Barriers to care for LGBTQ community

Jun 21, 2021 | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (11)

June is Pride Month, which is celebrated annually to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, and the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender queer and gender nonconforming people have had on history. LGBTQ people often experience barriers to accessing health care and preventive services, which can result in disparities in both cancer risk and treatment.

"Many of those disparities are rooted in stigma and discrimination that have really historically been an issue for this population," says Dr. Jewel Kling, chair of the Division of Women's Health in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Kling discusses cancer screening, prevention and treatment for LGBTQ people, and the importance of finding a trusted healthcare provider.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Read the full transcript.

For more information, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

Connect with others in theLGBTQIA Support Group.

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Podcasts blog.

And elegantly, you forgot that intersex persons have the same, or even more problems. But you did not mention them with a single word

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Please note that comments were removed from this discussion as they did not comply with Mayo Clinic Connect's community guidelines (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/about-connect/tab/community-guidelines/). The guidelines help keep the Mayo Clinic Connect community safe, supportive, inclusive, and respectful.

In particular, I would like to highlight guideline number 2
2. Remain respectful at all times.
– Exercise tolerance and respect toward other participants whose views may differ from your own. Disagreements are fine, but mutual respect is a must.
– Be inclusive. Not everyone shares the same religious or political beliefs. Don't impose your beliefs on others.
– Personal attacks against members or health care providers are not acceptable. Such posts will be removed.

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@lindes

And elegantly, you forgot that intersex persons have the same, or even more problems. But you did not mention them with a single word

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Hi @lindes, that is an oversight to have forgotten intersex persons. I agree that intersex persons face similar and unique barriers to health care. What challenges unique to intersex persons would you like health care professionals to be more aware of? What tip(s) would you offer to other intersex persons?

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Please accept the fact that I am a concerned father of a lesbian daughter and her wife. I most certainly am not here to point fingers or to ridicule anyone for their decisions with regards to the paths that they have decided to take in life.

When I initially saw the posts about healthcare barriers for a significant sector of our population I naturally began to wonder if my daughter and her wife might possibly have difficulty in receiving equal treatment medically.
I contacted her and presented the question to her and she was quick to reply that she’s never experienced anything that made her feel awkward or that she wasn’t receiving very good care and that her dignity was never infringed upon. As their father, I have to tell you that I feel much better now.
I will leave with something that I learned in the military many years ago.

Equal is not always fair
And
Fair is not always equal

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@gary1316

Please accept the fact that I am a concerned father of a lesbian daughter and her wife. I most certainly am not here to point fingers or to ridicule anyone for their decisions with regards to the paths that they have decided to take in life.

When I initially saw the posts about healthcare barriers for a significant sector of our population I naturally began to wonder if my daughter and her wife might possibly have difficulty in receiving equal treatment medically.
I contacted her and presented the question to her and she was quick to reply that she’s never experienced anything that made her feel awkward or that she wasn’t receiving very good care and that her dignity was never infringed upon. As their father, I have to tell you that I feel much better now.
I will leave with something that I learned in the military many years ago.

Equal is not always fair
And
Fair is not always equal

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Gary, I'm glad that this post led you to asking your daughter and her wife about their experiences with health care. I'm also very glad to hear that they have not faced any stigma or felt they were getting inferior care.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @lindes, that is an oversight to have forgotten intersex persons. I agree that intersex persons face similar and unique barriers to health care. What challenges unique to intersex persons would you like health care professionals to be more aware of? What tip(s) would you offer to other intersex persons?

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Like most older intersex persons, I lived a large chunk of my life not knowing why I looked different than my peers. What is disturbing to me is the fact that I am a Mayo patient for more than 30 years, and did all my annual physicals in Rochester. None of the doctors I had over time (internalists), who for sure saw me without clothing covering my body, ever said anything about why I am the way I am.
I have not any adult hair (except on my head) on my entire body, and just a little bit of pubic air (I would compare this to max Tanner 3), and i still seem to have my pre- puberty skin, With other words, I did not masculinize at all. But nobody seemed to care about this?to detect a Y chromosome! Next time I went to the Mayo, I asked my endocrinologist to please initiate a Karyotype test, and he did (with a blood sample) and it came out with XY. This did not provide any answer to my question, and once I asked him he said he thinks I have hypogonadism, but I never was checked for this. I could have mosaicism, and PAIS, who knows?
I wish physicians would have more concern about patients who are obviously different. It might not be medically required, but we want for sure know what is going on with us. For our entire post puberty life, we were either made fun of, or had other negative experiences, and it simply would be good for our well being, to know why we are the way we are. I, for example, developed real female type breast, and I was not really overweight, and nothing was said about this. I also transitioned over to be a female, and i was treated the same as any other trans person, but I never had any kind of dysphoria to be mentioned. I never felt all right as a male, but I am a very happy woman now
I am still not sure why I am the way I am?
I would like the physicians to really take our concerns serious, and not just wipe them aside, and come up with a condition that kind of makes sense, but not really,
Listen to us, many of us are pretty well educated in this field (I have a PhD in biomedical sciences), and work with us. It is very important for us, to know why we are the way we are, to make sense of our life! And not just wipe it aside, because we seem to be pretty healthy to the outside. But we are not, we live with a body we cannot understand!

Thanks for listening!
Linde

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@colleenyoung

Gary, I'm glad that this post led you to asking your daughter and her wife about their experiences with health care. I'm also very glad to hear that they have not faced any stigma or felt they were getting inferior care.

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Besides all my other stuff, I am also lesbian. I never had any problem because of my sexual orientation.

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@lindes

Besides all my other stuff, I am also lesbian. I never had any problem because of my sexual orientation.

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I have 3 daughters and upon their first year and first semester of high school I was very firm that they had to take Army ROTC. After that they could take any of the many other electives offered.
Much to my surprise, each daughter went on and remained in the program until they were graduating seniors.

I believe that as a result of the discipline and self confidence that was instilled in them their paths to success have been made easier for them than might otherwise have happened.

1 daughter is a lesbian
1 daughter’s list of friends are predominantly gay/lesbian
1 daughter is a doctor and is very respected throughout her LGBTQ community.

Medically what commonalities do these 3 share? Other than their yearly checkups they don’t seek medical attention of any kind unless there are bones protruding through skin with blood….lol. Seriously, I think that their military experience toughened them to a point that they don’t sweat the little stuff.
I can assure you that my daughter would be very calm, very direct and would not tolerate any type of care that she deemed as being anything less than that which is offered to anyone else.

I hope that I didn’t ramble to much…if so, please do not hesitate to delete this entry.

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@gary1316

I have 3 daughters and upon their first year and first semester of high school I was very firm that they had to take Army ROTC. After that they could take any of the many other electives offered.
Much to my surprise, each daughter went on and remained in the program until they were graduating seniors.

I believe that as a result of the discipline and self confidence that was instilled in them their paths to success have been made easier for them than might otherwise have happened.

1 daughter is a lesbian
1 daughter’s list of friends are predominantly gay/lesbian
1 daughter is a doctor and is very respected throughout her LGBTQ community.

Medically what commonalities do these 3 share? Other than their yearly checkups they don’t seek medical attention of any kind unless there are bones protruding through skin with blood….lol. Seriously, I think that their military experience toughened them to a point that they don’t sweat the little stuff.
I can assure you that my daughter would be very calm, very direct and would not tolerate any type of care that she deemed as being anything less than that which is offered to anyone else.

I hope that I didn’t ramble to much…if so, please do not hesitate to delete this entry.

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I have never ever been close to any military stuff, but yet I achieved a PhD in Biomedical sciences, and have many patents. i don't think that any of your daughters got better academics or better people because of the military stuff you forced onto them. They are simply great women who are making their mark in the world. As a fellow woman I am very proud of these young women!

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@lindes

I have never ever been close to any military stuff, but yet I achieved a PhD in Biomedical sciences, and have many patents. i don't think that any of your daughters got better academics or better people because of the military stuff you forced onto them. They are simply great women who are making their mark in the world. As a fellow woman I am very proud of these young women!

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Thank you very much for your kind words. I don’t think that I was as good of a father as I should/could have been. I suppose that my intent with ROTC was my way of helping them become strong both mentally and physically and to help them see that they have the ability to overcome and succeed.

I knew that I would not likely be around and at the time and I wanted for them to have no fear moving forward towards any goals that they chose.

Again, thank you

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@gary1316

Thank you very much for your kind words. I don’t think that I was as good of a father as I should/could have been. I suppose that my intent with ROTC was my way of helping them become strong both mentally and physically and to help them see that they have the ability to overcome and succeed.

I knew that I would not likely be around and at the time and I wanted for them to have no fear moving forward towards any goals that they chose.

Again, thank you

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You must have been a good dad, because you what thought was best for your
daughters, and that is all that counts.

I still admire these young ladies that they showed the strength to achive
what they did.
I know from my own life how hard it is for women to get forward, and it is
even harder if ones sexual orientation is not mainstream.

Congratulations to you for your top girls!

Dr. Linde Schlei

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