Navigating primary health care: LGBTQ+ patients

For Alberta’s LGBTQ+ population, finding a family doctor who understands and can support their unique primary care needs is easier said than done.
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With unique health concerns that span sexual health, mental health, screenings, medication and more, it can be a tough system to navigate — especially for those who are just beginning to self-identify. 
June is Pride Month: a movement that commemorates and celebrates the self-affirmation, dignity, equality and increased visibility of LGBTQ+ people around the world. 
Alberta Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are committed to fostering safe and inclusive environments that deeply value diversity, while respecting and acknowledging the contributions of every individual – this includes patients, families, health care providers, physicians and volunteers. We support all health journeys. 
If you live in Alberta and identify as LGBTQ+ and need specific health care support, take time to review the following list of resources and supports within the province.  
And remember: no matter who you are, or where you are on your self-identification journey, you can always book an appointment with your family doctor — or a doctor you feel comfortable sharing information with — to safely discuss personal health and related goals.  
For tips on how to start the conversation with your doctor, visit Alberta Health Services’ website.  
Resources and supports for all LGBTQ+ patients in Alberta 
Skipping Stone Foundation — Skipping Stone Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support and empower trans and gender diverse people and their families in Alberta. The organization offers a wide range of community, educational and medical supports for the trans community. Services include group support, gender affirming gear, community events, medical and mental health services, system navigation, training and education and ID services. Both online and in-person options are available. 
Pflag Canada & Pflag Alberta — Pflag Canada is a national charitable organization, founded by parents who wished to help themselves and their family understand and accept their LGBTQ+ children. Regular meetings are held at a variety of locations across Alberta.

Trans Lifeline — Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline and non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis — for the trans community, by the trans community. 

Freddie — Founded by two Calgarian physicians, Freddie is a telemedicine service that connects Albertans with physicians who specialize in HIV care and are certified to prescribe the preventative medication HIV PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis).  

Trans Parent Alberta 101 — Trans Parent Alberta 101 is a compilation of resources for supportive parents, transgender parents, family and allies of transgender, non-binary and gender diverse children (minor or adult) in Alberta.

Youth Line — Youth Line offers confidential and non-judgmental peer support through telephone, text and chat services. LGBT Youth Line is a LGBTQ+ youth-led organization that affirms and supports the experiences of Canadians aged 29 and under. 
Calgary-based organizations 
Centre for Sexuality — The Centre for Sexuality normalizes sexuality and sexual health in Alberta and across Canada by providing evidence-informed, non-judgmental sexual health programs and services. The centre provides teaching, training and advocacy in the areas of sexuality, healthy relationships, human rights, gender identity, sexual orientation, equality and consent in the Calgary area. 
Calgary Outlink: Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity — Calgary Outlink is a community-based, not-for-profit charity dedicated to providing support, education, outreach, and referrals for LGBTQ+ and allied communities in Calgary. Calgary Outlink runs groups, peer support programs and community events. The website includes a community calendar of upcoming events and programs.  
End of the Rainbow Foundation — End of the Rainbow Foundation connects sexually diverse (SOGIE) people to volunteers to create support groups and mentorship; match convention refugees to sponsor groups or ‘groups of five’; and provide language, employment and other training or educational services. 
The Alex — The Alex is a Calgary-based non-profit health and social services organization that provides integrated and accessible supports. With a full complement of health, housing and community programs, The Alex is a hub of supports and outreach services. The organization runs social groups for adults and youth that identify as LGBTQ+. The Alex can also support individuals with hormone starts. 
Edmonton-based organizations 
Pride Centre of Edmonton — Pride Centre of Edmonton provides supports that respond to the needs of people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, and of the people in their lives. The centre provides resources, volunteer opportunities, counselling and referrals for those seeking help. 
Brite Line — Brite Line is Edmonton’s first mental health and wellness helpline dedicated to supporting people in Edmonton’s LGBTQ+ community. 
Edmonton 2 Spirit Society — Edmonton Two Spirit Society provides social, health, and/or cultural programs and services primarily for Two-Spirit, IndigiQueer and/or Indigenous LGBTQ+ communities. 
The Rainbow Pages — The Rainbow Pages is a resource guide developed by The Family Centre of Northern Alberta to provide LGBTQ+ youth and the youth-serving community with a consolidated guide of supports available in Edmonton. 
Edmonton Men’s Health Collective  — Edmonton Men’s Health Collective is a local, grassroots health movement run for and by gay, bisexual, queer and trans men. 

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