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.
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Canada Bans Conversion Therapy
Them reported that Canada has become one of few countries around the world to ban conversion therapy nationwide. Starting in January, it will be illegal to perform or advertise conversion therapy, as well as to take a minor outside of Canada to participate in the discredited practice elsewhere. Despite being found to cause serious harm to those involved, conversion therapy – in which someone tries to change another person’s sexual orientation or gender identity – remains legal in most places, although bans prohibiting the practice against youth are slowly becoming more widespread.
Employment Inequities in Trans Communities
Washington Blade shared recent research regarding employment in the trans community, which found that cisgender people were twice as likely as their trans peers to be employed and also made on average 32% more money. Furthermore, more than half of transgender people were not comfortable being out as transgender at work, underscoring the stigma they face. The author suggests that voluntary reporting from large employers on their transgender workforce would help bring transparency and accountability, especially as gender identity is not included in official employment data, thus reducing the visibility and clarity of the challenge.
2020 Was Tough for Queer Women
Behavioral Medicine published research finding that the unique stressors of the summer of 2020, namely the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased attention to police-based violence against people of color, may have contributed to negative health outcomes for sexual minority women who had prior exposure to trauma. Namely, the study found in a sample of these women higher indicators for PTSD and problematic drinking than prior research suggested would normally be the case, during the period of April to August 2020. This corresponded to qualitative reports about the impact of the events during that period.
Children’s Home Sues to Discriminate
Pink News reported on a new lawsuit filed by a children’s home suing the federal government after the Department of Health and Human Services reinstated rules prohibiting such facilities that receive federal funds from discriminating against LGBT people. More recently, the department also said it would crack down on the practice of allowing organizations to discriminate despite federal laws if they claimed doing so was an expression of their organization’s religious affiliation. The children’s home does not want to place youth at the homes of LGBT families despite the law requiring that these families have equal access to services.
VA’s Pride Program Explored
The US Department of Veterans Affairs shared an update on their “Pride in All Who Served” health education program aimed at LGBT veterans. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the program added a telehealth option called telePRIDE to ensure continued access to services. They also shared the story of a transgender veteran who says the program helped her to better understand her own identity and to find community among her fellow former service members.
UK Rallies for Better Trans Healthcare
Yahoo! reported on rallying in the UK to demand better healthcare for transgender patients. Among their concerns are that gender identity clinics (GICs) in the UK create a segregated system of care that, among other things, have long wait lists. Advocates note that delays in gender-affirming care can cause serious harm to the well-being of transgender folks. These clinics were recently evaluated in new research, which identified some unmet needs.