GLMA is a national organization committed to ensuring health equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) communities and equality for LGBTQ+ health professionals in their work and learning environments. To achieve this mission, GLMA utilizes the scientific expertise of its diverse multidisciplinary membership to inform and drive advocacy, education, and research.
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ+ Equality (previously known as the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association) is the world's largest and oldest association of LGBTQ+ healthcare professionals. GLMA was founded in 1981, as the American Association of Physicians for Human Rights, with the mission of ensuring equality in healthcare for LGBTQ+ individuals and healthcare professionals. Today, there remain many misconceptions about LGBTQ+ health issues, with many assuming that LGBTQ+ health involves only HIV. In fact, the full scope of the LGBTQ+ health agenda includes breast and cervical cancer, hepatitis, mental health, substance abuse, tobacco use, depression, access to affirming care for trans and non-binary people, and many other areas.
Since 1981, GLMA has tackled many initiatives and projects. Early on, GLMA focused primarily on HIV and the issues faced by physicians coming out at work. As the climate and culture have changed, GLMA has become a leader in public policy advocacy related to LGBTQ+ health equity.
Originally open only to physicians, residents and medical students, in 2002, GLMA expanded its mission and now represents the interests of tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ health professionals of all kinds, as well as millions of LGBTQ+ patients and families. GLMA's membership includes approximately 1,000 member physicians, nurses, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, researchers and academics, behavioral health specialists, health profession students and other health professionals. Our members reside and work across the US and in several other countries. Their practices represent the major healthcare disciplines and a wide range of health specialties, including: internal medicine, family practice, psychiatry, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, emergency medicine, neurology, and infectious diseases.
In 2012, GLMA emerged as GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, or simply GLMA. In 2018, GLMA adjusted its tag line in order to incorporate queer individuals and healthcare providers by adding the Q in LGBTQ, followed shortly thereafter with the addition of the +. This shift recognizes that all health professionals and our supporters have a role in improving the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people and that GLMA is an organization that welcomes and serves everyone who shares in that belief.