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Coming out to others

Your doctor and dentist

COMING OUTA friendly, understanding, doctor (GP) or dentist can be hard to find, but they are vital parts of maintaining our health. Of course, when we're younger we like to think of ourselves as invincible but finding one urgently can be hard if you're not registered.

Even in the 21st century, responses from GPs and dentists that you are gay can be positive and negative, but less negative these days. You may wish to consider telling them about your sexuality once you feel you can trust them, though, in the meantime, this may affect the treatment you receive.

Ask questions

If you're looking to register consider phoning up anonymously first to:

  • find out if the ‘vibe’ feels right
  • find out if they are ‘gay-friendly’
  • gauge what they have to say

This may seem a little direct but it's kind of the point. Listen to what they have to say. You will most likely get the "all the NHS staff are professional" response but go with your gut feeling and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You will most likely speak to a receptionist but if would like someone more senior you can ask to speak to the practice manager.

HIV and LGBT+ organisations

If you don’t know where to start, contacting a local HIV or LGBT+ organisation can be a good place to start. While they may not be able to help you directly they usually know what’s going on in the area and can signpost accordingly.

Chemsex and your GP

It’s understandable why you might feel your GP won’t have the knowledge and expertise they need but they should be able to be supportive and/ or signpost you to someone who can. This might include a drug or counselling service though these are unlikely to be gay-specific. GPs are also the ‘gateway’ to local health services so developing a relationship with your GP is potentially very helpful.

Disclosing your sexuality

Disclosing your sexuality to your GP or dentist may mean that it is recorded on your medical notes. Medical records can be accessed by a range of organisations including life insurers, which can raise the whole question of HIV and testing. However, bottom line, we do recommend that you do at least register with a GP ... never know when you might need one!

Your NHS number

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Benefits of using the NHS Number | NHS

More

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