Summer Planning Toolkit modules

Module 2: Caring for vulnerable populations

People who identify as LGBTIQA+

People who identify as LGBTIQA+

People who identify as LGBTIQA+ have a unique set of experiences that may make them more vulnerable during natural disasters and other emergencies. 

In addition to physical losses associated with natural disasters and other emergencies, many may feel fear, marginalisation, misunderstanding, exclusion and discrimination when accessing mainstream support services, staying in temporary accommodation, using gender specific bathrooms, or accessing temporary gender affirming clothing. Previously accessible safe spaces and trusted services may become inaccessible during and after a natural disaster or emergency, leading patients who identify as LGBTIQA+ to access services they haven’t built a trusting relationship with yet.

A person who has not publicly disclosed their sexuality may be exposed unnecessarily or need to disclose their sexuality where they wouldn’t have needed to otherwise. Others who have lost their home may fear returning to their family or staying with certain people due to discrimination 13

It is always important for general practice staff to understand that people may have divulged their identity in the general practice context but may not be ready to do so with certain friends or family. As natural disasters and other emergencies can be intense and unpredictable, it is important that practice staff maintain confidentiality and support patients with different circumstances.