Montefiore pediatrician Dr. Lauren Roth knows how important it is to be accepting of members of the LGBTQ community — her brother identifies as transgender.
And with Pride month having just concluded, Roth, in her medical role, continues to raise awareness about terms to know, understand and use appropriately when interacting with the LGTBQ+ community.
Roth told the Bronx Times that society has come a long way in accepting and supporting gender identities, but there is still room for education on things such as gender expression, cisgender, transgender, gender diverse and non-binary.
“The best thing you can do for your child is to support them and love them unconditionally, no matter how they identify,” she said.
After her brother came out as transgender in 2016, Roth realized how important it is for doctors to relate to LGBTQ patients. So, while a resident at Columbia University, she developed a curriculum to educate medical professionals about LGBTQ terminology, inclusive and supportive language, what it means to be non-binary and transgender, and how to interact with LGBTQ youth.
She then brought the program to Montefiore in 2020 and it has had a positive impact at the hospital.
“I think it really has been well received,” Roth said. “I think people want to understand this content better.”
According to Roth, many LGBTQ patients often come out to doctors before their parents because they feel comfortable with them. However, she pointed out that some kids are kicked out of their homes when they tell their family they are LGBTQ, which isn’t necessarily surprising as LGBTQ youth make up 40% of the homeless population.
“I try to be as non-judgmental as possible so they can share with me,” she said. “These identities have been around for a long time. I hope people reading this know that it’s normal to be LGBTQ.”
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