LGBT health and wellbeing: Finding the right care for you

Edgary Rodriguez

BY Edgary Rodriguez

4th Oct 2023 Health

4 min read

LGBT health and wellbeing: Finding the right care for you
LGBTQIA people face disproportionate discrimination in healthcare, which can stop some from seeking help. Here's how to navigate finding queer-friendly care
You're probably delaying your next doctor's visit out of fear or discomfort. Not all medical professionals are prepared to treat you, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to find an LGBTQIA-friendly healthcare provider who is sensitive to your needs, knowledgeable, listens to your concerns, and treats you with respect.
You just have to look in the right places.

What is the LGBTQIA community saying in the studies?

Delays in receiving medical care are generated by different biases, which can lead to adverse outcomes. For trans, lesbian, gay and bisexual people in some cases these delays in attention occur due to discrimination. 
According to a report conducted by UCLA, people in the LGBTQIA community are more likely to face barriers in accessing healthcare and more likely to receive unfair treatment.
Another study published in Transgender Health found that trans people are more likely to have poorer overall health, including mental health, due to delayed medical care for fear of discrimination. 
"Trans people are more likely to have poorer overall health, including mental health, due to delayed medical care"
Stonewall, a charity that stands for the equality of LGBTQIA people in the UK, asked 5,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in England, Scotland and Wales about their mental health and wellbeing.
The results show worrying numbers, including discrimination in healthcare, despite the fact that everyone is entitled by law to receive medical attention without distinction. Some of the findings include:
  • 23 per cent have witnessed discriminatory or negative comments against LGBTQIA people by providers.
  • 19 per cent do not talk about their sexual orientation with health professionals.
  • 14 per cent have avoided treatment for fear of discrimination.
  • 13 per cent of LGBTQIA people have faced some form of unequal treatment by healthcare workers.

How can you choose an LGBTQIA-friendly healthcare provider according to your needs?

Trans couple swapping healthcare advice on sofa
Regardless of your sexual orientation, gender and genitals, you need specific care for your whole body, thus your doctor should be prepared to ask relevant questions, guide you according to your needs and provide the right treatments.
However, until recently, medical training did not address diversity, meaning that not all providers are equipped with the information you need and deserve.

Ask your friends

A recommendation from someone you know is one of the most valuable sources of information. Through their opinion you can find out if the doctor is right for you.
Your network of friends can guide you to a doctor or facility where the healthcare providers treat you with respect and have the right knowledge to address your case. 

Check out the potential doctor

On the provider's website you can see details that tell you if they are truly LGBTQIA-friendly, for example, gender identity markers on the forms.
Online reviews can save you a lot of time too, as the ratings help you get an idea of the doctor's profile. However, don't blindly trust them; sometimes reviews can be misleading.

Make an initial phone call

Before your first appointment, you can answer some of your questions with a simple phone call. You don't need to give details about yourself in that first chat, but be direct—the doctor or assistant can answer your questions, for example, on discrimination policy.

Talk to your doctor

If you already have a primary care doctor, but need a specialist, you can ask for a referral. Often, LGBTQIA-friendly providers have a network of allied professionals.

Trust your gut

Does your doctor really listen to you? Are they respectful and non-judgmental? If yes, then you're in the right place. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable. You are not obliged to stay with a provider if your health needs are not being met.

Sites in the UK to find LGBTQIA-friendly providers

Trans person

Action for Trans Health

They have a list of trans-friendly medical care providers as part of their project to improve access to healthcare. As a starting point in your search, you can look at this list, but you can also contribute by adding your personal doctor.


This is an association that unites LGBTQIA doctors and dentists in the UK. You can become a member and access their events and resources. 

LGBT Foundation

With the Pride in Practice Map, you can find local healthcare professionals who have received LGBTQIA training.

LGBTQIA-friendly mental health resources in UK

LGBTQIA mental health
According to Stonewall, LGBTQIA people have a higher risk of mental health problems. Experiences of discrimination, family rejection and harassment can lead to anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. The data from Stonewall reveals that: 
  • 52 per cent of LGBTQIA people said they’ve experienced depression. 
  • 46 per cent of trans people have thought about taking their own life.
  • 13 per cent LGBTQIA people aged 18-24 said they’ve attempted to take their own life in the last year.
It is essential to seek help, some LGBTQIA-friendly mental health services you can access in the UK include:

Gendered Intelligence

Has a directory of therapists and counsellors for people who are questioning their gender, trans people and family members.

Pink Therapy

Offers a directory of mental health specialists for people who identify as bisexual, lesbian, gay, queer, trans, intersex, asexual and anyone who identifies as gender, sex or relationship diverse.
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