Coming Out to Your Doctor, Scary but Necessary.

Discussion
Nov 12, 2015
by: hmeyer

People fear coming out to their doctors for many reasons. However, it is necessary in order to get the proper treatment.

People who identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ fear coming out to their doctors for many reasons, the main reason being discrimination. People believe their doctor may look at them differently and not give them the treatment because of their sexuality.

Studies by Reuters Health show that many people that do not come out to their doctors due to fear of discrimination. This puts those people at high risks for medical problems because they can not necessarily get the right treatment.

Some people believe not coming out to your doctor is dangerous and not well thought out because you are just putting yourself in danger of health risks. However, people have good reasoning for not telling their doctor that they are gay,lesbian, bisexual,or transgender due to the fact that they fear their doctor will not understand and either discriminate or not know how to handle their specific needs.

In an article by Andrew M. Seaman for Reuters Health states the following, “Yet LGBT people often avoid seeking medical care because they're afraid they might face discrimination or that doctors might not understand their special health needs.” Some of the dangers mentioned include, the fact that lesbian and bisexual women have a higher risk of developing cancer than straight women if they do not receive the proper healthcare. If you avoid screenings and you have a precancerous issue then by the time it is caught it may be too late.

On January 15 in New York Barbara Warren, spoke people about the importance of coming out to your doctor. She tells them that yes,it may be scary and you may not want to, however if you don’t you are putting yourself at risk.

Yes, healthcare programs do require you to tell them because as the article says “Does it matter if healthcare providers know whether a patient is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender? Yes.”(Reuters Health)

Coming out to your doctor or healthcare provider is important for many reasons. The main reason however, is so that you can get the proper care so that you can be healthy and safe.

According to Reuters Health there are many reasons to talk about LGBTQ+ health. This is very true because many people see it as a topic that should be kept quiet about and shouldn’t be made public.

The first reason is that if one told their doctor and healthcare provider about their sexuality then they will have better healthcare outcomes.This is because now the doctor knows the special needs that, that person has and how to successfully treat the person without running into complications.

According to research 97% of people identify as straight, 2% as gay, and only 1% as bisexual. ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) this has most likely changed. However, for all we know some people may have lied in fear of being discriminated against , disowned, or being harmed.

Many people look past the fact that people in the LGBTQ+ community also are at a higher risk for mental disease.

These people are at higher risk because they have a mindset that if they tell people then they will be discriminated against or hurt. Also, these people once they come out and are openly gay, bisexual, or transgender get bullied and harassed because of who they are.

If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community come out to your doctor and don't be afraid to be you. Yes, it will be scary but it will all benefit in the long run.

Comments

This is important advice,

SeanMcComb's picture
Submitted by SeanMcComb on Tue, 2015-12-01 16:02.

This is important advice, Heather. I think that sometimes people only think of health in the physical sense, and can forget about mental health. Sometimes aspects of who we are or what we do can put us at risk in terms of health in different ways than we might assume.

Heather, This is an important

arianae2016's picture
Submitted by arianae2016 on Wed, 2015-12-02 15:02.

Heather,
This is an important issue that many people do not really think about. There are so many things that straight people are ignorant to, whether it be on purpose or unwillingly. While it seems like it might not be a big deal, it is necessary. People think that you only have to come out to family and friends, but it is so much more complicated than that. I would have never even thought about this had I not come across your article. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to a topic that I, and many people, are so uneducated about. I think it would be so scary to come out to your doctor, because there are two way they could react and they are so vastly different. On one hand, the doctor could react negatively and throw all of the history you have with them away in an instant, I don't know if I would be able to handle that- the rejection. It is so unethical to just drop a patient because of something as trivial as that. On the other hand, though, they could react like anyone normal person would, with acceptance and adjust what they have to do to keep you safe and move on. Thank you again for helping me realize something I would not have if it weren't for your post!
Sincerely,
Ariana

Heather, This is an important

arianae2016's picture
Submitted by arianae2016 on Wed, 2015-12-02 15:02.

Heather,
This is an important issue that many people do not really think about. There are so many things that straight people are ignorant to, whether it be on purpose or unwillingly. While it seems like it might not be a big deal, it is necessary. People think that you only have to come out to family and friends, but it is so much more complicated than that. I would have never even thought about this had I not come across your article. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to a topic that I, and many people, are so uneducated about. I think it would be so scary to come out to your doctor, because there are two way they could react and they are so vastly different. On one hand, the doctor could react negatively and throw all of the history you have with them away in an instant, I don't know if I would be able to handle that- the rejection. It is so unethical to just drop a patient because of something as trivial as that. On the other hand, though, they could react like anyone normal person would, with acceptance and adjust what they have to do to keep you safe and move on. Thank you again for helping me realize something I would not have if it weren't for your post!
Sincerely,
Ariana

Thank you

Submitted by Heather on Mon, 2015-12-07 17:09.


First I would like to say thank you for your positive feedback. I am happy to know that i have opened someone else's eyes to this topic. At first i was like many and did not think about the variety of people that one must come out to. This research has benefited me in a variety of ways and i am glad to be doing the same for others. again thank you so much for your positive feedback and i hope to hear from you again.

sincerely,

Heather

 

Heather, This is an important

arianae2016's picture
Submitted by arianae2016 on Wed, 2015-12-02 15:02.

Heather,
This is an important issue that many people do not really think about. There are so many things that straight people are ignorant to, whether it be on purpose or unwillingly. While it seems like it might not be a big deal, it is necessary. People think that you only have to come out to family and friends, but it is so much more complicated than that. I would have never even thought about this had I not come across your article. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to a topic that I, and many people, are so uneducated about. I think it would be so scary to come out to your doctor, because there are two way they could react and they are so vastly different. On one hand, the doctor could react negatively and throw all of the history you have with them away in an instant, I don't know if I would be able to handle that- the rejection. It is so unethical to just drop a patient because of something as trivial as that. On the other hand, though, they could react like anyone normal person would, with acceptance and adjust what they have to do to keep you safe and move on. Thank you again for helping me realize something I would not have if it weren't for your post!
Sincerely,
Ariana

Heather, This is an important

arianae2016's picture
Submitted by arianae2016 on Wed, 2015-12-02 15:02.

Heather,
This is an important issue that many people do not really think about. There are so many things that straight people are ignorant to, whether it be on purpose or unwillingly. While it seems like it might not be a big deal, it is necessary. People think that you only have to come out to family and friends, but it is so much more complicated than that. I would have never even thought about this had I not come across your article. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to a topic that I, and many people, are so uneducated about. I think it would be so scary to come out to your doctor, because there are two way they could react and they are so vastly different. On one hand, the doctor could react negatively and throw all of the history you have with them away in an instant, I don't know if I would be able to handle that- the rejection. It is so unethical to just drop a patient because of something as trivial as that. On the other hand, though, they could react like anyone normal person would, with acceptance and adjust what they have to do to keep you safe and move on. Thank you again for helping me realize something I would not have if it weren't for your post!
Sincerely,
Ariana

Yeah, I see so many things on

Submitted by greyes on Fri, 2015-12-04 02:42.

Yeah, I see so many things on Facebook, like women who have funny stories about how their doctor was completely ignorant to the fact that you can be sexually active, and NOT get pregnant without using contraceptives...Anyway, I've never gave this particular topic much thought until now. I'm interested to hear more. I feel as though Transgenders are more comfortable with "coming out", because with the actual cross-over dealing with the hormones they take, and operations, they have to at least have trust in at least one doctor, right?

Heather, I think your point

Submitted by Cborgialli on Fri, 2015-12-04 12:13.

Heather,

I think your point is interesting and it has never crossed my mind before. You state that lesbian women are more likely to have cancer than straight women. I think that there needs to be more research on this because all of our physical anatomy is the same excluding transgenders and people who are taking hormones. Aside from them, physically, all medicinal practices still apply. I think that for doctors who could treat you for something that is more mental than physical, talking to them about your sexual orientation could be important. If you are gay, a doctor wouldn't give you a whole different kind of treatment for a physical injury. I think it is more important to come out to your friends and family because they are the ones who know you better and will provide support. Also, if your doctor does judge you for being bisexual, gay, transgender, or anything else... you should probably find a new doctor.

Thank you for your feed back.

Submitted by Heather on Mon, 2015-12-07 17:18.

Thank you for your feed back. I am continuing my research and i realize this was not the best article I went by  information i found. I agree it is most important to come out to friends and family however, your doctor should be aware because if you take hormones or medicines like that you may need different treatment due to the way your body reacts. Thank you for reading and i will keep your comment in mind as i continue my research.

Heather,I think your point

Submitted by Cborgialli on Fri, 2015-12-04 12:14.

Heather,

I think your point is interesting and it has never crossed my mind before. You state that lesbian women are more likely to have cancer than straight women. I think that there needs to be more research on this because all of our physical anatomy is the same excluding some transgenders and people who are taking hormones. Aside from them, physically, all medicinal practices still apply. I think that for doctors who could treat you for something that is more mental than physical, talking to them about your sexual orientation could be important. If you are gay, a doctor wouldn't give you a whole different kind of treatment for a physical injury. I think it is more important to come out to your friends and family because they are the ones who know you better and will provide support. Also, if your doctor does judge you for being bisexual, gay, transgender, or anything else... you should probably find a new doctor.

Really informational!

Submitted by bzanti on Mon, 2015-12-14 10:59.

This entry gave me a lot of insight on how discriminated against LGBT people are when it comes to even their physical health. My only question is, are there any laws set to prevent discrimination due to sexuality or gender? I know anti discrimination laws exist, b

Really informational!

Submitted by bzanti on Mon, 2015-12-14 10:59.

This entry gave me a lot of insight on how discriminated against LGBT people are when it comes to even their physical health. My only question is, are there any laws set to prevent discrimination due to sexuality or gender? I know anti discrimination laws exist, b