Celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month 2024: A Focus on Medicine, Health, and Well-Being in the Context of Social Housing and Homelessness

Introduction to LGBTQ+ History Month 2024: Medicine – #UnderTheScope

The 2024 LGBTQ+ History Month theme in the UK, ‘Medicine – #UnderTheScope’, offers a vital platform to explore the intersection of healthcare, medicine, and the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly within the spheres of social housing and homelessness. This theme accentuates the contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals in healthcare and brings to the forefront the ongoing health disparities and challenges faced by the community.

LGBTQ+ Contributions to Healthcare in the UK

LGBTQ+ professionals have been fundamental to the UK’s healthcare system, especially during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic. Their contributions to the NHS and other healthcare settings have been instrumental in providing inclusive and empathetic care, which is crucial for addressing the diverse health needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

Health Challenges Faced by LGBTQ+ Individuals in Social Housing and Homelessness

The link between social housing, homelessness, and health is particularly significant for the LGBTQ+ community. akt, a UK charity supporting LGBTQ+ young people facing homelessness, highlights that 77% of the young people they support are rendered homeless after coming out or being outed. This not only leaves them without a home but also often without access to essential healthcare services​​.

The Queering Shelter project at the University of Surrey emphasises the need for a broader understanding of shelter, which includes access to affirming healthcare. For those in social housing or experiencing homelessness, this expanded definition of shelter is crucial for ensuring their overall well-being and health​​.

Addressing Healthcare Needs and Inequalities

The historical and ongoing healthcare challenges for the LGBTQ+ community in the UK, including discrimination and inadequate medical research focused on their specific needs, have led to significant health disparities. These disparities are exacerbated for LGBTQ+ individuals experiencing homelessness or living in social housing, who often face barriers in accessing consistent healthcare services.

The Impact of Intersectionality on Health

Intersectionality plays a critical role in the healthcare experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals. For instance, LGBTQ+ people of color may face additional discrimination and health disparities. Addressing these intersectional issues is essential for providing equitable healthcare to all members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Tackling the Rise in Hate Crimes and Its Health Implications

The increase in hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community in the UK has severe implications for mental and physical health. Ensuring access to safe, inclusive, and supportive healthcare settings is imperative for mitigating the impact of such societal challenges on the health of LGBTQ+ individuals.

The Role of Social Housing Providers and Healthcare Services

Social housing providers and healthcare services have a crucial role in addressing the specific needs of LGBTQ+ residents. They can work towards creating inclusive environments and providing services that cater to the unique health concerns of this community. Collaborative efforts between housing providers, healthcare professionals, and LGBTQ+ organisations are key to achieving this goal.


The 2024 LGBTQ+ History Month theme, ‘Medicine – #UnderTheScope’, is a poignant reminder of the significant role healthcare plays in the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals, especially those in social housing or experiencing homelessness. This month offers an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of LGBTQ+ healthcare professionals while addressing the health disparities faced by the community. By focusing on inclusive healthcare practices and policies, we can work towards a more equitable and healthy future for all LGBTQ+ individuals in the UK.

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