NYC Has Published Its First-Ever LGBTQ Health Bill Of Rights

Photo: BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images.
New York City is kicking off Pride Month by encouraging LGBTQ individuals to put their health first. On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration published the city's first-ever LGBTQ health bill of rights, aimed at helping LGBTQ New Yorkers get the health care they need and deserve.
Above all, the bill hopes to help New Yorkers find doctors and health care providers who not only affirm their identity, but also incorporate their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression into their health care.
The city health department is also launching a campaign called "Bare It All" to urge LGBTQ New Yorkers to talk openly about their health with their doctors.
"Pride Month is not only a time to celebrate how far we have come, but also decide how we are going to move forward together," de Blasio said in a statement. "New York City has long been a leader in the fight for LGBTQ equality, and these ads are further evidence of the City’s unwavering commitment to ensuring all New Yorkers have access to quality, affordable and judgment-free healthcare regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation."
The new "bill of rights" consists of legal rights, such as the right to choose who will make medical decisions for you if you are unable (for example, to name a partner or spouse), the right to be treated with dignity, and the right to decide who may or may not visit you if you're admitted to a health care facility.
The city is also providing a map to help people find LGBTQ-knowledgable health care providers.
It's no secret that LGBTQ people face health disparities — last year, the National Institutes of Health designated sexual and gender minorities as a health disparity population for research in an effort to address the health issues that disproportionately affect the LGBTQ community.
With this new bill of rights, NYC hopes to make doctors' offices a judgment-free, discrimination-free zone.
"We have no tolerance for discrimination, and are proud to stand with the LGBTQ community because we know the fight is far from over," de Blasio said in the statement.
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