Asking about sexual orientation and gender identity in clinical settings is critical. If we want to better understand LGBT health disparities and reduce them, we must know who LGBT patients are and how to best meet their health needs.
I recently found myself in Philadelphia attending, of all things, a White House Conference on LGBT Health. It slowly dawned on me that this event alone does wonders to send a flag hither and yon that LGBT health is no longer a fringe issue.
The picture of LGBT health is far from complete, and without it, policy makers still cannot draft health care policies that account for the full range of challenges we face. But we at least now have the beginning of a roadmap.