LGBTQ people have many of the same health concerns as anyone else, but cultural differences and the impact of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and systemic discrimination mean that these health needs may be experienced quite differently.
Due in part to negative past experiences, many LGBTQ people may delay or avoid seeking health care or choose to withhold personal information from health care providers.
In general, LGBTQ people end up receiving less quality health care than the population as a whole.
Unique Health Concerns
LGBTQ people also have some unique health concerns and may be at increased risk for certain health issues. Most health care providers are not trained on these LGBTQ health needs and may not be sensitive to the particular health risks or knowledgeable about how to work with LGBTQ people. Examples of some of those health needs are:
The mental health of LGBTQ people is impacted by accumulated stigma, prejudice and discrimination, leading to higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide the general population.
Substance use such as alcohol and drugs is higher among LGBTQ populations.
Trans people often have unmet health care needs which adversely affect health outcomes, such as higher rates of depression and suicide.
LGBTQ communities might be at higher risk for some forms of cancer. Despite this, screening rates are low for our communities. Visit the cancer screening page for more information.
Diet, Weight and Body Image
Some disparities in diet, weight and body image have been found between LGBTQ communities and the general population and within LGBTQ communities themselves.
RHO is active in sharing knowledge on these health issues as they affect LGBTQ populations. We also partner with public health units and specific disease organizations to ensure that the issues of LGBTQ people are included in education, health promotion campaigns, print materials and support services. For a full list of our fact sheets please check out our resource section here.