Every June, pride month is celebrated. This is the time that the LGBTQ+ community is favored and have parades and parties celebrated in recognizing their growing community. This is where they showcase their rainbow of colors signifying their colorful lives.
Though most countries have accepted this community, there are still countries and laws that make the LGBTQ+ community worry about their safety and lives. Even in our country, there is still violence against this community. Especially in school, most of the time a child is bullied because of being “DIFFERENT” from others. Over the past year, a record has shown that 42% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered suicide. And adolescent transgenders have a 35% suicide rate or has attempted suicide. One study from the National Center for Transgender Equality has found that 40% of transgender individuals has been recorded to have attempted to commit suicide at least once, more before the age of 25. Even without those stats, if we attend LGBTQ+ parades and festivities, we can always see people protesting with signs and bullhorns showing the vilest hate against these communities. Even though they are just signs, it will still hurt those people whom they are protesting from.
In celebrating this pride month, the medical field is also involved in this. There is also a lot of discrimination happening inside our health care facilities. We need to input to our health workers not to discriminate between gender identity or who a person loves. There have been reports that a significant number of LGBTQ+ patients have experienced discrimination in healthcare situations. The stats show that 57%have been subjected to slurs, 51% to microaggressions, and another 51% to sexual harassment, with racial/ethnical minorities having the higher percentage odds of these stats.
We must help our community and specially those in the medical field to be ready and aware of the LGBTQ+ health issues, be it mental health, HIV/AIDS, hormone therapy, or surgeries related to transitioning. Not only knowing their health problems, but healthcare workers must also learn how to speak to the LGBTQ+ patients in a proper, respectful, and understanding way.
Next, we need our hospitals and clinics to have proper ground rules and some solid guidelines to ensure nobody faces discrimination because of their sexual orientation, keeping their information confidential, and always respecting their chosen names and pronouns.
Next is about their mental health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) have discovered that adults in the LGBTQ+ community are twice as likely to be heterosexual and experience mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts. For transgenders, that number almost quadrupled. Healthcare workers need to spot these issues and provide the right kind of mental health support.
Next is about their sexual and reproductive health that our healthcare personnels should be prepared to address their unique needs. From advice to safe sex, fertility options for same-sex couples, and other healthcare needs.
Transgenders have more needs and deserve dedicated attention. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) needs to be mastered by our healthcare professionals and other surgeries needed by these groups and the potential emotional impacts of transitioning are also things needed by transgenders.
In this ever-changing world of ours, the LGBTQ+ community is increasing rapidly. The respect and acceptance of this group is highly needed, for us to live with them peacefully and harmoniously.