High Rates of Access to Health Care, Disclosure of Sexuality and Gender Identity to Providers Among House and Ball Community Members in New York City

J Homosex. 2018;65(5):600-614. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2017.1328221. Epub 2017 Jun 30.


The House and Ball community is an important cultural manifestation of resiliency for Black and Latino gay and bisexual men and transgender women. Participants at the August 2013 House of Latex Ball in New York City were surveyed about insurance coverage, health care access, experiences in health care, and housing instability. The sample (n = 367) was 58% Black/African American and 20% Hispanic/Latino, with a mean age of 31. Fifty-five percent were gay and bisexual men. Although only 6% identified as transgender, nearly one half were gender nonconforming. Strong majorities had health insurance, were in regular medical care, and were "out" to their providers. Some were unstably housed and had recently exchanged sex for shelter or money. High rates of health care access and disclosure indicate resiliency and agency. Unstable housing and income insecurity may be structural drivers of vulnerability for this population to HIV infection and other health risks.

Keywords: Bisexual; Black; House and Ball; Latino; disclosure; gay; gender identity; health care; sexual orientation; transgender.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • HIV Infections
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities
  • Sexuality
  • Transgender Persons
  • Young Adult