Bodies and Barriers

2021 Non-Fiction Finalist – Golden Crown Literary Society

“Comprehensive and relevant” – Gay City News

“A roadmap for action” – Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide

“On-the-ground activists and health care professionals will be well served by this recommended anthology.” – Library Journal

Bodies and Barriers is truly a must-read for anyone working in medical care, social services, or public health. This book brings us closer to the goal of patient-centered care, not only for LGBT communities, but for everyone.”  – Kristen Emory, PhD, Director and Advisor, Undergraduate Program at San Diego State University School of Public Health

“A valuable addition to the literature” – Philadelphia Gay News

“These patient and caregiver experiences ring so loudly in today’s environment, when we have compelling evidence of a need for widespread practice change, yet the medical establishment remains slow to respond to the calls from those patients and their caregivers who are asking so boldly—and rightfully—for those changes. Bodies and Barriers is a call to action for learners at all levels, in all health fields, to start now, creating a future where health equity is the norm, and no one is denied the opportunity to thrive.”

Scott Nass, MD, MPA, past president, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality

About the Book:

LGBTQI+ people pervasively experience health disparities, affecting every part of their bodies and lives. Yet many are still grappling to understand the mutually reinforcing healthcare challenges that lead LGBTQI+ people to experience worsened health outcomes. Named by Book Riot as one of the “six best books addressing healthcare system inequities“, one of “ten impactful books about public health“, and one of the top “11 books addressing bias against women in healthcare and medicine,” Bodies and Barriers informs healthcare professionals, students in health professions, policy makers, and fellow activists about barriers to care and challenging healthcare experiences of LGBT people, providing insights and a roadmap for action that could improve queer health.

This critically-acclaimed book challenges conventional wisdom about healthcare delivery. It probes deeply into the roots of the health disparities and worsened health outcomes experienced by LGBTQI+ consumers of healthcare, and it empowers activists with crucial information to fight for health equity through clinical, behavioral, and policy changes.

The activist contributors in Bodies and Barriers look for tangible improvements — their stories are lessons learned for caring healthcare professionals, sympathetic policy makers, and motivated activists drawing lessons from the history of HIV/AIDS in America and from struggles against healthcare bias and discrimination. At a galvanizing moment in time when LGBTQI+ people have experienced great strides in lived equality, but our health as a community still lags, here is an indispensable blueprint for change by some of the most passionate and important health activists in the LGBTQI+ movement today.

“Now, more than ever, we need Bodies and Barriers to shine a spotlight on how and why good healthcare for LGBTQ people and our families is such a challenge. Bodies and Barriers provides a roadmap for all who are ready to fight for health equity — in the doctor’s office, in the halls of government, or in the streets.”

Rea Carey, Former Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force

ISBN: 978-1-62963-784-6

PM Press, 2020

256 Pages

One-Pager with Book Distribution Information for US and UK

Contributing Writers:

  • Chris Bartlett
  • Liz Bradbury
  • Alisa Bowman
  • Dr. Kat Carrick
  • Anthony Crisci
  • Dr. Katharine Dalke
  • Jack Harrison-Quintana
  • Preston Heldibridle
  • Laura Jacobs
  • Arin Jayes
  • Kate Kendell
  • Admiral Rachel L. Levine, MD
  • Kate Luxion
  • Dr. Ntlotleng Mabena
  • Liz Margolies
  • Robyn Ochs
  • Emmett Patterson
  • Atticus Ranck
  • Dr. Scout
  • Adrian Shanker
  • Annemarie Shankweiler
  • Sean Strub
  • Rev. Justin Tanis
  • Ryan Thoreson
  • Tyler Titus
  • Dr. Imani Woody

plus section header illustrations by Jacinta Bunnell

Excerpts, Reviews, Interviews:

Read short excerpts from Bodies and Barriers in POZ, and San Francisco Bay Times

Bodies and Barriers received critical acclaim from numerous reviewers. Read reviews in Library JournalOut in JerseyPhiladelphia Gay NewsAmbush Magazine (New Orleans), and Bay Area Reporter.

Bodies and Barriers has been featured in numerous print, radio, and podcast interviews, including in Gay City NewsOut Front Magazine (Denver), Bear World Magazine, Healing MagazineLetters from CAMP RehobothAt the Core of Care PodcastThe New Masculine Podcast, and Preference on KBOOfm Portland, among others.

Teach The Book:

For Academic Coursework: Bodies and Barriers is designed to fit a syllabus. Essays are arranged chronologically to demonstrate a natural trajectory of LGBT people’s lives throughout a semester-long course. Bodies and Barriers is a data-informed book with strong sourcing and is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate coursework for students in health professions, public health, public policy, and women’s and gender studies and related disciplines. If you are considering Bodies and Barriers for your course, request a desk copy by emailing

For Reading & Discussion Groups or Staff Trainings: Bodies and Barriers is the perfect book to utilize for reading and discussion groups, or for staff training for healthcare and public health workers. Bulk purchase discounts may be requested by emailing, depending on the quantity requested. A free Bodies and Barriers discussion guide is also available for download for reading or discussion groups. The discussion guide includes critical analysis discussion prompts for each chapter to support the facilitation of group discussions about the book.

Purchase the Book:

Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health is available for purchase through any in-person or online bookseller. Please support your local independent bookstore by purchasing the book through them, or if purchasing online, through, or through the publisher directly at PM Press.

For wholesale or bulk copies of the book at a discount, email your request to

Image description: the book cover of Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health, a grey cover with black speckles and a rainbow of people from an infant to an older adult. The book is presented in ebook on a tablet and phone, and also in print. The logo for “Goldie Finalist” from Golden Crown Literary Society” is in the top center.