Straight for Equality Healthcare Guide Released


February 1, 2010

Cathy Renna (917) 757-6123,

Laura McGinnis (202) 596-0402,


PFLAG Releases “Straight for Equality in Healthcare,”

Gives Providers Keys to Much-Needed Inclusion Strategies for LGBT Patients


“This resource can transform the experiences of LGBT people in the healthcare system.”

---Jody M. Huckaby, Executive Director, PFLAG National



Washington, D.C. – While affordable healthcare continues to be a major national issue, this is only one of the challenges facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people when it comes to their medical care. Too often, providers’ lack the basic cultural competency on LGBT issues, rely on misinformation or simply do not have access to simple and effective resources, creating barriers to adequate healthcare access for their LGBT patients. The release of Straight for Equality in Healthcare aims to change this trend.


“For many healthcare providers, it isn’t a case of not wanting to be inclusive of GLBT patients, but rather a sense that it isn’t an issue – or, when it is, confusion around how to talk about it – that gets in the way,” said Jody M. Huckaby, Executive Director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National, the organization that authored the new publication.


“Making the case for inclusive and competent healthcare for LGBT patients is critical and by providing simple and accessible information to healthcare professionals, we can transform the experiences of LGBT people in the healthcare system,” said Huckaby. “This guide will create more effective relationships between straight healthcare providers and their LGBT patients and can radically improve healthcare for our community.”


Straight for Equality in Healthcare ( is the second publication from PFLAG National’s Straight for Equality ( project. The project, launched in 2007, aims to help people have the everyday, nonpolitical conversations that need to occur in order to foster greater acceptance of GLBT people. Since its inception, the project has trained more than 3,500 people nationwide on the topic of how to be a straight ally.


The new Straight for Equality in Healthcare guide was created with the assistance of a diverse committee if healthcare professionals in fields such as primary care, mental health, nursing, and allied health disciplines. Topics include:


  • Why should I care about gay people in my practice?: The case for inclusion.
  • Making a diagnosis: Understanding and identifying personal barriers around LGBT issues and specific steps on how to overcome them.
  • Lidocane for your nerves: Being supportive need not be nerve-wracking. Simple, nonpolitical ways to start signaling acceptance of LGBT people in your practice are outlined.
  • Resources: Basic terminology, sample inclusive intake forms, nondiscrimination policies, and connections to other resources.

The new publication is featured on the Straight for Equality in Healthcare website, The site includes broader discussions of the issue and additional resources.


“PFLAG is committed to making sure this publication gets into the right hands and makes a difference,” said John R. Cepek, President of PFLAG National. “In conjunction with this release we are providing a project workbook to our more than 350 chapters across the country to help them put these resources into their providers’ hands and have the conversation about equality in healthcare in their communities,” concluded Cepek.




Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is the nation’s foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender people. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has 200,000 members and supporters in more than 300 chapters throughout the United States. To learn more, please visit


Straight for Equality is a project of PFLAG National. It was launched in 2007 to invite, educate, and engage straight individuals to have the discussions necessary to move equality forward for their gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender friends in simple, nonpolitical ways. Learn more at today.