Health Disparities in the LGBTQ Community

Health Disparities in the LGBTQ Community

Although there are many groups who suffer from health disparities, the LGBTQ community is one that suffers a great deal in regards to health care and biases. As the article we read proved, there are inequalities in healthcare, and while they may be unintended society, especially health care providers needs to be aware of such discrimination and work together to end it.

One thing that stuck out to me in lecture was that is there is a great bias against bisexuals then people who identify themselves as lesbian or gay. Until very recently, being bisexual was thought to be a made up identify and as a result this specific community suffered more so than others. One example showing how bisexuals are not only treated differently from the straight community but also from those of gay or lesbian identities was that  bisexuals are said to get worse treatment in areas specific to mental health and well being; some sources even say that bisexuals fall victim to drug abuse than to others of the LGBTQ community. Many health disparities such as this stem from unconscious bias towards out groups, and since the LBGTQ community is only 2-10% of the population they are especially at risk of health disparities. One way to fix this is to break the social stigma of being gay, bisexual, gender fluid, queer, or anything.

One negative thing I hear quite often is that people choose to be in this group for attention. This creates huge judgments and inequalities and is frankly not true. If more people were to understand the genetic background of being part of the LGBTQ community I believe there would be less disparities.

So, my question to you as future health providers is what do you think is the best way to break the stigma against the LGBTQ community and decrease health disparities?


5 thoughts on “Health Disparities in the LGBTQ Community

  1. In discussion we played around with the idea that various topics fall onto the spectrum of our “brave spaces”. This spectrum ranged from the “comfort zone”, to the “learning edge”, to the “danger zone”. I believe that in order to break the stigma, decrease health disparities, and become more accommodating health care providers for the LGBTQ community, we need to educate and address the issues this community is facing — no matter where we fall on the spectrum.

    As future health care providers, we are taking on a large responsibility. We have the power to change generations of unfair treatment and inequalities across the board, by simply taking responsibility for our own education and raising awareness for marginalized populations like the LGBTQ community. We are sure to make mistakes along the way, but as long as we take something away from them, these will be vital to our learning process.

  2. I believe that as future health professionals, we need to create an inviting, open, and nonjudgemental environment for those in the LGBTQ community to just be able to speak. If it is unsafe for people to even voice their thoughts, we will never learn what is wrong and how we can help.

    The next step to combat discrimination and health disparities is having the willingness to be open and learn. Our unconscious biases and fully conscious biases stem from the bubble we surround ourselves in, such as our culture, media, and families. As future health providers, it is crucial for us to take responsibility and pop that bubble. We have to take that step out to, even for one second, step into our patients’ shoes to be able to understand how to give the best care to them. We need to spread awareness, but we also must help our coworkers and other people better understand the LGBTQ community. This discrimination and these health disparities started with medical professionals, and it can end with medical professionals.

  3. In my opinion, the greatest way in which we can break the stigma against the LGBT community and reduce health disparities is by first building an understanding among the community. If we simply take the time to learn about the LGBT community we can develop a greater sense of understanding and respect, and as a result, negate any wrongful viewpoints. Discrimination often stems from not being able to identify with or connecting with another group, but when we allow ourselves to be open to learning and understanding all kinds of people we are able to foster a discrimination-free community.
    As further health care providers, it is our job to spread awareness and condemn any disparities and/or discrimination that takes place against communities such as the LGBT community. There is no valid excuse to treat certain people in different manners when it comes to our health, and it is time for us to come together and bring to light the importance of having a health system that does not discriminate.

  4. Coming into the lecture on Thursday, I was not really surprised by the discrimination that LGBTQ community faces from regular people because I have friends who are gay and bisexual. I was, however, shocked by the discrimination that they face from the medical profession. Like the doctor in the video about Josie’s story said, doctors, and other occupations in the medical and health field take a vow to protect and care for their patients. The biggest thing that stuck out to me during lecture was the history and how medical professions and citizens tried to diagnose and treat homosexuality as if there was something mentally wrong or ill, yet real illnesses like depression still are not taken seriously by some members of society. As mentioned above, I was also shocked by the fact that individuals that are bisexual were more discriminated against than gay people.
    I think the best way to end the stigma against the LGBTQ community would be to educate and train health care professionals more. I learned in discussion that doctors only receive about an hour and a half of training during medical school to deal with these kinds of situations. It is going to take more than this small amount of time to learn how to become empathetic to know ow to go about handling something you are unaccustomed to. Although, I feel like as a doctor, giving someone the medical care they deserve should not need to be taught.

  5. The best way to break these gender disparities is to consciously make an effort to accommodate to these people and make them feel comfortable. People this day in age are selfish in the sense that they only care if they are comfortable and not how their biases and words my effect another person. Being people that want to contribute to the future of health care, it is our duty to treat ALL people. Not the people you feel comfortable treating. By keeping an open mind and being willing to make an effort not just toward people of the LGBTQ community, but to make an effort to stand up for their rights and speak out against others who may not respect their rights and are possibly mistreating them. The reason the people who are uncomfortable about this subject are uncomfortable only because they don’t talk about it nor are they around it. So the best way to help change the ways of this is to educate health care professionals how to accurately treat and care for these patients better.

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