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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Report Highlights Southern LGBT Youth
Southern Equality published new research on the experiences of LGBT youth in the South. Among the many findings were that LGBT youth scored their parents and caregivers an average of about 56 out of 100 for supporting their sexual orientation and 52 out of 100 for supporting their gender identity, though transgender youth scored them even worse (44 out of 100) in the latter. Less than one in twenty LGBT youth said they received resources or support with respect to their identity from a faith leader, while almost one in three said they were explicitly denied support by such individuals. The youth received slightly more support from schools, but the majority nonetheless experienced some bullying.
LGBT Youth with Military Parents Face Disparities
The Trevor Project published a report on LGBT youth with a parent in the military, which was true of 5% of all LGBT youth. LGBT youth who live in the South and/or identify as Native American or indigenous, Black, or multiracial were all more likely than others to have a military parent. LGBT youth who have a parent in the military were more likely to experience anxiety and depression and to have considered or attempted suicide; these problems were especially pronounced for LGBT youth with military parents who also self-reported low levels of family support.
Health Issues Facing LGBT Swedes
The Lancet published a study of LGBT people in Sweden, using a large public health dataset, which found that being a sexual or gender minority was associated with worse health (including mental health) compared to non-LGBT folks. They also found that LGBT refugees had higher levels of suicidal ideation than did other groups and that transgender refugees in particular had higher odds of being exposed to physical violence. The study is of note because, unfortunately, many large public health datasets to not include sexual orientation and gender identity, limiting such research.
Providers Make the Difference on HPV Vaccination
The Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities published a study examining vaccination for HPV among young sexual minority men in the Philadelphia area. They found that having a healthcare provider who recommended the HPV vaccine was a huge factor in the likelihood that someone had received one, highlighting the importance of providers talking with sexual minority male patients about their risks for HPV and the benefits of the vaccine. Factors such as having a larger number of sexual partners and having condomless sex – which increase risk of HPV infection, which can cause cancer – were associated with lower rather than higher odds of having gotten vaccinated.
Gender Diverse Camp Welcomes Youth
The New York Times reported on Camp Indigo Point, a new program in Illinois for transgender and gender diverse youth. The camp recently welcomed almost a hundred youth from 26 states as it celebrated its first year as a “haven” for gender minority youth, who have been subjected to anti-transgender laws and policies in many states over the past few years. The camp was a place where youth were free to talk about their identities and challenges as well as enjoy facilities and activities that would often (sometimes by law) be divided along a gender binary that did not apply to them.
States Race to Vaccinate against Monkeypox
In monkeypox news, The State reported that South Carolina expanded and simplified eligibility for vaccines in the state to include sexual minority men and all gender minorities who have sex with men, plus anyone who takes PrEP or has been exposed to a positive case of Monkeypox. Previously, those wanting the vaccine had to share more details about their sexual activities and history. Across the country in Arizona, the Phoenix New Times reported on Maricopa County’s vaccine clinics aimed at sexual minority men and some trans women, and hosted by an LGBT health clinic. Area LGBT organizations have been working to spread the word on the elevated risk facing LGBT people and their partners, while not wanting the outbreak to be seen as LGBT-exclusive.