LGBT+ Champions Group Blog


Blog 7

LGBT History Month 2024 – Medicine Under the Scope

LGBT History month is an important month in the cultural calendar. It provides us with
crucial information and knowledge that everyone should be made aware of regardless of
gender or sexual orientation. For the entire month of February organisations and individuals
take this opportunity to convey these for the most part unheard and unspoken observations.
Subsequently this emphasises the contributions and achievements of the LGBT Community
in our past present and future. In conjunction with the prejudices and barriers that they
encounter in every aspect of their daily lives. Because of this we would like to assist them in
their pursuit to secure their past, salute their present and engineer a more inclusive future, by
discussing a few of these observations.

This year the theme is Medicine Under the Scope. I would like to draw attention to a couple
of the people from the LGBT community who have made significant and ground-breaking
contributions to the medical and health care system. For instance, Martha Carey Thomas
(1857-1935), the first woman president of Bryn Mawr College and established the John
Hopkins Medical college, with the stipulation that women would be permitted to study. Sir
Harold Gillies and his associate Ralph Millard carried out female to male surgery way back
in 1945! Followed by around thirteen surgeries between 1946 and 1949, the details of which
were obscured. In 1946 the gentleman who received the surgery, Michael Dillon, who also
became a physician, published ‘Self, A Study in Endocrinology and Ethics’, where he was
quoted as stating ‘Where the mind cannot be made to fit the body, the body should be made
to fit, approximately at any rate to fit the mind’. A very poignant and powerful quote that
seemed to be way ahead of its time.

More recently in 2019 a report from the House of Commons Women and Equalities
Committee found that people from the LGBT community are predisposed to lesser
magnitudes of care, however they are predominantly less healthy overall. According to the
enquiry, medical professionals tend to concentrate on sexual health, rather than the more
holistic all-round approach that is required for everyone. Unfortunately, further research and
training is required for medical professionals to fully meet the needs of the LGBT

On a positive note, in 2019 The World Health Organisation declassified trans as a mental
illness. Additionally, in 2021 gay men are finally afforded the same opportunity to give blood
in the UK. Before this, any potential male donor who’d had intercourse with another man in
the previous three months wasn’t permitted to give blood. It is important to point out that
although these developments are good news for the LGBT Community, they are rights that
should never have to be considered, as we are all human and therefore should all be held by
the same standards and have access to the same opportunities. That is why we must continue
to strive for the rights of this community to be treated they way they deserve with respect,
dignity, and full inclusion.

Client Support Officer /LGBT Champion

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