CINCINNATI — For members of the LGBTQ+ community, seeking medical treatment can be difficult. But a big donation will go a long way toward helping fight back against discrimination.
A survey by the national LGBTQ Task Force showed 28% of respondents were subjected to harassment in medical settings.
“Just because they don’t like them, they’re not comfortable with their life’s journey, that they’re simply biased,” former WCPO reporter Jay Shatz said.
A six-figure donation recently made by Shatz and his husband will hopefully keep discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community out of the doctor's office.
“Recently Stan and I celebrated our 30th anniversary, six years being married, and part of that journey has involved us lying to our doctors," he said. "Going into a doctor’s office and not revealing that we are gay men out of fear that we would be refused care or given lower quality of care.”
Members of the transgender and nonbinary communities face their own set of challenges, and the donated money will go to provide a trusted guide for those in need.
“The focus of the donation is to provide a navigator – someone who, the moment a patient comes through the front door, is treated with compassion, respect and understanding,” Shatz said.
Cincinnati Planned Parenthood CEO Kersha Deibel said the donation will do just that.
“I’m just so happy for us to be able to use this donation to really enhance the efforts and uplift the healthcare needs of the LGBTQ+ community,” she said.
Non-judgmental care is a core focus of Planned Parenthood, Deibel said. The donation will go straight to caring for those who need it most.
“We know through experience and 90-plus years of providing care that when folks are truly cared for, when you can center people’s lived experiences, that makes their lives, their families, their communities and the state even better,” she said.
For Shatz and husband Stan, it’s a chance to do something positive for a population that is frequently marginalized.
“Look at what is being built in our community,” he said. “You have Cincinnati Children’s, which has an excellent program for transgender kids, but they age out of that, so we’re developing this continuum of non-judgmental care.”
People seeking care, including hormone therapy, can head to Planned Parenthoold’s website for more information.