LGBT+ Pharmacists’ Network Newsletter – August 2021

In this edition, learn about the new PDA LGBT+ Network pronoun badges and read first-hand stories and experiences of LGBT+ Network members.

Wed 18th August 2021 The PDA

In this issue:

  • Update from the PDA LGBT+ Committee
  • Introducing the PDA LGBT+ Network Facebook group
  • PDA LGBT+ Network pronoun badges
  • Is the pharmacy profession a ‘hostile environment’ for trans pharmacists?
  • LGBT+ Queerness in professionalism 
  • Troglo: Sexual Health, Your Way
  • LGBT+ Visibility in Leadership
  • Get involved

Update from the PDA LGBT+ Committee

 

The PDA LGBT+ newly elected Committee recently met to discuss the network’s direction. The key areas highlighted as priorities include:

  • Lobbying for guidance relating to the care of transgender patients in primary care in order to improve the quality of gender-affirming care and alleviate prescribers’ concerns.
  • Contributing to and improving the education of pharmacists, trainee pharmacists, and pharmacy students about LGBT+ identities, healthcare inequalities, and related issues.
  • Campaigning for the inclusion of trans identities within data collection in healthcare settings.
  • Publishing a position statement on trans health inequalities.
  • Platforming and supporting our members to become visible LGBT+ leaders.
  • Growing and maintaining the network as a safe space to share ideas and experiences.

As we move forward to address these key priorities, the Committee invites members of the LGBT+ Network to grant us their support, share their ideas, and lend their passion to achieving our vision.

Learn more

  • Find out about the Committee here
  • Find out more about the PDA LGBT+ Network here

Get involved

  • What do you think about the Committee’s priorities for the PDA LGBT+ Network? Let Scott, Lauren and Ken know by emailing: lgbt@the-pda.org
  • The Committee are looking to co-opt up to 6 members of the network to carry out informal roles to assist them with their projects. If you are interested, please email: lgbt@the-pda.org 
LEARN MORE

Introducing the PDA LGBT+ Network
Facebook group

The Committee are pleased to announce that a private Facebook group has been set up for members to discuss issues of relevance to the network. Thank you to Soh Xi Ken (he/him), Honorary Secretary of the network, for setting this up.

Not a fan of Facebook? Use #PDAlgbt on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to post on issues relevant to LGBT+ pharmacists, students and trainees, and to suggest recommended reading for allies of the network.

JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP

In case you missed it…

Pride Month – June

June was Pride Month which aims to raise awareness on how damaging homophobia can be as well as being more understanding of those in the LGBT+ community. The PDA LGBT+ Network works to enable all pharmacists in the LGBT+ community to realise their full potential and raise their profile by being educationally, socially and politically active.

Read more

Global Pride Day –  June 27, 2021

To mark Global Pride Day, the PDA LGBT+ Network collaborated with Troglo to produce a FREE factsheet on Sexuality and Gender to raise awareness and to help others to be more understanding of those in the LGBT+ community.

Read more and download the factsheet here

PDA LGBT+ Network pronoun badges 

Wearing a pronoun badge is a simple but effective way of signalling that you respect people’s pronouns and their gender identity. This can mean a lot for colleagues and patients who may feel invisible, or who may be struggling with their gender identity within the pharmacy context.

Pronoun badges can also help to open up conversations about gender identity and raise awareness of gender diversity. Thank you to all PDA LGBT+ Network members who have contributed to the design of the pronoun badges and the flyer that accompanies them.

Learn more

  • Find out more and place your FREE order here

Get involved

  • Take a selfie with your pronoun badge and share on social media using #PDAlgbt. Don’t forget to tag the PDA into your post. Click on one of the icons at the bottom of this email to follow us on social media.
LEARN MORE

Is the pharmacy profession a ‘hostile environment’ for trans pharmacists?

By Scott Rutherford (he/they), PDA LGBT+ Network President and third-year pharmacy student  
 

Delving deeper into the General Pharmaceutical Council’s 2019 equalities survey reveals that transgender pharmacists are less likely to work in a role relating to pharmacy than their cisgender counterparts (figure 47). Furthermore, trans pharmacists registered with the GPhC are nearly five times more likely to be working outside of Great Britain and nearly 3 times more likely to be temporarily out of work. It is also concerning that 1% of respondents preferred not to disclose their identity; whilst the report does not speculate on the reasons for this, it is worth putting these statistics into the context of trans rights in the UK.

Earlier this year, several experts quit the government’s LGBT Advisory Panel, citing the ‘hostile environment’ that the government had created towards LGBT people.

Alongside the disappointing approach to Gender Recognition Act (GRA) reform, court cases such as Bell v Tavistock and Forstater v CGD have contributed to an increasingly toxic debate around trans rights. Transphobic narratives known as ‘gender critical’ views seek to invalidate trans identities and have been widely platformed in the media. This culture war has precipitated into significant increases in transphobic hate crime.

Pharmacy does not exist in isolation from the rest of society and, therefore, the aforementioned statistics ought to be viewed as a possible sign that trans pharmacists are escaping, or being excluded, from the British pharmacy profession. LGBT+ people in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are shown to be more likely to want to leave STEM fields than non-LGBT+ people – could this be the situation in pharmacy?

Learn more

Get involved

  • Find out more about the PDA LGBT+ Network here

LGBT+ Queerness in professionalism

By Soh Xi Ken (he/him), PDA LGBT+ Network Honorary Secretary and third-year pharmacy student
 
When it comes to being queer and especially expression of queerness, we seem to run into a roadblock where the “rules” we operate as a profession still relies on the notion of cisheteronormativity.* This is not a unique problem that pharmacists in the UK face. In fact, teachers in Canada face a similar issue, where people weaponize what they think queerness is and use that against LGBTQ+ professionals.

There can be situations where a professional, who is LGBTQ+, may find themselves in a “glass closet,” should they choose not to come out and act out how people would expect them to be.

This can be detrimental to their mental health, hurt their career options, and generally have their opinion or expertise second-guessed more. I cannot fathom the pain and hurt transgender people experience when I hear stories of trans healthcare professionals being constantly misgendered by their own colleagues, despite insistence on using their correct pronouns.

 

LEARN MORE

Troglo: Sexual Health, Your Way

By the Troglo team
 

Sexual health is one of the few areas of healthcare that changes drastically depending on the gender identity and sexual orientation of the individual.

However, for the latter of these two criteria, there are very few service distinctions that have been implemented in the system as a whole, which leaves members of the LGBTQ+ community adrift when it comes to receiving sexual health services through which they can feel comfortable and cared for.

This is why we’re building Troglo. We believe that everybody should be able to access services that allow them to be comfortable as themselves because without that comfort and honesty, the patient suffers. Troglo is a digital clinic platform that provides access to remote sexual health services and pairs them with tailored digital intervention tools. The goal is to build a tailored sexual health clinic offering, with a standardised level of care so nobody gets left behind in the future irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or geography.

We are proud to be collaborating with the PDA to create resources for pharmacists who work with members of our community and hope that together we can make everyone feel more comfortable with the services they receive.

LGBT+ Visibility in Leadership

By Scott Rutherford (he/they), PDA LGBT+ Network President and third-year pharmacy student,
and Daniela Rusalim (she/her), PDA LGBT+ Network member, PDA NAWP Vice-President and Community Pharmacist 
 

PDA members were invited to join an online event where speakers shared their progress, challenges and learnings about increasing diversity and representation in the leadership of the pharmacy professions.

At the Diversity and Representation in the Leadership of the Pharmacy Professions event, Dr Bola Owolabi began by discussing the importance of having a diverse leadership team to reflect the diversity of the communities that they serve.

Dr. Owolabi then introduced the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer’s Clinical Fellow, Natasha Callender, and the Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Richard Cattell, who spoke about the Inclusive Pharmacy Practice Plan.

Finally, Paul Bennett and Liz Fidler, CEO of the RPS and President of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK discussed their organisations’ positions with regards to inclusion and diversity, and what they are doing about it.

The webinar was an informative introduction to the work being done to ensure that women and those in ethnic minorities are provided with the opportunity to lead within the pharmacy profession. However, it lacked the inclusivity to which it committed.

LEARN MORE

Get involved

  • Follow the PDA LGBT+ Pharmacists’ Network on social media using the hashtag #PDAlgbt
  • Please also feel free to share this mailing with a colleague that would like to read it. 
  • Pharmacists that are not yet members of the PDA LGBT+ Pharmacists’ Network can join here.
  • Join the PDA LGBT+ Network Facebook group here.
VISIT THE LGBT+ PHARMACISTS’ NETWORK PAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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