Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals experience poorer health outcomes than their heterosexual peers .These poor outcomes are a result of differences in access to health coverage; limited availability of culturally competent health care services; absence of medical settings that are affirming and free of discrimination; scarcity of medical staff trained in LGBT health issues; health behaviors that do not foster good health; and social and economic systems that have not supported and protected minorities .
This paper draws on research from multiple sources, therefore a variety of terms are used to describe sexual and gender minorities (SGM) . The background section of this paper presents definitions of the terms used, as well and an explanation of why one overarching term was not selected . Following the background, this issue brief explores common experiences among LGBT individuals that impact their ability to lead healthy lives . This paper concludes with a review of current policies in Missouri, and offers policy recommendations that will lead to greater health equity and improved health outcomes for all Missourians.