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Frequently Asked Questions: LGBTQIA Health at Stanford

Who has access to my records at Vaden? Will my parents find out?

Medical records are strictly confidential. By law, your parents, friends, professors, and school officials do not have access to them. Insurance companies have access to records only if you are using insurance to pay for your health care, which is not required for brief therapy. Records can be released only with your written consent or by court order.

If you have questions or concerns regarding these issues, you can discuss what is written in the medical record with your practitioner at the time of your visit.

How does Vaden support LGBTQIA students?

A gift from Ric Weiland (’76) generously funds an initiative for students exploring sexual and gender identities at Stanford. The Weiland Health Initiative has supported Vaden, in partnership with the LGBT Community Resources Center, in:

  • Specialized training for Vaden Health Center staff in sexual orientation and gender identity issues
  • Transgender healthcare at Vaden Health Center
  • Gender and sexual identity drop-in counseling hours at CAPS
  • A diverse array of student programs and activities
  • The revision of Vaden policies and practices in order to better serve LGBTQIA-identified students
  • The development of campus community health initiatives
  • Training psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows in serving LGBTQIA populations

Learn more about the Weiland Health Initiative and its programs.

Are there CAPS therapists who have a specialized background working with LGBTQIA-identified students?

Several CAPS therapists have a background in or are receiving specialized training and supervision regarding gender and sexuality. During your CAPS phone assessment appointment, inform the clinician that you would prefer to see a CAPS therapist with a specialization in this area. When you show up for your first appointment, you will be connected with a LGBTQIA specialist for the length of your treatment at CAPS. You can also meet with a counselor with extensive training in LGBTQIA mental health issues by scheduling an appointment with a counselor with an asterisk next to his or her name on the CAPS staff page.

In addition, the Weiland Health Initiative offers drop-in counseling hours specifically for LGBTQIA-identified students with clinicians who have extensive experience and comfort with LGBTQIA mental health issues. For current drop-in hours, check the Weiland website .

I am an LGBTQIA identified student and am seeking medical services. What do you suggest?

Most health care providers at Vaden consider themselves generalists in regard to their training rather than labeling themselves with a specialty. Transgender students seeking transition-related care should use the VadenPatient online booking system and indicate that the appointment topic is “transgender health care” to automatically be given appointment options with specialized clinicians. In addition, Medical Services Director Dr. Robyn Tepper is currently participating in a gender- and sexuality-focused consultation group. She can help if you are experiencing difficulty accessing LGBTQIA sensitive health care on campus. Contact her at rtepper@stanford.edu or 650-723-0932.

I am looking for an LGBTQIA-friendly therapist in the community who takes my insurance. How can I get started?

You may contact your insurance provider and inquire as to whether or not they have LGBTQIA specialists in their network. You can also call CAPS at 650-723-3785 and ask for a referral. CAPS phone assessment clinicians will make every effort to match you with an LGBTQIA specialist within your insurance network and will assist you with any questions/concerns you may encounter during this referral process.

I think I might be gay, but I’m not ready to talk to my friends or family about it yet. How can I get support without “outing” myself everywhere?

The coming out process can be a complex and sometimes stressful process and are committed to providing LGBTQIA identified Stanford students with the highest level of care. Individual brief counseling services at CAPS are entirely confidential and free of charge. In addition, the Weiland Health Initiative offers drop-in counseling hours specifically for LGBTQIA identified students with clinicians who have extensive experience and comfort speaking with students about coming out-related topics.

I have some questions about sex that I would prefer to have answered anonymously. Is there a way I can do that?

The Sexual Health Peer Resource Center, located on the 2nd floor of Vaden Health Center, provides sexual health resources and peer counseling to Stanford students. The center is student-run and funded.

You can also try San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI) at 415-989-SFSI. They provide free, accurate, anonymous, non-judgmental information about sex, and they are educated in all aspects of human sexuality, including safer sex, sexual behavior, sexual identity, and gender identity.

I am a queer-identified student of color. Where can I find some support/community at Stanford?

There are a number of campus organizations for queer-identified students of color, such as Black and Queer at Stanford (BlaQS), La Familia de Stanford, and Queer and Asian (Q&A). Check out the LGBT Community Resource Center’s website for a full list.

Can I get an HIV test without anyone knowing?

Vaden’s Wellness and Health Promotion Services offers free and anonymous HIV testing, counseling, and education through HIV*PACT (HIV Peer Anonymous Counseling and Testing). For an appointment call 650-498-2336, ext. 1, or drop in the East Clinic or West Clinic on the first floor and request an anonymous HIV test appointment. When scheduling your appointment, please use an alias or fake name. Please note that the standard Vaden HIV screening that takes place during medical appointments is not an anonymous service.

Where can I find resources on coming out?

The LGBT Community Resources Center offers an extensive library of books, magazines, and DVDs. You are welcome to stop by or make an appointment with one of the professional or student staff members. Visit the LGBT CRC’s website for a list of organizations, programs, email lists, and calendar of events.

The Vaden Health Center’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is also a great resource for students in the coming out process. Visit CAPS for details and to schedule an intake appointment. You also can visit the Weiland Health Initiative’s gender and sexual identities drop-in counseling appointments for support.

How can I meet other LGBTQIA-identified people at Stanford?

Stanford has a number of LGBTQIA organizations on campus that target various religious, academic, and cultural interests. There are many LGBTQIA-specific events throughout the year such as Q-Spots (a LGBTQIA meet and greet), queer parties, queer formal, and a drag ball. Check out the LGBT Community Resource Center’s website for a complete list of organizations and sign up for LGBTQIA mailing lists (such as QNet) to receive announcements about LGBTQIA related events on campus.

If you’re a freshman, a great way to get involved is to become part of Community Academic Support and Advising (CASA), which provides opportunities to meet people with shared experiences and connect to campus resources. This official program offers support and advising for LGBTQIA and allied freshmen through weekly lunches each Wednesday from noon to 1 pm at the LGBT-CRC. The lunches feature guest speakers and panels, small discussions, and a chance to relax. Topics include coming out, family life, dorm life, stereotypes, relationships, academics, and mental health. Special CASA events include dinner outings, ice cream trips, movie nights, and an annual day trip to San Francisco.

My spiritual/religious/cultural beliefs conflict with my sexual and/or gender identity. Are there resources at Stanford that can help?

Stanford is committed to welcoming students of all sexual and gender identities, as well as all religious and non-religious traditions. In keeping with that commitment, there are a number of resources to help individuals dealing with spiritual, religious, and cultural conflicts.

The Office for Religious Life provides leadership, services, and programming in matters of religion, spirituality and ethics. The current deans represent the Christian, Jewish, and Unitarian Universalists traditions and strive to ensure that students, faculty, and staff, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, have access to honest, lively, thoughtful, and supportive contexts in which to pursue their spiritual journeys. Visit The Office for Religious Life website for a description of their mission, events, and services.

Sometimes it helps to talk with a nonbiased professional about such issues. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can help students dealing with personal, academic, and relationship concerns through evaluation and brief counseling. Visit the CAPS page or call 650-723-3785 to make an appointment.