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Why LGBTQ+ Focused Healthcare?

The LGBTQ+ community is made up of a broad variety of identities, experiences, and healthcare needs. With over 25 years of providing services to our Tampa Bay community, we know that these unique needs are best met with a holistic, inclusive and community-based approach. METRO offers a welcoming environment where your concerns are heard, and your healthcare needs are fully addressed.

LGBTQ+ individuals are:

  • Less likely to have health insurance or fill prescriptions.
  • More likely to delay seeking care.
  • More likely to refuse healthcare services due to experiences with providers who are not experienced in LGBTQ+ care. 
  • More likely to experience fear due to stigma, discrimination and institutional bias in healthcare systems.
  • More likely to be obese and have a higher rate of HPV.
  • At higher-risk for certain cancers. For example, lesbian and bisexual cisgender women have a higher risk for cervical cancer, while gay and bisexual cisgender men have higher risk for anal cancer.
  • More affected by intersectional issues. For example, LGBTQ+ individuals of a racial or ethnic minority background may face additional economic barriers or experience heightened mistrust of medical providers.

“7 out of 10 LGBTQ + patients have had negative healthcare experiences.”

Metro Inclusive Health’s Medical Director, Dr. Luke Johnsen on importance of LGBTQ+ inclusive care.

Benefits of Inclusive Healthcare:

  • Medical staff embrace (and may identify with) LGBTQ+ identities and experiences.
  • An inclusive environment creates space for open and honest dialogue, without fear of judgement.
  • Patients benefit from specialized care for all genders and sexual orientations.
  • Comprehensive prevention and sexual health care and education.
  • LGBTQ+ affirming mental health and psychiatric evaluation services.
  • Trained providers work with the transgender community for needs such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), reproductive care, and specialist referrals.

METRO accepts most major insurances and offers sliding fee scale self-pay options, based on income.


“LGBT Health Disparities.” Cigna, Feb. 2017,

Grant, Jaime M., Lisa A. Mottet, Justin Tanis, Jack Harrison, Jody L. Herman, and Mara Keisling. Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.Washington: National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2011.

Lick, D., Durso, L.E., & Johnson, K.L. (2013). Minority Stress and Physical Health Among Sexual Minorities. Pers on Psychological Sci 8(5): 521-548.

Dibble, S.L., Roberts, S.A., and Nussey, B. (2004) Comparing breast cancer risk between lesbians and their heterosexual sisters. Women’s Health Issues March-April 2004 Volume 14(2)60-68.

National LGBT Cancer Network. Electronic article: HPV and Cancer. (2013)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Health Statistics Reports (July 2014) Sexual Orientation and Health Among U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2013.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). HIV Among Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men.