LGBTQ Equality | Overview
At Boston Children’s Hospital, we are committed to providing comprehensive and affirming treatment to our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) patients and families. We are enhancing the health of our LGBTQ patients and families by understanding and addressing the gaps in their care, while creating a welcoming hospital environment inclusive of the entire LGBTQ community.
We are proud to have been awarded the Healthcare Equality Index's Leadership Status in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. The Healthcare Equality Index reviews health care facilities’ policies and practices to ensure equal access and treatment of LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees.
At Boston Children’s, we provide LGBTQ patient- and family-centered care in four key areas:
Patient non-discrimination: We provide medical care to all patients, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Equal visitation: We welcome all visitors, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Employment non-discrimination: We welcome all people to apply to our open job positions, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Training in LGBTQ patient- and family-centered care: We offer training to our staff on LGBTQ patient- and family-centered care. Learn more about the Safe Zone training program offered to our staff.
Our hospital is committed to ensuring that all LGBTQ patients, families, and staff work, visit, and receive care in an LGBTQ affirming environment. We offer single-stall bathrooms in many of our locations for the comfort of all of our visitors.
Our staff and departments
Please feel free to search our directory of health care providers who have self-identified as LGBTQ trained, allies, and/or “out.” We keep this list continually updated.
- LGBTQ trained: Staff who have completed the Safe Zone training program or another LGBTQ-focused training.
- Allies: Staff who have self-identified as supporting equal access and affirming treatment of LGBTQ patients, families, colleagues, and visitors.
- Out: Staff who have self-identified as members of the LGBTQ community
Several departments at Boston Children’s are focused on providing culturally competent care to our LGBTQ patients:
The Center for Gender Surgery at Boston Children's Hospital offers gender affirmation surgery services to eligible adolescents and young adults who are ready to take this step in their journey. It is the first center of its kind in the U.S. in a major pediatric hospital setting.
The Gender Management Service (GeMS) is committed to providing the highest level of individualized, safe, and affirmative care to gender-expansive and transgender individuals and their families. Founded in 2007, GeMS was the first major program in the U.S. to focus on treating gender-expansive and transgender adolescents. Since that time, we have expanded our program to welcome patients from ages 3 to 25.
The Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine provides primary and specialty care services to patients ages 10 to 23. The division founded the Boston Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Program, which aims to improve the health of adolescents in the United States through education, research, and program development. Its goal is to train the next generation of health care leaders in adolescent health.
The Behavioral Health, Endocrinology, Urology (BE-U) program is dedicated to providing care and support to infants, children, adolescents, and young adults with differences or disorders of sexual development. Our program includes specialists with expertise in treating conditions that cause ambiguous genitalia (a birth defect of the sex organs).
The Boston HIV Adolescent Provider and Peer Education Network for Services (HAPPENS) provides services to youth 12 to 24 years old who are HIV positive or at risk for the disease and other sexually transmitted diseases. HAPPENS offers free HIV counseling and testing for young adults 13 and older, and free sexual transmitted infections and viral hepatitis testing for young adults ages 13 to 24.
Engagement in LGBTQ research
Many Boston Children’s clinical staff and researchers are studying and improving the health of LGBTQ children and adolescents through community-based outreach, national advocacy efforts, and multi-center national studies. They include:
Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, whose primary research is in the behavioral sciences and social epidemiology, addressing social and physical environmental influences on physical activity, nutritional patterns, and eating disorders risk in school and community settings. Her research interests also include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescent health, in which she is examining sexual orientation group disparities in health in adolescence and identifying determinants with the goal of eliminating these disparities.
Researcher and social worker in the Center for Gender Surgery, whose research interests include ethical issues in gender-affirming care, expectations and outcomes for gender affirming surgeries, and how and whether providers are prepared to work with gender minority patients.
Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, whose research interests include contraceptives, HPV/cervical cancer, and LGBT health disparities. See her video abstract on sexual orientation differences in teen pregnancy and contraception use here.
Director of the Reproductive Endocrinology Program, who studies delayed puberty, disorders of sex development, and transgender youth using clinical research and human genetic approaches.
Postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, who studies the mental and physical health impacts of discrimination and the effects of gender norms on the health of young people. She has worked in the field of LGBT health for the past 14 years, first as a sexuality educator and HIV counselor and then in survey research and program evaluation.
Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology who engages in clinical and research work surrounding transgender and intersex reproductive health. She has been involved in trans health advocacy since her own adolescence, when she decided to pursued medicine to address disparities in care faced by these communities. Her interests center around optimizing reproductive health outcomes for both populations including hormonal and menstrual management, surgical care and family planning.
Medical fellow, Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, who researches transgender and gender nonconforming adolescents’ experiences in primary care as well as the relationship of gender identity and body image. She has done research related to contraceptive education and provision in adolescents and young adults.
Associate scientific researcher in the Division of General Pediatrics, who researches health disparities and inequities in LGBT populations, the epidemiology of infectious diseases in marginalized, underserved populations and mental health and substance use/abuse risks.
Co-director (with Urologist-in-Chief David A. Diamond, MD) of the Gender Management Service (GeMS) program at Boston Children’s, is a frequent speaker about transgender health and advocate for medical treatment and anti-discrimination laws. He has treated more than 250 transgender adults and 250 adolescents. He is part of the team that wrote groundbreaking guidelines about how to treat children with gender identity disorder.
Director of Clinical Research and senior staff psychologist in the Gender Management Service (GEMS), who works with clinicians and researchers to design research on DSD and transgender health care issues and also mentors trainees and fellows in research. She was one of the key people at Boston Children’s to secure a National Institutes of Health (NIH) award for a five-year, four-site study designed to provide evidence-based information on the safety and physiological and psychosocial impact of hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones in the transgender population.
Research scientist in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, who investigates sexual orientation and gender identity development, sexual fluidity and health disparities related to sexual orientation and gender identity in adolescents and young adults. She is working on a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study to examine how the family environment affects the health and well-being of transgender adolescents.
The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) working group, based at Boston Children’s and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, brings together experts from diverse disciplines whose work focuses on the intersections of sexual orientation, gender, and health. Biweekly meetings provide a space for members to discuss, critique, and develop research, advocacy, and public health projects focused on promoting health equity among gender and sexual minority groups.
We aim to connect our patients and families to health education and resources to help ensure continuity of care. We recommend the following resources:
Boston Children’s Hospital’s Neighborhood Partnership Program (BCHNP), part of our Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is a community mental health program that places social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists in schools and community health centers throughout Boston to provide behavioral health services to children and adolescents. The program provides education and support to students, families, and staff around concerns such as depression and suicide, bullying and sexuality.
The Center for Young Women’s Health, in collaboration with the Division of Adolescent Medicine and the Division of Gynecology, is an educational center that provides teen girls and young women with carefully researched health information, health education programs, and conferences. The website offers timely articles, blogs, and interactive features.
The Center for Young Men’s Health provides carefully researched health information to teenage boys and young men to help them improve their understanding of normal health and development, as well as of specific diseases and conditions. The goal is to empower teen boys and young men to take an active role in their own health care.
The Digital Wellness Lab is dedicated to understanding and responding to the effects of media on the physical, mental, and social health of children through research, production, and education. The lab communicates about such topics as youth and LGBTQ representation on television and how media can influence children as they develop their own sense of sexual identity and understanding of cultural norms when it comes to sexual behaviors.
LGBTQ & Friends
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer (LGBTQ) & Friends Group was started in December 2008 as a support group and resource for LGBTQ staff, patients, families, and friends.
At Boston Children's Hospital, we embrace our diversity not only to deliver the best care, but also to make Children's a better place to work. Children's supports our patients, families, and staff within the LGBTQ community.
LGBTQ & Friends is representative of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer staff and employees at Boston Children's Hospital — and for their friends and supporters. Current co-chairs are Todd Katzman and Allison Scobie-Carroll.
The LGBTQ & Friends meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 12 p.m. Meetings are held in the Surgical Library/Hunnewell 353, located on Children's main campus.
For more information about the LGBTQ & Friends, please email Todd Katzman.
- American Medical Association LGBT Advisory Committee
- American Medical Student Association’s Gender and Sexuality Committee
- American Psychological Association – APA LGBT Resources and Publications
- Camp Aranu’tiq for Transgender & Gender-Variant Youth
- Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health
- Family Acceptance Project
- Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
- Gay-Straight Alliance (GAS) Network
- GLBT Health Access Project
- GLBT National Help Center
- Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, previously known as the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
- Human Rights Campaign
- It Gets Better Project
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
- National Coalition for LGBT Health
- The National LGBT Health Education Center
- The Not All Like That (NALT) Christians Project – Christians proclaiming their belief in full LGBT equality
- Point Foundation: The National LGBTQ Scholarship Fund
- The Trevor Project National Hotline; 866-4-U-TREVOR
- WPATH - World Professional Association for Transgender Health
Disclaimer: These are resources collected by members of the Rainbow Consortium. They have not been independently reviewed and/or confirmed by Boston Children’s.