Doctors and LGBTQ leaders explain why it’s important to come out to your healthcare provider

Written by on June 21, 2021

Doctors and LGBTQ leaders explain why it’s important to come out to your healthcare provider

By Brittany Sweeney

June 21, 2021

Photo by Negative Space from Pexels

During Pride Month the Mayo Clinic is informing the LGBTQ community that it’s important to let their healthcare provider know who they are. This information is critical, they say.

Listen to the story.

Adrian Shanker, founder and executive director of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, wrote the book “Bodies and Barriers, Queer Activists on Health.” 

It’s a collection of healthcare experiences from LGBTQ people and challenges they have accessing care and medical services.

Shanker says although revealing information about gender and sexuality to your doctor may be uncomfortable.

“Well, the saying is, ‘to treat me, you have to know who I am.’ And it’s impossible for a clinician to be able to provide the care that any patient needs if they don’t know enough about our lives, if they don’t know about our behavioral risks, doctors need to be able to ask the right questions, requests the right screenings, order the right tests to meet that person’s life,” Shanker says. 

It is absolutely crucial to a person’s well being to level with a provider.

“We need to be out to our doctors, we need to have honest conversations with the people providing healthcare to us. That way they can provide the best care that we need for our bodies and our lives,” he says. 

If someone is not comfortable sharing personal information with their doctor, Shanker says, they should find a new provider.

He also suggests bringing a friend to appointments for support.

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