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Is Sharing Caring with PrEP? #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Is Sharing Caring with PrEP?

POZ reported that about 10% of sexual minority men who take PrEP for HIV prevention share their medication with others, according to a 2018 survey – a concerning statistic given the importance of taking PrEP regularly and under medical supervision. The study also found that men in their 30s were much more likely to use PrEP than those in their 40s and above.

Sending Food and Love to LGBT Seniors

WMFE reported that The LGBT+ Center of Orlando is expanding its services for LGBT older adults thanks to a grant it received. The Center has been conducting phone outreach to older adults during the pandemic (which includes free mental health services from professionals) as well as working with the Salvation Army to send them boxes of food. Find an LGBT center near you using CenterLink’s interactive directory.

Sex Beyond Stereotypes

A study found that among sexual minority Latino men in New York, pleasure rather than masculine stereotypes or power dynamics played a more important role in determining one’s sexual positions or whether one participated in penetrative sex at all. The results could have implications for sexual health interventions, which rarely consider pleasure when seeking to change behavior.

Conversion Therapy’s Impact on Aging

A study of older sexual minority men found that 15% had experienced so-called conversion therapy at some point in their lives. Those who had experienced conversion therapy had 2-to-2.5 times the likelihood of having at least one psychosocial condition, compared to other men. Researchers say that experiences of conversion therapy could thus complicate healthy aging.

California Tackles Health Inequities

California announced that it has signed into law a package of new legislation aimed at addressing inequities facing LGBT individuals. One bill will increase data collection regarding LGBT health, while a second will ensure that transgender people are appropriately housed in prisons, and a third will establish a Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund.

Talk Covers Health Center’s History

Northwestern University hosted a talk by Dr. Kenneth Mayer on the evolution of Fenway Health’s model for delivering care to the LGBT community in Boston. The talk focused on how Fenway balanced its role as a healthcare provider for the community while also engaging in academic research.

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Queer Latinx Communities Impacted by Pandemic – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Queer Latinx Communities Impacted by Pandemic

HRC published new data finding that Latinx LGBT individuals were more likely than other LGBT or other Latinx folks to have lost work during the COVID-19 pandemic and to be struggling economically as a result. With 40% of Latinx LGBT folks facing cuts to their work, many reported having to change household budgets or even having difficulty making rent payments. 

Virtual Health Summit
LGBT HealthLink held its annual e-summit, which brings together leaders in LGBT health from around the world on a digital platform. The event falls within its parent organization CenterLink’s own virtual summit, which this year is replacing its typically in-person event for LGBT centers that happens each year. The summit kicked off on October 13th.

Unpacking Disordered Eating Behaviors

Researchers found that LGBT individuals experience higher rates of disordered eating behaviors and body image dissatisfaction than their peers. For example, 10.5% of transgender men and 8.1% of transgender women reported having been diagnosed with an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime, with body disastisfaction likely being a significant stressor for trans folks.

Stigma during COVID-19 Pandemic

A study from the Canadian government found widespread discrimination there during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gender-diverse individuals were three times as likely as men (and also significantly more likely than women) to have experienced discrimination, while racial and ethnic minorities and youth were also at higher risk of reporting different forms of discrimination.

Discriminatory Policy Blocks Organ Donors

NBC News explored the archaic rules that prohibits sexual minority men from donating organs – a similar but less well-known rule to that which restricts blood donations from gay individuals. While tens of thousands of individuals wait for organ donors to come available, advocates say that the prohibition on gay men is based on HIV-related stigma rather than science.

Uprooting Biphobia

In recognition of Bisexual Awareness Week, the Advocate published a guide on how to address biphobia in others and in yourself. Noting that bisexual folks face disparities even when compared to gay and lesbian peers, they offer tips like not assuming a gay or straight identity when someone shares the sex of their partner and taking someone at their word when they say they are attracted to multiple genders (versus assuming it’s a lie or a “phase”).

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Health News from Around the World – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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 week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Sexual Minority Canadians Face Assault

Out reported on new research finding that sexual minority Canadians were almost three times as likely as their heterosexual peers to report assault within the past year, in which 11% of sexual minorities self-reported assault compared to 4% of heterosexual individuals. Over the course of the lifetime, 59% of sexual minorities reported assault compared to 37% of others.

Who Needs Schooling?

YubaNet reported that the Texas State Board of Education had voted down proposals that proponents said would have taught youth basic understanding of and respect for LGBT peers, making schools safer places. Meanwhile, PinkNews reported on a study finding that four in ten U.K. adults would not want their young children to learn it is okay to be gay or lesbian.

Mississippi Clinic Makes History

The Hour reported on the opening of the first clinic in Mississippi tailoring to the transgender and nonbinary community. With an estimated 15,000 transgender people in the state, Mississippi had only one healthcare center offering horomone therapy at all, and many trans folks reported being turned away from providers for even routine care. Thanks to telehealth technology, the clinic is able to offer services statewide.

Ecuador Approves Health Rights for LGBT Folks

Human Rights Watch reported that after an eight year struggle, Ecuador’s National Assembly approved a bill that guarantees a universal right to health for all Ecuadorians – and specifically for women, adolescents, and LGBT individuals. The law includes a reinforcement of the ban on conversion therapy and also protects intersex children from unnecessary surgery.

Global Trans Org Set to Release Standards

Healio explored the mental health needs of transgender individuals, including some of the myths and vague beliefs that get in the way of care, such as that all mental health issues must be controlled before someone should seek gender-affirming surgery. The article also discusses the new Standards of Care from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), which are due out soon.

Book Unites Queer Health Stories

Gay City News reported on the release of a new book, “Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health,” which features essays from more than two dozen LGBT activits from around the globe. The book’s editor, Adrian Shanker – who serves as the Executive Director of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center – speaks in the article about COVID-19, health quality and equity, and more.

Find an LGBT community center near you using CenterLink’s interactive directory.

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SOGI Questions Need some Work – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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 week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

SOGI Questions Need some Work

Researchers explored what LGBT people think about sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in medical forms and research. They found that typical questions they see were not as fluid and open as they wanted, limiting the inclusiveness of the data, and that multi-part questions assessing different aspects of identity were often confusing as to which part of identity (e.g. sex versus gender) they were asking.

Another Court Rules on Healthcare Protections

Health Affairs reported that another court has blocked a change in federal law that would remove healthcare discrimination protections for LGBT individuals. This is the third such decision, but this one went farther in also striking an expansion to religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws. The series of decisions follows the recent Supreme Court case that found existing employment nondiscrimination laws protected LGBT people.

Impact of Shelter Discrimination for Trans Folks

On the subject of nondiscrimination rights: the Center for American Progress studied the impact of a proposed federal government rule change that would remove equal access to homeless shelters for transgender individuals. They found that trans folks were more likely than cisgender peers to have a difficult or impossible time finding an alternative place to stay if a shelter turned them away. Trans people are also more likely than cisgender people to experience homelessness generally.

Sexual Minority Mental Health in Mexico

A study in Mexico found that compared to heterosexual university students with no same-sex attraction, sexual minority students (and heterosexual-identified students with some same-sex attraction) faced higher risks with respect to several behavioral health issues. Additionally, asexual students faced disparities for drug dependence. The study is one of few to look at LGB mental health in countries classified as developing.

Making Language Inclusive

USA Today reported on several changes made by Dictionary.com to make terms more inclusive. These include adding the terms “gender-inclusive” and “trans+,” as well as editing terms on sexuality. They also include many changes and additions for words relating to race and ethnicity – for example, capitalizing Black as it applies to race and adding gender-inclusive terms like Afro-Latinx.

Annual Healthcare Index Shows Progress

HRC published its annual Healthcare Equality Index and of the record 765 facilities who participated, 495 were named “leaders” while another 193 were named “top performers.” 92% of facilities met the staff training requirement that HRC sets, while only 53% have policies and procedures for welcoming and interacting with transgender patients, showing some issues are farther along than others.

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PrEP Works While You Vacation – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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 week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

PrEP Works While You Vacation

US News reported on a new option for using PrEP to prevent HIV infection: “vacation PrEP,” in which patients take the pill before, during, and after a trip. It might be a good fit for those who generally are lower-risk for HIV infection but who expect to be more sexually active during a vacation. Researchers say that not only is this usage effective, but in a study, it also led to many patients deciding to stick with PrEP long-term after trying it out.

Contraception Use Concerning among Bi Women

A study found that women who had any attraction to women were more likely to have used any contraception method than women attracted only to men. The bad news: bisexual-identified women aged 15-25 and women with both male and female partners aged 26-35 both had higher rates of low-efficacy methods of contraception, suggesting many bisexual women may be more at risk of unintended pregnancy despite having higher use of some type of contraception.

Creating a SOGI Nursing Toolkit

A study examined the creation of a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Nursing Toolkit to help fill knowledge gaps on LGBT patients. The toolkit includes a website, quiz to identify biases, lessons on cultural humility, and learning modules on priority topics. The process used to design the toolkit could be used to develop similar resources for other professionals, many of whom lack basic LGBT education.

Remote HIV Intervention Less Effective

Researchers studied the effectiveness of community health worker interventions for youth living with HIV and found that the service was less effective when conducted remote (at home) compared to when delivered at a clinic. Those who received clinic-based services had better viral load results after one year and also saw a decrease in alcohol use that those receiving home-based services did not.

Challenges for Homeless LGBT Youth

The Advocate reported on efforts to protect LGBT youth experiencing homelessness, as challenges persist despite progress made in many states to ban housing discrimination against LGBT folks. Mistreatment in shelters remains common (and protections from the federal government were recently erased), with many LGBT youth choosing to sleep on the streets rather than make use of the limited resources available.

New Season of Song Begins

WKBW reported on how the show has gone on for the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus – with proper public health measures in place. When told that they could only perform together with masks, social distancing, and top-notch ventilation, they took their performances online. Now, they’re holding rehearsals and auditions in parking lots so that they can keep their distance while still showing pride.

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When Gay Men Do (and Don’t) Seek Care – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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 week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

When Gay Men Do (and Don’t) Seek Care

Researchers found that young gay men who experience healthcare discrimination or are uncomfortable discussing their identities with providers are less likely than others to seek coordinated care. On the other hand, gay youth who found an affirming environment and trusted their provider got better care. Researchers say that can make a big difference in catching chronic and mental health problems early.

MAPFultonCase Threatens Child Welfare, and Beyond

Movement Advancement Project published a report on the potential implications of a Supreme Court case in which a child welfare service provider wants to be able to discriminate against LGBT parents because of its religious beliefs. The report found that should this argument carry the day, it could impact all types of health and human services that private entities are contracted with governments to provide.

PrEP Users’ Behavioral Health

Researchers in Amsterdam found that those starting PrEP (the HIV prevention treatment) had overall high rates of mental health issues, but that these issues did not increase over the course of PrEP use. Furthermore, drug use disorder and sexual compulsivity decreased significantly in the average of 2.5 years for which study participants were followed. The results show the importance of considering behavioral health integration with PrEP services.

Bisexual Folks Face Higher Risk

A study found that bisexual folks in the U.K. faced more than six times the odds of engaging in self-harm within the past year when compared to heterosexual peers. Bisexual individuals also faced disparities compared to their gay and lesbian peers. Anxiety, depression, and experiences of bullying and assault were factors that were frequently associated with self-harm among the population.

TransFlagsRule Allowing Trans Discrimination Held Off

CNN reported that a court has put on hold a recent federal rule that would have allowed discrimination in healthcare on the basis of gender identity. The judge says that the rule violates the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision from earlier this summer, in which the Court said that gender identity discrimination was included in sex discrimination. The change is now paused as the case moves forward.

Celebrating Humanitarian Workers

UNAIDS recognized World Humanitarian Day and explained how, now more than ever, humanitarian aid is critical for individuals around the world to access HIV care. The UN honored humanitarian workers by sharing their stories and the impact that they have on the lives of vulnerable populations – before, during, and after the current pandemic.

Queer Women Facing Food Insecurity

Researchers found that between 20-27% of lesbian and bisexual women (as well as straight-identified women with histories of same-sex relationships) had experienced food insecurity in the past year, compared to 13.1% of exclusively heterosexual women. Despite having more food insecurity, sexual minority women were troublingly no more likely than their peers to access food assistance benefits.

TXDentistWorking to Train Texas Dentists & Beyond

Texas A&M reported on efforts there to have the school of dentistry (working in conjunction with other health schools) implement LGBT health education. They say that LGBT individuals face barriers in accessing dental and other health care, and that students are not always comfortable treating them. The school’s proposed interdisciplinary LGBT health curriculum would be the first of its kind in Texas.

Drinking among Trans Folks

A new study found that transgender and nonbinary folks with higher levels of proximal stress, such as dealing with facing discrimination or stigma, were more likely to drink as a coping mechanism. People who drank for this purpose, in turn, were more likely to experience negative behavioral outcomes. The results show the importance of supporting transgender folks with healthy coping mechanisms (not to mention ending discrimination).

Health of LGBT Veterinarians

Researchers examined the mental health of LGBT veterinary students and professionals, and found that these individuals had higher rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempt than their peers. Interestingly, while veterinary students reported better access to institutional resources and policies, veterinary professionals faced more welcoming climates and better odds of disclosing their gender identity.

Mammography Rates among Queer WomenMammoPOC2

A study found a complex situation when it comes to mammography rates among sexual minority women. Among White women, bisexual women had lower rates of mammography compared to straight women, whereas among Black women, the opposite was true and bisexual women had higher rates. Many other differences were not statistically significant, pointing to the need for more research.

Advancing Equity in the South

Movement Advancement Project published a series of blog posts highlighting organizations advancing LGBT equality in the South. For example, the Nationz Foundation in Central Virginia was founded by Black transgender women to improve sexual and general health among LGBT people in that region. The STAY Project for Appalachian youth and Gender Benders, a grassroots org with a storied camp.

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“Queerantine” Brings Struggle for Youth – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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 week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Queeranteen“Queerantine” Brings Struggle for Youth

Researchers in the U.K. found that lockdowns related to COVID-19 have had perilous impacts on the mental health of LGBT individuals. Two-thirds of LGBT people showed serious signs of depression during the “Queerantine,” as some call it, and this was particularly true for LGBT youth. Researchers speculated that this may be because they lack the supportive network that comes as one ages into the community.

Trans Teens Take on Ban

NBC News reported on a pair of transgender teenagers who are challenging Arizona’s ban on gender-affirming surgery under the state’s Medicaid plan. The teens are filing a class action lawsuit for all young Arizonans who are seeking chest reconstruction surgery, which the state expressly prohibits even though it is medically necessary. Arizona is one of ten states that outright bans gender-affirming surgery.

Allowing Discrimination Counters Science InFrontofSC

Meanwhile, researchers argued laws that discriminate or allow discrimination on the basis of gender identity run contrary to growing evidence that sex assigned at birth is only part of one’s sense of gender. It also further marginalizes groups – specifically, transgender and nonbinary folks – who already face myriad health disparities and healthcare access issues, making addressing these issues more difficult.

One in Four LGBT Youth Use Nonbinary Pronouns

Teen Vogue reported on new research from the Trevor Project, which found that 25% of LGBT youth aged 13-24 use gender nonbinary pronouns. Most of those youth use a combination of “he” or “she” plus neutral pronouns like “they,” which was the most popular type of nonbinary pronoun. The size of the group shows the growing importance of service providers understanding nonbinary identities and pronouns in general.

Comprehensive Health Ed Works for All

Human Rights Watch reported on why comprehensive sexual health education is so important for the health of all youth. Many states lack any requirement for sexual health education, and several explicitly stigmatize LGBT youth. This leads to all youth lacking key information on their sexual and reproductive health, as well as developing health literacy in general (a problem highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic).

IntersexChildrenChanging Care for Intersex Infants

CNN reported that the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago became the first in the U.S. to apologize for performing medically unnecessary procedures on intersex children to make their genitalia appear more stereotypically “male” or “female.” Intersex advocates argue that these irreversible surgeries should only be done when a youth is old enough to understand and consent. The article explores how discovering that one received such surgery as an infant is often deeply traumatic.

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Media Coverage Boosts Youth Seeking Care – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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 week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

VintageTVMedia Coverage Boosts Youth Seeking Care

Researchers found that local media coverage of gender identity issues resulted in a one-to-two week bump in new patients at gender-affirming clinics for youth. They studied two clinics (one in the U.K. and one in Australia) for eight years and found that seeing media coverage seemed to encourage young people to seek care. The results underscore the importance of visibility for transgender youth.

Now That We Have Your Attention…

A new study evaluated the effectiveness of different public health marketing strategies to get queer young men to participate in sexual health research. Using a variety of adds on a popular dating app, they found that one using sexual innuendo got more clicks and more people to ultimately sign up as study participants than did ads with more traditional public health messages.

Homelessness Impacting Youth during Pandemic HomelessYouth

Newsday reported on the surge of LGBT youth experiencing homelessness as many young people struggle with unaccepting families during the pandemic, and either leave for their own safety or get kicked out. Despite many service providers and programs working to help these youth, many still end up sleeping outdoors or on couches as shelters are limited and not always considered LGBT-inclusive.

HIV Treatment Works Resources

The CDC published fresh resources for its Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign under the theme “HIV Treatment Works.” These include infographics discussing how receiving care for HIV can improve the quality of one’s life, as well as videos exploring the challenges and benefits of entering and being retained in care after receiving an HIV diagnosis.

HPV Vaccination among Queer Women

Researchers found that lesbian and bisexual women ages 18-34 were more likely than their heterosexual peers to both initiate the three-part HPV vaccination process and actually complete all three doses. Even so, the 35% of queer women who began the vaccination, and 24% of queer women who completed the process, falls well short of the government’s 80% vaccination goal.

DrMarkGhalyCalifornia Begins Inclusive Data Collection

The LA Blade reported that California has begun to collect sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data on COVID-19 cases, as well as all other illnesses on which the state collects case data. The state made the decision through executive action while the state’s legislature still weighs a bill that would enshrine such collection by law. Few states have taken action to ensure LGBT folks are counted as the nation responds to the pandemic.

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Mental Health Research Lacks Intersectionality – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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 week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Intersectionality3Mental Health Research Lacks Intersectionality

A new study found that research on mental health interventions for sexual minorities often fails to consider intersectionality (or the unique issues facing people of color with other minority identities). While about 70% of available research included identities beyond just sexual orientation in recruitment, only 16.3% of studies adequately considered the effects of intersectionality on queer mental health.

Time to Queer the Census 2020Census1

The Orange County Register reported on local and national efforts to “queer the Census” and make sure that LGBT folks are counted. Local LGBT centers and national groups are working to get LGBT people to complete the census, as trillions of dollars in federal funds (including some for HIV, housing, and other issues important to LGBT folks) are distributed based on the results. While sexual orientation and gender identity are not asked, the Census now inquires about same-sex couples.

Affirmation Matters in Brazil

A study of transgender and nonbinary Brazilian youth found that taking multiple steps towards having their gender affirmed (be those social, legal, and/or medical) was associated with youth having less anxiety, fewer symptoms of depression, more pride in their identity, and greater sense of social acceptance. Researchers say gender affirming processes should thus be made easier to access.

RachelLevineTrans Health Secretary Mocked, Defended

PennLive reported on recent transphobic attacks made against Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine, who is in the midst of leading that state’s efforts to combat COVID-19. Secretary Levine was promptly defended by the state’s governor and other officials, and many have credited her with saving lives while raising both trans and public health visibility during the crisis.

HIV Medication Supplies Decline

The Journal of the American Medical Association reported on research finding that one third of the world’s countries have low stocks of HIV medications due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more likely to follow. Delays in production of medications, issues with shipping, and challenges patients face actually accessing services are all making HIV care increasingly hard to come by, particularly in low-income countries.

Understanding & Addressing Internalized HomophobiaInternalizedHomo

Health explored the concept of internalized homophobia, in which social stigma and bias gives sexual minorities a negative perception of themselves. Experts say that may make queer folks outright reject their identity or otherwise impact their mental health. They also advise that those experiencing internalized homophobia should not blame themselves and instead begin to talk through their feelings.

 

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Pronoun Use Helps Trans Mental Health – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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 week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Pronoun Use Helps Trans Mental Health

TrevorMentalHealthThe Trevor Project published their annual report, finding that 40% of LGBTQ youth nationwide had seriously contemplated suicide within the past 12 months, 29% had experienced homelessness or been kicked out, and 10% had experienced so-called “conversion therapy” at some point. Transgender and nonbinary youth who were called the correct pronouns by at least most people were half as likely to have attempted suicide as youth who were regularly misgendered.

If you or a youth you care about is in crisis, the Trevor Project can help.

Queer Men of Color Are Sexually Active Sooner

A new study found that among sexual minority young men in New York, Black and Latinx young men became sexually active at a younger age than did their White peers. The average age of sexual debut among all sexual minority men was 14.5. Researchers say that this shows the importance of inclusive sexual health education, especially to reduce disparities among youth of color with issues such as HIV.

Expanding Inclusive Care Pronouns

Researchers found that at health centers receiving one year of coaching on improving LGBT patient care, use of patient pronouns and designating of LGBT patient liaisons increased dramatically. Documenting sexual orientation and gender identify also increased from 13.5% to 50.8%. The number of LGBT identified patients increased for various services, too, indicating that LGBT patients felt more comfortable coming in for services and/or self-identifying as LGBT as inclusive practices grew.

Canadian Med School Takes on Disparities

Relatedly, University Affairs reported on progress at the University of Toronto’s medical school to ensure all students are trained in LGBT health before graduation. Its proponents note that addressing health disparities requires looking at identities and underlying health inequities, and they point to the COIVD-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact as an example. The majority of medical schools have yet to require LGBT education.

MAPSouthLGBT Life in the South

Movement Advance Project released a new report on LGBT people in the southern United States, where they found LGBT-related laws are far more likely to be discriminatory rather than protective. There are also widespread socioeconomic disparities, especially for LGBT southerners of color, which are a barrier to good health. They also point to potential solutions, including utilizing the community’s resiliency and building up lacking resources.

Queer Doctors Weigh in on COVID

Towleroad published an open letter from 205 gay doctors hoping to reach other gay men, noting that while people may want to let down their guards and socially reconnect after months of isolation, it is important (even for otherwise healthy men) to remain vigilant. They also weigh in on how to reduce risk in terms of social gatherings, getting exercise, and seeking support when feeling isolated and alone.