Edited by Adrian Shanker, foreword by Rachel L. Levine, afterword by Kate Kendell
LGBT people pervasively experience health disparities, affecting every part of their bodies and lives. Yet many are still grappling to understand the mutually reinforcing health care challenges that lead to worsened health outcomes. Bodies and Barriers informs health care professionals, students in health professions, policymakers, and fellow activists about these challenges, providing insights and a road map for action that could improve queer health.
Through artfully articulated, data-informed essays by twenty-six well-known and emerging queer activists—including Alisa Bowman, Jack Harrison-Quintana, Liz Margolies, Robyn Ochs, Sean Strub, Justin Sabia-Tanis, Ryan Thoreson, Imani Woody, and more—Bodies and Barriers illuminates the health challenges LGBT people experience throughout their lives and challenges conventional wisdom about health care delivery. It probes deeply into the roots of the disparities faced by those in the LGBT community and provides crucial information to fight for health equity and better health outcomes.
The contributors to Bodies and Barriers look for tangible improvements, drawing from the history of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and from struggles against health care bias and discrimination. At a galvanizing moment when LGBT people have experienced great strides in lived equality, but our health as a community still lags, here is an indispensable blueprint for change by some of the most passionate and important health activists in the LGBT movement today.
“Now, more than ever, we need Bodies and Barriers to shine a spotlight on how and why good healthcare for LGBTQ people and our families is such a challenge. Bodies and Barriers provides a road map for all who are ready to fight for health equity—in the doctor’s office, in the halls of government, or in the streets.”—Rea Carey, executive director National LGBTQ Task Force
“Bodies and Barriers helps LGBT community members understand the way people in the U.S. health services market erect barriers to anyone who is not the source of easy and immediate profit, and helps us all confront and break down these barriers. It helps families of LGBT people understand these obstacles and options for getting around them. And it helps health professionals hear the voices of all their patients, so that we learn to listen, and learn how to care for everyone.”—Michael Fine, MD, former director, Rhode Island Department of Health, author of Health Care Revolt: How to Organize, Build a Health Care System, and Resuscitate Democracy All at the Same Time
“Adrian Shanker and the contributing authors highlight the need for clinicians to up their game when it comes to caring for sexual and gender minority people in their practices. Bodies and Barriers serves as a guide with concrete suggestions for developing knowledge, awareness, and skills to provide holistic care for LGBT people from the cradle to the grave. This book is a gem in that it centers LGBT people’s voices telling providers exactly how they want to be treated. It’s time providers listen to and act on these recommendations.”—Jonathan Mathias Lassiter, PhD; coeditor of Black LGBT Health in the United States: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation
Adrian Shanker is an award-winning activist and organizer whose career has centered on the LGBT community.
Rachel L. Levine, MD, is the secretary of health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine.
Kate Kendell led the National Center for Lesbian Rights for twenty-two years.