In the box below you can record your reflections on the issues arising from this scenario. What would you do if faced with this situation in your job, or how might you advise someone you manage? After submitting your reflections, you will be able to print them out for future reference and read Stonewall’s advice and guidance on this topic.
Stonewall Scotland’s Your Services Your Say research found that more than half of LGBT people have experienced NHS staff making incorrect assumptions about their sexual orientation or gender identity. This was even higher among lesbians (75 per cent) and trans people (60 per cent).
Many LGBT people feel that in certain situations, it’s easier to fit in with assumptions rather than run the risk of negative reactions from staff at services. In this situation, Chris chose to come out to the receptionist after initially not mentioning his sexual orientation. The receptionist assumed that Chris was in a mixed-sex relationship – referring to him as ‘the man’. Embarrassment leads to an abrupt end to the phone call.
Posters for healthcare
Stonewall have produced posters for healthcare organisations to display in their waiting rooms and other patient areas to encourage LGBT people to access health services and to advise them of what to do if they've had a bad experience when accessing treatment. These can be ordered directly from Stonewall Scotland.