BSDJ LGBTQ+ Special Issue Cover

Feature: The British Student Doctor Journal vol. 5 no. 2

We’re very pleased to announce the publication of a particularly significant special issue of The British Student Doctor Journal. We’ve invited the issue’s guest editor, Callum Phillips, to tell us more about it here.

It is a pleasure to be writing this post introducing the LGBTQ+ Special Issue of The British Student Doctor Journal.

This issue has been over a year in the making, born from a frustration with the invisibility and discrimination faced as a non-binary medical student. I hope it will become a symbol of rebellion and queer power. It began with a scribble in a notebook – to platform, to inspire, to educate. The authors who have contributed to the issue represent a wide spectrum of identities and display the strength that lies in diversity. Their work is resonant and impactful, and I hope that they are extremely proud. The issue covers topics such as what doctors need to know about transgender healthcare, the representation of women who have sex with women, queering curriculums, and facilitation of sexual or gender identity disclosure, amongst many others. There are honest and powerful reflections addressing our history, our present, and our future.  

We know the NHS fails its queer patients and medical professionals; that medical education insufficiently addresses queer populations; that our institutions reflect the prejudices of society. It is my hope that we have met the three founding principles from my notebook, and this issue pushes ourselves a little further along the long road of addressing these failings. Queerness should not be relegated to the shadows, it should not have barriers placed in front of it, it is to be celebrated and encouraged.

The bespoke front cover is from an amazing queer artist called JanCarlo Caling. In it, he depicts the huge influence of the LGBTQIA+ community, including icons of varying race and body shapes, showing that there is no one way to be queer, and a refusal to be packaged into a neat label for societies’ comfort. We hope it pays tribute to the legacies of Marsha P. Johnson & Sylvia Rivera, Audre Lorde, and Keith Haring; and celebrates more contemporary icons such as Jamie Windust, Chella Man, and Eddie Ndopa.

I hope that you enjoy reading the LGBTQ+ issue of the BSDJ as much as I have enjoyed its curation and construction. I would like to thank Cardiff University Press for the support we have received to carry out this important piece of work. You can contact me at or @medicallum on Twitter.