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Gender Expression: LGBTQ+ Inclusive Healthcare


Gender is a concept with many facets. Everyone has a gender expression. Can learning about gender expression help healthcare professionals provide better and more effective treatment plans for the LGBTQ+ community?

Gender Expression: LGBTQ+ Inclusive Healthcare

Gender Expression

Gender expression refers to the ways that individuals present their gender identity and themselves. This can be clothing, haircuts, behaviors, etc. For many, there can be confusion between what society expects from their gender and how these individuals choose to present themselves. Gender expression is constructed from the culture that surrounds it, meaning that there may be a shared social expectation about gender. It can also mean that the same feminine hair or clothing style in one setting could be seen as masculine in another.

  • Society tries to regulate expression by making women wear certain kinds of clothes, and men other kinds, in order to participate in school, work, and when in public.
  • When cultures enforce gender norms it is known as gender policing, which can range from dress codes to physical and emotional punishment.
  • Creating a safe space for all genders requires awareness of these explicit or implicit gender norms so policing can be prevented. (José A Bauermeister, et al., 2017)
  • Research has shown that there are increased rates of discrimination against transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals compared with bias against those who are LGBTQ. (Elizabeth Kiebel, et al., 2020)

Health Care

  • Gender expression can and does affect access to and quality of health care.
  • Individuals with a gender expression that is different from what is expected for their assigned sex at birth may experience increased bias and harassment from providers. (Human Rights Watch. 2018)
  • A significant percentage of patients feared health workers would treat them differently because of their expression. (Cemile Hurrem Balik Ayhan et al., 2020)
  • Minority stress has been shown to play an important role in health imbalances. (I H Meyer. 1995)
  • Research suggests that gender expression is a part of the minority stress described by cisgender sexual minorities and gender minorities. (Puckett JA, et al., 2016)

Better Training

  • The effects of gender expression are different depending on a person’s sex, gender identity, and their setting.
  • However, doctors do need to know a person’s sex that was assigned at birth to be able to do proper screening tests, like screening for prostate or cervical cancer.
  • One way to be more affirming is for the doctor to introduce themselves first, using their own pronouns.
  • Health workers should ask everyone what name they prefer to be called and what pronouns they use.
  • This simple act invites the patient to share without creating awkward uneasiness.

Each person chooses how to present themselves to the world, and we respect all. We at Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic will work to address the effects of minority stress on health disparities and raise awareness of the ways to continually improve positive experiences for LGTBQ+ individuals seeking inclusive health care for neuromusculoskeletal injuries, conditions, fitness, nutritional, and functional health.

Revolutionizing Healthcare


Bauermeister, J. A., Connochie, D., Jadwin-Cakmak, L., & Meanley, S. (2017). Gender Policing During Childhood and the Psychological Well-Being of Young Adult Sexual Minority Men in the United States. American journal of men’s health, 11(3), 693–701. doi.org/10.1177/1557988316680938

Kiebel, E., Bosson, J. K., & Caswell, T. A. (2020). Essentialist Beliefs and Sexual Prejudice Toward Feminine Gay Men. Journal of homosexuality, 67(8), 1097–1117. doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2019.1603492

Human Rights Watch. “You Don’t Want Second Best”—Anti-LGBT Discrimination in US Health Care.

Ayhan, C. H. B., Bilgin, H., Uluman, O. T., Sukut, O., Yilmaz, S., & Buzlu, S. (2020). A Systematic Review of the Discrimination Against Sexual and Gender Minority in Health Care Settings. International journal of health services: planning, administration, evaluation, 50(1), 44–61. doi.org/10.1177/0020731419885093

Meyer I. H. (1995). Minority stress and mental health in gay men. Journal of health and social behavior, 36(1), 38–56.

Puckett, J. A., Maroney, M. R., Levitt, H. M., & Horne, S. G. (2016). Relations between gender expression, minority stress, and mental health in cisgender sexual minority women and men. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 3(4), 489–498. doi.org/10.1037/sgd0000201

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Gender Expression: LGBTQ+ Inclusive Healthcare" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
License Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*
Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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