TAKING A QUEER PULSE: The Impact of Medical Structure on Healthcare for Non-Binary Patients in Boston.
- Individuals with non-binary gender identities must pass through medical bureaucracy to meet their healthcare needs. The present study sought to understand the associated experiences by employing semi-structured interviews in the Greater Boston Area for seventeen non-binary individuals. Non-binary medical patients are often faced with highly bureaucratized medical systems with intake forms without ... read moresufficient opportunity to reflect their gender identity, and insurance companies that have exclusive stipulations for transition care. Furthermore, physicians that are not a part of clinical systems labeled as “queer-friendly” are often not sufficiently educated on non-binary gender identity. The poor cultural competence that precipitates results in non-binary patients’ avoidance of care, and acquisition of transition-related information in online community spaces instead of in healthcare spaces. For participants with disabilities, or who were chronically in pain or chronically ill, it was not uncommon for participants to limit disclosure of associated symptoms or experiences to facilitate “getting in and out” of the doctor’s office. Lastly, participants expressed hesitance to disclose their gender identity because of the expectation that they may have to exert emotional labor for physicians who do not understand gender; This entailed participants expecting to have to manage their own emotions as they explain their gender identity, or as they experience instances of discrimination from physicians. The present study adds to literature on LGBTQ+ health using theories in sociology by elucidating a few social facets of the non-binary medical experience.read less