A place where LGBT Caregivers can share without feeling like we have to define our relationships in order to feel supported. Please introduce yours. Please Share.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Caregivers Support Group.
Hello @gibbie53 Nice to e-meet you here on Mayo Connect. I am Scott and I was a long time caregiver.
It is exciting to see someone here begin a discussion for LGBT caregivers. Caregivers have lots in common as we travel this incredible journey.
I look forward to hearing more from you on this topic.
Strength, courage, and peace
Thanks for opening this discussion. Can you get the conversation started? What are your caregiving challenges at the moment? What do your days look like?
Hi @gibbie53 thanks for creating this space. It's really important, with LGBT people constantly being overlooked in healthcare contexts. I know exactly what you mean when you talk about feeling like we have to define our relationships in order to feel supported. It's frustrating that the places we are meant to go to heal tend to be judgmental about our identities and personal lives. Personally, I'm queer and gender non-conforming, so I am constantly dealing with this when in healthcare spaces. I haven't gone to any healthcare appointments with my partner as yet, but I am not looking forward to the responses we might receive. It isn't ideal to be this pessimistic 🙁 But after so many negative experiences and members of our LGBT community sharing those types of experiences, I think it's genuinely realistic rather than pessimistic. That's me, anyway. I'd love to hear about your thoughts/experiences as well.
@ayeshasharma I have had many work years experience dealing many types of people. All races, genders (or non), socioeconomic representations, ages, belief systems, mental/physical/emotional levels. It has always baffled me how people get disrespectedjust because they follow something that is unfamiliar to another. My mother was very closed-minded. She showed me by example how i didn't want to be. My heart.absolutely aches to see mistreatment.
@ayeshasharma, I imagine that it must be particularly difficult when getting looks and feeling the judgment, but no one actually saying anything. I find such attitudes come from a place of ignorance and people being uncomfortable with something they don't understand. How do you deal with what isn't said? What ways have you found to be constructive and instructive when dealing with healthcare providers who are or appear to be judgmental?
@colleenyoung I have just opted to telling the truth about my identity and my experiences. But, unfortunately, this isn't always met with the best responses. I've encountered individuals who have had more negative responses than I, and they seem to distrust the medical space more and more as a result. What has come of that has been alternative spaces for healing, or institutions that are reputably more understanding to the needs to LGBTQI+ people like Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York for an example, which tailors its services to LGBTQI+ people.
Hello @ayeshasharma I am saddened to read of the challenges you face in your healthcare. It seems to me healthcare should be a non-judgmental environment, but at least here in our area it is getting more of just what you are facing. I am glad you have found some solid alternatives.
Just this past week a long time friend of mine was recounting how often he has encountered prejudice and thinly veiled animosity due to his sexual orientation, especially in his own healthcare journey. Personally, in our smaller community, I have encountered our local hospital passing judgement based on sexual orientation increasing and being based on their historic religious founding — and it is the only offering in our immediate area. Likewise our daughter has, more than once, been refused to have her birth control Rx filled by some pharmacists who feel it is 'wrong' of her to need this since she is unmarried.
I am an old fellow and having come of age in the '60s I had such hope that our society would become more tolerant than we were at that time, but sadly we seem to be moving in just the opposite in so many areas.
I am hoping for the best for you!
@IndianaScott Thank you. I appreciate your personal reflections on the experiences of those who are close to you. We tend to have more empathy and understanding when we have loved ones who experience discrimination or antagonism.
@ayeshasharma I have two close friends who are trans, and several who identify with other-than orientations. The disrespect shown to non-mainstream individuals is appalling, whether that difference is a life-style or orientation, or as in my case, autism. It makes me spitting-mad.
I am the mother & grandmother of gay men. It pains me to see what they sometimes must endure from the public. Unfortunately the smaller towns here in Iowa are not as accepting, but our larger areas do have more facilities to help them with their heath needs. My son told the Dr. upfront when he went to see him a couple years ago, that he was gay and it that was a problem he would go elsewhere. My son has been diagnosed with early Alzheimer's Disease and is trying to get his Social Security disability approved. It is a long process and he has contacted our Iowa Senators for assistance. I hope it is approved soon.