Being able to discuss your sexual orientation and sexual activity with your medical provider is critical to your overall health. That’s why it’s important to find a medical provider you can confide in and who is knowledgeable about gay, bisexual, queer, and trans mens’ health issues.
There are a few things you can do when visiting your practitioner – or seeking a new practitioner – that can help you to find the right provider.
1) Look around the office. Are there any signs or symbols that would lead you to believe the practitioner(s) in the office respect sexual diversity and inclusion? Does the intake form use inclusive language and/or ideas of family? For example, are there questions on the intake form that acknowledge diverse genders and sexual orientations?
2) Chat with your practitioner. If you’re comfortable doing so, ask your practitioner if they have any patients who identify as gay, bisexual, queer or trans, or who are men who have sex with men. Ask about their comfort and skill level in dealing with the health risks that are unique to men who have sex with men.
3) Check the Rainbow Health Initiative, a Minnesota nonprofit that specializes in LGBTQ health research. If you can’t find a practitioner you’re comfortable with, the Rainbow Health Initiative has a growing list of providers who provide culturally competent care to gay and bisexual men in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan area. The list can be accessed at MNLGBTQDirectory.org.