Such an interesting perspective, Dr. Ng!
As a young man living in lower Manhattan in the 1990s, I was very fortunate to have a primary care physician who was openly gay and whose patients were majority LGBTQ. I felt at ease and comfortable with him in ways I didn’t really appreciate until I left New York years later and ended up back in the American “heartland.”
Living in an isolated, rural area, I often find myself playing little question games with medical professionals, trying to suss out if coming out is a good idea.
Of course I want to, because I want my doctor to know important things about me that can help them treat me as a whole person.
That’s risky, though. People who live around here aren’t always open minded, and while physicians are more likely to be cool than the general public, you just never know.
So I dance around.
I absolutely LOVE the idea of safe space stickers. I’ve never seen one in a clinical setting, and I wish they were more common in practices than in academia. Sure would make my life easier.
What’s interesting about your perspective is that even though I have friends who are physicians, I don’t know any gay physicians anymore, and I never stopped to think about how clinicians have to worry about coming out or being perceived as LGBT by patients.
So, I’m glad you wrote that article. Fascinating!