LGBTQ people faces discrimination and mistreatment in healthcare settings across the US. According to studies 29% of transgender people have stated that they were discriminated agaisnt by their doctors by way of refusal to provide care due to their sexual identity or perceived sexual identity. Patient Orator is brining awareness to barriers faced by the LGBTQ community in healthcare, emphasizing the need for cultural competency in the medical industry.

Meet Derrick Reyes CEO and Co-founder of Queerly Health.

Queerly Health is a digital health platform that bridges the gap between the LGBTQ community and safe, comprehensive, and culturally competent health and wellness providers. Reyes shares their personal experience with having difficulty navigating the healthcare space. As well as other LGBTQ people, people that they had worked with, including friends and family.  Reyes questions: If the future of healthcare in this county, will digital health, will digital health be LGBTQ inclusive? They state that they will ensure that it is.

Understanding LGBT Barriers in Health Care

Like many Americans, the cost is a big barrier to access. Location, in a lot of metropolitan areas you can find pretty easily LGBTQ  health clinics but what happens if you’re a trans woman who lives in Kansas. Another barrier to access is discrimination. Over 50 percent of LGBTQ people experience discrimination in healthcare settings. Lack of provider knowledge is a huge barrier. It’s not taught among providers a whole lot. Lastly, anti-LGBTQ laws at the state and federal levels.

LGBTQ Health & Stigma

We have to call things by their names. Addressing stigma whether it’s in the healthcare industry or any industry at all, we see a near future where all healthcare settings are going to be LGBTQ inclusive. We cannot speak like that (discriminatory), we can’t see that future unless we know that right now there’s a stigma that needs addressing. It’s important to address the injustices and prejudices that people have to face, that eventually lead to inadequacies in industries like the healthcare industry when it comes to LGBTQ people.

Suggestions for Providers

A great place for providers to start is with themselves and try to gauge what level of explicit or implicit biases they may have towards LGBTQ people. For example: Do you know about LGBTQ people? Do you know how to treat LGBTQ people? Do you know any LGBTQ people? If you don’t now you do! People must start to ask themselves; How can I create space for people who don’t have identities like me or maybe have marginalized identities? Start by having those conversations with yourself, and then ask other people, other LGBTQ people. Ask the internet, how do I make myself, my practice more LGBTQ inclusive.