#WeNeedAButton campaign aims to create a safer healthcare system for the LGBT+ community

The new online campaign #WeNeedAButton is encouraging people to post butt selfies in support of doctors wearing an LGBT+ friendly button.

A person standing in front of a graffiti wall and looking back at their butt.

The #WeNeedAButton campaign is calling out for a safer healthcare system for the LGBT+ community by getting people to share butt selfies under the hashtag. For many people, there is still a lot of doubt around what can be said to a doctor in terms of sexuality, which can make an appointment nerve-wrecking and emotionally exhausting. The campaign’s mission is to have doctors wear buttons identifying them as LGBT+ friendly in order to lessen stigmatisation.

Zachary Zane, campaign ambassador for #WeNeedAButton, has teamed up with DatingPositive.com, a social media platform for people living with an STI. Launched on June 25th, the #WeNeedAButton campaign has been gathering stories on their Twitter page from various people speaking of their experiences with the healthcare system. 

Rather than signing a petition, #WeNeedAButton has taken a different approach by encouraging people to share their ‘belfies’ – butt selfies – online in solidarity. Zachary Zane wrote a piece for Plus outlining the need for the new campaign. In the article he said, “if we can get tens of thousands of folks to share their medical horror stories and butts, I think the campaign will make a massive impact”. 

Doctors and nurses provide a crucial service yet there are some LGBT+ people who do not feel safe communicating issues related to their sexuality. This is a worrying reality in Ireland, where Stephen Donelly, Fianna Fail spokesperson for health, commented on “the current lack of capacity” in sexual health clinics in June.

One person on Twitter under #WeNeedAButton commented, “Each new doctor I see there’s a moment where I debate whether it’s worth explaining that I’m bi or if I should just let them assume I’m straight”. Sexuality should not prevent a person from being able to access healthcare, yet due to issues in the system this is the unfortunate reality. 

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