$1.5M gift kick-starts sexual, gender minority health equity initiative

Monday, December 17, 2018 - 18:40 in Psychology & Sociology

When Perry Cohen experienced an urgent health concern earlier this year, his town’s only care provider who specializes in working with LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) patients wasn’t available to see him. He went to a different doctor, then to a second. Both times, when the providers learned that Cohen was transgender, “their faces fell,” he recalled. “It wasn’t about malice; it wasn’t about not affirming me,” he said, “but rather, they had this look of, ‘Oh, no, I don’t know if I’ll be able to help this patient.’ They didn’t want to get it wrong, but they were out of their element.” Cohen’s confidence in both doctors ebbed. “I felt that their fear of messing up on a cultural or emotional level hampered their ability to do their usual rigorous critical thinking,” he said. Too often, for Cohen and countless other LGBTQ patients across the country, the problem begins not in the...

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