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 every cycle between 2015 and 2022. 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 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 visitors.
The LGBTQ+ Patient Advisory Board
The LGBTQ+ Patient Advisory Board brings together staff from across all domains of the hospital to address issues that affect the care of LGBTQ+ patients and families. The Patient Advisory Board has spearheaded efforts to increase the inclusivity of Boston Children’s systems, and regularly works with stakeholders around the hospital to improve the experiences of our LGBTQ+ patients and families.
Current co-chairs are Jon Whiting, Sabra Katz-Wise, and Elizabeth Boskey. If you have an issue to bring to the attention of the advisory board, please email us via our administrator Patrick Corcoran.
The Boston Children’s Rainbow Alliance
The Rainbow Alliance is the LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group at Boston Children’s Hospital. In 2020, several long-standing LGBTQ+ groups at Boston Children’s came together to form the Rainbow Alliance to streamline support and services 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.
The Rainbow Alliance is representative of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer staff and employees at Boston Children's Hospital — and for their friends and supporters. Current leadership includes a diverse group of individuals spanning a variety of LGBTQ+ identities, and the Rainbow Alliance also includes special interest groups for allies, transgender people, and people of color.
For more information about The Rainbow Alliance, please email our Rainbow Alliance Leaders.
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 and families:
- The Gender Multispecialty 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 years.
- The Center for Gender Surgery offers gender affirmation surgery services to eligible adolescents and young adults ages 18 to 35 years 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 Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine provides primary and specialty care services to patients ages 10 to 23 years. The division founded the Boston Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Program, which aims to improve the health of adolescents in the U.S. through education, research, and program development. Its goal is to train the next generation of health care leaders in adolescent health.
- The Division of Gynecology offers LGBTQ+-affirming pediatric and adolescent gynecology services. They also offer gender affirming hysterectomy and vaginoplasty to transgender adults between the ages of 18 to 35 years.
- The Behavioral Health, Endocrinology, Gynecology, Urology (BEING-U) program is dedicated to providing care and support to infants, children, adolescents, and young adults with differences 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 ages 12 to 24 years 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 ages 13 and older, and free sexual transmitted infections and viral hepatitis testing for young adults ages 13 to 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:
Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, whose primary research is in the behavioral sciences and social epidemiology, addressing social and physical environmental influences on physical activity, nutritional patterns, and eating disorders risk in school and community settings. Her research interests also include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescent health, in which she is examining sexual orientation group disparities in health in adolescence and identifying determinants with the goal of eliminating these disparities.
Researcher and social worker in Gynecology, whose research interests include ethical issues in gender-affirming care, expectations and outcomes for gender affirming surgeries, and how and whether providers are prepared to work with gender minority patients.
Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, who engages in clinical and research work surrounding transgender and intersex reproductive health. She has been involved in trans health advocacy since her own adolescence, when she decided to pursued medicine to address disparities in care faced by these communities. Her interests center around optimizing reproductive health outcomes for both populations including hormonal and menstrual management, surgical care, and family planning.
Medical fellow, Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, who researches transgender and gender nonconforming adolescents’ experiences in primary care as well as the relationship of gender identity and body image. She has done research related to contraceptive education and provision in adolescents and young adults.
Research scientist in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, who investigates sexual orientation and gender identity development, sexual fluidity, and health disparities related to sexual orientation and gender identity in adolescents and young adults. She is working on a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study to examine how the family environment affects the health and well-being of transgender adolescents.
The Harvard SOGIE Health Equity Research Collaborative, based at Boston Children’s and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, brings together internationally recognized scientific experts from diverse disciplines whose research focuses on the intersections of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and health. The mission of Harvard SOGIE is to advance health equity for all communities, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.