Gay, bi, queer and other men who have sex with men (cis and trans) and Two-Spirit people (GBT2Q) are more likely to face unnecessary barriers to accessing the healthcare they need. These may be barriers to health services, medications, or information to look after our bodies and experiences.
Many of these access issues are rooted within inequalities and inequities across society, including homophobia, heterosexism, racism, transphobia, and many other sources of oppression and privilege that shape our lives. These inequalities shape our ability to access health care and social supports, and can negatively impact the way that we express our gender and sexuality. Our ability to get to, or into a space or service (e.g.: long distances to where services are, lengthy waitlists), get information and services in our language of choice, find a provider who can provide non-judgmental care for our sexual and mental health, pay for medications or treatments, or connect with peers and community members who share our experiences – all represent important dimensions of access faced by GBT2Q.
With GBT2Q continuing to represent the majority of new HIV infections in Canada, our ability to access essential HIV-related services is as important as ever. Research has pointed to significant disparities in access to HIV testing, treatment, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) between provinces and cities, and between rural-suburban and urban settings. For example, far fewer GBT2Q in rural-suburban communities feel they can discuss their sexuality with a nurse or a doctor. But even in an urban setting, finding a queer and/or trans-friendly doctor can be daunting.
This year’s Summit is dedicated to talking about what is and isn’t working for GBT2Q to access everything we need to live happy, healthy, and supported lives. Summit will also highlight critical findings from the Sex Now survey as we turn our focus on how we can increase access and accessibility to health care and community supports for GBT2Q. We want to hear from community workers, health care providers, counsellors, researchers, Elders, and teachers about how access can be strengthened for all GBT2Q.
For more information about CBRC and it's programming, visit: www.cbrc.net