The LGBTQ+ community deal with a unique set of challenges when it comes to receiving mental health care due to a lack of access and discrimination. Healthcare workers may not understand their needs, and negative interactions can make it less likely that people will seek help when they need it.
Whether you identify or ally, learn more about mental health considerations for LGBTQ+ and see how you can help support the community.
LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or sometimes questioning), and others. The "plus" represents other sexual identities including pansexual and Two-Spirit. The acronym is used to represent a diverse range of sexualities and gender identities.
Queer is an umbrella term that encompasses all sexual orientations other than heterosexual; queer is also a slur that is still weaponized against the LGBT community, so some members of the community are not comfortable being referred to as queer or genderqueer. Similarly, genderqueer encompasses all genders that are not cisgender.
An ally is a person who supports and/or advocates for the rights of a given community (i.e. LGBTQ+).
Intersexuality is an overarching term that refers to human bodies that fall outside of the strict male and female binary . Generally speaking, the term refers to the many different conditions—often present at birth—that can affect a person’s reproductive or sexual anatomy. As a result, they may not clearly be either male or female.