LGBTQ Equality

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 12-24 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 13-24.

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:

S. Bryn Austin, ScD
Elizabeth Boskey, PhD, LICSW
Brittany M. Charlton, MSc, ScD
Yee-Ming Chan, MD, PhD
Allegra R. Gordon, MPH, ScD
Frances Grimstad, MD, MS
Carly Guss, MD
Sari L. Reisner, ScD
Norman Spack, MD
Amy C. Tishelman, PhD
Sabra L. Katz-Wise, PhD

The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) working group, based at Boston Children’s and the Harvard 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.

Resources

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, 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 Center on Media and Child Health 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 Center 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.

Download our LGBTQ Resource Guide

Tips for local (Greater Boston and Massachusetts) patients and their families.
LGBTQ Resource guide cover