Based on the 2016 National College Health Assessment, approximately 9.9% of the EWU student population identifies their sexual orientation as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer, or questioning. Approximately 1.7% of the EWU student population identifies their gender identity as transgender, genderqueer, or other.
Although support for the LGBTQ+ community is growing nationwide, many in the LGBTQ+ population face certain health disparities. Health disparities refer to differences in health status of different socially disadvantaged populations. The table below shows the most common health disparities faced by the LGBTQ+ community.
|Health Disparities for LGBTQ+|
|Higher rates of HIV and other STIs|
|Higher rates of depression/anxiety|
|Higher rates of smoking|
|Higher rates of unhealthy weights control/perception|
|Higher rates of violence victimization|
|Hight rates of substance abuse|
|Lower rates of mammography & pap smear screenings|
Unfortunately, there can be a stigma about the LGBTQ+ population within the healthcare community, which can ultimately lead to a lack of access to quality care. If you identify as LGBTQ+, there are some things you can do to help you get access to quality healthcare.
What to do
Ask for referrals. You can find providers who are supportive of the LGBTQ+ community by asking for referrals from family, friends, or other social groups, who may have already found a safe, supportive healthcare community. The Health, Wellness, & Prevention Services office can also provide resources for LGBTQ-friendly healthcare providers.
Disclose your gender identity/sexual orientation to your provider. Since there are certain health disparities within the LGBTQ+ population, it is important to talk about your gender identity and sexual orientation with your doctor. This will allow them to ask the right questions and get the information needed to help you make the best decisions for your health.
Answer your doctor’s questions honestly. No matter your gender identity or sexual orientation, you should always be honest with your doctor. This will allow your doctor the ability to provide you the best medical care and treatment. If it is hard for you to talk about certain things with your doctor, you can always bring a trusted friend or family member to your appointment to speak on your behalf.