Some Doctors Still Don't Understand Lesbian Sex & That's A Big Problem

As a lesbian woman, I have a running script in my head of exactly how every visit at a new doctor's office will go. It's something like this:
Doctor: Are you sexually active?
Me: Yes.
Doctor: Are you using protection?
Me: No.
Doctor: *shocked face* You know, you really should be using some form of protection if you're not trying to get pregnant...
Me: I'm a lesbian.
Doctor: ...oh.
Usually, the conversation is pretty harmless and I've learned over the years to head it off as soon as they bring up the "sexually active" question. But the fact that nearly every doctor I've gone to since I came out and started sleeping with women automatically assumes that I'm straight is just a peak into what it's like to be a queer woman at the doctor's office.
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As a recent tweet from Ruth Hunt, chief executive at a UK LGBT charity called Stonewall, shows, mine is certainly not the only experience β€” and some women have heard much worse from other medical professionals.
Hunt's doctor, for example, essentially told her that sex between two women doesn't actually count as sex at all, Pink News reports.
And she's not the only one who's heard that. Other women have been commenting on Hunt's tweet with their own stories of doctors who clearly don't understand lesbian sex.
And the problem isn't limited to women who have sex with women. An asexual person also jumped into the conversation, to lament how difficult it is to get doctors to believe that some people aren't interested in having sex at all.
Hunt's tweet and all of the stories that followed were sparked by a new rule from the National Health Services in the UK, which is asking doctors in England to record their patients' sexual orientations starting in April of 2019.
Many people believe it's a step forward for LGBTQ healthcare, since these women's stories clearly show that sexual orientation is an important piece of information for doctors to have. Yet, their stories also show that many doctors aren't educated enough on queer sexualities.
We want to be counted, but we also need to be understood, because what good is the information that your patient is a lesbian if you don't then know how to treat her?
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