Why Health Care Is the Next LGBT Battleground

Published: February 17, 2015

Andrea Majanik Bowen
Original Article:  slate.me/17qda0J

If you want to know how much work the LGBT movement still has to do, come answer phones at the offices of Garden State Equality.

Patrick, our beloved director of operations, answers the phones most of the time, and maybe half of the questions he has for me—I’m the executive director at GSE—are about the complicated binds that members of our community find themselves in. These frequently involve doctors who have no idea how to work competently or sensitively with transgender people, or housing administrators who have no idea how to make their LGBT residents feel safe when another resident or staff member is being a bigoted jerk. The list goes on.

I’m one of those people who thinks of health in broad terms: Health isn’t just about doctors. It’s about mental health. It’s about having a roof over your head. It’s about being able to get an education. It’s about feeling safe. Philosophers Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum talk about true equality being a world where people have the resources they need to live to their fullest potential. True equality is making sure those health service providers—doctors, psychotherapists, social workers, even shelter providers—actually know how to work with members of every community.

I hereby throw down the gauntlet: A major front in the battle for LGBT equality is making sure health service providers are competent and sensitive enough to meet our community’s needs.

Full text of article available at link below:  slate.me/17qda0J


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