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Are you out to your doctor?

nogutsnoglory

Moderator
Have you come out to your doctor? Why or why not? How does being open or not being open affect your health and wellbeing?

I have not come out to most of my doctors because (even though likely irrational) I am afraid of it being put on my record. Even if the doctor themselves is okay with it, how do I know all the staff are? I just don't want to be treated any differently or be given a hard time.

A few doctors when they have done their intake have asked me my sexual orientation. I think it's good they are asking since there are health concerns specific to the gay community but I think it is still the exception to the rule. I have only told 2 of my doctors when asked and both were professional about it and told me to use protection.

I feel that if I could be open with my doctors it would just lift a burden off of my shoulders. Even if I don't have any specific concerns with regards to my identity and health it is just easier being natural and free to be me.
 
Have you come out to your doctor? Why or why not? How does being open or not being open affect your health and wellbeing?

I have not come out to most of my doctors because (even though likely irrational) I am afraid of it being put on my record. Even if the doctor themselves is okay with it, how do I know all the staff are? I just don't want to be treated any differently or be given a hard time.

A few doctors when they have done their intake have asked me my sexual orientation. I think it's good they are asking since there are health concerns specific to the gay community but I think it is still the exception to the rule. I have only told 2 of my doctors when asked and both were professional about it and told me to use protection.

I feel that if I could be open with my doctors it would just lift a burden off of my shoulders. Even if I don't have any specific concerns with regards to my identity and health it is just easier being natural and free to be me.
I have not come out to my GI nor my primary due to the fact that it has never come up. I am not dating anyone, so I feel that if I was, then I would like to know more about how my disease affects me on that level because it would make it relevant. I know who I am and happy with who I am. Neither doctor has actually asked me about my orientation, but if they did, I would answer honestly. I don't fear being treated differently. If someone did treat me differently for it at the GI office, I would definitely make it known to my doctor. I am not one to sit idly by and let people disrespect me or discriminate towards me in any way. I was raised to speak up against those people.

I think when I do date someone, then it will be the time to discuss my orientation and what not. My GI doesn't really ask me those type of questions. He doesn't get too personal with me. Using protection is a must for any sexual orientation. So if my doctors were ever to ask, I would just be up front and honest with them.
 
Since I came out late, CD was already with me. I told my GI and he didn't blink in response. When he retired and I got a new younger doctor, I told him. He asked if "I practiced receptive anal sex", I told him "no", I am happy when I just have OK BMs. (I have rectal involvement and anal sex is out of the question.) When I finally got an internist about 10 years ago I chose a gay one on purpose. He left the practice and I really haven't liked the other guy (also gay). So when I finally get around to it I'll try for a new internist.
 
I am lucky to live in a very liberal area. I tell all my doctors, but I'm also comfortable with all my doctors. I've had doctors in the past I would not tell, but I realized I wasn't getting very good treatment from them and they had not earned my trust anyway.

As a woman, I also have to tell because I got tired of doctors wanting to do pregnancy tests on me to clear me for whatever, and I was like, I'm with a woman, there is no way I'm pregnant unless by immaculate conception!

So I got doctors I like and tell them everything. It has taken a burden off of me that I didn't even know I was feeling before.
 

nogutsnoglory

Moderator
I feel like it would take a burden off of me but also create the fear that they would not treat me the same. I would also feel really awkward talking about sex with a straight male doctor. I kind of wish I had a gay doctor or at least one for consultations.

For example I got a meningitis vaccine to be safe since I'm immune compromised on my meds but was afraid to get into discussion about why I wanted it. Meningitis is going around some gay men in urban centers. Luckily he just gave it to me and didn't ask.

I would have also asked for the HPV vaccine a few years ago. Most people contract HPV gay or straight once they become sexually active and most of the time nothing happens. It's probably ineffective for me to get the vaccine now but I worry about the increased risks of it turning into cancer. If I were out to my doctor I probably would have been vaccinated.
 

nogutsnoglory

Moderator
I really have pertinent GI concerns and wish I could discuss these freely with my doctor. I'm just so paranoid that once I say it, I can't take it back and it will be added to my demographic information for everyone to access. What if I get treated differently? Or at worst what if someone tries to cause me harm in a hospital setting where I am dependent on others? I know it's unlikely anyone would do something malicious but I definitely think the quality of care could be impacted. It would be so much easier in terms of my health concerns and if dating someone if they could be with me when I'm in the hospital and be free to hold my hand, kiss me and support me through the rough times without feeling like we have to hide who we are. It seems most here are trying to avoid being open with their doctors so I'm not sure why or how much experience people have.
 
My family doctor knows... because he's the one who gives me prescriptions for HRT and does routine bloodwork on my hormone levels.

I've brought up my transgender identity with my other doctors, but since I'm not visibly transitioning at this time, it doesn't seem to matter much to them.
 

Orchid

Banned
I have no choice but to be since I have prescriptions for HRT meds and no form of cancer that spiro and estradiol are used to treat and I've been very open about being in a relationship with another woman. I've never encountered a problem.
 

nogutsnoglory

Moderator
It matters medically in the sense that LGBT people are at higher risk for certain health problems. Each group has its own challenges and some overlap but I think it's safe to say that the trans population has much more mental and physical healthcare needs. It's much easier to be gay today but we still have a long way to go for trans acceptance.

I don't know how much doctors not connected with or serving the LGBT community know about our increased risks.
 
> Have you come out to your doctor? Why or why not? How does being open or not being open affect your health and wellbeing?

Yeah... cuz I want my husband there with me when there's important information being passed along, or when I'm all scrambled and forgetful in a post-colonoscopy haze.

I just don't think there's any reason in this day and age not to be honest about who you are. Hiding it just makes people think you've got something to hide. Never once has it raised the eyebrow of a doc...

Why waste effort dancing and skirting around pronouns when you should be focusing your time having heavier discussions about your health, medication options, etc?
 
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