LGBTIQ People Talk About Their Experiences Accessing Health Care


(thoughtful music) – A few years ago I was diagnosed with
Polycystic ovary syndrome and the doctors who treated me wanted to treat me as if
I was a cisgendered woman who wanted to have kids and didn’t really take into account that that’s not necessarily
the way I identified or what I wanted. – Early on after coming out
I had a negative experience actually during my first pap smear. In the middle of it,
started asking me questions about my sexuality and then giving me quite a lecture about morals and about what was right
and wrong to do with sex and about letting down my parents. All in the middle of the procedure which was a really sort
of, traumatic experience. – Just after I was, received
my positive diagnosis for HIV I sought the services of a clinic in Melbourne. Basically the assumption was made that I was just looking for a good night and basically made the choice
of having unprotected sex when actually the case was
I was sexually assaulted and that’s how I contracted HIV. – When I came out I had a
lot of issues with my family and them accepting that which led to a few years being estranged with
my mother in particular and to rebuild that relationship we had a few mediated sessions with a therapist and those sessions became
about how I’d left my mother in the dark and how I’d done wrong by her. – I ended up in a adult psychiatric ward where the doctors all
refused to acknowledge me as trans and used the wrong
pronouns like deliberately. – I’ve never had a good
experience in healthcare. – Made me feel like I
couldn’t trust doctors. It made me feel like I had
to very much bury who I am and just pretend to be normal I guess. – This experience made
me feel really vulnerable and not safe in my vulnerability, yeah. – This experience made
me feel dehumanised. It made me feel like
I wasn’t worth as much as other patients. – I’ve had one really good experience with a neurologist that I saw. She noticed that I’d ticked Mr on the box but my doctor had put
the referral as female and so she actually spoke to
me, sort of briefly about that and just asked what pronouns I’d prefer and when she then had
to write a letter again, she checked what I wanted
to actually have on it and that was fantastic. – I had a good experience with the GP who wasn’t fazed in any way. You know, didn’t blink,
didn’t act uncomfortable or awkward as soon I mentioned my partner and from the beginning I
felt that she understood that I was in a same-sex relationship, that it wasn’t particularly
relevant to the issue that I’d come there for
but if it did come up it was something that could come up very easily and comfortably. – Come across a gentle practise
and they’re really caring. They know I have HIV and
they’re just very gentle and very considerate. – My message to health care providers would be to take the time
to really learn about and become comfortable around issues relating to sexual diversity
and gender diversity. – If it’s out there and
we know that people are actually investigating
and finding information and they actually understand, it shows that understanding of that. We can actually stop being
so prejudiced ourselves and maybe try to find that help. – LGBTI people do go through more issues because we do have to
deal with mental health at a higher rate than our
heterosexual counterparts. – My message to health
care providers would be just listen to your patients. If they say that they’re trans or they prefer certain pronouns, that doesn’t really
affect you as a doctor. Just use the pronouns they ask. – It starts with just a dialogue. Communicating and not
expecting it to be listed on a piece of paper. It’s very important that
we have a communication that’s one to one and that someone is actually listening
to what we’re saying. (thoughtful music)

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