Primary Care

Having a primary care physician (PCP) whom you see on a regular basis is an extremely important part of maintaining good physical, emotional and sexual health. Having an ongoing connection with a, competent doctor gives you, the patient, access to someone who can answer your medical questions, and give you appropriate medical advice and care for your body and mind for the future.  Despite this, we know there are many reasons why people, especially LGBTQ youth, avoid annual visits to the doctor.  For many of us the very real fear of discrimination regarding our sexual desires, partners or identities keeps us from accessing long-term, competent care.  We may also feel ashamed of our bodies, or imagine being refused services because of our gender expression, and therefore settle for quick fixes when we “feel” sick.  Still others fear health care providers will “out” them to parents, guardians or other people who “count”.

An important part of managing these challenges is discovering ways to break through barriers the that keep us queer and trans folks from getting the health care that we need and deserve!

What should I look for in a LGBTQ friendly health care provider?  When choosing a provider there are many factors you may want to consider, including:

  • What is their experience and commitment to working with sexually active LGBTQ youth? 
  • Can they demonstrate their knowledge of the unique needs of transgender and gender non-conforming people whose bodies or identity may be in transition? 
  • Are they able to discuss Age of Consent Laws, Parental Consent Laws and Judicial Bypass? (Judicial Bypass allows a minor to have an abortion without having to tell their parent/guardian)
  • Does their personality “click” with yours?  Remember, your PCP is supposed to be someone with whom you can open up and ask medical (and most likely personal) questions.  So, you want to make sure that your physician is someone you can get along with.
  • Location, location, location. Is the doctor’s office easily accessible and are their working hours compatible with yours?

And where can I find one?  There are many different types of health care facilities that can provide primary care including community health clinics, private practices and hospitals.  If you live in or near Boston, a great place to start your search is at the Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center.  617.457-8140 | 130 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116 | Monday 8:45am to 5pm | Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 8:45am to 7pm | Friday 8:45am to 5pm.  They are located just a short walk from the Boylston Street stop on the Green Line! 

Free, anonymous information about how to navigate the Massachusetts health care system is available at Health Care for All or call their consumer health helpline at 800.272.4232