The LGBTQ community has been one of the most neglected and deprived sections of our society for a long time. They have been deprived of their right to education, their right to pursue a job, and almost every basic right that our constitution has given us. The right to healthcare is one of those rights that we as a society have deprived the LGBTQ community of.
In this article, we shall be talking about the most common health issues faced by the LGBTQ community, the reasons why their health needs aren’t being met properly, and how the situation can be improved.
How far have we come?
Before we get started with the issues prevailing, we must see how far we have come as a nation and as a society and the improvements we’ve made down the line.
There was a time when the LGBTQ had to hide their identity in order to survive in a world that didn’t just not accept them but also ridiculed and neglected their existence. They were tortured beyond human capacity and were forced to beg on the streets to make a living. A time was then and a time is now when not only has our constitution recognized the LGBTQ as a third gender but has also made same-sex marriages and relationships legitimate.
There are countless lawyers, philanthropists, politicians, leaders, and representatives from the LGBTQ community who have struggled each day of their lives to let this day turn from a dream to reality.
However, the life that the LGBTQ community leads today is still not something we’d call normal or something that does not hold them back from accepting their sex preference before the world. There are several facilities, instead of primary facilities that aren’t being served rightly to the community and health care is one of them.
Before we get started with what can be done to improve the picture, let us first understand the picture in detail.
What are the common health issues faced by the LGBTQ?
There are several diseases that the LGBTQ community is more prone to than the others. Most of these are mental illnesses. Before we discuss these illnesses, their causes, etc, we must understand that the LGBTQ community has been systematically made more prone to these diseases and they weren’t innately more susceptible to these diseases.
- Anxiety and depression:
Anxiety and depression are sadly some of the most common mental illnesses prevailing in our society. Due to the stigma and the unacceptance associated with the LGBTQ community, the members of the community often feel lonely and depressed. The unacceptance from society and compromised mental health pushes them into anxiety at different times.
There aren’t enough psychologists and psychiatrists in our country to offer help to the LGBTQ community and provide them with satisfactory support and treatment.
Various youngsters feel locked in their bodies, trying to hide their real selves from the world and even their families due to the fear that they might be disowned if their identity was revealed.
- Substance abuse:
Anxiety and depression are too heavy to be handled and very often when a person does not receive the optimum and right help, they turn to drugs and narcotic substances to seek an escape from these emotions. It is like running into a dark cave while escaping from one darkness.
They start consuming drugs that are banned in our country. Since they have been involved in the illegal practice, they fear seeking help even more and therefore the condition worsens. There are some rehabilitation centers that provide help and medication to victims of drug abuse but the number isn’t enough.
- UTIs and STDs:
It is no secret that a significant number of members of the LGBTQ are often forced into prostitution by either their circumstances or the people around them. This leads them into an all-new episode of trauma and torture, not just mental but physical too. This often leads to urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases.
The healthcare facilities in our country aren’t good enough even for the cis genders when it comes to the treatment of STDs. Untreated STDs lead to worsening of their health. Most of these people aren’t supported by their families and are therefore forced to live on the streets.
What can be done to improve the picture?
The figures provided by the reports show that the healthcare facilities for the LGBTQ community in our country are unbelievably sad. We do have a choice to either blame the government for everything or do our own but in supporting the community.
- Acceptance starts from the heart. As an ally for the community, you must declare a complete intolerance of any negative comments behavior against the LGBTQ members in your workplace or a public place.
- There are several NGOs that collect donations from people in order to help the LGBTQ communities. You cannot just help them via money but can also lend a hand in several other fields. For example, if you’re a doctor, you can provide free treatment, if you’re a teacher, you can teach them for free.
- Make an effort to make yourself more and more aware of the issues of the LGBTQ community. Awareness is amongst the most primary needs of society.
How to improve healthcare?
- Talk to your doctors and ask them what they could do to help the community.
- Look for NGOs that provide healthcare to the LGBTQ community.
- If you’re a doctor yourself, you can host health camps to help the LGBTQ community and treat them for free or take lesser fees from them.
The LGBTQ community has been on the brunt and storm of tortures for countless decades. Gradually, with the increasing awareness, we are becoming a better society towards them. However, there are several aspects that still need to be revisited and reshaped to include LGBTQ members in a better way.
As an LGBTQ ally, one should declare a complete intolerance towards any wrong behavior against the LGBTQ community. Lend help to the community and the NGOs helping them, in whatever ways possible. Increasing awareness about the LGBTQ community is a good way to help them.