Voices of Health

Indeed we’ve read the articles, heard the stories, seen the tweets, and are all at least somewhat aware of the discrimination our community faces in the medical field. From med students spending a mere 5 hours [at best] learning about LGBTQI+ -specific health issues to the professors of these institutions outwardly discriminating against openly queer students, is it really a surprise that health disparities are such a large factor to us suffering in a collective silence?

When someone makes a trip to their local clinic or general practitioner, it is fair to say a large majority just want to get what they need and leave without any troubles. So now why is it that we have to suffer for seeking similar services as our cishet counterparts? Why are we asked the unnecessary invasive questions? Why are we subject to verbal, sometimes even physical harassment for sitting in a waiting room? Why do the nurses feel comfortable being straight up homo or transphobic and even denying us service. This isn’t meant to seem like a pity party of some sort, just the genuine bewilderment of a non-binary pansexual. All we have done is to simply exist along with attempting to live our lives in peace. Can we like... do that please?

It’s common knowledge this patient maltreatment happens on a regular basis, and yet not enough noticeable change has occurred in the last few years. In order for the ones in power to cast us more than a second glance, we need to present them with hard evidence that they cannot simply disregard as “hearsay”. With the data that has been collected, we hope to not only spark equitable change in the healthcare industry, but to also open a variety of doors for people and institutions to conduct their own research.

A small snapshot of 2017's VOH results

A small snapshot of 2017's VOH results


This is why we need your help. We know these things happen on a regular basis, however there hasn’t been any extensive research into the matter. Change needs to happen and that starts with us speaking up/out using our voices! The Voices Of Health survey has been collecting data annually since 2010 about the homelessness, tobacco/nicotine use, mental health, unwanted sex, health access and food insecurity of our community. This is the only survey of its kind in the state of Minnesota, and one of only a few nationwide. You may have seen the Rainbow Health Initiative (or as of this year the JustUs Health) tent at your local Pride and maybe even taken a survey yourself, that was our VOH survey. This year we are calling on as many people as possible to take this survey. Unfortunately we don’t have the luxury of separating politics from our identities, but that is the power of #MyExistenceIsResistance .

Spread the word and help us collect the data that’s already out there and waiting. A lot of hard work is being done daily by folx just like us. Don’t just read about our stories, but help support our work as well.

By us, for us, for our advancement.


written by J