LGBTQ+ youths report experiencing more bullying than their non-LGBTQ peers. Bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youths stems from stigma, which is the social devaluation and discrediting that occurs when several processes co-occur and are reinforced by power, including labeling, stereotyping, separation, status loss, and discrimination.
Pediatric primary care providers can do much to combat homophobia and discrimination for their LGBTQ+ patients. Signage and paperwork in clinics should reflect people of every race, disability, sexuality, and gender identity. Patients and caregivers should be screened for literacy, and educational resources should always be provided in locally relevant languages, because transgender children can be found in any ethnic and/or linguistic group. Additionally, the use of gender neutral, third person singular pronouns in publications can help to dissipate gendered assumptions. The incorporation of LGBTQ+-friendly children’s books into our waiting room collections and avoidance of gender-segregated toy areas can also support developing brains and encourage children’s self-expressions.
As physicians empowered with LGBTQ+ health competency, we can break down the cycles of ignorance, shame, and toxic stress that harm children who identify as LGBTQ+ and improve their chances of leading happy, healthy adult lives.
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American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. The AAP is the largest pediatric publisher in the world, with a diverse list of resources that includes essential clinical and practice management titles and award-winning books for parents.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ Doody's 4 Star Review
"This book is part 1 of a group of current, worthwhile articles about stigma and bias among LGBTQ+ youth, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2021. This is the first of a series of three sets of articles to educate pediatric providers at all levels of training, from students to attendings, and is well worth a read."
Joseph Russell Hageman, MD (Comer Children's Hospital)
Doody's Book Review