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.
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Pronoun Use Helps Trans Mental Health
The 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
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.
LGBT 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.