• Kristen Kelley

LGBT Tech Signs On to Letter Advocating for the Collection of SOGISC Data in Healthcare

This Pride month, the National LGBT Cancer Network released an open letter urging health care leaders to widely implement the collection of voluntary information from patients on sexual orientation, gender identity and variation in sex characteristics (also known as intersex status) (SOGISC). LGBT Tech signed on to the letter alongside 180 LGBTQI+ advocacy and ally organizations.

The letter highlights the long history of medical discrimination against the LGBTQI+ community and how current invisibility of the community in medical data and research still plays a big role in the quality of healthcare that we receive. This lack of data collection is especially pressing during the pandemic, the letter states: “We know almost nothing about COVID-19’s impacts on LGBTQI+ communities.” The pandemic has disproportionately affected many underserved communities; Black, Native American, and Latinx communities have seen the highest number of COVID cases and deaths. Low-wage workers were also stuck working precariously on the frontlines or losing their jobs at high rates during the pandemic while others transitioned to working remotely from the safety of their homes. While many of these statistics already include members of the LGBTQI+ community, very little information exists about the specific ways in which the community has been affected by the pandemic.

The collection of SOGISC data is crucial to the health of the community even outside of the context of a global pandemic. On its Policy Priority list, the National LGBT Cancer Network gives examples of