The coming process does not just involve a singular event; it is a constant process. So this coming out day whether you are just coming out to yourself or are out in nearly all facets or your life, we encourage you to come out to your primary care provider (doctor, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, etc.).
Why do we believe this is so important?
First, we know that here in Monroe County a significant number of folks are not out to providers or do not have any access to primary care. Thanks to our Community Assessment at Rochester Pride 2012 we know that 15% of the folks we surveyed were not out to their provider, and 10% did not have access to a primary care provider (doctor, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner).
Second, if your doctor knows about your LGBT identity they should be more likely to offer key services that you would otherwise miss out on. For example, if you are partnering with men but don't tell your doctor they may not offer you a Hepatitis A vaccine. If you identify as a lesbian or bisexual woman, you are more likely than heterosexual women to have several risk factors for breast cancer. By knowing who you are, they are more likely to take relevant risk factors (such as lower rates of hormonal contraceptive use, higher rates of obesity, and decreased likelihood of giving birth than heterosexual women).
If you come out to your provider and they are unsure of health issues that may be relevant to your LGBT experience, refer them to the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association's Top 10 Health Issues Page.
Our team is also available for training and office audits if providers would like to receive more information about supporting LGBT patients, but are unsure where to start. They can contact us here via email.
If you do not feel comfortable coming out to your current provider, we encourage you to find a LGBT affirming provider.
We so firmly believe in the importance of providing access to affirming providers we are joining the effort to bring LGBT-friendly and competent healthcare to all LGBT people in the greater Monroe county and outlying areas. For information about the work we're doing, updates about our efforts to bring a LGBT clinic to Rochester, or to express interest in beocming a patient once these services are offered, visit ust at: www.everybodysgood.com/rochlgbtclinic OR email us at lgbthealth@acRochester.org.
We also encourage you to refer to our Resource Directory for a expanded list of LGBT affirming providers for everything from breast cancer screenings to dental care.