Lesbian, Bi, & Queer (LBQ) women face significant barriers to accessing primary health care, including experiencing homophobia, biphobia and low rates of insurance coverage. LBQ women have lacked access to culturally appropriate health care, mental health services, and life-saving preventative services. Two leaders in the Center's Health Services department of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Angie Magaña (Manager of the Audre Lorde Health Program) and Amy Kane (Manager of Mental Health Programs), went up to Sacramento to share their stories with the Budget Subcommittee of Health & Human Services.
The Resistance Squad got a chance to ask them a couple of questions about their involvement in advocating for women and how the Sacramento trip went.
How do you help LBQ women at the Center?
We are both healthcare providers. Angie sees patients in our Audre Lorde Health Program for primary healthcare needs and Amy is a therapist and sees patients for behavioral health needs. We are both passionate about advocating for this community, spending time on the ALHP steering committee, as well as other coalitions, both internally and externally.
Why is it urgent for us to fight for lesbian, bi, & queer women’s health?
LBQ women are an invisible portion of our population. The health disparities are staggering, in terms of preventative health (breast cancer, cervical cancer) as well as mental health (depression, anxiety, substance use, intimate partner violence).
How did it feel to go up to Sacramento to fight for women’s rights?
Empowering! This is the first ask of its kind EVER for the LBQ population. It was clear that legislators were shocked by the stories of discrimination and subpar health and mental health care for this community. We were proud to create awareness and hopefully, we inspired them to act and finally give a voice to this community.
If you would like to advocate for Lesbian, Bi, & Queer women’s health like Angie and Amy, please join us at our letter writing action by clicking here.