June 2016
LGBT Health Webinar 
Healthy People 2020 and the Institute of Medicine have identified key health disparities faced by the LGBT population. The Achieving Health Equity for LGBT People webinar provides an overview of LGBT health disparities, terminology, demographics, key strategies for creating LGBT-inclusive environments of care, and insight into the intersections of LGBT health, population health and team-based care.

Did you miss an Every Woman Southeast webinar? All of our archived webinars can be found on our website here. 

LGBT Health Journal
LGBT Health is the premier peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting optimal healthcare for millions of sexual and gender minorities worldwide. Spanning a broad array of disciplines, LGBT Health brings together the research, clinical, and health advocacy communities to overcome barriers to healthcare and other current challenges, as well as to expand options for treatment and prevention.

Coming Out of 
Your Closet 
Coming out of your closet | Ash Beckham | TEDxBoulder
Coming out of your closet | Ash Beckham | TEDxBoulder
In this TED Talk, Ash Beckham discusses the current state of homophobia in our culture, challenging even the word "homophobia" itself. We all have a responsibility to live our lives as active activists, not passive ones, when it comes to protecting our fellow humans from hate of any kind.

Click here to view an infographic that explains health disparities experienced by the transgender community. 

The National LGBT Health Education Center provides educational programs, resources, and consultation to health care organizations with the goal of optimizing quality, cost-effective health care for LGBT individuals. The Education Center is a part of The Fenway Institute; their website has a comprehensive list of resources, including a number of publications and guides, specifically focused on LGBT population health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes that people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) are members of every community. They are diverse, come from all walks of life, and include people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses. Their website provides a wealth of information and resources on some of the health issues and inequities affecting LGBT communities. 

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care by strengthening the health care workforce, building healthy communities, and achieving health equity. HRSA has been working on issues that impact LGBT communities for decades to better meet the health needs of these communities. View their 2014 Annual Report to see a list of recent activities and accomplishments. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is committed to addressing behavioral health disparities among vulnerable populations, such as LGBT Americans, and works toward improving the access, quality, and outcomes of behavioral health services. Their Top Health Issues for LGBT Populations Information & Resource Kit presents an overview of health issues among LGBT populations with the aim of creating awareness among healthcare providers of the needs, experiences, and health status of LGBT Americans.

Being an Ally

An "ally" is a term used to describe someone who is supportive of LGBT people and issues. Allies are some of the most effective and powerful voices of the LGBT movement. Not only do allies help people in the coming-out process, they also help others understand the importance of equality, fairness, acceptance and mutual respect.

There are a number of helpful resources that can give you more information on how to be an ally and a friend.
LGBT Population Health

The LGBT community is immensely diverse. While L, G, B, and T are usually tied together as an acronym that suggests homogeneity, each letter represents a wide range of people of different ages, races, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses and identities. 

What binds this community together as gender and sexual minorities are common experiences of stigma and discrimination, the struggle of living at the intersection of many cultural backgrounds, and, specifically with respect to health care, a long history of discrimination and lack of awareness of health needs by health professionals. 

This month we highlight LGBT health issues to not only help you better understand the needs and experiences of LGBT populations, but to also help assure this community's highest possible level of health.

Physical Health Issues
Lesbian Women: Physical inactivity, obesity, and smoking have all been found to be more prevalent among lesbians than other women. Harassment, physical violence due to their sexual orientation, and intimate partner violence (IPV) are also more common among lesbians than straight adults.

Gay MenTobacco and alcohol use are prevalent among gay men, increasing their risk for heart disease and several types of cancer. Data also show that gay men generally experience two types of violent victimization: criminal violence based on their sexual 
orientation, and violence from an intimate partner.

Bisexual Men & Women: Bisexual women are more likely to report higher BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, and tobacco and alcohol use than heterosexual and lesbian women. Though, some research suggests that bisexual adults are more likely to engage in physical activity than heterosexual adults. Similar to lesbian and gay people, bisexual adults are also more likely to report experiencing IPV than heterosexual adults.

Transgender Men & Women: Available research related to physical health issues, including studies of how medical interventions, such as hormone therapy and/or sexual reassignment surgeries, affect the overall health of transgender people is extremely limited. Physical and sexual violence against transgender people, especially transgender women of color, also continues to occur in the U.S.

Mental Health Issues
Lesbian WomenMany factors affect the mental and emotional health of lesbian women. One study found that negative reactions from parents and caregivers in response to women's sexual orientation were closely correlated with poor mental health.

Gay MenMultiple studies have shown that depression and anxiety affect gay men at a higher rate than the general population, and are often more severe for men who remain "in the closet."
Bisexual Men & Women: Researchers have suggested that bisexual adults have the lowest level of emotional well-being compared to people of other sexual orientations. Recent studies have also shown that bisexual men and women consistently report higher levels of depression and anxiety than heterosexuals.
Transgender Men & WomenData on the prevalence of mental health disorders among transgender people are extremely limited. To date, few studies focusing on mental health disorders among transgender people actually compare the mental health of transgender to non-transgender people. 

Sexual Health Issues
Lesbian WomenRecent research has found that lesbian women -- as well bisexual women with larger numbers of female partners -- are more likely to experience vaginal infections including bacterial vaginosis, trichomonas vaginalis, and herpes.
Gay Men: The fact that men who have sex with men (MSM) are at an increased risk of HIV infection has 
been well documented. Other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are also highly prevalent among sexually active gay men.

Bisexual Men & Women:
Research shows that bisexual women are more likely to report higher risk sexual behaviors than heterosexual women. Among bisexual men, data have shown that some groups report less risky sexual behavior with males, but more risky sex with females compared to heterosexual men. 
Transgender Men & Women: Due to a lack of systematic surveillance and reporting of HIV and STI rates among transgender people, the exact prevalence of these infections among this population remains unknown. Known disparities exist in the availability of treatment services, though, with transgender women less likely to receive highly active anti-retroviral therapy than MSM and heterosexual women and men.

LGBT HealthLink is a community-driven network of advocates and professionals looking to enhance LGBT health by eliminating tobacco use, reducing cancer, and otherwise mitigating health disparities within these communities. They are one of eight CDC-funded tobacco and cancer disparity networks, and advance awareness of these issues primarily by linking people and information to advocate for policy change.

GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBT acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. In their PSA, Ellen DeGeneres and others encourage viewers to "Be an Ally & a Friend" to LGBT people everywhere.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) represents a force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national LGBT civil rights organization, HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, work, and in the community. One of their recent blogs discusses five ways to be an LGBT ally.

The GLBT National Help Center is a non-profit organization that provides peer-support, community connections, and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Utilizing a diverse group of volunteers, they operate the GLBT National Hotline and GLBT National Youth Talkline, as well as one-to-one online chat, that helps people with coming-out issues, safe-sex information, school bullying, family concerns, relationship problems, and much more. 
New Blog Post!

"The colors of the rainbow flag are known for the variance of sexual and gender minorities... represented in the LGBTQ+/ queer community, but the variance of race and ethnicities that intersect within this community are unreasonably forgotten." 

In Joshua Mesman's blog post, Queers of Color (A Thorough Tidbit): Struggles in Racial Communities, Queer Communities, and The Media, he discusses the experiences of LGBTQ+ people in their communities of color, LGBTQ+ media's race relations, and racism and whiteness in LGBTQ+ spaces.

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