They also use terms such as “women’s health,” where “vaginal health” would make trans women more receptive to service provision. Some doctors use medical terminology that’s transphobic or insulting to patients that they deem to be non-gender conforming.

Importance of Inclusive and Affirmative Healthcare for LGBTQ People

Visits to medical facilities can make one nervous, even without considering sexual identity issues. Some patients have a hard time discussing private matters. The situation is even worse for LGBTQ people who also belong to racial, ethnic, religious, or other minorities. If they have no confidence in the healthcare system, they won’t seek medical help until it’s too late.

They may also hide information that may prove useful in creating a successful treatment plan. A better relationship with healthcare providers will prompt the community to open up about our unique healthcare needs. The result is medical research and treatment solutions that benefit not only the LGBTQ community but the larger society as well.

Medical practices that have inclusive and affirmative healthcare also receive more goodwill. LGBTQ patients have heterosexual families and friends that love them. They’re more likely to recommend a practice that shows kindness to their loved ones and visit it for their own medical needs.

How to Find LGBTQ-Friendly Medical Providers?

The following tips will help you identify affirmative healthcare providers:

Word of mouth: Your friends will have reputable recommendations about LGBTQ-friendly practices, especially if they’ve received treatment in the past.

Local LGBTQ centers: Because they deal with these specific queries regularly, these centers have a list of friendly and dependable medical providers.

Online resources: A Google search of your preferred practice + “LGBTQ” provides some insight into whether they have friendly policies. Several pro-LGBTQ activist organizations also have some answers to your specific medical needs. They include the National LGBT Health Education Center, Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA), and Planned Parenthood.

You should also visit the provider’s website and read online reviews about them. If that isn’t enough, call them to inquire whether they have an inclusive policy for LGBTQ patients.

At LGBTQ Healthcare, we have a comprehensive directory of friendly medical providers across various cities and states. Our extensive platform lists them by their specialties, including infectious diseases, behavioral health, HIV/AIDS, dentistry, and OBGYN. We always strive to improve our services by listening to and acting on your suggestions. Browse our listings page today if you need a partner that understands your unique health needs.