Our Weekly Wellness Round up Keeps You Up To Date

Each week HuffPost Queer Voices, in a partnership with blogger Scout, LGBT HealthLink and researcher Corey Prachniak, brings you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit our page dedicated to the topic here.


Sneak Peek at Massive New Trans Survey Shows Bathrooms Are Major Issue

Over 27,000 people filled out the U.S. Transgender Survey last year; the full findings will be out soon but the good people at National Center for Transgender Equality have fast-tracked the findings on bathrooms. In the last year, 59 percent of trans people avoided using bathrooms, 31 percent avoided eating or drinking for this reason, 12 percent reported bathroom harassment or assault and 8 percent reported resultant kidney problems.

Trans Bathroom Debate Headed To Supreme Court

After a setback at a lower court, the Virginia school board that is trying to prevent a trans student from using the boy’s bathroom petitioned the Supreme Court to review the case. Also, Republican National Convention delegates voted to have language in their platform that condemns bathroom access for trans students as “illegal and dangerous.”

HealthPrideDespite Doctors’ Fears, Patients Don’t Mind Sharing Their Orientation

A new study found that while 80% of Emergency Department providers feared offending their patients by asking sexual orientation on electronic health records, an overwhelming majority of patients are fine answering the question. Sadly, while the study was built in response to a call to collect sexual orientation and gender identity data in health records, it only reports feasibility for sexual orientation.

Congressman Calls for Better LGBT Data Collection After Orlando

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, one of the few LGBT members of Congress,introduced a bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity data collection to the National Violent Death Reporting System to ensure that violent deaths and suicides of LGBT people are tracked. Maloney was inspired to introduce the act after last month’s tragedy in Orlando, as Florida has opted not to collect data on LGBT victims. WeStandSquare

E-Cigarettes Aren’t Just Replacing Cigarettes Among Youths

A new study of Californian students found that the rising popularity of e-cigarettes has caused total teen cigarette use to rise back to 2001 levels, suggesting e-cigarettes are attracting new users and not just replacing traditional cigarettes among existing smokers. Given that other studies have shown bisexual youth andgay and bisexual adults use e-cigarettes far more than others, the new findings suggest the disparity in LGBT tobacco use could increase even more.

The Most Queer News of Your Week Right Here!

State Marriage Bans Led To Less Stable Queer — And Straight — Couples

Each week HuffPost Queer Voices, in a partnership with blogger Scout, LGBT HealthLink bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit our page dedicated to the topic here.

State Marriage Bans Associated With Less Stable Same- AND Opposite-Sex Couples WeddingBands

Relationship stability is a key indicator of well-being. A new study provides some of the first data for this on same-sex couples. Contrary to some hypothesis, same-sex cohabiting couples were as stable as their opposite-sex counterparts. Interestingly,both types of cohabiting couples were less stable in states that had same-sex marriage bans as of 2008.

New More Precise Estimates of Our Health Disparities

Large scale National Health Interview Survey data provide us with better than ever estimates of health disparities for LGB people. As just a few examples: gay men are 2.8x more likely and bi men are 4.7x as likely to report severe psychological distress than straight men; lesbians are 2.3x as likely to report heavy smoking than other women; and bi women are 2x as likely to report multiple chronic conditions. 


National Parent-Teacher Association Calls For LGBT-Inclusive Health Standards

At its annual convention, the National PTA called for health education standards in schools to cover sexual orientation and gender identity issues, citing the effect that better understanding of these topics has on improving mental health and reducing bullying.

EqCAEquality California Spotlights Health, Supports $2/Pack Cigarette Tax

Equality California has been “honing in on LGBT health issues” after other legislative advancements have been secured statewide. The Executive Director, Rick Zbur, reports they’re working on getting people insured, training doctors to be welcoming, and supporting a proposal to pass a new statewide cigarette tax.

Gay & Lesbian Medical Association to Meet on Intersectional Identities

GLMA announced that it is opening registration for its September conference in St. Louis, which will aim to break new ground by focusing on the intersectionality of LGBT identities with those such as race and socioeconomic status.

Our Weekly Wellness Roundup for Your Queer Health

Each week HuffPost Queer Voices, in a partnership with blogger Scout, LGBT HealthLink and researcher Susana Fajardo, brings you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit our page dedicated to the topic here.


How Many People With A PrEP Prescription Actually Take It?

A new study at three clinical sites found that among MSM who were prescribed pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication that prevents getting HIV, 18% of respondents never filled their prescription and only 57% were still using PrEP after six months. Not keeping in touch with the clinic, moving, and side-effects were the biggest reasons for stopping.

Orlando Shooting Rekindles Scrutiny of FDA’s Blood Donation Ban

As gay and bisexual men were routinely turned away from giving blood after the mass shooting in Orlando, questioning began anew of the federal government’s continued ban on blood donations from men who have had sex with another man in the past year.


A systematic review found over 30 different terms describing LGBTQ people in health research papers, making it hard to find new research when relatively little is produced. In a related note: several different federal agencies are now using the term “sexual and gender minorities” or SGM for short, to cover the whole acronym umbrella.


How to Be a Good Ally to LGBTQ Youth 

Youth Today explains how to be a good ally to LGBTQ youth, particularly for those in youth services, in the wake of Orlando’s tragedy. Top takeaways? Make your organizational resources available for those who might be grieving; make a public statement; and attend pride.

Aftermath of Orlando Attack Highlights Challenges with Identifying “Family” Orlando United

The Washington Post had a thoughtful article this week about how the Orlando Mayor’s request for a waiver of health insurance privacy regulations was important for LGBT health. The mayor requested this waiver after the hospital head expressed concern about chosen families who came to the emergency room but, since they had no legal ties to the victims, couldn’t get information. The White House clarified medical providers have some flexibility to disclose limited information to same sex partners but this situation still highlights a problem.

Rainbow Swag Popular in Portland

BeckyBy Becky Wright, MPH, Tobacco Prevention Program Specialist and  Co-Chair, LGBT HealthLink Steering Committee


During the 2016 Portland (Oregon) Pride Festival this past weekend, the Multnomah County Tobacco Control and Prevention Program was present to support healthy, smokefree living. I was proud to represent my dual roles as the Tobacco Prevention Program Coordinator for Multnomah County Health Department, as well as the Steering Committee Co-Chair for LGBT HealthLink, committed to improving the lives of LGBTQ people everywhere! Our program was part of a large Multnomah County booth Multnomah Ctyrepresenting many facets of the work we do, and at our table participants were able to take a survey, get cool rainbow swag, and commit to eating healthy and living smokefree. There were so many beautiful, fierce, brave people sharing themselves with the world; I felt honored to share space with everyone in celebration of our full selves. The energy and love that poured off everyone was intense!


The purpose of our survey was to assess LGBTQ people on their tobacco, nicotine and marijuana use, as well as attitudes and beliefs about the tobacco and vape industries. We conducted this survey last year as well, to start to get a look at trends of use within local LGBTQ communities in Multnomah County. This data can help us tailor our messages and programming to be most effective to help LGBTQ people live their healthiest lives. It is also an opportunity to create conversations with people and LGBTQ-serving agencies in our area about ways to support healthy, smokefree living.

BeckyPride4We had a lot of attention over the past two days (most likely due to the amazing rainbow swag offered in exchange for the survey!), and now I turn to analyzing the data in the 350+ surveys that we received. Although I want to be optimistic that our communities are not representative of national and state data that show that LGBTQ adults are 2-3X more likely to smoke then heterosexual adults, I am concerned that we will have the same disproportionate rates here. I am hopeful that the work I am doing here in Multnomah County, and nationally through LGBT HealthLink, is helping change the culture in our LGBTQ communities around tobacco and nicotine use so we can all live and breathe a little easier.


Becky is the Tobacco Prevention Program Specialist for Multnomah County Health Department and can be contacted at rebecca.wright@multco.us

Leaders Urge #LGBTselfcare In Wake Of Orlando

Each week HuffPost Queer Voices, in a partnership with blogger Scout, LGBT HealthLink and researcher Susana Fajardo, brings you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit our page dedicated to the topic here.

LGBTSelfCare sharable

Leaders Urge #LGBTselfcare in Wake of Orlando

As all of us stay glued to the horrific news about Orlando, leaders have spoken uppointing out how this event will trigger past trauma for many of us. They urge #LGBTselfcare, ask providers to publicly display if they are LGBT welcoming, and suggest allies check in on their LGBT loved ones.

Cervical ScreeningComfort with Health Care Providers Important for Cervical Cancer Care Screening

A study of queer women and trans men found that those who routinely got cervical cancer screenings reported being more comfortable with and “out” to health care providers, while those who did not reported more discrimination related to their sexual identity and gender expression.

Closets and Condoms and Black Men

A recent study of young Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in Mississippi found that men who disclosed their orientation to friends and family were motivated to use condoms as a means of resisting stigma and homophobia, whereas closeted men were more likely to internalize homophobic norms and less likely to use condoms, as well as be at risk of intimate partner violence.

Norway Passes Historic Transgender Rights Bill Norway

Norway passed a bill introduced by the country’s Ministry of Health allowing transgender Norwegians to change their legal gender by merely completing a form, ending requirements for psychiatric diagnosis or surgery.

VA Proposes Allowing Gender Confirmation Surgeries

The Department of Veterans Affairs proposed a rule that would end its ban on paying for or performing gender-confirmation surgeries.

Roundup News: Presidential Proclamation — LGBT Pride Month, 2016

Each week HuffPost Queer Voices, in a partnership with blogger Scout, LGBT HealthLink and researcher Susana Fajardo, brings you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit our page dedicated to the topic here.


The Impact of Sexual Identity Changes Among Women

A fascinating new study looked at the effect of sexual identity changes among a longitudinal sample of women. First, they found approximately 25% of the sample changed their sexual identity every 5-6 years. Second, if you changed towards being lesbian/bi, your depressive symptoms went up.

Documentation, Legal Status Affects HIV Risk

A small study of transgender Latina women found that legal documentation to live in the U.S. was critical to the experience of their gender identity, access to health services and power dynamics within relationships. Moreover, the women who had legal status had better access to health services, less risky employment and more control over sexual relationships.

YouthOnlineKey to Researching LGBTQ Youth Might Be Online

A new review article this week looks at the benefits of using online research for “silenced and invisible voices” such as LGBTQ youth and other hard-to-reach populations. As they note, while 92% of all youth are online daily, LGBTQ youth are even more digitally active and the anonymity is particularly valuable to our youth. 

Stigma Present within the Gay, Bi Community

A study of Craigslist’s Men Seeking Men ads in 11 cities with high HIV prevalence found that the most explicitly-stated bias was for men who were “disease and drug free” (DDF), “clean” or “healthy,” which was asked in 24.55% of ads. No other bias (including regarding weight or physical appearance) came close, highlighting the strength of HIV-related stigma in Craigslist postings.


Obama Highlights Health in Pride Month Declaration

President Obama highlighted LGBT health in declaring June to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. He particularly noted the administration’s commitment to lowering the rate of HIV, improving health access and outcomes for LGBT people, and banning conversion therapy.