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The Future of the LGBTQIA+ Community in Healthcare – By: Marisa Eterno

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

As Pride Month comes to a close, we are given an opportunity to reflect on how much progress has been made in the LGBTQIA+ community and what is still left to improve. LGBTQIA+ individuals today are in a much better position than their ancestors when it comes to receiving care. As of early May, legislation was signed granting more gay and bisexual men the right to give blood, as restrictions made to prevent the spread of HIV ease up. While it is important to celebrate this incredible progress, there is still much work to be done across various areas of the healthcare industry. In order for patients to receive complete and appropriate care, and to one day reach the goal of true equality, there must be more done to level out the playing field.

According to a 2015 survey, 30 percent of transgender individuals feel that they have experienced medical discrepancies compared to their cisgender and heterosexual peers. Many reported being refused treatment, being provided incomplete care, and various forms of discrimination. Living in a time where professionals are letting their personal beliefs overpower their duties as healthcare providers is unsettling to a large percentage of the population.

One question that people continue to debate is what can we do to fix this? The healthcare industry is a billion-dollar operation that is tough to shake. While it will be a gradual effort and will seem unwavering at times, the more we show up and advocate for equal treatment the sooner we will see progress. Several ways you can make an impact are writing letters to various organizations that are in touch with proper officials. The National LGBT Cancer Network currently has a website set up where you can write to the Biden-Harris Administration sharing your views to help improve LGBTQIA+ nondiscrimination. Increased outreach can only improve the visibility of the LGBTQIA+ community and the hardships that they have faced.

With another Pride Month passing by, the fight remains constant. We have the ability to implement changes in our community and continue to educate people about the struggles of healthcare disparities and work towards a more transparent, equal healthcare system.

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