A visit to a health care facility can make people nervous for any number of reasons. Some people may be uncomfortable revealing sensitive information to health care professionals who need it to provide certain services. Others find it difficult to talk about private health concerns.
When people have bad experiences with health care staff merely because they are (or seem) different, they may hide relevant information about themselves – or worse, they may not return for necessary health care.
Although social acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the United States has been improving, LGBT individuals continue to face stigma and discrimination. These adverse experiences, combined with a lack of access to culturally-affirming and informed health care, resulting in many health disparities for LGBT populations. Thus, there is an urgent need to provide inclusive, high-quality health services to LGBT people so that they can achieve the highest possible level of health.
Our training approaches focus on creating an environment in which these conversations are more comfortable for the patient is an essential goal for all health care staff. Because health care is for everyone, health care workers must be prepared to serve people of all backgrounds including the diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.