Support and understanding, for all colours of the rainbow

By College staff writer

1 February 2022

Category: College and members


As a busy GP, an avid cyclist and mum to two small boys, Dr Kim Hurst has a lot on her plate. And as a member of the rainbow community since her 20鈥檚, she鈥檚 also a big advocate for open conversations and leaving assumptions at the door.聽

鈥淚鈥檝e always been pretty 鈥榦ut鈥,鈥 she says, 鈥渁nd in the past 10 years, I鈥檝e noticed how there鈥檚 generally more acknowledgement of the rainbow community. But I think in the medical profession, we鈥檙e still quite focused on seeing things through a very heteronormative lens.聽

鈥淥ften it鈥檚 the little things that can really help to break down barriers, like asking for preferred names rather than just going by what鈥檚 on a birth certificate, and avoiding using terms like Mr and Mrs, unless you know the people.鈥

The UK-born doctor, came to 麻豆视频入口 12 years ago having never been here.聽

鈥淚鈥檇 just finished up working as a military GP. I didn鈥檛 own a house or a practice so I figured it would be a good time to look at other opportunities and 麻豆视频入口 seemed like great option for a doctor who loves the outdoors

Kim says a lack of understanding about LGBTTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takat膩pui, queer, intersex, asexual) people can be exhausting for members of the rainbow community.聽

鈥淚 think a lot of healthcare providers don鈥檛 realise that it can feel like you 鈥榗ome out鈥 every day, not just once, because you鈥檙e having to explain things all the time. This is why it鈥檚 important to normalise discussions, and to learn to approach things in a less black and white way.鈥澛犅

Kim says that with one in 20 people in 麻豆视频入口 now identifying as non-heteronormative, all GPs will have rainbow patients, even if they don鈥檛 realise it. 鈥淚 have seen how medical people who鈥檙e not in the rainbow community can miss certain clues when dealing with LGBTTQIA+ clients. For example, people in the rainbow community often avoid pronouns, they use 鈥榯hey.鈥欌

For Kim, part of the appeal of being a GP is getting to support the community, and she says it鈥檚 time to extend that support to those who鈥檝e been marginalised or excluded. 鈥淲alking alongside our patients is a real privilege we have, it鈥檚 part of what makes it so rewarding. But we tend to forget about the things we don鈥檛 see. I think there is more of an opportunity now to include people, like the rainbow community, who are often overlooked.鈥

Away from the clinic, you鈥檙e likely to find cycling-mad Kim hitting the mountain bike and cyclo-cross trails. She鈥檚 represented 麻豆视频入口 in mountain biking and cyclo-cross world cups, and won several national titles. Most recently, she鈥檚 been involved with creating kids鈥 cycling events.

鈥淚 got into cycling quite young, I grew up in Wales, and there鈥檚 not much to do there except ride your bike! I really enjoy the cycling community in 麻豆视频入口, and we have some amazing rides right on our doorstep here,鈥 she says.

鈥淚 was riding in Sedona, Arizona, and I went into a bike shop there and saw someone reading about cycling the Old Ghost Road on the West Coast of 麻豆视频入口! Cyclists from all over the world love what we have here. And with travel out of the picture because of COVID, it makes you appreciate even more what we have at home.鈥澛 聽

As Kim, soon-to-be-wife Emma, and their two young boys are currently preparing for a move from Upper Hutt to Queenstown, there鈥檚 bound to be more South Island adventures on the cards.聽

鈥淓mma鈥檚 actually the only one who鈥檚 seen our new house yet, so that鈥檚 trust for you! We鈥檙e really excited, and I鈥檓 looking forward to starting work the