LGBTQ+ Pride Month – Coming Out to Your Health Care Provider
It's LGBTQ+ Pride Month, so I'd like to share something I saw on the Mayo Clinic News Network. If you feel you can do so safely, please, come out to your healthcare provider. It could literally save your life.
I totally get why you might not want to. Depending on how old you are, you may be worried about confidentiality. Or judgement. While the laws are in your favor for most of us, when it comes to being a minor, I hear your concern and have no good answer for you there. I just don't.
You'll have to feel out the situation, ask for guidance from people you trust, and see where it leads you.
On the judgement end, while there are certainly some medical 'professionals' that are judgmental, the vast majority of the professionals you'll meet in a Mayo Clinic or Olmsted Medical Center facility will not judge you for coming out.
How Do I Come Out to My Care Team?
Often, when you're filling out forms for the doctor or nurse or anyone else in your care team, you'll see a line that asks about your sexual orientation or gender identity.
Dr. Natalie Erbs, a Mayo Clinic family medicine physician, said, "Sometimes it's hard to say the words out loud, but it's much easier to click a button. But again, we want to know that about you to get you the right care and get you to the right place."
Why Does It Matter
Beyond just having the information to consider when considering your medical care?? Well, medical folks like to know their patients, but honestly, it doesn't matter beyond that. They don't give a rip if you're queer...it's all about the health care.
"It affects what type of screenings you might need for certain sexually transmitted infections, depending on the type of sex you're having, and what exposures you might have to other things like HIV," says Dr. Erbs. "Some of my patients might qualify to be put on HIV prophylaxis to prevent HIV, depending on the type of sex and who they're having sex with."
As someone who's written a lot about mental health, I hope you'll remember your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and I just learned Family Service Rochester is forming a new Adult LTBTQIA+ Group, and, of course they do youth and adult counseling. Click here for contact info to ask about FSR's Counseling specifically for the LGBTQIA+ Community.
As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen to James Rabe and Jessica Williams 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM's Early Morning Show.
On an entirely unrelated topic, this puppy needs to be found!