Navigating the healthcare system is already difficult in general, but when you fall under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella, it can be scary, intimidating, strenuous, and sometimes virtually impossible to find a provider who will treat you with compassion, respect and kindness. This is especially true when it comes to reproductive healthcare. Queer pregnant people often have to deal with being misgendered, deadnamed (being addressed by the name given to you at birth, which you have changed), rampant homophobia and other discriminatory behaviors that can put stress on a person during their pregnancy. So how do you find a provider that not only tolerates your identity but embraces the diverse population of sexuality and genders that seek their services?
Here are a few tips to help make your search a little easier.
Friends and Family:
One of the best avenues to use as a starter are referrals from the people you trust the most. Check in with other local Queer friends and/or family and you may start to get the same recommendations from multiple sources, that’s a good sign these providers will be what you need.
Local LGBTQIA organizations:
A little online research, if accessible, can lead you to organizations that cater to the Queer community and who have already complied a list of healthcare providers that are Queer friendly. They can also offer a fount of information regarding different aspects of Queer reproductive health, if needed.
Some Queer organizations located in Madison or Dane County:
OutReach LGBT Community Center
2701 International Lane #101 Madison, WI 53704 608-255-8582
122 E Olin Ave, Madison, WI 53713 608-661-4141
Briarpatch Youth Services https://youthsos.org
2720 Rimrock Rd, Madison, WI 53713 608-251-1126
P.O.W.E.R.S (Pregnancy Options WI: Education, Resources, Support) https://www.pregnancyoptionswi.org
Another great avenue that can yield positive results in finding LGBTQIA+ friendly reproductive health providers is finding local social media groups that are specifically geared to the Queer population. Posting inquiries usually results in numerous answers and a clear pattern emerges regarding which providers will be truly inclusive and which ones are not.
Finally, in case anyone needs further information, here are a few tips to utilize once you’ve compiled a list of potential providers: visit the website of the clinic that the providers are employed; pay close attention to language on the website. Read online reviews about the doctor and clinic both, or simply call the clinic and speak with an employee. Getting a feel for their behavior over the phone can be indicative of their treatment of you in person.