Presentation Title

Strategies for Identity-Affirming Language and Their Effects in LGBTQ+ Healthcare

Presenter Information

℅ Roshni KoulFollow

Major

Anthropology

Anticipated Graduation Year

2021

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

Over time, the medical field has changed its approach to quality patient treatment by not only holding a high respect for cultural competency, but also for the numerous identities that shape a person’s beliefs and practices. One’s sexuality and gender-identification can have a profound impact on the way they would like to be addressed and treated in a clinical or hospital setting. Effective treatment is not limited to medications and procedures. It transcends physical practices to include how medical professionals communicate with their patients. Inclusive language is of the utmost importance when participating in dialogue with patients whose gender and sexuality cannot be generalized under heteronormative vocabulary, grammar, syntax, etc. LGBTQ+ specific clinics exist to “eliminate the disparities in healthcare experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people” through education, advocacy, service, and research (Willow Health). This study analyzes language used by a Chicago LGBTQ+ healthcare clinic, which I refer to here as Willow Health, from 2019-2021. By analyzing publicly available linguistic artifacts, including the clinic's flyers, websites, and social media, and interviewing clinic staff, this study reveals both language’s impact in inclusive healthcare and changes healthcare providers can make to provide holistic and identity-affirming care.

Community Partners

"Willow Health" Clinic

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Dr. Thea Strand

Comments

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Streaming Media

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Strategies for Identity-Affirming Language and Their Effects in LGBTQ+ Healthcare

Over time, the medical field has changed its approach to quality patient treatment by not only holding a high respect for cultural competency, but also for the numerous identities that shape a person’s beliefs and practices. One’s sexuality and gender-identification can have a profound impact on the way they would like to be addressed and treated in a clinical or hospital setting. Effective treatment is not limited to medications and procedures. It transcends physical practices to include how medical professionals communicate with their patients. Inclusive language is of the utmost importance when participating in dialogue with patients whose gender and sexuality cannot be generalized under heteronormative vocabulary, grammar, syntax, etc. LGBTQ+ specific clinics exist to “eliminate the disparities in healthcare experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people” through education, advocacy, service, and research (Willow Health). This study analyzes language used by a Chicago LGBTQ+ healthcare clinic, which I refer to here as Willow Health, from 2019-2021. By analyzing publicly available linguistic artifacts, including the clinic's flyers, websites, and social media, and interviewing clinic staff, this study reveals both language’s impact in inclusive healthcare and changes healthcare providers can make to provide holistic and identity-affirming care.