Nicholas Rush, RDN, CDNApril 1, 2021
The LGBTQ community is one which is severely underserved and marginalized when it comes to access to healthcare services. Healthcare professionals have a responsibility to familiarize themselves with the different social and health-related barriers which this population face, however, the system most often falls short. That is why it can be helpful for members of the LGBTQ community, to know where to seek healthcare services and mental health support, how to advocate for themselves when dealing with health-related issues and what rights they may have within the system.
The following are a list of resources available to LGBTQ folks within New York City:
LGBTQ Health Center: At New York City Health and Hospitals LGBTQ training has been mandatory for all staff since 2011. Majority of these facilities hold the “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality”. To earn this distinction, healthcare facilities must train all staff on LGBTQ healthcare needs and create LGBTQ-responsive policies.
Metropolitan Pride Center: This is another NYC Health and Hospitals center focusing on the health needs and health disparities of the LGBTQ community. They have a special emphasis on physical and mental health. Metropolitan has a Healthcare Equality Index which means that they work to protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination, ensure equal visitation for LGBTQ people and provide staff LGBTQ trainings.
NYC Sexual Health Clinics: These NYC clinics provide low-cost affordable treatment for STIs including HIV. Anyone who is 12 years of age or older can walk-in and receive treatment despite immigration status and without need of parental consent. They provide a sliding-scale payment for those who do not have health insurance. The center has a hotline which can be reached by calling 347-396-7959.
Callen-Lorde Clinic: This clinic is a well-known LGBTQ+ friendly healthcare facility in NYC. They have services for adolescents, women’s health, Transgender health, dental, HIV services and behavioral health. In order to further the training of healthcare professionals they offer 2 weeks rotation opportunities, providing a comprehensive approach to LGBTQ healthcare. They also have a 12-month nurse practitioner fellowship for those interested in LGBTQ health.
Gay Men’s Health Center: This center was the first HIV/AIDS service organization. They provide HIV and STI testing, food and nutrition programs, housing support, mental health services and advocacy for health insurance and benefits.
Centers & Support Groups:
The Center (aka The LGBTQ Community Center): These centers can be found all throughout New York State. They are prided on providing an open and welcoming environment to LGBTQ folks. They advocate for these community members, provide healthcare services, access to arts and entertainment, recovery and support for parents and families (The Center Story Video).
LGBT National Help Center: This is a national hotline that provides free confidential peer-support for anyone in the LGBTQ community of all ages. Whether experiencing bullying, family abuse, identity crisis or suicidal thoughts, a peer at the National Help Center will answer the phone and provide support. There are separate hotline numbers for youth and seniors as well. They also provide online chat support and weekly chat rooms. This page allows folks to enter in their zip code and find further resources near them.
The Gay and Lesbian Switchboard of New York: This is the oldest LGBTQ hotline in New York City, since 1972. The hotline can be reached at 212-989-0999, Monday – Friday, 4 pm until midnight and on Saturdays from noon until 5pm. This webpage also provides a lengthy list of LGBTQ resources for homelessness and housing options, Arab and African LGBTQ societies, AIDS research, Broadway Pride and different sports groups…the list is long!
Gay Parents to be: While this resource does not relate to everyone, those who are looking to start a family and are wondering what options are available, this is a great place to start. Gay Parents To Be offer resources for biological children, adoption or fostering leading to adoption.
Rights & Policy Resources:
National Center for Transgender Equality Medicare Rights: This webpage outlines the rights of coverage transgender folks have through Medicare. This includes routine preventative care, medically necessary hormone therapy and medically necessary transition-related surgery. State residency or insurance plan should not change this coverage.
2020 State Equality Index: This index outlines any major state legislature each year which effects LGBTQ folks. It is sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Federation Institute. It outlines success stories, equality per state, legislative maps, national statistics and any recent state developments. This is an excellent resource for understanding the political challenges LGBTQ folks face.
Insurance for Transgender Related Care: Here the Human Rights Campaign outlines the different coverage available per state and by insurance company for transgender related healthcare needs.
Written by: Amy Ellithorpe-Bruant, RDN
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