NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With Pride Month under way, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has published New York City’s first ever LGBTQ health care bill of rights.
The bill of rights details health care protections on the local, state and federal level to ensure LGBT New Yorkers get the health care they deserve, and also reminds health care providers and supports staff that they are legally required to offer care regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
Many LGBT New Yorkers report negative experiences with health care professionals. Topher Gross said when he told his doctor he was planning to transition: “She asked me the most inappropriate questions that anyone can ask, even a doctor. I felt extremely uncomfortable”
It is an experience that many LGBT people share.
“It shouldn’t be so hard to talk about yourself, talk about your life,” Gross said.
The bill of rights was announced alongside a new ad campaign called, “Bare It All,” intended to embolden LGBT New Yorkers to talk openly with their doctors about their sex lives, drug use, and anything else that might affect their health.
“It shouldn’t be so hard to bare it all,” said Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Demetre Daskalakis.
The ad campaign is being mounted in Spanish and English on the subway and at Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus stands.
“If you are accessing healthcare in this city, if you are not being treated with respect… your sexual orientation, or your gender identity or gender expression — that’s not OK,” said Human Rights Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis. “We don’t tolerate that.”