UPDATED June 27, 2022
By Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D.
Director, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ+)1, experience health disparities and face barriers to accessing health care. SGM populations have higher burdens of certain diseases, such as depression, certain cancers, and tobacco-related conditions. But the extent and causes of health disparities are not fully known, mechanisms remain unclear, and more research on how to close these gaps is needed.
Stigmatization, hate-related violence, and discrimination are still major barriers to the health and well-being of SGM populations. SGM individuals who are also from racial, ethnic, and/or immigrant minority communities may be even more vulnerable because they face similar barriers, discrimination, and health challenges that are unique to those experienced by all minority populations.