Talking to Health Care Providers
It can be hard to tell health care providers about the kinds of sex we are having, our partners, our sexual health needs, and our bodies. This is especially true when health care providers make assumptions that aren’t right when we first meet them, or things in our lives change after we have been working with them for awhile. However, when we give our health care providers information about our bodies, our sexual activities and partners, and our medical histories, it can help us get health care that is relevant for our needs.
It may make it easier to speak openly with health care providers when we know they are part of LGBTQ+ communities or have already worked with LGBTQ+ patients. Rainbow Health Ontario has a directory of service providers who have committed to providing inclusive care to LGBTQ+ people that is inclusive. You can also ask other LGBTQ+ people about the health care providers they visit.
Sometimes, taking someone we trust with us – a support worker, a close friend, a partner, or a close family member – to our appointments can make it easier to talk to a provider.
- GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality has a series of fact sheets that list the top ten things to discuss with your health provider if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
If your health care provider wants to learn more about LGBTQ-specific health issues, consider referring them to the following organizations and resources:
- ARCH Guelph offers periodic webinars for service providers. Visit our website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to see upcoming sessions.
- Rainbow Health Ontario has a resource database, including information about training opportunities.
- Fenway Health has online learning modules on LGBT healthcare provision.