E. Shor, MPH
Wisconsin Population Health Service Fellow through UW-Madison
Blogging Live from: the LGBTI Health Research Conference
This has been a jam-packed day so far and it is only half over at the LGBTI Health Research Conference. There have been speakers addressing data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity, addressing the necessity of doing more research around intersex identities, policy changes and implications of those changes, transgender health, history of research in LGBTQI communities, and so much more. My brain feels full of things to think about.
Here a few things I thought were interesting:
- From a historical perspective, Kellan Baker of the Center for American Progress, described a historical paradigm shift that has been happening in the lat 15 years. He mentioned that in the 2000s public health work highlighted health disparities, and in the 2010s the lens has shifted to health equity and health in all policies. This paradigm shift has really emphasized that equity is justice in the form of public policy and changing systems.
- Thus far there have been a number of speakers highlighting experiences of groups who often face high levels of invisibility, including people who are intersex, and who are transgender. There have been great strides in methodology around collecting data in transgender and gender non-conforming communities. The two-step question method outlines questions to ascertain “sex at birth” and “current gender identity” to affirm a participants gender identity and create understanding about potential clinical needs and biological implications. However, it was very interesting to engage in dialogue about the fact that this two-step method may not be effective for people who are intersex, and that there is great need to build and test questions that capture intersex experiences and conditions.
- Here are some thoughts on where to go and what we need to do to continue doing good work around LGBTQ health and research…
The Network for LGBT Health Equity
As you may have see by my last post: Arkansas taking major efforts to reduce LGBT Tobacco and Health Disparities, great things are happening in Arkansas.
The Network is pleased to be facilitating the development of this joint initiative supported by the Minority Initiative Sub-Recipients Grants Office (MISRGO) and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).
Over the past two days, I have been working with local community groups, MISRGO & DOH on discussing priorities for the groups, and we are pleased to announce the first initial project will be a statewide LGBTQ needs assessment. With an expected launch day of June 1st, we look forward to moving the project forward. With June being PRIDE month, there will be many opportunities to promote the needs assessment.
Our next visit will be May 20th, 2013 where we will convene the group at the Center for Artistic Revolution (CAR), Arkansas CenterLink Affiliate. As the leading youth LGBTQ center in Arkansas there is no better place to host the next meeting.
Just a little side note… We first introduced CAR to both MISRGO and ADH during our first visit to Arkansas back over two years ago during our cultural competency training sponsored by MISRGO. As part of our formal partnership with CenterLink and Equality Federation, we always reach out to both groups to identify local affiliates before we conduct such trainings. By incorporating local LGBT groups into our trainings we are not only providing local perspective, but access points to assist in understanding and reaching the LGBT community in the respective state.
Anyways, during our next visit to Arkansas we will focus on developing a dissemination plan for the needs assessment with a focus on both, the youth/young adult populations as well as minority populations throughout Arkansas.
We look forward to further development of the initiative, and working with both MISRGO and ADH collectively in an effort to reduce LGBT health disparities in Arkansas.