Equity in Healthcare Settings:
EQUITY, not EQUALITY- some people need more! To provide equitable care for LGBTQIA+ folks (or any marginalized group), implicit biases/assumptions must be unpacked and dealt with.
- Assigned Sex: Sometimes referred to as just ‘sex.’ Determined by 4 factors: external genitalia, internal reproductive organs, hormones, & chromosomes.
- Gender Identity: A person’s deep-rooted internal understanding of their identity on a gendered spectrum, regardless of the sex assigned to them.
- Gender Expression: How a person externally communicates gender through clothes, hairstyle, mannerisms, etc.
- Sexual Orientation: A person’s physical, romantic, sexual, emotional, spiritual, and/or other forms of attraction to others.
Why does this matter?
- 27% of transgender patients have been denied care
- 50% of transgender patients report having to teach their doctor(s) about transgender identities and health
- 70% of transgender/gender nonconforming patients and 56% of lesbian, gay, & bisexual patients have experienced at least one of the following from doctors or healthcare staff:
- Denying care
- Refusing to touch/use excessive precautions
- Using harsh or abusive language
- Blaming them for their health status
- Being physically rough or abusive
- Due to this history of discrimination & abuse, LGBTQ+ patients may delay getting treatment or avoid healthcare settings entirely due to fear of being harassed, misunderstood, mocked, or refused care.
Best Practices for Physical Spaces:
- Gender-neutral/all-gender bathrooms
- Inclusive and gender-neutral self-education materials with diverse photos
- Flags, stickers, pins
- Gender-neutral colors
Best Practices for Interpersonal Communication:
- Avoid assumptions and gendered language
- Discuss medically necessary/relevant information; don’t ask questions out of curiosity
- Always ask for consent before asking personal information
- Always affirm individuals’ pronouns. If unsure, use gender-neutral pronouns until there’s been a chance to ask the individual
- That all patients are cisgender/ heterosexual
- How a patient wants to describe/feel about their body, identity, family, and/or partner(s)
- Which bathroom someone uses
- Someone’s sexual behaviors based on their disclosed identities
To learn more about Camden County Clinic Clinical Services, visit: Communicable Diseases | Camden County, NJ
To see what Camden County is doing to celebrate PRIDE month, visit: Camden County Pride | Camden County, NJ