Speaking to Lesbian/Gay/Transgendered Patients

Tips for Healthcare Providers

Maybe you’re a healthcare provider. Or maybe you’re a GLBT or straight person looking for information to help a provider’s practice become more GLBT-inclusive. Either way, here are some tips for providers on how to create a welcoming environment.

Educate Yourself.

Learn about the specific health issues facing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Be sensitive. Make sure you and your staff know which pronouns are appropriate to use when referring to a transgender patient or same-sex couple.

Present visual cues. Displaying an HRC equal sign or other GLBT-friendly emblem will demonstrate that your office is a safe space for all.

Revise client forms. Allow options for male/female/transgender and use neutral terms like “partner” or “spouse” rather than “single,” “married” or “divorced.” Use “parent 1” and “parent 2” to include same-sex couples raising children.

Don’t assume. Avoid making assumptions about a patient based on their appearance. When taking a sexual history, ask, “Are your current or past sexual partners men, women or both?”

Listen attentively. Be sensitive to the fact that this disclosure may be difficult for your patients.

Our source: Human Rights Campaign Foundation

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