My name is Cecelia Chung. I am a residence
in San Francisco and I am also a commissioner on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
I had a bad experience in Hospital with when I first began my transition. I had really
severe abdominal pain I went into Emergency Room. They immediately dismissed my symptoms.
I overheard their nurse calling me “A Drama Queen” they did not give me any really complete
examination and decided to discharge me. They actually escorted me out with a security guard. It’s a sad reality that LGBT people still
face discrimination in healthcare. A study by Lamda Legal in 2010 reported that 56 percent
of lesbian, gay, bisexual patients and 70 percent of transgender patients experienced
so form of discrimination. These patients are reporting being refused healthcare, blamed
for their health status subjected to harsh treatment and physical abuse. The fear of
discrimination or discrimination itself lead LGBT people to avoid seeking healthcare and
as a result Healthcare disparities are rampant in the LGBT community. I endured another long week of excruciating
abdominal pain I went to the emergency room again to the same hospital. They found out
that I actually had developed Gang Green already at that point. Had I not gone into the emergency
room at that eleventh hour I would have died. There are things you can do to protect your
healthcare rights: Plan ahead if there is a hospital you frequent check out their Patients’
Bill of Rights if it doesn’t include LGBT protections ask them why. Make sure you complete
your hospital visitation forms and keep them in a safe place where they can be accessed
in an emergency. Complete advance Healthcare Directives and make sure that your family
knows your healthcare wishes. Also take a look at the hospital visitation policies again,
if they don’t include LGBT patients ask them why. I’ve become more proactive in my own healthcare.
I decided when I choose my primary care providers I made up some questions that I was gonna
go through. I asked them about their experiences in treating transgender patients and that’s
how I was able to found this wonderful relationship that I have with my primary care provider
and shes been my doctress for over 10 years now. I think it would definitely be helpful had
the Healthcare Equality Index been around at the time when I had all my challenges with
the emergency room services. It would give me the tool to really advocate for myself
at the time when I needed it most. The message to all hospital its really basic. They shouldn’t
be looking at people because of their skin color because of their sexual orientation
or gender identity. They should be treating people because they are there to save life
its their job. When they take their oath they have taken an oath to save life.