Accessing affirming healthcare

For many people, talking to a healthcare provider about your health and body can be intimidating. This can be extremely stressful for the LGBT community. You may be asked questions that can be difficult to discuss, such as your family health history and your own health history and behaviors, including use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, sexual behavior, and interpersonal violence.

You might feel uncomfortable answering some questions or unsure how the provider will respond to your concerns. However, being able to communicate with your healthcare provider about your health and concerns is critical for them to provide you with the highest quality and most accurate care. Your healthcare provider should be able to give you straightforward, nonjudgmental feedback and guidance about your body and wellness, but they have to start with the whole picture!

To take the anxiety away from making health care visits, be prepared.

Health History

Lots of people get nervous and their minds go blank in health care situations, so it may be helpful to prep a little. You can make the best use of your time by writing down questions and bringing them to your visit.  Consider your main concern or reason for attending the health care provider and any questions you may have.

Documentation

Maintaining copies of your health information is a good way to take ownership of your body, wellbeing, and health care. Keep a record of what happened at each visit plus anything you want to follow up on.

Feedback

Don’t be afraid to give your health care provider feedback. Their job is to help you understand your body and lead you on the path to wellness! Never leave without fully understanding your diagnosis or prescription…let them know!

LGBTQ Health and Wellness Resources

Ten things Lesbians should talk about with their health care providers

Center for Disease Control: Lesbian and Bisexual Health

Sexually transmitted infections: a guide for lesbian and bisexual women

Center for Disease Control: Gay& Bisexual Health

Ten Things Gay Men Should talk about with their health care providers

HIV/AIDS among Gay, Bisexual, and other Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)

Ten Things Transgender Persons Should discuss with Their Healthcare Care Provider

I’m Trans. Do I need birth control?

 

Here are some tips on finding affirming health care providers in your area: