Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Queer Latinas Have Specific Healthcare Needs, This Billboard Isn’t One of Them [Autostraddle]

There could be a lot of effective ways to say this, but I’m just going to go the quick route: my name is Carmen Rios, I’m Latina, and I’m a lesbian. 

As a feminist, I’ve become aware of how my unique identity impacts my experiences. It’s pretty much a no-brainer that Latina women face challenges unique to the intersection of race and gender that they live at, or at least it should be by now. But what happens when you throw in the ‘LBT?’ Or, really, what happens when it comes to sex at all?

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) recently released an issue brief on sexual health and LGBTQ Latinas. The outlook was not too bright: the conclusion of the brief was, pretty much, that more research on the unique needs of Latina women on a whole is needed to address their unique sexual health needs. But what the brief also reveals is a handful of problems that LBT Latinas are facing: provider bias and limited access to quality health care, a lack of accommodations for queer women and non-English speakers in health care, higher rates of cervical cancer, and lower rates of regular care for lesbian Latinas related to sexual health. 

The report, LGBTQ Latin@s and Reproductive Justice, can be found in full on the NLIRH website. It also explored how trans women face problems related to the gendering of health services and employment discrimination, both having an ugly impact on the opportunity to receive quality health care.

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