LGBTQ+ in healthcare

We've made a timeline of some amazing achievements people in the LGBTQ+ community and activists have made in healthcare.

1873 – 1945
Dr. Sara Josephine Baker
Dr Baker is an American doctor known for her contributions to public health, especially in the immigrant communities of New York City.

Her work focused on improving poverty among children in urban areas across the US. In 1917, she noted that babies born in the United States had a higher mortality rate than soldiers fighting in the first world war, which drew a lot of attention to her cause.

She also is known for tracking down Mary Mallon twice, the infamous case known as Typhoid Mary.

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1890 – 1962
Dr. Alan L. Hart
Dr Hart was one of the first transgender men to undergo hysterectomy and gonadectomy in 1918 in the United States.

He’s most famous for pioneering the use of X-Ray photography in diagnosing tuberculosis. He was instrumental in developing tuberculosis screening, the most significant disease-related cause of death in the United States at the time.

Dr Hart’s TB screening programs saved thousands of lives across America.

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1934 - 1994
Bruce Voeller, PhD
Bruce Voeller was an American biologist and AIDS researcher. Before the 1980s, AIDS was known by several different names, including GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency).

Voeller knew this term was inaccurate and coined the term we still use today: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS.

Voeller established the Mariposa Foundation, which researched human sexuality and found ways to reduce the risks of related diseases.

At the time of his death, Voeller’s research centred on the reliability of condoms to prevent the spreading of diseases like AIDS.

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1937 – 2003
Dr. John Ercel Fryer
Dr John Ercel Fryer was an American psychiatrist and gay rights activist.

He's best known for his speech at the 1972 American Psychiatric Association (APA) annual conference, where he appeared in disguise and under Dr. Henry Anonymous.

His famous speech spoke about the difficulties facing gay physicians in a world where being gay was still considered a mental illness. Fryer was the first gay American psychiatrist to talk publicly about his sexuality. 

His speech was cited as a key factor in removing homosexuality as a mental illness from the APA's Diagnostic and Statisical Manual of Mental Disorders.

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Lawrence D. Mass, M.D
Lawrence D. Mass is an American physician and writer.

Although the APA changed its classification of homosexuality so it was no longer considered a mental illness, this didn’t change the homophobia prevalent in psychiatry at the time.

Mass went up for a residency in Chicago and mentioned he was gay in the interview. The negative response was the catalyst for Mass moving into journalism and activism. Mass wasn’t afraid of publishing politically charged articles and often used his medical background to speak about sexual health in the gay community during the 1970s. 

Rumours of a disease that only affected gay men made their way to Mass, kickstarting his research, writing and his integral role in fighting the miss information around the HIV/AIDs crisis. 

In 1982, Mass co-founded Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) which is still one of the biggest and most important AIDS organisations in the world.
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Rebecca Anne Allison, M.D.
Dr Becky Allison is a cardiologist and has been repeatedly chosen by her peers as one of Phoenix Magazine's "Top Doctors." 

In 1996, Becky began publishing her experience of medically transitioning after her last surgery in 1994. 

She wanted her work to help others transition and make the experience less stressful. Many transgender people have often explained the comfort they received from Becky's writings.Becky has been a board member and the past President of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. 

She also served as chair of the American Medical Association's Advisory Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues and currently serves on the Board of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.

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Dr Rachel Levine
Dr Rachel Levine is an American paediatrician who has served as the United States Assistant Secretary for Health since March 26, 2021.

In 2011, Lavine fully transitioned and worked at Penn State Hershey Medical Centre. The medical centre's non-discrimination policy included sexual orientation but didn’t include gender identity and expression. 

Levine worked with the administration to create the “Levine Policy”, which made gender identity and expression protected categories. She also became the diversity office’s liaison for LGBTQ affairs and helped the medical centre establish a more welcoming environment for members of the LGBTQ community.

Levine became the highest-ranking openly transgender government official in U.S. history when the Senate confirmed her as the 17th Assistant Secretary for Health in March 2021.

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Professor Kevin Fenton
Professor Kevin Fenton is the Public Health Regional Director for London. He’s worked in many different roles across public health, government and academia.

Fenton is the Co-Chair of Fast Track Cities, which focuses on HIV prevention policy and programmes, as well as the Chief Advisor on HIV to the UK Government and is the Chair of the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group.

His work combatting the COVID-19 pandemic was recognised by ranking second in the 2021 annual Powerlist of the most influential Black Britons.

Speaking to London Friend, Fenton said "HIV, and more recently COVID-19 as global pandemics have taught us that social injustice anywhere results in social injustice everywhere."

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Dr Ranj Singh
Dr Ranj Singh is best known as the Resident Doctor on This Morning and his advocacy work for the LGBTQ+ community.

Using his media presence to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues, Dr Ranj has often publicly spoken out about gay representation and homophobia.

Having grown up in a strict Sikh house, Dr Ranj didn’t open up about this sexuality for several years until he was overcome by the need to live authentically.

Since then, Dr Ranj has become very active in speaking and promoting inclusivity, LGBT acceptance and reducing homophobia.

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Audrey Tang
Audrey Tang is a computer scientist and Digital Minister in Taiwan who made their name as an open-source hacker.

In early 2020, Taiwan had a mask supply problem as a wave of panic buying depleted stocks of face masks across the country. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, civic-minded programmers set up crowdsourced maps showing where people could still buy masks.

With Tang’s support, the “Mask Map” grew into a government-supported programme, open to the public, using information from the Taiwanese National Health Service to provide accurate and reliable information.

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Dr Ronx Ikharia
Dr Ronx Ikharia is an inspiring trans and non-binary A&E medical doctor working in East London, a television presenter, author, mentor and activist. In other words, they do it all!

Describing themself as a queer, black, androgynous intersectional feminist, Dr Ronx is passionate about volunteering and has mentored young people in their local community: Hackney.

Growing up, they left home as a teenager and self-funded their way through medical school. Their motto in life is “You cannot be what you do not see.”

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