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The healthcare system is failing gay men of color

In a United States where we pat ourselves on the back for our liberal policies and stance as leaders of the free world, the institutions that we hold supreme are desperately failing marginalized populations already beaten by the hands of society. The U.S. healthcare system, made up of individuals with their own biases and with systemic discrimination to the concerns and ways of expression of minority groups, is eagerly treating LGBTQ people of color as lab rats and sub-class citizens. Even more to this conglomeration of homophobia seeping into the medical field, the U.S. insurance system further marginalizes health issues pertaining to gay men of color due to its inherently classist, racist and homophobic capitalistic tendencies. 

There are constant cries to political and social leaders to address the concerns LGBTQ individuals have on various institutional levels. Anger with the medical and scientific community stems from the historical narrative that LGBTQ populations have systemically been subjected to torture, experimentation and widespread neglect. The fact that the AIDS crisis wreaked havoc to an epidemic degree and substantially wiped out gay men of color yet we still do not have a vaccine is in itself one of society’s greatest homophobic acts of aggression. 

LGBTQ people of color grow up in this world facing systemic violence—through education, by government agencies, the police and rampant homophobia. Depending on the level of funding to school systems, gay men of color will not only be forced to undergo daily psychological repression of their same-sex attraction but are subsequently lied to and deprived of adequate sexual health information. Such a lack of education and lack of exposure to same-sex relations is a purposeful choice by health institutions to widen the risks of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), further demonizing same-sex relations. By the time of their early years of adulthood, LGBTQ people of color will have been exposed to the clear neglect of their health numerous times. 

Once past this stage of the neglect of the medical and scientific community towards LGBTQ populations, LGBTQ people of color will then have to navigate and confront the pandemic-like homophobia present in health officials and the countless policies that minimize the concerns of health issues pertaining to LGBTQ people. STD/STI testing is made abnormal and inaccessible particularly in more homophobic environments, and treatment for such issues is made expensive, difficult and inaccessible regardless of location for LGBTQ people of color. 

Navigating a complex healthcare system that sends you from clinic to clinic (with little actual aid), very little information and insurance companies that will limit your own health possibilities leaves gay men of color in a constant state of oppression. It leaves LGBTQ people of color needing advocates in every step of the process just to make sure they are not being neglected and subject to malpractice. All this just because our scientific and medical community refuses to rid itself of its systemic mistreatment of LGBTQ people of color and its false belief that their health concerns are mere experimentation and little priority rather than a health issue that regular citizens are facing. 

The U.S. healthcare system, U.S. insurance system and scientific community all have an obligation and grave duty to LGBTQ people of color to finally begin treating issues related to same-sex relations as a sympton of their own malpractice and educational neglect and begin implementing policy to prioritize same-sex treatment with fervor and speed in the most accesible way possible. 

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