Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT)

Medical Students of Canada




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Resources and advice for GLBT med students:


To ‘come out’ to your classmates or not?

Now that you’re in med school, not sure how ‘out’ you should be? Our advice: be as ‘out’ as you want to be. Tolerance is the norm these days, and most med students nowadays are actually quite open-minded and accepting of GLBT people. There may be some conservatives around in the profession, but the med student population is very heterogeneous and there are certainly many gay-positive students/doctors out there!


Remember: Coming out is a very empowering experience!!!


From our personal experience, we have some suggestions for you:


  • Come out to your classmates early, it gets harder later in the year as people would make more and more assumptions that everybody in your class is straight
  • Start by telling a few close friends in your class, make sure you gain support from them
  • Be outgoing. Seek out and make friends with groups of classmates that are tend to be more open-minded, like joining med students groups with interests in social justice, diversity, equity, feminism, sexual health, etc.
  • If you find out someone else in your school who is also gay for sure, don’t be shy and contact that person; they understand what you’re going through and they’ll help you out
  • By talking to people, try to find out who your religious/conservative classmates are and get a sense of how judgmental they are
  • Join a GLBT campus group outside of med school, or at least join their listserv (see our Links section). They are usually very vocal and they have valuable resources for students like you. They’ll back you up all the way
  • Talk to the student support services in your med school and get a sense of how supportive they are
  • Although all these seem quite involving, the rewards are incredible! This is your life and your identity we are talking about, it’s definitely worth the effort



The advantages being ‘out’:

-          You can be yourself – you don’t have to hide anything or watch what you say to others anymore

-          You’ll have a better chance to find out others who are gay in your school; joining forces always make things easier

-          People have prejudice mainly because they think they don’t know any GLBT people personally and so they rely on the stereotypes. By being ‘out’ to your classmates, you automatically dispel many of their misconceptions and stereotypes about GLBT people

-          You can stand up to any anti-gay comments and prejudice in med school; make complaints to the sexual harassment office or equity/human rights office; write an article to a campus newspaper to expose the injustice, make those ‘phobes look bad!

-          You will have the chance to educate your classmates about GLBT issues. See the other sections of our website for some advocacy materials



Email us at to get more advice. We’ll help you out if you run into any problems at all! You are NOT alone!


(If you still not certain about your sexual identity, check out these fact sheets from the Student Health Service at McGill. They are made for students just like you.

By the way, despite what you may hear, your sexual orientation cannot be changed, really. See to find out why)



For some more inspiration, read about these physicians who are not afraid to be openly gay or to speak out about homophobia in health care:

CMAJ 2001; 165 (4): 512.

CMAJ 1999; 160 (7): 1108.

The Chronical Herald Page A6, March 19, 2006

National Review of Medicine Sept. 15, 2005 Vol. 2 No. 15

UTMJ December 2004; 82(1): 24-28.


“The queering of medicine” – CMAJ 178(12):1624


Lastly, a commentary by a lesbian physician at Harvard on her rewarding coming out experience: (may need institutional subscription to access)





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Questions? Comments? Feel free to contact us at


This website is sponsored by Diversity in Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. We would like to thank Alia Qureshi Emili for the original website creation and design and the University of Toronto for providing us the webspace. The materials found on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Toronto