20 LGBTQ+ Healthcare Resources You Should Know About
My name is Cat Perez, and I’m the Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of HealthSherpa, a platform and team of people helping individuals find, enroll in, and use quality, affordable health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Personally, I’ve struggled with access to healthcare as a queer, woman of color. I’ve had trouble finding providers who were LGBTQ+ inclusive, navigating and understanding my options relating to family planning, and generally feeling uncomfortable while receiving care.
So why does this matter beyond my personal experience? The LGBTQ+ community faces specific health challenges at higher rates. Some major health concerns include HIV/AIDS, mental illness, substance use, and sexual /physical violence. The bottom line is that many LGBTQ+ individuals are likely to experience challenges in getting care. These include gaps in coverage, affordability, and stigma, including poor treatment from healthcare professionals.
In honor of Pride Month, I created a list of healthcare resources for the LGBTQ+ community.
About: Out2Enroll is a national organization focused on connecting the LGBTQ community with health insurance resources & ACA enrollment support.
Focused on: The LGBTQ community along with friends, families, and allies.
Resources: ACA enrollment support.
About: The GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality is the oldest association of LGBT healthcare professionals. Their organization is dedicated to the advancement of LGBT equality in healthcare for both individuals and healthcare professionals. They are leading the way in public policy advocacy as it relates to LGBT health.
Focused on: LGBT individuals and healthcare providers.
Resources: LGBT-friendly healthcare provider search & “Top 10 Issues to Discuss With Your Healthcare Provider” guides
About: The NLIRH is a national reproductive justice organization focused on advancing health, dignity, and justice for millions of Latinas, including those in the LGBTQ community. They use policy change, relationship building, culture shift, and leadership development to advance this important cause.
Focused on: LGBTQ Latinas.
Resources: Updates on federal and state policies regarding reproductive health.
About: The Human Rights Campaign represents more than 3 million members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work, and in the community.
Focused on: The LGBTQ community.
Resources: Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) — national LGBTQ benchmarking tool that evaluates healthcare facilities’ policies and practices.
About: The Advocate is a national LGBT magazine & website. They focus on news, politics, opinion, and arts and entertainment for the LGBT community. The Advocate is the oldest and largest LGBT publication in the United States and the only surviving one of its kind that was founded before the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, an incident that is generally credited as the beginning of the LGBT rights movement.
Focused on: The LGBT community.
Resources: HIV resources & stories.
About: The National Center for Transgender Equality is the nation’s leading social justice advocacy organization for transgender people. They provide a powerful transgender advocacy presence in Washington, D.C.
Focused on: The transgender community.
Resources: Transgender healthcare rights and how to file complaints of discrimination or mistreatment.
About: GayParentsToBe® provides care for LGBTQ couples and individuals as they consider their options around building a family.
Focused on: LGBTQ community.
Resources: Family building resources.
About: GSA Network is a next-generation LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that empowers queer, trans and allied youth leaders to advocate, organize, and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities.
Focused on: LGBTQI+ Youth.
Resources: Sexual Health Information
About: The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth.
Focused on: LGBTQ youth under 25.
Resources: Crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline: 1–866–488–7386.
About: The Tegan and Sara Foundation fights for health, economic justice and representation for LGBTQ girls and women. They helped create Queer Health Access which consolidates the various resources in the marketplace.
Focused on: LGBTQ girls and women.
Resources: Curated list of healthcare tools.
About: Howard Brown Health exists to eliminate the disparities in healthcare experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people through research, education and the provision of services that promote health and wellness.
Focused on: The LGBTQ community.
Resources: LGBTQ healthcare education.
About: The National LGBT Cancer Network works to improve the lives of LGBT cancer survivors and those at risk through education and the importance of screening and early detection. They also provide training for healthcare providers to offer more culturally-competent, safe and welcoming care.
Focused on: LGBT cancer survivors and those at risk.
Resources: Cultural competence training, cancer resources, education and support.
About: Raising Women’s Voices (RWV) is a national initiative working to make sure women’s voices are heard and concerns addressed as policymakers put health care laws into action.
Focused on: Women, LGBTQ and families.
Resources: Education and advocacy around healthcare policy.
About: The WPATH is a professional and educational organization devoted to transgender health. Members engage in clinical and academic research to develop evidence-based medicine and strive to promote a high quality of care for transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals.
Focused on: Transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.
Resources: Education focused on legal rights, government laws and policies.
About: The NBJC is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) communities, including those living with HIV/AIDS.
Focused on: The Black LGBTQ/SGL community.
Resources: Advocacy documents, tools, and social media elements to enhance community work.
About: The National Coalition for LGBT Health, managed and led by HealthHIV, is committed to improving the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals through federal and local advocacy, education, and research.
Focused on: The LGBT community along with friends, families, and allies.
Resources: Advocacy support, education & training.
About: The HIV Prevention Justice Alliance focuses on HIV/AIDS by sharing information, collaborating on strategic campaigns and taking bold action to win lifesaving policy changes.
Focused on: Anyone who needs information about HIV/AIDS.
Resource: Webinars & info on the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, and how to get involved.
About: SAGE is the world’s oldest and largest non-profit agency dedicated to serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elder communities. They have pioneered programs and services including technical assistance and training to expand opportunities for the aging LGBT community.
Focused on: LGBT elder adults.
Resources: Healthcare programs and services.
About: GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change for the LGBTQ community.
Focused on: The LGBTQ community.
Resources: HIV resources, videos & stories.
About: HealthSherpa’s mission is to help every American feel the comfort and security of having health coverage. HealthSherpa is a website and team of people enrolling individuals and families in subsidy-eligible health plans under the Affordable Care Act.
Focused on: Low-income & LGBTQ communities.
Resources: Health enrollment & resources.
As I close out this list, I must commend the organizations, teams (small and large), and leaders who are thinking deeply about how we show up for the LGBTQ community as it relates to access and safety in healthcare.
We still have a long way to go. We are lacking innovative products and services for the LGBTQ community. I urge leaders in tech to start thinking about solutions not just for my community but other communities that are at risk and marginalized. If you know of or come across other resources or tools, please share in the comment section below or send me a message.