NEW YORK — Today is National Coming Out Day, observed annually to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) identities and to raise awareness of the issues facing these communities. Planned Parenthood is proud to be a provider of health care, education, and information for many in the LGBTQ community. and highlights the need for all communities to have access to nonjudgmental, high-quality health care.
“National Coming Out Day is a good time to make sure you have a health care provider with whom you are completely comfortable being candid and honest with,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “The more your health care provider knows about you, the better they’re able to help you stay healthy. Being open with your provider about your sexuality and identity is an important part of getting the best care possible.”
Periodic checkups are essential for staying healthy — whether or not you are out in other areas of your life. Coming out to your provider is more than just telling them about your sexual orientation or identity. It means being honest about your sexual behaviors. It means you’ll be able to focus on health concerns specific to you, like comprehensive HIV prevention tools such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill that helps prevent HIV. (HIV continues to disproportionately affect gay and bisexual men, men who have sex with men, and transgender women). Conversely, it also means avoiding unnecessary questions or discussions — about birth control, for example. Being open with your provider about your sexuality is an important part of getting the best health care possible.
“Planned Parenthood believes that all people deserve high-quality, affordable health care, no matter who they are and no matter where they live,” added Dr. McDonald-Mosley. “We believe that when people are truly cared for, they make their lives, their families, and their communities better and healthier. Our doors are open to everyone, and we are proud to serve the LGBTQ communities across the nation.”
Coming out is a very personal decision. While it can strengthen and deepen relationships and improve self-esteem, it can be a risky thing. In some situations, it can even be dangerous. Only the individual can decide if and when to come out, to whom, and how to do it. When it comes to health care, a nonjudgmental and supportive provider makes the conversation easier to have.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate, serving 2.4 million patients annually through its health care service providers, and 1.5 million more through education and outreach programs.
Visit plannedparenthood.org to find the health center nearest you.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood affiliates serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.