#WeNeedAButton Calls for Empathetic Healthcare for the LGBTQAI Community
The #WeNeedAButton campaign, an initiative launched by Waxoh.com and DatingPositives.com designed to encourage patient-matching sites and other organizations to identify queer-friendly providers, today launched in the lead up to PrideFest and at end of WorldPride celebrations in New York.
WaxOh!, the news media site produced by DatingPositives, addresses many queer community issues including the discrimination, humiliation, negligent care and, in some cases, outright denial of necessary medical treatment at healthcare institutions and providers, stemming from healthcare professionals overlooking the unique needs of queer patients or on the basis of religious freedom. WaxOh! readers have shared many negative healthcare experiences, leading the site to drive this commitment to shining a light on their stories, and the many others of discrimination faced by the queer community in the U.S.
A limited number of cities, including New York and San Francisco, have passed an LGBTQIA+ bill of rights that has addressed some of this discrimination and made finding queer-friendly doctors easier—but this is not enough.
The #WeNeedAButton campaign, launched 50 years after Stonewall, demands change and accountability in healthcare delivery to the queer community. The first goal for the campaign is shifting the burden of finding a queer-friendly doctor from the patient to the provider. #WeNeedAButton calls for all major patient-matching sites to include a button indicating which doctors are queer-friendly.
“Queer people often have no way of knowing whether or not their healthcare provider is queer-friendly until they have a negative experience. This makes the process of finding a trusted medical professional stressful,” says Zachary Zane, LGBTQIA+ health journalist and ambassador to #WeNeedAButton. “The simple step of adding a button means a world of difference in the queer community’s simple search for a dignified healthcare experience.”
#WeNeedAButton is spreading awareness by harnessing the power of social media. People can show off their support by showing off their assets. The campaign is encouraging those who stand with the community to post a belfie (a butt selfie) in solidarity, using the hashtag #WeNeedAButton
“As a bi woman I’ve had to actively work against my doctors’ assumptions so many times. There are forms that assume my heterosexuality, multiple choice questions that don’t begin to describe my life, and significant pauses when I tell someone my sexual history. When I’m lucky enough to find a doctor who has educated themselves, it’s just that… luck,” says Talia Squires, Editor in Chief of Bi.org. “I have no idea going in if I’m going to spend the next hour advocating for myself or efficiently taking care of my health. I deserve to know before I walk in the door that my doctor is prepared to understand me and my needs.”
“It is a sad reality that reliable access to queer friendly doctors is still hard to come by in 2019. We must begin with recognition in order to have an important conversation of how to remedy this fact. Activism is at the heart and soul of The Phluid Project’s initiative, so working with the #WeNeedAButton team has been a natural and exciting collaboration,” says Rob Smith, Founder of The Phluid Project. “The core mission has touched the #phluidpham, and undoubtedly every queer person who faces this issue on a daily basis.”
“We at Hairrari believe it’s essential that queer visibility is apparent in all aspects of day-to-day life, especially regarding healthcare. At the shop, we have the option for clients to book with their preferred pronouns, allowing communication and recognition to be seamless between client and barber. Our barbers, within our booking system, also have the options to display their preferred pronouns,” says Magda Ryczko, Founder, Hairrari Barbershop. “#WeNeedAButton is the call to action that our community deserves.”
WaxOh! will have a photo booth at PrideFest on Sunday, June 30th, where people can come and get a “butt portrait” taken, get a chance to learn more about the campaign and see other people’s photos. #WeNeedAButton is asking for LGBTQIA+ organizations and activists to get involved to ensure negative experiences in a doctor’s offices are minimized.
For more info visit: www.waxoh.com/weneedabutton
DatingPositives is a social discovery platform by Dating.com Group where you can chat, find love, hook-up, or seek advice from others experiencing the same things you are. If you’re positive, we’re positive this is the place for you. So, you’re living with HIV, Herpes, Hepatitis B, C, or another STI? As long while you’re not full of BS, you’re welcome here.
WaxOh.com is a queer-affirming online magazine dedicated to the mission of de-stigmatizing STIs by providing relevant content and resources.