The LGBT, which stand for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender group have come a long way to be accepted and treated equal. In the past, they were mostly discriminated against for deviating from the traditional gender expectations but over the past decades, they have progressed towards achieving the same equality that those who only have opposite sex attractions face. They go through life sometimes without being accepted by their family and the community in which they live in. Even though this present society is more enlightened of the LGBT group and are now accepted and given equal rights in most states, their years of discrimination still prevents them from feeling safe and protected in their community. All these discrimination behaviors have caused an increase in the rates of psychiatric disorder, suicide, substance abuse in the LGBT group (Manzer , O’Sullivan & Doucet, 2018)
Despite the importance of protecting people from discrimination in the healthcare setting, there has been many stories reported in the media about how some people of the LGBT community have been unfairly treated and discriminated by healthcare professionals. They mostly delay seeking for medical treatments because of past experience such as having some healthcare providers blatantly refusing to care for them because they go against their beliefs, some have actually received less than optimum care because of their sexual orientation, and having to deal with some healthcare workers judgmental attitudes towards them. LGBT community continuous to encounter barriers to accessing health care mainly because of their reluctance to disclose their sexual or gender identity when receiving medical care; they are mostly reluctant to disclose their sexual and gender identity when receiving medical care. The reasons sometimes being fear of homophobic reactions, confidentiality concerns, past negative experiences with providers and fear of stigmatization. Also, there are always insufficient number of providers that are competent in dealing with their issues, having structural barriers that impede access to health insurance and limiting medical decision rights for the LGBT and their partners and having lack of culturally appropriate prevention services (Manzer, O’Sullivan & Doucet, 2018)
Fear of stigmatization also prevent most of the LGBT people avoid seeking medical health for fear of stigmatization or maybe because of negative experience they have had. They sometimes fail to identify themselves as being in the LGBT group because they are scared that the healthcare professionals might be homophobic.To help promote the use of healthcare for the LGBT people, practitioners will need to improve awareness and take the necessary steps into creating an open, non-hostile environment. There has to be more community outreach and education to help attain optimum health care for this population (Manzer , O’Sullivan & Doucet, 2018).
Manzer, D., O’Sullivan, L. F. & Doucet, S. (2018). Myths, misunderstandings, and missing information: Experiences of nurse practitioners providing primary care to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. 27(2), 157-170.
According to Healthy People (n.d.) research shows that people who identify as LGBT are unable to have access to health care because of things like discrimination, stigma, and denial of their rights. Because of LGBT discrimination has been shown that bars and clubs were often seen is the only place where LGBT individuals could get together safely, this created alcohol abuse problems within the LGBT community (Healthy People, n.d.). Many LGBT populations are shown to have high rates of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco use (Healthy People, n.d.). Lesbians are also less likely to get preventative services for cancer (Healthy People, n.d.). Not being screened for cancer shows that the LGBT community indeed does not use healthcare services.
I think biological factor could be that a transgender person does not feel comfortable seeking health care for fear of discrimination and fear of not being taken seriously by healthcare practitioners. Another biological factor maybe that gay men and transgender people are at a higher risk for HIV and other STDs (Healthy People, n.d.). This can contribute to the LGBT community needing more help services but for fear of discrimination not pursuing them. A psychological factor into not using healthcare services could be fear of discrimination from the healthcare provider. Many transgender individuals have also been shown to have mental health issues and a high level of victimization both can contribute to transgender people not seeking medical advice (Healthy People, n.d.). Transgender individuals are also shown to be less likely to have health insurance than heterosexual or LGB individuals (Healthy People, n.d.). Not having insurance can be from societal factors like discrimination in employment and health insurance benefits. Environmental factors could be that there is lack of laws protecting against bullying LGBT individuals in schools (Healthy People, n.d.). Bullying can cause further psychological trauma that can contribute to mental illness. Socio-cultural factors may be that many health care providers in the United States are not knowledgeable or culturally competent in LGBT health matters (Healthy People, n.d.). Behavioral factors that can contribute to LGBT seeking health care are that many LGBT people have mental health issues that can prevent them from asking for help from health care providers.
Researching for this discussion post was very interesting as I learned about how much discrimination and oppression affects LGBT individuals. I have always thought that in this day and age, discrimination would not happen very often. I could see how people may not agree with LGBT individuals and may have their own personal bias and treat LGBT people differently.