Pediatric care for LGBTQ - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Pediatric care for LGBTQ

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Tonight a prescription for pediatricians. Some call it controversial, others say it's a break through by the "American

Academy of Pediatrics."

New recommendations have been released for how doctors can better serve the gay, lesbian and transgender community.

According to health experts this is not only an important policy update because it highlights how there are multiple types

of people but crucial in that physicians are seeing younger and younger kids "coming out" or learning that they're not

heterosexual.

"By 13, I really knew that I was gay at that point" says Jason Black, a 26 year old, who now oversees an HIV prevention program

for gay men of color. "I can remember when I was really young and not being able to go to the doctor. Number one because of

not coming out to your family and it was that fear... a stigma around judgment particularly by our doctors." Eventually Black

told his family at 15 years old and says, they've been supportive of his decisions ever since.

But for those who are in a different situation the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is working to change that through their

newest updated policy. On their website they urge "Pediatricians should have offices that are teen-friendly and welcoming to

sexual minority youth..."

"We have transgender - yes or no... male or female" says Katy Caldwell the Executive Director at Legacy Community Health Services in

Montrose. Caldwell says the staff prides themselves on their services but most importantly there "intake form."

"We have all three sexual orientations so a lot of places don't do this" she says.

The A-A-P recommends this and suggests pediatricians be mindful that many adolescents may not identify themselves as a sexual

minority so speak in what's called a "gender neutral language."

"So if the person presents themselves as a female you use the female pronoun... so these things make you much

more sensitive and welcoming to the community" advises Caldwell. Educating yourself as a physician on helpful organizations and

correcting misinformation is also part of the police update. It's all in an effort to keep patients comfortable since Caldwell

admits kids are discovering themselves sooner than later, "very very young... we see 10 and 11 year olds coming in and saying I'm gay."

A part of life that Black describes as sometimes "scary." "So to be able to go to a physician and have open conversations about varies

activities you're having is important for those youth to be able to do that" he says.

 

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