You are here:

Your rights

  • Carers' rights

Sexuality and gender identity rights

Everyone has the right to access healthcare, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people may have poor experiences of health services or social care, due to negative attitudes towards sexuality or gender identity. This may include an assumption that someone is heterosexual, discussing a patient’s sexuality when it’s not relevant to their care, or refusing care because of their gender identity or sexuality.

Negative experiences of health or social care professionals should not discourage you or the person you care for from seeking treatment.

The Equality Act (2010) makes it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or to discriminate against someone who intends to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone gender reassignment.

If you or the person you look after is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual, it’s your right to have safe, appropriate and comprehensive medical care.

Next of kin

If you and your partner are civil partners, you have the same rights as a heterosexual married couple.

A civil partnership also gives you the right to be your partner’s nearest relative. This means that you can make certain decisions about healthcare, such as making an application for your partner to be admitted for assessment. 

If you're not in a civil partnership or marriage, the ethical approach of many healthcare teams is to ask patients who they would like as their point of contact (rather than using the term "next of kin"). This is to ensure that your wishes are recognised by the healthcare team.


If you're unhappy with any treatment you've received, you have the right to complain. If you feel you've been treated unfairly or discriminated against, try to resolve the issue by contacting the place you received treatment.


How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 16 ratings

All ratings

Add your rating


The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

gina at choices said on 14 August 2012

one problem is thinking that a gender has automatic
status of sexual orientation. all we do is swap back to normal.
at least i do that has nothing to do with my orientation.
its a religious principle of calling trans people gay actually.
it perhaps something people dont understand so ill do it this time. when you have mixed builds in a human the gender identity defaults to the unit build not the genital build, at least
on me the others are the same. regardless of what we do surgiclly etc. if you think usually you have 2 the same we dont. mine are physically different too with a genetic fault
if that happens youll find the person always percieves itself as a girl in that combination, if you think of it like logic control
mine just swaps on auto to the unit/body build not the gential
pack. think of it like a program conflct, it always resolves it that way round on those people. so to me its only my other genital pack. its a misconception to invoke sexual orientation
to me anyway. so you can be a simple straight girl literally
with the wrong bits or vice versa.
ok so im female in that build i go yayyyy happy happy.
believe it or not the perception system on me and my sister
is the same shes got the other genome build the same.
she cant tell either, even on video theres a funny effect
of not being able to tell between twin components
on 2 different people quite honestly. so i cant tell im not a girl anyway, that isnt sexual orientation. its like siamese twins jusst which ones we keep. i only ever use the base
build on me thats a default so i just be me, does that help ?
i hope i didnt say anything wrong no hurt was intended
ill explain mine that way. i go sexual orientation - whyyyy ???

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Page last reviewed: 09/04/2014

Next review due: 09/04/2016

Call Carers Direct on 0300 123 1053

Confidential information and advice for carers.

Lines are open 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays), 11am to 4pm at weekends. Request a free call back or an interpreted call back in one of more than 170 languages including ربي, বাংলা, 中文, Français, ગુજરાતી, Polski, Português, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Soomaali, Español, Türkçe and .اردو.

You can talk to an adviser live online or send a query by email.

Find out more about the Carers Direct helpline.

Services near you