LGBTIQA+ Health

LGBTIQA+ Health and Sound Osteo

We aim to go far beyond ticking boxes when it comes to LGBTIQA+ healthcare. Our clinic is women and queer led and run, and all of the staff at Sound are either part of the LGBTIQA+ community or have close loved ones that are.

For this reason we feel that we are well placed to provide affirming care, and to push even further with what it means to be “inclusive”. More reasons come from reading stats like these taken from Transcending Discrimination in Health and Cancer Care (2019):

1 in 5 trans participants reported being refused general healthcare.
Nearly 60% of trans participants cited fear of mistreatment as a barrier for them.
Nearly 70% said they were unable to find a doctor they felt comfortable with.

Osteopath Julian Grace has written a great blog here that speaks further to this.

Things we’re doing:

  • All staff have undergone training in trans health from someone with lived experience.
  • Sound Osteo as a clinic and individual practitioners have affirmed the Darlington Statement for intersex human rights, and we encourage others to do the same!
  • You can use whichever name or pronoun you choose, and we’re committed to respecting them. We collect this info when you first sign up, but you can update it whenever you like.
  • We prioritise person-centred, trauma-informed approaches – for example, we have longer appointment times so that there’s space to talk things through or take things slowly if you need to.
  • We’ve created pronoun cards for our desks, with a QR code for people to learn more about pronouns if they’re new to thinking about them.
  • There is one self-contained toilet so there’s no need to navigate gendered facilities.
  • We’re active in the local and national LGBTIQA+ health advocacy space, contributing to communities of practice in the area, and building networks of trusted referral options for LGBTIQA+ people in need of multidisciplinary care.
  • No assumptions or judgements are made about gender, names, titles, occupation, relationship status, financial status, health conditions or any other personal details. 

 

We want to be doing as much as we can so if you have any suggestions, please do reach out.

All of our osteopaths are registered with AHPRA.

LGBTIQA+ Health and Sound Osteo

While our doors are open to everyone, we like to extend a special invite to LGBTIQA+ people at Sound Osteo – why is this?


First thing’s first, what does LGBTIQA+ mean?

This acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bi+, Trans, Intersex, Queer, and Asexual – with the + at the end being a simple nod to the fact that no acronym can sum up such wonderfully diverse communities. ‘LGBTIQA+’ includes a vast array of people and experiences, and doesn’t represent a homogenous group. We use this acronym to find community and express solidarity with each other in the face of marginalisation based on sexuality, gender, and/or sex characteristics. If you’re new to some of these terms, there are lots of language guides out there to help you, such as this one from TransHub.


Why do we give LGBTIQA+ health a special shout out?

Across the board, LGBTIQA+ people face significant and preventable barriers to safe, respectful, and good quality healthcare.

Here is a quick snapshot based on Australian resources:

Transcending Discrimination in Health and Cancer Care (2019):

    • 1 in 5 trans participants reported being refused general healthcare.

    • Nearly 60% of trans participants cited fear of mistreatment as a barrier for them.

    • Nearly 70% said they were unable to find a doctor they felt comfortable with.
      Within a healthcare setting:

    • 14.2% of trans participants had been verbally harassed.

    • 5.7% experienced unwanted sexual contact.

    • 2.3% had been physically attacked.

Private Lives 3 – The Health and Wellbeing of LGBTQ People in Victoria (2021):

    • Only 55% of participants felt like their sexual orientation was very/extremely respected in hospital settings.

    • Even less – just 34%! – of trans participants felt like their gender identity was very/extremely respected in hospitals.

Intersex Human Rights Australia – Shadow Report Submission (2018):

    • Despite recent legislative improvements, many intersex children are still pressured to undergo unnecessary and invasive surgical procedures, based on gender stereotypes and harmful social norms about bodies and reproduction.

    • Discriminatory healthcare practices contribute to serious mental health risks for many intersex people, including increased prevalence of suicidal ideation, as explored by Jones et al in their 2016 study.

    • Jones’ study found that 19% of people with atypical sex characteristics weren’t able to finish high school as a result of bullying, stigma, and the impact of medical interventions amongst other factors.

What are we doing about it at Sound Osteo?

All of us in the clinic are either part of the LGBTIQA+ umbrella ourselves or have close loved ones who are. Our team brings together a wealth of lived experience and we understand that LGBTIQA+ affirmative practice has to be active, reflective, and meaningful.

So while the statistics above are a sobering read, the flipside is that we can have a massive beneficial impact on the lives and health of LGBTIQA+ people by making our practice more affirming and helping other clinics to do so too.

Here are some of the things that we’ve been working on to support our LGBTIQA+ communities:

    • All staff have undergone training in trans health from someone with lived experience.

    • Sound Osteo as a clinic and individual practitioners have affirmed the Darlington Statement for intersex human rights, and we encourage others to do the same!

    • You can use whichever name or pronoun you choose, and we’re committed to respecting them. We collect this info when you first sign up, but you can update it whenever you like.

    • We prioritise person-centred, trauma-informed approaches – for example, we have longer appointment times than most clinics so that there’s space to talk things through or take things slowly if you need to.

    • We’ve created pronoun cards for our desks, with a QR code for people to learn more about pronouns if they’re new to thinking about them.

    • Self-contained single-stall toilets at both of our practice sites mean there’s no need to navigate gendered facilities.
    • We’re active in the local and national LGBTIQA+ health advocacy space, contributing to communities of practice in the area, and building networks of trusted referral options for LGBTIQA+ people in need of multidisciplinary care.
 

Most importantly, it is an absolute joy to work with such wonderful people! LGBTIQA+ communities are creating such incredible positive change for a better world, and we’re grateful to play a part in this.

If you have any suggestions for ways that we could be more LGBTIQA+ inclusive, please do reach out, we’re all ears and welcome any feedback. We hope to continue to grow the story of LGBTIQA+ Health and Sound Osteo.


More LGBTIQA+ Health Resources:

Switchboard – LGBTIQA+ Mental Health Support

TransHub

Trans101 Video Series

Equinox Gender Diverse Health Centre – Resources and FAQ

Australian Professional Association for Trans Health

Intersex Human Rights Australia

Intersex Peer Support Australia

LGBTIQA+ Forcibly Displaced Peoples’ Network Free Online Training Module

TGD in Community Health Training (Victoria only)

Trans & Gender Diverse Sexual Health Free Online Training Module (ASHM and ACON)