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Going to the pharmacy is a universal necessity. Everyone gets a sniffle from time to time, and everyone gets a headache. If your needs are simple, then convenience is key. But what happens when your needs go beyond bandages, condoms, and tissues? How comfortable are you talking with the white coat behind the counter about some of your most intimate health needs?

Studies have estimated that 50 percent of LGBTQ people have experienced healthcare discrimination, and it is part of The Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2020 to improve this at the pharmacy level. The mechanism suggested by these guidelines and studies is to “improve rapport” between the pharmacists and the patients, but isn’t that type of lip service the real problem at hand?

In order to really battle stigma and discrimination a health care company has to selectively hire professionals that understand the community needs, which is a difficult or even impossible task for a large corporation. But what about the independent pharmacy (and yes, they exist)? What about a pharmacy that primarily focuses on LGBTQ health? What about pharmacists that risk everything because you deserve better care?

That’s Scales Pharmacy.