June is Pride Month, and Kaiser Permanente West Los Angelesis joining the voices that are uplifting and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community, a community created from hope, strengthened by diversity, and united in pride. Whether or not you consider yourself as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, you may not know that there are many health concerns affecting this group. This month, we offer tips and resources to help our LGBTQIA+ community get the best health care possible, so they can thrive in mind, body, and spirit.
1. Set yourself up for success. Before you make a doctor'sappointment:
• Check clinic websites. They may state that they're LGBTQ+ friendly. You can also check out the website www.glma.org to find doctors and counselors in your area who are friendly to the LGBTQIA+ community.
• Read doctor reviews and profiles online. They can help you get a sense of how comfortable you'd feel with a particular doctoror counselor. Ask others in your community for recommendations.
2. Get support. If you have a partner, consider bringing them to appointments. They may be able to help you stay relaxed, ask questions, or take notes. If you don't have a partner, you can ask a friend or family member to go with you.
3. Find the right doctor. If you don't feel like you can be open and comfortable, look elsewhere. You shouldn't have to hide or downplay your relationships or who you are. And you shouldn't feel judged. It's okay to try out different doctors. And it's okay to ask a lot of questions. If you get nervous in a health care setting, you might try repeating a positive affirmation like "I deserve good care."
4. Learn more about gender health and gender-affirming surgery. For patients who are considering gender-affirmation surgery, the Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center can help. As the referral center for gender-affirmation surgery within Kaiser Permanente Southern California, our mission is to provide high-quality, equitable, and compassionate medical care to our transgender and gender non-conforming members. Our teams consist of qualified providers who deliver primary care, mental health, endocrinology, and certain surgical procedures for our members.
To learn more about Kaiser Permanente's gender health services and transgender care, click here.