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.
You can LISTEN to our Weekly Wellness Roundup podcast! Subscribe here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.
Unpacking Minority Stress on Our Podcast
On this week’s podcast version of the Roundup, we speak with Dr. Jae Puckett, whose research on minority stress and mental health among trans and nonbinary people was included in an issue of the Roundup from late 2022. In the conversation, Dr. Puckett discusses the importance of looking at how local support (or lack thereof) for trans people is of increasing importance as many states have taken on anti-trans legislation over the past few years. You can check us out on whatever podcast platform you prefer to hear this interview (and follow our podcast week to week!).
Bi Women, Gay Men Face Hypertension Inequities
tctMD reported on new research finding that hypertension disproportionately impacts gay men and bisexual women, who face about 20% higher risk compared to their heterosexual peers. Additionally, among bisexual women, hypertension is more likely to go untreated. Researchers say that the results “highlight the need for healthcare providers to create affirming clinical settings for LGB people,” including by asking patients about their sexual orientation and reaffirming nondiscrimination policies.
Major Care Providers Lag on SOGI Data
Stat published an opinion piece arguing that more data is needed on LGBT individuals, especially in combination with data on race and ethnicity, to better understand care needs. They examined the case of the Moffitt Cancer Center, began collecting sexual orientation data in 2016 and gender identity data in 2017. So far, only 2.5% of patients have self-identified as LGBT, which might be of concern given that it is well below the percent of the population who identifies this well. Nonetheless, as one of few cancer centers collecting this data, it could prove a useful source of information on improving cancer outcomes in the population – and pushing others to collect such data.
Examining ART Differences by Race, Ethnicity
JAMA published a study of over 42,000 people entering HIV care, which found that the probability someone would start ART at the one-month mark did not vary significantly across most racial and ethnic differences. However, the researchers did find that Black and Latinx individuals were less likely than White peers to receive INSTI-containing ART until that became the standard of care later in the study period. The study team said that more research is needed to understand why that was the case, which is important given the major HIV-related disparities facing Black and Latinx individuals in the U.S.
How Schools Can Improve Mental Health
Education Week reported on the challenges facing LGBT students in accessing mental health care at school. Even in the highest-scoring state in the country – Vermont – almost half (45%) of LGBT students could not access the care they wanted, while other states reported rates of up to 72% unable to access services. The article recommends that schools expand not only counseling, but also LGBT-affirming programming like Gender and Sexuality Alliances, as well as implement teacher training, transgender-affirming policies on issues like restroom access, and anti-bullying provisions.
Appeals Court Negates Right to Bathroom Access
Gay City News reported that a federal appeals court overturned a lower court, which had ruled in favor of a transgender boy’s right to use the school restroom that matched his gender identity. The lower court said that the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution and Title IX’s prohibitions of sex-based discrimination would apply to the boy’s case, which is seemingly in line with the recent Supreme Court decision finding that sex discrimination provisions apply equally to LGBT people. The decision, unless overridden by the Supreme Court, sets precedent in Florida (where the boy went to school) as well as Alabama and Georgia.
7 thoughts on “Interview on Trans Folks’ Minority Stress and More – #LGBTWellness Roundup, Week of 1/9/2023”
Change is a challenge in itself. I think that people facing this challenge head-on should be commended. A few years ago, there was barely any talks about the LGBT community. However, during those times they lived with all of us, not knowing of about their struggles. Raising awareness to these and speaking out is only a step towards change. As a nurse, it’s always been pounded into us the importance of holistic care. Care should be individualized to each patient needs. If the patient has a question or concern about sexuality, it should be addressed.
From a nurse’s perspective, making sure that patients feel comfortable discussing their sexual orientation and pronouns with you is of the utmost importance. If they are not comfortable with telling you how they identify and what their sexual orientation is then they are not going to be comfortable discussing their health with you. Making sure that they are aware of the non-discrimination policies upon assessment and establishing rapport immediately can help make them comfortable. If LGBTQ patients were normalized in the healthcare setting it would allow trust between the patient and healthcare workers. Having trust in their healthcare team could help them stay on top of their health and come in for routine office visits and allow for preventive care. Education can be provided on hypertension and ways to manage it. Managing it could be by diet, stress levels, and medication.
From a nurses prospective, this is a challenging topic, as more and more students seem to be struggling with mental health illness. Often times, these children, especially in the LGBTQ communities have a lot of questions about why they feel the way they do and often do not have a supportive family to turn to. We have seen an influx of children in the Emergency Department with mental health concerns recently, and something must be done. With suicide rates soaring, providing mental health assistance in the schools is a safe and effective way to provide resources and guidance for individuals of this community.
This “trending” topic pulls on my heart in so many directions. I’m a registered nurse but also a mother of four children. I want my patients and my children to be able to be open with me and not feel afraid of being treated differently due to how they identify. Mental health is so real, and it destroys people. According to HHS.gov, an estimated 49.5 percent of adolescents have had a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. Children, no matter how they identify, should not have to worry about mental health or where they can comfortably lay their head. Furthermore, if youth can’t be honest at home or at school, who is to say that they will come to their healthcare providers and be open. I’m glad there are LGBTQ+ friendly provider offices but if schools aren’t educating this population who will. Hopefully one day things will change for the better.
Mental health is a very serious issue amongst the LGBTQIA community because of the adversity the have to deal with. Access the mental health of each person and not judging them for how to choose to live, should be the main focus. There are a lot of teens that are taking their lives due to them not being able to be themselves because of what others may think. Everyone has an opinion and have the right to that but it does not give them the right to make others feel less of themselves. I would recommend that counseling becomes a priority for the LGBTQIA community. This will help to talk about whatever issues they may be facing.
I am a Registered nurse working in a local hospital as a bedside nurse with many diverse populations, which includes LGBTQIA individuals. I found this health link very informative, and as a nurse, I was disappointed and saddened to learn about the many challenges that LGBTQIA communities are facing such as being discriminated against. From students in schools having difficulty accessing mental help due to the lack of support from schools, lack of counseling and teacher training, to the lack of bullying measures, and more. The courts also rejected the right for transgender boys to use school restrooms according to their gender identity. There are also many health inequities such as hypertension in this case due to clinical settings and inadequate support from healthcare providers, so bisexual women and gay men are hesitant to seek medical care in order to avoid being discriminated against. Being a nurse and someone who is responsible for advocating for all my patients’ rights as well as ensuring that I provide equal and compassionate care to all, regardless of their sexual orientation I find this a big problem and something that needs to be addressed. The LGBT community needs to feel included and welcomed when seeking medical care so that they can have better health outcomes.
Hello! I am a Registered nurse working in a local hospital as a bedside nurse with many diverse populations, which includes LGBTQIA individuals. I found this health link very informative, and as a nurse, I was disappointed and saddened to learn about the many challenges that LGBTQIA communities are facing such as being discriminated against. From students in schools having difficulty accessing mental help due to the lack of support from schools, lack of counseling and teacher training, to the lack of bullying measures. The courts also rejected the right for transgender boys to use school restrooms according to their gender identity. There are also health inequities such as the example of hypertension due to clinical settings and inadequate support from healthcare providers, so bisexual women and gay men are hesitant to seek medical care in order to avoid being discriminated against. Being a nurse and someone who is responsible for advocating for all my patients’ rights as well as ensuring that I provide equal and compassionate care to all, regardless of their sexual orientation, I find this troubling. The LGBT community needs to feel included and welcomed when seeking medical care so that they can have better health outcomes.