As healthcare professionals, there is an ethical responsibility to remain vigilant in our competency and knowledge of the needs of diverse groups, including LGBTQ2-identified people.

Yet, despite this responsibility, there is clear evidence suggesting that LGBTQ2 people have negative experiences in healthcare settings.

Most recently, the House of Commons Standing Committee released their extensive report on the health and well-being of LGBTQ2 people in Canada in 2019. The report concludes that providers’ knowledge of LGBTQ2 people and their health-related needs are currently inadequate across the country, and it calls for more frequent and accessible training on this topic.

In 2014, the Trans PULSE study indicated that 1 in 10 trans-identified people in Ontario were refused care in ER clinics. This study also noted that 40% of trans-identified people in Ontario have experienced discrimination from their family doctors and 21% have avoided the ER when they needed it because they’re transgender.

Trans-identified clients have also identified some main barriers in accessing healthcare services, including:

  • being concerned that the service they access won’t know accurate information about trans people

  • being afraid that they will experience silent harassment/microaggressions (e.g. being whispered about or stared at)

  • the fear of experiencing physical violence

  • being misgendered (i.e. called by a pronoun that they do not identify with)

  • hearing hurtful language about trans people, whether directed at themselves or others

Physical and mental health care professionals can create change in a variety of ways, including organizationally, and through actual service provision. The following offers information on providing LGBTQ2-inclusive care, backed by empirical evidence, at institutional and service provision levels.

Two hands with text. Allow & Validate negative emotions. Make Space for Positive Coping.