About 50 percent of gay men are not. The main reason is fear. How do you come out to your doctor if you suspect they might be homophobic? Will he or she out you to your family and co-workers? Will they deny you care, ask you to see another doctor, or give you inferior care? These are real fears, after all. But fear has no place in a doctor’s office. The consequences are too great.
If your doctor does not know you are gay, he is not going to ask you the right questions, screen for conditions you are at risk for, and in some cases not provide the right treatment. I spend a lot of time talking about Safe Sex 101 to new patients. Unfortunately, few straight doctors are going to know the specifics of safe sex as applied to gay men. And many are not well-versed in certain screenings and vaccines because they do not really apply to straight men.
For example, gay men are at a higher risk for anal cancer. If your doctor does not know you are gay, he might not recommend, as we do, that you receive Gardasil & Gardasil-9 vaccines. These vaccines protect against HPV (the virus that causes anal cancer). Also gay men should receive Hepatitis A&B vaccines, due to the increased level of exposure.
And here’s yet another example. Let’s say you are worried because you hooked up on GrindR and had unsafe sex with a guy who is HIV positive. If you are not out to your doctor, you would not confide in him and he would not have the opportunity to treat you with a post-exposure prophylactic (PrEP) that would prevent you from contracting the virus.
A doctor who does not have the capacity to understand and a patient who is too fearful to explain are in danger of giving and receiving bad treatment. If you do not have a gay doctor, I strongly urge you to come out to him or her (if you think it is safe — there are many wonderful heterosexual doctors who do great work with gay patients). There is nothing wrong with having a straight doctor; only with being a silent patient.
If you cannot or will not come out, I urge you to seek out a gay doctor. Silence is a treatable condition. Get rid of it once and for all.
Why We Specialize In Gay Men, Lesbians And Transgendered.
We treat everyone, but we specialize in gay, lesbian and transgendered patients. Years ago, I worked in a straight medical practice in Smyrna. I was astounded at the number of gay, lesbian and transgendered patients who made the long drive to see a gay doctor. It was then that I decided to open a gay practice, if only to save everyone the gas money!
We treat everyone equally. While we specialize in LGBT folks, we have a significant number of heterosexual patients who love our setting, our philosophy and the way we practice medicine.