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LGBT-related Concerns

Gannett Health Services
110 Ho Plaza
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-3101

Tel: 607 255-5155
Fax: 607 255-0269

Welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex students and students who prefer no labels at all.

Gannett staff members are respectful of the diversity of the Cornell community we serve and are committed to providing services that are sensitive, confidential, and responsive to the needs of students, staff, and faculty of all gender identities, sexual orientations, and expressions.

We understand that seeking health-related consultation or treatment can be challenging...for a variety of reasons: time limitations, previous experience, opening up to a new provider, dealing with difficult issues (new or all too familiar). 

Sexuality, gender and identity are complex, intimate and evolving components of how we see ourselves and how we present ourselves to others. Some people are completely comfortable with their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, but have had too many awkward experiences with those who aren't. Some people who are having same sex attraction or find they are in conflict with the gender assigned to them at birth are uncomfortable talking with a health care provider about these topics and their experiences, especially when talking about them for the very first time. Some people partner sexually with individuals of the same sex, and do not identify with any of the terms listed above.

We hope you will come to feel comfortable sharing information about yourself with your Gannett providers and confident in our ability to provide confidential, respectful, high quality care for you. If you are seeking sexual health care, we encourage you to confide in your health care provider about your sexual relationships and gender identity so they can give you the best possible care — the care that you deserve.

Coming out to a health care provider

Coming out  as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender at Cornell (or any new community) is different for everyone. You may be concerned about coming out to a health care provider. At Gannett, we are sensitive to the fact that some people may be reluctant to share this information. But please be assured: we will respect your needs, concerns, and personal journey and will maintain your confidentiality. If you are seeking a sexual health consult, we encourage you to confide in your healthcare provider openly about your sexual partners, behaviors, and concerns so they can give you the best possible care − the care that you deserve.

You may find it helpful to review:

Gannett services

We hope you will seek us out as partners in addressing your health needs and concerns and will take advantage of the many services we offer.

For students

For students, faculty, and staff

Sexual health information

Our goal is to provide comprehensive sexual health information that will be of interest to those who partner with individuals of the same sex and those who do not meet the traditional notions of what it means to be male or female. Please help us keep these pages relevant to our diverse constituents by making suggestions about the kinds of health information you would like to see here. Contact our sexual health educator with suggestions and web links. 

Emotional health and support

Often students find themselves questioning, expanding, or claiming their sexual orientation and preferences during their time at Cornell. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is committed to providing affirmative and supportive services to lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, and questioning individuals. Students may use these services to clarify and discover their own sexual identity; explore coming out to friends and family; and to find ways to connect with other LGBTQ individuals. Students may also seek help for relationship problems, anxiety, depression, and stress. CAPS offers support/discussion groups and individual and couples counseling.

Confidentiality and privacy information

Our staff will work with you to ensure that the information in your health records remains confidential. If you have any concerns or questions about confidentiality, please talk with your health care provider or a Gannett Patient Advocate.

Contact a Gannett patient advocate

At Gannett, we are engaged in a continuous process of educating ourselves and enhancing our resources to better serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning members of our community. We welcome your assistance in this effort. Your questions, concerns, praise, and suggestions will help us to become better partners in health care for you and for others. Please contact a Gannett Patient Advocate.

Campus and local partners

We value our partnerships with
- Cornell's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center
- Haven (Cornell's LGBTQ+ Student Union)
- Planned Parenthood of the Southern Fingerlakes, a local provider of sexual health services, advocacy, and education with a long-standing commitment to the health and well-being of LGBT young people and adults.  

Bias or homophobia/transphobia concerns

We recognize people have a wide range of reactions to LGBT people. Not knowing how someone will react can be stressful. In some instances, people feel harassed or threatened by others who object to the fact they are with someone of the same sex or because they are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. At Cornell, there are policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and other factors. If you feel targeted by negative or threatening language, harassed or made to feel unsafe in any way because you are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, please review this information about services for people affected by bias-related activity.

At Cornell, there are policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and other factors. If you feel targeted by negative or threatening language, harassed or made to feel unsafe in any way because you are coupled with someone of the same sex, there is a campus-wide bias reporting system that can provide information about what to do. You can also discuss incidents with the Victim Advocate.

Gannett is proud to participate in Cornell's Safer People: Safer Places LGBTQA Support Network, which seeks to create a safer and more inclusive environment for all members of the campus community by reducing heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and queerphobia.

Legal rights for couples (insurance, living will, healthcare proxy)

People who are in a committed relationship can arrange legal protections related to health care and treatment. Cornell students and employees can get health insurance coverage for spouses and domestic partners. The Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force have webpages that address insurance coverage, living wills, healthcare proxies and other important legal matters.

Resources for friends and family

Almost everyone already knows (and/or loves) someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning, and most people eventually will have the experience of someone they care about coming out. There are many helpful resource organizations, websites, and books that can help friends and family recognize their own reactions, feelings, and possible concerns, and  relationships; understand what might be going on for the person who is coming out; and make the most of opportunities for strengthening your relationship. Here are some places to start:

Having a hard time?
LGBT health links

Check out these excellent resources on the web.