Why It’s Good To Be Gay and A Parent, And More LGBT Wellness News

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.


The Kids (of Gay Parents) Are Alright

Researchers found that children with lesbian mothers and children with gay fathers both had low levels of emotional or behavioral issues. Gay fathers reported even less internalization of problems among their children than did lesbian mothers, countering the idea that children with two fathers may have adjustment problems.



Trans Rights Targeted by Several States

Mother Jones reported that transgender rights were under attack in eleven states, where laws have been proposed that try to prevent trans people from using public restrooms, force schools to “out” transgender students to their parents, and more. Advocates say these laws put transgender people at risk of violence, harm mental health, and have other adverse health impacts.


Sexually Active Youth More Likely to Smoke

Researchers found that youth are more likely to use cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or both if they are sexually active, and even more so if they had had more than three sexual partners. Youth were more likely to use both traditional and e-cigarettes if they reported not using a condom the last time they had sex. Previous research has found that queer youth are more likely to smoke and “vape.”


anxietyTrans Youth Have Higher Anxiety but Not Depression

A study found that transgender children who have socially transitioned had slightly higher anxiety than other children, but did not have higher rates of depression or lower self-worth. The results differ from previous research, which has mostly looked at youth who had not socially transitioned and who reported high rates of mental health challenges.


Journal Highlights LGBT Smoking Disparities

LGBT Health released its first issue of 2017, highlighting smoking disparities in the queer community in two articles: one exploring what factors make queer women more likely to be smokers, and another investigating the barriers and facilitators to LGBT people quitting smoking.


Fertility Options Expanding for Trans Youth

News Hour reported that trans health advocates are drawing on fertility research originally intended for cancer patients to encounter new options for transgender youth to preserve their fertility. Trans youth who want the option to have children in the future face limited options, but solutions may be coming – like using a piece of ovarian tissue to develop a mature egg.

Putting Off That Mammo? See Yourself Here in our Weekly Wellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.


mammomodelQueer Breast Cancer Awareness Effort Launched

Buzzfeed reported that a breast cancer organization in Australia is launching an ad campaign to encourage at-risk queer folks to get screened. Citing the fact that LGBT individuals are less likely to meet mammography guidelines, the campaign’s organizers hope it will help close the gap. Did we mention the photos are flawless?


Transgender Population Faces Tobacco Crisis

Researchers found that transgender individuals had almost double the odds of using a tobacco product in the past month when compared to cisgender (that is, non-transgender) individuals. Big disparities were found in cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes, with the latter showing the biggest gap: most than 21% of trans folks used e-cigarettes, compared to just 5% of cisgender individuals.


LGB Youth Face Disparities in Custody

A study found that youth in correctional facilities were disproportionately sexual minorities, especially among girls, of whom 39.4% identified as LGB and another 18.5% identified as “mostly straight.” Additionally, gay and bisexual boys faced more than 10 times the odds of experiencing sexual victimization while in custody as compared to heterosexual boys.


PrEP Uptake Slow Among At-Risk African Americans

Researchers attending Black Gay Pride Events found that just 4.6% of African American men who have sex with men and transgender women were on PrEP, the HIV prevention drug. Also troubling: just 39% of participants were even aware of PrEP. Being in a relationship, having recently been tested for HIV, and being out were all associated with being aware of PrEP.


Journal Examines Queer Aging hispanic-elders

The Gerontologist released a supplemental issue on LGBT aging. One article on intersectional disparities found that African American and Hispanic older adults faced many issues (like lower income and social support) that reduced health-related quality of life. However, these groups had higher spirituality, which was associated with an increase in psychological health.


Cooking Up Solutions in Cancer Survivorship

STAT recently covered a topic in cancer care that’s rarely discussed – how individuals can lose their sense of taste during cancer treatment and have trouble eating as a result – as well as what creative chefs are doing about it. Research has shown that LGBT cancer survivors already report lower satisfaction with care, meaning this kitchen-based research could benefit the community.

Join LGBT HealthLink!

Become a member and get access to a community of folks working on LGBT health equity issues. Join here!

Sleep, ACA, Youth, and Inmates. We’ve Got It All Right Here in the Weekly Wellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.



Queer Folks Are Losing Sleep – Literally

Researchers found that queer adults are at higher risk for sleep disturbances, which can prevent someone from getting a full night’s rest. Queer women were even more likely than queer men to wake up during the night. Other health disparities and socioeconomic differences only partially explained the results, meaning queer adults may need targeted assistance to help them rest easy.


Endocrinologists Untrained on Trans Health

Yikes. Researchers found that while most endocrinologists (doctors focused on hormones) have had at least one transgender patient, more than 80 percent never received training on transgender care. Very little of the training that did occur happened at medical schools, with doctors learning more through methods like online trainings, lectures, and continuing education.


Teaching Queer Men on Testicular Cancer testicular-cancer

A study of 29 Irishmen found that gay and bi men wanted to learn about testicular cancer in largely the same way as did heterosexual men. Some expressed desire for integrative and inclusive campaigns that targeted all men, while others wanted targeted campaigns for the queer community that build on its strengths (such as male partners getting tested together) and address disparities.


ACA Repeal Could Hurt Queer Community

Broadly opined that repealing the Affordable Care Act – the process for which has already begun in Congress – could disproportionately harm LGBT folks. For example, the ACA expanded coverage of mental health services (which LGBT people disproportionately need) and prohibited discrimination based on sex, which the Obama administration extended to trans folks, as well.


transyouthWhat Trans Youth Think About the Future

A study of trans youth and their families found that there were many barriers to envisioning a happy future, including facing discrimination, denials of civil rights, and dealing with healthcare issues such as insurance and high costs. On the other hand, they were also hopeful that things would change for the better – a reflection of recent advancements in policies and pop culture.


First Trans Inmate Receives Surgery

PBS reported that a California inmate became the first trans person in history to receive trans-affirming surgery during incarceration. The state government settled a lawsuit with the woman in 2015 and laid out a process for trans patients to receive the surgery if doctors deem it medically necessary – the same standard applied for any other medical procedure.

Weekly Wellness Resolutions – Have You Kept Yours?

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.



Keeping Your New Year’s Smoking Resolution

CNN reported that quitting smoking – while a popular New Year’s resolution – is also one of the hardest to keep. With LGBT adults smoking at a 50% higher rate than other adults, many queer folks may be facing this challenge as 2017 rolls along. You can find helpful apps and advice, tailored to the LGBT community, here.


Marijuana Tied to More Partners Among Youth LGBTYouth

Researchers found that marijuana use among LGB youth was associated with increased odds of having multiple sexual partners, something that is considered a risk factor for contracting sexually transmitted infection among youth. The research also showed that LGB youth were more likely than heterosexual youth to be using marijuana throughout the course of the study.


Transgender Health Protections Halted

A federal judge halted protections for transgender people in healthcare from taking effect, putting into jeopardy one of the Obama administration’s key measures in support of LGBT equality, as well as a significant-if-under-reported aspect of the Affordable Care Act. Advocates say the protections are essential to ensuring transgender people can access healthcare services.


advocateAdvocate Offers HPV 101

The Advocate opined that HPV is an under-discussed topic in the LGBT community, which suffers from the disease but is often not targeted for prevention by public health efforts. There are many strands of HPV which have different levels of consequences, with the worst closely linked to cancer. Smoking and concurrent HIV infection can also increase risks with HPV.


How to Improve Data on Queer Health

Researchers published a comprehensive report on incorporating measures of sexual orientation into public health surveys conducted by the government. While things have improved in recent years, data on sexual orientation (and gender identity) often goes uncollected – leaving the public without solid data on many aspects of queer health.


Community Centers Step Up Aging Support logo-transparent-250-250

The Miami Herald reported on the issue of LGBT aging in South Florida, a region known for both its queer community and its popularity among older adults. They report that many LGBT community centers are trying to provide support as their constituents age, seeming to help fill the role that senior centers hold for the general population.

This Week’s Wellness Roundup Mourns The Loss of a Princess

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.



Galaxy’s Favorite Princess Passes

Carrie Fisher – a lifelong friend to the queer community and fierce fighter against mental health stigma – passed away at the age of 60. Fisher, best known as portraying Princess Leia in the Star Wars saga, became a hero of mental health advocates when she spoke out about living with bipolar disorder. LGBT folks face huge disparities in mental health conditions (and stigma).


Benefits of Being Out to Your Doctor 

Researchers found that queer women were 3.6 times more likely to have had a breast exam in the last two years if their provider knew their sexual orientation. In contrast, gender-nonconforming women were less likely to get screened when they perceived stigma or discomfort from their providers, underscoring the importance of inclusive care in preventing cancer.



New Data on HIV in Trans Communities

The first-ever national analysis of HIV in transgender communities found that most new cases occurred among Black/African Americans, with Hispanic or Latino rates also high. The analysis also showed that 15.4% of new cases among transgender individuals were among trans men rather than trans women – surprising given that HIV prevention efforts for trans individuals focus almost exclusively on women.


Targeted HPV Vaccination Likely Beneficial

Researchers in England determined that targeting HPV vaccination towards queer men in select health clinics would reduce HPV rates and be more cost-effective than the status quo, in which vaccine programs generally focus only on cisgender women and leave others out. Queer men have disproportionate rates of the virus, which can cause cancer.


Catholic Groups Challenge Trans Protections

The Washington Post reported that a group of Catholic-affiliated businesses have sued the Obama administration in federal court, saying that recent regulations banning anti-transgender discrimination in healthcare violate their religious freedom. Transgender equality groups argue the protections are vital to reducing widespread disparities in transgender health.


aalesbiansAging Needs of Black Lesbian Women Highlighted

An Atlanta study of lesbian African Americans over age 40 found several themes regarding their needs during the aging process, which largely revolved around the connectedness of care, community, economic interventions, and information. Many women expressed a desire for complementary (also known as “alternative”) medicine focused on holistic wellness.

Your LGBT Wellness Roundup Has This Week’s Top Health News

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.


How Craigslist Could Improve Health Equity

Researchers found that when it comes to recruiting smokers for tobacco control studies, LGB smokers were more likely than other smokers to respond to Craigslist and Facebook ads. This may be key in improving queer inclusion in research, which in turn can mean better-tailored interventions and more funding for those working with LGBT individuals.


Survey Reveals Big News on Trans Population gender

A study of public health data nationwide revealed that .53% of the population is transgender, representing about 1 in 200 U.S. adults. Trans individuals are more likely to be non-white, living in poverty, and without a college degree than are other adults, suggesting the potential for intersectional discrimination based on minority and low-income statuses. Additionally, trans people were just as likely as others to live in rural areas, as well as to be married.


LGB Folks Face Incarceration Disparities

Researchers found that the proportion of LGB people who are incarcerated is three times that of the overall adult population, with queer women facing particularly stark disparities: 42.1% of women in prison were sexual minorities. LGB sexual minorities were also more likely to be sexually victimized while incarcerated as well as to face solitary confinement.



Fertility Preservation Triggers Dysphoria in Trans Men

A study of Swedish trans men found that freezing one’s eggs to preserve fertility could be a stressful experience and negatively impact gender dysphoria, as the procedure is closely tied to a female identity. The procedure, which is also sometimes used by trans patients with cancer to preserve fertility, was manageable with social supports and other coping strategies.


Demand Surges for Care for Trans Youth

STAT reports that demand is rising for gender identity-related care for transgender youth, including everything from counseling to hormone therapy to surgery. Lack of research, discrimination, and insurance policies were all cited as barriers for youth seeking care.


vanderbiltBig Study Coming on Impact of LGBT Laws

Vanderbilt University announced a $400,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the impact of LGBT-related laws and policies, including marriage equality, on queer health. The project is expected to last two years.

See What’s Cookin’ in This Week’s Wellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.



A Look Inside Queer Women’s Kitchens

A long-running study of nurses nationwide found that lesbian and bisexual women have higher diet quality than heterosexual women, despite previous research showing they are more likely to be overweight. Lesbian women also had lower caloric intake than did heterosexual women. This may mean that factors besides diet (such as exercise level) account for sexual minority women having higher rates of being overweight.


wadRacial Disparities Highlighted on World AIDS Day

On World AIDS Day, NBC News reported that a national nonprofit launched a training platform for healthcare providers to improve services for black men who have sex with men – half of whom are expected to get a positive HIV diagnosis during their lifetime. Relatedly, a qualitative study of black men who have sex with men found that a majority miss the opportunity to discuss safe sex with new partners, and that many had these talks only after becoming involved.


States Seek to Punish People Living with HIV

Meanwhile, the Movement Advancement Project released a report showing 38 states have laws that criminalize the potential transmission of HIV – or activities thought to pose a risk of transmission but that don’t, like spitting. Another six states do not have a specific law, but have nonetheless prosecuted people living with HIV under other laws for risking transmission.


Trans, Bi Folks Have Unmet Mental Health Needs

Researchers found that trans individuals were 2.4 times more likely, and bi- and pansexual women 1.8 times more likely, to have an unmet need for mental healthcare than were cisgender, heterosexual women. Lesbian and other queer women, in contrast, did not have a significant difference with heterosexual women. Trans people also reported more untreated depression.


Making Paid Leave Policies Queer-Friendly parents

The Center for American Progress published a guide how to make policies allowing paid leave from work fair for LGBT people. While LGBT people are more likely to need such policies due to health disparities, they are less likely to benefit if policies are narrowly aimed at nuclear families or apply only to those with legal relationships.