Last updated on July 15th, 2022 at 08:20 am
Individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, or as another non-heterosexual or non-cisgender identity (LGBTQIA+) are historically undercounted in census data, which means that their experiences might not be considered in decisions for public health infrastructure.
We know that LGBTQIA+ individuals experience health disparities, that can be exacerbated by the cultural and social norms present in agricultural communities. As such, they are at higher risk for negative health outcomes. But what your rural community might lack in supportive programming, you can make up for through small gestures. So, to increase the positive health outcomes for LGBTQIA+ individuals in agriculture, the first step you can take as a healthcare professional is to make your practice into a safe space.
Here is how you can cultivate a safe space:
- Have universal bathrooms, which are gender neutral and family friendly.
- Put a pride flag or sticker up somewhere in your office to signal solidarity.
- Include flyers and pamphlets on gender identity and sexual orientation.
- Advertise and embody judgement-free, inclusive treatment.
Here are some resources you can share:
- Out in the Open (TLGBQ+ 501©3 nonprofit) – Through their HEART Program, trained volunteers help TLGBQ+ individuals access safe and supportive healthcare.
- CDC’s list of LGBT health clinics by state and city.
- The Trevor Project – They have a 24/7 crisis line, text line, and webchat for LGBTQ+ youth, answered by trained counselors.
The Cultivating Change Foundation
The Cultivating Change Foundation is a national 501©3 nonprofit dedicated to creating equitable work environments for LGBTQ+ individuals in the agriculture industry. This October, they will host the Cultivating Change Summit in Washington DC, to gather LGBTQ+ agriculture professionals and allies to create lasting partnerships for change. This summit with take place October 2nd-4th.← Blog