Health Care Providers, Disclosure of Sexual Identity to

There is debate as to whether or not LGBTQ people should reveal their sexual and gender identities to health care providers, and whether revealing this information leads to better quality health care. This entry explores this debate and examines the barriers and facilitators to disclosure. But first, some definitions are in order.

In general, LGBTQ people call the process of exploring, accepting, and revealing one’s sexual or gender identities (as LGBTQ or other similar labels) “coming out.” This is an ongoing unfolding of one’s own internal understanding of the meaning of these identities, and making decisions about who should know, how best to tell others, and how to manage the reactions of others. It can be an extremely stressful process because it is hard to predict ...

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