Minnesota Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer
Patient Toolkit

Welcome

This toolkit was created as a quick reference guide that is easy to read and use, specifically to empower LBGTQ Minnesotans who are seeking competent health and human services. There are also useful definitions, terms and a master resource list located in the back! Feel free to skip from section to section, and remember to reach out for help.

We all deserve to be healthy, to be cared for, and to have our needs met, not despite our sexual orientation or gender identities but because of them. It is important that we all begin with a shared definition of health. The World Health Organization defines health as “...a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Starting from this definition, health goes beyond recovering from an illness or receiving correct medication, and actively includes having a fulfilling life with dignity and stability. As you look to seek out care, you deserve care that authentically sees you and empowers you toward your individual health goals. Your story matters. You matter.

Welcome to the Minnesota lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Patient Toolkit designed by Rainbow Health Initiative. If you are new to the state, new to pursuing health care, or simply looking to expand your understanding, we hope that this Toolkit will guide your learning. This Toolkit covers Minnesota-specific information on health care plans, legal rights, and advocacy, as well as information on self-care, shaping patient/provider relationships and local resources for food, housing and social support.

For the purpose of this toolkit, the term LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) will be used to describe the entire community and its various identities. We acknowledge that using LGBTQ does not explicitly cover all identities, and would like to note that as an organization we endorse all self-identification. It is important to mention that Minnesota’s health and human services systems often function within strict federal guidance around compliance,regulations and training required for professionals by licensure boards. This is important because no training on LGBTQ identities is required for licensure or compliance in the State of Minnesota. Some systems choose to train their staff but often we have found that since LGBTQ inclusion is not being required, most systems commit to no more than a one hour training for some staff each year. This Toolkit heavily focuses on western medicine and health insurance. While resources for complementary and alternative methods of healing and health will be provided, it will not receive the same attention as medical and mental health practices that are funded by insurance. This is based solely on the reasoning that access and navigation of these systems is often the most tricky. Insurance often does not cover complementary and alternative medicine, therefore providers practicing alternative medicine often do not need to collect legal name, insurance info, or legal gender marker to provide services. This can make alternative medicine practices safer spaces to show up authentically. We do include some of these safe and affirming holistic services in our resource guide.

This toolkit should not be read as legal or medical advice or counsel. Take precaution and meet with professionals and advocates as necessary to shape your actions.

If you are specifically looking for a care provider, please use the new provider directory tool at mnlgbtqdirectory.org

Lead authors in Alphabetical Order
Indie Lewis - MPH Candidate: University of Minnesota
EJ Olson - MA: Rainbow Health Initiative

Designers
Emma Marchese
tré martínez-kukowski

Editors
Dylan Flunker - MPP: Rainbow Health Initiative
Heidi Johnson - MA: Rainbow Health Initiative

Lead authors in Alphabetical Order
Indie Lewis - MPH Candidate: University of Minnesota
EJ Olson - MA: Rainbow Health Initiative

Designers
Emma Marchese
tré martínez-kukowski

Editors
Dylan Flunker - MPP: Rainbow Health Initiative
Heidi Johnson - MA: Rainbow Health Initiative