The things that surprised me most about the discrimination were the lack of action when AIDs was first discovered and the role physicians played in increasing discrimination against LGBTQ people. Its really horrible how many people were allowed to die to this disease due to prejudice against the LGBTQ community. It is also horrible how physicians tried to use science to justify their own prejudice. This shows why it is so important to be aware of unconscious bias, so that we do not end up letting it affect how we treat others.
I think the most important part of trying to reduce discrimination is to get people more familiar with people who aren’t like them, as this can prevent them from viewing groups different them as an ‘other’ like what happened during the AIDs epidemic. While we still have a long way to go to overcome prejudice we are slowly getting closer and can work together to reach that goal faster.
Coming into Thursday’s lecture, I was well aware of most of the discrimination that people in the LGBTQ+ community face in both the health field and in life in general. However, one of the most surprising things I learned was who initially pathologized homosexuality. I quickly assumed that the church/religion would have started this idea, but instead I found that it was actually medical professionals. Because of this, homosexuality was then diagnosed as if it were a disease. From then on, the stigma of anything outside the heteronormative person became evident and that stigma still persists today—through conscious and unconscious biases. And while bias against the LGBTQ+ community is clearly present, it surprised me to learn that bisexuals were more discriminated against in comparison to lesbian or gay people.
Discrimination of LGBTQ+ peole because of their sexual or gender orientation is not new to me, but it’s always shocking in the way that people would be discriminated against for something so seemingly trivial. While some biases against this community may be unconscious, this problem must still be addressed. I think the first step to confront this problem is to be informed of gender and sexual orientation and expression. I think by learning more about the different ways people can express themselves made it easier to be more understanding of others in the LGBTQ+ community. Being more informed about others and consciously acknowledging our biases against this and other communities would be a big step in the right direction to ending discrimination in the health field. What else do you think can be done to counter discrimination and bias against LGBTQ+ individuals in the health field?
Thursday’s lecture about health disparities of LBGTQ people was shocking to me. I never knew that after all of these years LBGTQ are still being mistreated, especially by doctors and other medical staff who are supposed to be helping everyone.
What surprised me the most was the HIV/AIDS epidemic and how nobody took action. The entire outbreak could have been minimized if HIV was not written off as the “gay disease.” The government and healthcare professionals didn’t take action because they figured the disease wouldn’t affect them. Their lack of action and sympathy led to an entire epidemic that killed thousands of people.
It also surprised me that people don’t know about the preventative HIV drug that is on the market. Especially after the deadliness of the original epidemic, you would assume everyone should know how to avoid a similar situation. Insurance companies and the drug company cover most of the cost of the drug, yet not that many people are using it. Or the people who are using the drug are at the lowest risk of actually getting HIV. There is a lack of awareness for such a useful drug that could save thousands of lives.
The United States is supposed to be an accepting place where everyone has the opportunity for a better life. But as a country we have a history of forgetting about and mistreating minority populations. My question is what steps do we need to take in order to fix this problem and give equal treatment to everyone?
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?
I learned many new things from Thursday’s lecture, but the most surprising thing I learned was about how unjustly LBGTQ individuals were treated in hospitals and medical practices. This general theme also relates back to the lecture pre-reading. I am mostly referring to the NPR article “In The Hospital, There’s No Such Thing As A Lesbian Knee.” In the article, there are many stories of LGBTQ people who faced injustice and difficulties when attempting to get help from medical institutions. A story which hit me the hardest was an anecdote about how a lesbian woman wasn’t granted permission to enter her dying partner’s hospital room. Stories like this and also ones about how LGBTQ people are not always granted the organs they need for survival because of their lifestyle or about how they are misdiagnosed at a higher rate than non-LGBTQ people are a definite cause for concern.
I believe there are currently so many problems in the LGBTQ healthcare field because of the way some people still view LGBTQ people in our society. Not everyone is educated on what being a part of the LGBTQ community means, and unfortunately, this can influence medical professionals as well as everyone else. I believe and hope this problem is getting better, as new doctors take over for older ones the mindset towards LGBTQ people will become more accepting and fair. My question to pose is this: what additional reasons do you believe are part of why LGBTQ individuals are sometimes mistreated now, and what can we do to change this in the future?
Unconscious bias plays a big role in health care disparities, and it can greatly impact patients needing care. However, the LGBTQ community suffers the most when it comes to unconscious bias affecting health care. The most surprising thing I learned from this week’s lecture is that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) actually used to categorize homosexuality as a mental disease. It shocks me to think that a person’s sexual orientation could be thought of as an indication of or a type of mental disease just because the concept did not fit with what may have been the majority mindset or opinion at the time. I was also shocked to learn that there were even forms of therapy available meant to “treat” homosexuality, including electric shock therapy, meant to make the patient feel pain whenever they thought of homosexual desires. Conversion therapy even still exists and is legal today in the United states.
People in the LGBTQ community already face discrimination and prejudice on an everyday basis from people who think their sexual orientation is “wrong.” Unconscious bias furthermore makes their lives more difficult by causing disparities when it comes to LGBTQ receiving health care. Many are forced to wait longer than their heterosexual counterparts and receive lower quality care because their concerns are often dismissed or mistreated by healthcare professionals.
So what causes these unconscious biases? I think answering this question would be the first step in finding ways to reduce unconscious biases and disparities in LGBTQ healthcare. I also think that because this question has still remained unanswered, it has been extremely difficult to improve LGBTQ health care. What can be done to make sure that all people receive equal, fair, high quality health care?
The most surprising thing that I learned from this past lecture was how homosexuality was considered a disease that needed to be cured. Homosexuality is not something that simply started in the early 1900’s. Many of the early societies, such as the Greeks and Romans, fully embraced the entire spectrum of sexuality. I believe that one of the main reasons there was such a large stigma around being homosexual was the fact that it was considered a disease. Doctors take an oath to do no harm, but is it not harmful to tell someone their lifestyle is something that needs to be cured?
In my opinion, the main reasons there are health inequities in the LBGQT field is because of how current medical professionals treat them. Their are numerous cases of doctors mistreating these people whether it be misgendering them or blatantly refusing to treat them. These actions have dire consequences, in many cases these people end up dying or committing suicide. I believe that it is up to us as the next generation of medical professionals to reduce these disparities. What are your plans to help reduce health disparities in the LGBQT community in the future?
Health disparities in the LGBTQ community is not a topic that we hear about in everyday discussions, mainstream media sources, or typical classrooms. Thus, there was quite a bit of new knowledge that I gained from this lecture and almost all of it was surprising. However, if I had to choose one surprising thing from this lecture, it would have to be the story about the medical professionals who quite severely misdiagnosed the transgender male African-American on the basis of objective bias against him. It was shocking to me that a professional of any type, especially in the medical field which is supposed to be the smartest and most compassionate field of work, could have such a discrepancy in their service. What are some possible solutions to eliminating those biases in medical professionals?
Are those biases the reason it has been so difficult to improve LGBTQ health? In my opinion, biases seem like the most logical mountain that the LGBTQ community has had to climb to improve their healthcare, and they are still only on the headwall approaching the summit. The roots of this perspective issue derives mostly from the issue of the history of discrimination against the LGBTQ community in healthcare and false information that damaged the LGBTQ population. The effects of this damage is still evident among the LGBTQ community today and is the most substantiated argument for why LGBTQ health has been so hard to improve.