Everyone needs community, especially queer nurses. In the U.S., approximately 5.5 percent of adults identify as part of the LGBT population— that’s 13.9 million Americans who are queer.Explore-supportive-resources-for-connecting-with-lgbtq-nurses

Finding a safe space with other nurses can be challenging if you discover that you don’t share the same interests or beliefs. Even though the LGBTQ+ population is growing among younger generations, queer nurses at work may not have an outlet to express their true selves if they find out that their workplace is less accepting than other progressive workspaces.

Thankfully, there are organizations and places where queer nurses can network and connect. Read on to see how these resources can apply to your nursing journey.

Online Queer Resources

Queer Nurses

This is a community of queer nurses and healthcare professionals on Facebook who discuss topics related to the LBGTQIA+ community. Their goal is to “strive for community and address the intersectionality of our professional lives, medical/healthcare delivery system, and LBGTQIA+ identity.”

LBGTQIA+ nursing students, healthcare professionals, and allies can join their Facebook group. Conversations about LBGTQ care and how to improve the system are welcome, and the group shares practical advice on nursing, networking, and anecdotes from their personal experience in the field. If you’re looking for a safe space to vent or find peer support, this could be the community for you.

GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality

GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ+ Equality is the world’s oldest organization enhancing health equity for the queer population. They exist to advance LGBTQ health issues within the health profession and support queer healthcare professionals in their work and learning environments.

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As a member of their organization, you can join GLMA committees, sections, and task forces to improve LBGTQ health equality and meet more queer health professionals through virtual and in-person networking events, like their annual conference on LGBTQ+ health. Their memberships can be expensive, but if you make less than $75,000 a year, you can sign up for their equity membership for $25 annually.

However, you can still access many resources and career opportunities as a non-member. Their mailing list is free, and they have webinars to join on specific queer topics. GLMA Nursing, a smaller group part of GLMA, is a great option for finding nursing resources and meeting other nurses through their email lists.

SAGE

If you’re an older queer nurse, consider becoming active with SAGE, a national advocacy and services organization advocating for LGBTQ+ elders since 1978.

SAGE has several events and opportunities for anyone to volunteer and join their advocacy community. You can become a part of their “Action Squad” to be emailed news affecting LGBTQ+ elders and steps to take action in your local community. The organization also has community events in California, Florida, and other locations nationwide. New York residents can also volunteer at the SAGEServes center in New York City, where programs and services are offered for older queer elders.

Although this isn’t a medical or nursing organization, you can still find ways to connect with other queer professionals who understand the importance of LBGTQ inclusion.

Finding In-Person LGBTQ+ events

Online resources to connect with queer nurses are great, but let’s say that you want to get out and meet people in person. If so, here are a couple of tips for you:

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Look for Gatherings in Bigger Cities

Smaller towns might have queer nurses or medical professionals nearby, but if not, then look for any meetings in bigger, metropolitan areas. For example, the LBGTQ+ Center of Southern Nevada, or The Center, serves as a community center with health and social services for families, elders, and the Las Vegas area. Along with HIV tests and youth events, they also have peer groups and recurring group sessions, like The L Group for lesbian women and the Gay Men’s Forum.

Larger cities also have LBGTQ+-led events or festivals that you can visit. It might take a long drive to get to a queer-focused meeting, but making new connections outside of your home can be worth it.

Expand Your Reach Outside of Nursing

It’s possible you might not connect with any queer nurses in your workplace, but what about caretakers at the nearby nursing home? The medical community is broad and in every corner of the U.S., so this can include people who aren’t in a traditional hospital or clinical nurse setting, like case managers at a counseling center or midwives who work from home. This can be especially helpful for those who live in smaller, rural areas.

Going back to the previous tip, attending different LBGTQ+ events can help you connect with other queer folk that may work at the same place as you. You never know— maybe through new connections, you can meet with another queer nurse who shares the same experiences as you.

Either through volunteering at an LBGTQ+ festival, sharing design work at a queer-led art workshop, or listening in on a conversation at an LBGTQ peer support group, there are several ways to meet with people who share your identity. You don’t have to feel alone— millions of nurses and queer healthcare professionals know how you feel and want to reach out.

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Karie Pinnix
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