Conferences · Creating Change · Creating Change 2012 · Data

No One Should Be Left Behind: A Creating Change 2012 Campaign to Keep T Data Collection Rolling with LGB

Daniella Matthews-Trigg
Program Associate
No One Should Be Left Behind: A Campaign for Health Equity

This Spring, HHS will be adding an LGB question to their premier survey, the National Health Interview Survey. This is a great step forward in ending discrimination.

Unfortunately, the plans for adding transgender questions seem stalled. We asked HHS to take more community input and they did – now it’s time to get the development of trans questions back on track.

Trans health disparities are profound. Trans people smoke more, have less insurance, higher rates of suicidality, and report frequent medical discrimination.

These problems remain invisible as long as trans people are not counted in surveys.

We are asking HHS not to leave any members of our community behind and that the process is restarted to make sure questions about trans status are tested and added to all of the key health surveys in 2012.

Click HERE to sign the petition!

Please spread the word! You can send people to the direct link:

We kicked off the campaign at Creating Change this year and would like to send out a huge thank you to all of the attendees who posed for photos and signed the petition!

Creating Change · Publica En Espanol - Posts in Spanish · Puerto Rico

Mi tiempo en Baltimore, MD en el Creating Change

Sophia  Isabel Marrero Cruz
Secretaria y Portavoz
Comite Ejecutivo
Transexuales y Transgeneros en Marcha
Invitado Blogger

“Las palabras alinean nuestro pensamiento, mientras las                                                                                                                                                       acciones mueven las energías. Si queremos tener resultados positivos tendríamos que sincronizar nuestras palabras y acciones”

Gipsy Venus

 Aunque nuestra organización, Transexuales y Transgeneros en Marcha (TTM), siempre ha incluido la salud de las comunidades Trans en PR como una de sus prioridades, solo habíamos podido desarrollar e implementar iniciativas muy simples y sencillas. A principio del 2010 conocí a Juan Carlos Vega, durante una actividad LGBTT en San Juan, mientras administraba una encuesta en Salud, apoyada por el Network for LGBT Health Equity y la Red Nacional de Latinos Saludables sin Tabaco. Esto represento un nuevo comienzo para TTM. Hoy, nuestras iniciativas en pro de la Salud Trans  están insertadas dentro de un plan estratégico conceptualizado dentro de un modelo lógico de total inclusividad. Nuestra mayor fortaleza radica, no tan solo en la inclusión, sino también en el reconocimiento y es por eso que la Alianza Ciudadana en Pro de la Salud LGBTTA incluye una A en reconocimiento de la inclusión y aportación de los Aliados.  Esta no es la única diferencia que existe entre el movimiento LGBTT de Puerto Rico y el movimiento LGBT de los Estados Unidos. En PR utilizamos la doble TT para reconocer las diferencias entre las personas Trangeneros y Transexuales.  Aunque dichas diferencias sean consideradas simples y sencillas tienen un impacto positivo en nuestro trabajo.  Cuando el  Network for LGBT Health Equity me invita a participar del Creating Change Conference comenzamos a prepararnos recopilando parte de la documentación que sustenta nuestro trabajo, hicimos maletas y sin pensarlo llegamos a Baltimore para darle continuidad al Cambio que desde décadas venimos creando en PR.

Nuestro objetivo primordial es mover a las Organizaciones a nivel de Estados Unidos para que juntos podamos extender el Cambio que la administración Obama representa para las comunidades LGBTT a traves de Estados Unidos. Dejarles saber que las palabras del presidente Obama y Hilary Clinton no son cónsonas con sus acciones, pues todas las políticas de inclusión LGBTT no han sido reforzadas e implementadas en PR.

Creating Change · Creating Change 2011 · Feature

Thoughts on Creating Change Conference

Hector Martinez

Blogging Scholarship Winner
Reporting from Creating Change
January 2012 Baltimore, MD

It has been a privilege to attend The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Creating Change Conference. I want to especially thank the beautiful people at The Network, Dr. Scout, Gustavo and Daniella for their support. These last few days have been inspiring and magical. I met some bold leaders in the LGBT movement, had some big discussions and got a picture with the fabulous Kate Clinton. I met people from all over the US passionately dedicated to the LGBT movement, learned valuable people skills at the workshops and best of all I made some awesome friends. I will be able to go back to San Diego lit up by the power of our movement. I am sure that my new friend Sivagami Subbaraman’s vision of evolving from a place of woundedness to a place of wholeness will happen in our community. Thank you to all the people who made this conference a huge success!

Conferences · Creating Change · Creating Change 2011 · LGBT Policy

Housing and Urban Development Sec. Shaun Donovan announces LGBT housing discrimination protections at Creating Change

Hector Martinez

Blogging Scholarship Winner
Reporting from Creating Change
January 2012 Baltimore, MD 

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force: Creating Change Conference in Baltimore has attracted 3,000 LGBT rights advocates from all over the US. Housing and Urban Development Sec. Shaun Donovan announces new policies to protect LGBT people.

“I’m here this afternoon because our President and his administration believe the LGBT community deserve a place at the table and a place to call home. Each of us here knows that rights that most folks take for granted are routinely violated against LGBT people. That’s why I am proud to stand before you this afternoon and say HUD has been a leader in the fight – your fight and my fight – for equality.  Over the last three years we have worked to ensure that our housing programs are open. Not to some. Not to most. But open to all.”

These policies include protecting LGBT people from discrimination under the Fair Housing Act and same-sex data collection.

“Today I am proud to announce a new Equal Access to Housing Rule that says clearly and unequivocally that LGBT individuals and couples have the right to live where they choose. This is an idea whose time has come.”

It’s an exciting time for LGBT people in the US. Creating Change is working for LGBT people!

Creating Change · Creating Change 2011

Diversity of stories at Creating Change.

Hector Martinez

Blogging Scholarship Winner
Reporting from Creating Change
January 2012
Baltimore, MD

The Creating Change Conference has a vibrant and high energy feel to it. There have been countless opportunities to meet and speak to a diversity of people. Last night, I unexpectedly had dinner with Janice, a phycist from Washington DC. We ended up having dinner together and so I asked her story. She is a scientist and will be speaking at an upcoming conference for the American Physical Association, a conference for scietitsts. I asked her what she was doing at Creating Change and what she sees for 2012. She is here to learn about homophobia, it turns out that homophobia is pervasive in the scientific community. Many gay and lesbian scientists are afraid to come out of the closet for fear of loosing their funding or risking their tenure. Janice wants to educate herself on LGBT inclusive language so she can better speak to other scientists about homophobia at her upcoming presentation.

I also got to meet a young man from New York City who is celebrating his 21st birthday at Creating Change Conference. He studies music and theater, sings in 2 bands and aspires to be a rock star, his name is Justice so watch out for him. He and his friends drove to the conference to engage in the conversation of LGBT activism.

I am so inspired and in awe over the many stories I have heard. Hope for a bright future for LGBT people is alive at Creating Change and beyond.

Creating Change · Creating Change 2011 · National Coalition for LGBT Health · Uncategorized

Conversations with Exhibitors.

Hector Martinez
Blogging Scholarship Winner
Reporting from Creating Change
January 2012
Baltimore, MD



The exhibition booths at the Creating Change Conference look great. I stopped by a couple of them to ask some questions. I asked Dave Reynolds,  Project Director from the Safe & Healthy LGBT Youth Project, what his plans are for creating change in 2012.  He would like to see the LGBT movement grow to rural areas of the US in the Midwest and the South. He travels to places like Alabama and Oklahoma. The LGBT movement is dramatically distinct from California and the East Coast. Our LGBT brothers and sisters from these rural areas are dealing with barriers such as empoyment discrimination and even face threats from the community. He went on to say that he would love to see the LGBT movement expand and grow in every state.

I also spoke to Tres Watson, Executive Director with Canvass for a Cause and he had two plans for 2012. The first is to double their efforts in California. Canvass for a Cause is dedicated to Queer politics sucha as marraige equality and voter engagement. His second plan is to see the scope of his work expand to rural areas and politically conservative that traditionally exclude Queer issues.

Blogs en español · Conferences · Creating Change · Puerto Rico · social media

Counting Down to Creating Change

Counting Down to Creating Change

Daniella Matthews-Trigg

Program Associate

Greetings all!

So there are some very exciting things afoot here at the Network. What with strategic planning, Community Transformation Grants and  Planning for our 8th annual LGBTQ Health Equity Summit we are busy busy! And, for five days at the end of this month, we are going to not only be working hard, but having a BLAST at Creating Change 2012!

Creating Change, put on by the Gay and Lesbian Task Force,  is the ultimate LGBT equality conference. With over 2,500 people, five days and over 250 workshops, needless to say, we are SO EXCITED! The Network will have a booth at the conference, be attending sessions, blogging and tweeting live and networking up a storm! And…(drum roll please…) I would like to introduce our 2012 Creating Change Scholarship Recipient Hector Martinez!

Hector was born in Mexico and grew up in San Diego. He graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science, worked for Grassroots Inc, advocating for marriage equality and civil rights, successfully campaigned for the release of Joseph Bukempo (a gay asylum seeker from Uganda) and his current role is increasing awareness of mental health and wellness to the LGBTQ community of San Diego at Mental Health America. He also is a triathlon runner and does acrobatic yoga. Hector, we are looking forward to meeting you!

And, in this post full of exciting news, we have one more announcement: Sophia Isabel Marrero Cruz, spokesperson for Transexuales y Transgeneros en Marcha (TTM) in Puerto Rico, will also be attending this years Creating Change with us! We met Sophia at the LGBTT Health Summit in Puerto Rico last year.  We recently worked with Sophia  on the action alert around the under counted murders of trans people in PR and Transgender Day of Remembrance. And, we are extra excited, because Sophia will be blogging in Spanish from Creating Change!

Nace un 15 de junio de 1970, en San Juan, Puerto Rico. Se inició temprano en el trabajo voluntario en diferentes organizaciones de carácter religioso y/o cívico. Estuvo consciente de su identidad de género desde muy temprano en su desarrollo, dando muestras de la misma desde la temprana edad de 8 años. Con tres años universitarios decide trasladarse a la ciudad de San Francisco, donde no pudo ingresar a ninguna universidad, ya que el idioma se convirtió en un obstáculo para lograr completar su grado universitario. Es en la ciudad de San Francisco es que descubre su vocación de Advocate y comprende que solo de esa forma podría trabajar para lograr un cambio en las actitudes de la gente. Luego de haber trabajado en varias organizaciones de base comunitaria en la ciudad de San Francisco, retorna a Puerto Rico y comienza a trabajar en Fundación SIDA en el año 1995. Utilizando la estructura y recursos de esta organización de base comunitaria logra formar el primer grupo de apoyo de transexuales y Transgéneros en Puerto Rico. Por su perseverancia y empeño logra que el grupo se convirtiera en la primera y única organización hasta el presente que representa los intereses de esta comunidad en Puerto Rico, Transexuales y Transgéneros en Marcha (TTM), logrando insertarse en iniciativas a nivel nacional que buscan mejorar la calidad de vida de la comunidad LGBTT, entre estas cabe mencionar: Community Disscussion Group Metting (1996), HRSA Pool of Peer and Professional Consultant. (2000), HRSA Transgender Consultation Metting, Washington, D.C. (2005), Comité Anti Discrimen Departamento de Justicia, PR, 2009, Comité Organizador/Programático Primera Cumbre en Salud LGBTT (marzo/2011), East Branch Co-chair Trans Latinas Coalition (2009) entre otras. Desde los comienzos de la Organización ocupo la posición de Secretaria dentro del Comité Ejecutivo, convirtiéndose en la Portavoz de dicha Organización.

Born on June 15, 1970, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sophia was involved with volunteering in different civic and religious organizations from an early age. She was aware of her gender identity from a very age. After three years of college she decided to move to San Francisco, where she could not enroll in any university because of language barriers. In San Francisco she discovered her passion for advocacy and social justice work. After working in various community-based organizations in San Francisco, she returned to Puerto Rico and began working in Fundación SIDA in 1995. Utilizing the structure and resources of this community-based organization allowed her to create the first support group for transsexuals and transgender people in Puerto Rico, Transexuales y Transgéneros en Marcha (TTM). As a result of their perseverance and commitment to the community, the group became the first and only organization up until that time to represent the interests of this community in Puerto Rico. TTM successfully spearheaded national initiatives that seek to improve the quality of life for the LGBTT community in Puerto Rico. These initiatives include Community Discussion Group Meeting (1996), HRSA Pool of Peer and Professional Consultants (2000), HRSA Transgender Consultation Meeting, Washington, DC (2005), Anti-Discrimination Committee in the Department of Justice, PR, 2009, Organizing Committee for the First LGBT Health Summit (March 2011), East Branch Co-chair Trans Latino Coalition (2009) among others. Since the inception of the organization, Sophia has held the position of Secretary on the Executive Committee and has become the Speaker of the Organization.

So, all of you readers out there, stay tuned for blogs from all of us at the Network, and Sophia and Hector, and make sure you follow us on twitter (@lgbtHlthEquity)! We are so excited about attending Creating Change and continuing to create change in our communities around LGBT health equity.

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PopCtr Mtg: Panel Discussion on Probability and Non-Probability Methods

Scoutby Scout
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute in Boston, MA

SCIENCEBABBLE ALERT – This is a meeting for scientists, despite my efforts, some of this may get technical.

411 on the issue

Probability sampling = getting a group of people for your research that is statistically proven to be a random selection from the full population of interest, thus the statistics support you being able to draw conclusions for the full population based on the info from this random subgroup. (Like if 50% of your probability sample of LGBT people parachute, you can confidently say 50% of all LGBT people parachute.)

Non-probability sampling = any non-random sample of people. (Like if you do a survey at pride, it’s a non-probability sample.) Unfortunately, the statistics then do not support being able to generalize these findings to the full population, because there’s a chance bias might have snuck in. (Like, maybe pride participants aren’t as closeted as other LGBT people, so even if 50% of your sample are in LGBT parachuting clubs, you can’t say 50% of all LGBT people are in such clubs.)

Why’s this a big issue? Probability sample data is the gold-standard for drawing conclusions, but we have much less of this for LGBT people, mostly because LGBT measures aren’t included on the monster federal surveys that are the big probability studies.

Panel Members:

  • Dan Kasprzyk, Ph.D. Vice President of NORC (which I realize is so well known as one of 2 fanciest survey shops that his bio doesn’t even say what NORC stands for… so just know, NORC=surveys)
  • Melissa Clark, Ph.D. Brown University Department of Community Health
  • Margaret Rosario, Ph.D.
  • Jeffrey Parsons, PhD. Hunter University

The Panel

Dr. Kasprzyk led the panel off talking about some of his interesting experiences as part of the Institute of Medicine committee for the recent LGBT report. He emphasized that the choice of probability or non-probability might really not be as important as the reporting and impact of any well-designed study, regardless of the methods chosen. Then he moves onto talking about the federal surveys. “If the federal gov’t added LGBT measures to the American Community Survey, then allowed oversampling, that alone would allow the community to target populations, whether it’s regional, city, rural, you name it, and we’d be much better off. But we have to go beyond NHANES, you have to get on other surveys, NHIS and especially the Labor Force Survey would be very valuable.” He emphasized how important it was to get measures on these large full-probability surveys, “because otherwise you remain invisible.”

“Probability data is very important, it is the gold standard, in Washington, that’s what people are going to listen to. I think the real advancement in healthcare policy comes from really pushing hard with the federal government to have these questions on those surveys, and that point cannot be diminished. I think it’s really important that we actually stay focused on the federal government and become part of that health policy debate.” Dr. Kasprzyk

Dr. Clark followed (that’s Melissa to you and me) and led off by echoing all of Dr. Kasprzyk’s points. She says “”That’s usually how I end every talk I give about sexual minorities, I say ‘please help us get these questions added.'” She talked about her experience at Brown University and how much she’s been working to try to get the non-LGBT researchers to include LGBT measures. Through this effort, she’s managed to take one of the IOM report recommendations and institutionalize it, “Now when there’s a new study, people have to either include sexual minorities or explain why they are not.” Kudos to Melissa, let’s hope NIH follows suit!

Next up was Margaret Rosario. She warns us that while probability samples are important, most of our real explanatory data will come from non-probability samples because they are so much cheaper they have more latitude to go much deeper into issues, explore causal models, etc. For her, the bottom line is either approach can be useful, it’s often an issue of cost, if we have the chance to do the higher costs full-probability samples, excellent, if not, let’s just do excellent non-probability studies. Lastly she also weighs in on the importance of getting LGBT measures on the large surveys, “For the probability studies, please please, whatever we can do to get questions on there, do be able to identify the population as best we can, we should definitely do that.”

The panel was rounded out by Jeff Parsons. He talked about how it always seems there’s a flavor of the day at NIH for the newest rage for sampling, some of which are just never really viable in the field. “You can’t just count every 9th person who goes in the bar and pull them for the study, it doesn’t work.” Tonda Hughes from UIC echoes that sentiment, noting that the popular method, Respondent Driven Sampling, has never worked for her in samples of women.

As the discussion opens up to audience comments, there’s an interesting suggestion from Jim McNally, a director at ICPSR (the Intra-university Consortium of Political and Social Research, probably the largest data library in the country). one of the University of Michigan (ICPSR) scientists… “We recommend people work to create a small strong full probability sample and then ask the same questions you have on the federal surveys. That way you have policy strength to compare to the federal questions.”

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Center for Population Research in LGBT Health Holds Annual Convening

Scoutby Scout
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute in Boston, MA

My Non-Sampling Error Experience

Ok, I’ve fled from the very exciting Netroots Nation conference to get back to Boston because today and tomorrow mark the 3rd annual convening of one of The Fenway Institute’s other major initiatives, the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health. Not only does this mean I get to hang with some of my farflung friends for two days, not only does it mean the largest gathering of trans health researchers I’ve seen, not only does it mean I get to meet many upcoming researchers involved in the mentorship program, but right now, it’s also the biggest meeting about LGBT research that occurs each year.

I came a little late, so am jumping in as the head of one of the most prestigious survey centers in the country, Dan Kasprzyk of NORC, weighs in on issues related to LGBT sampling. (He was just talking about a non-sampling error experience.) So, I’m going to focus more on the actual content now… but just wanted to start off by giving you a little bit of context to the meeting, because this is a really cool project.

Abstract of Center for Population Research in LGBT Health Project

Previous studies have shown that sexual and gender minorities have higher prevalence of life-threatening physical and mental health conditions, experience significant barriers to health care quality and access, and face substantial threats to quality of life. Population-based research is necessary to more fully understand the causes of these disparities, so that effective responses can be developed. The proposed project’s long-term objective is to create a sustainable capacity for population studies and the translation of results into practice models for sexual and gender minorities. This 5-year effort will be conducted by the Fenway Institute, supported by the Research and Evaluation Department of Fenway Community Health (FCH), a Federally-Qualified Community Health Center. FCH provides comprehensive primary health care and mental health services annually to 11,000 neighborhood residents and students in nearby colleges and to LGBT persons, primarily from Greater Boston. Approximately 55% of patients self-identify as LGBT, reporting sexual or gender minority behavior and/or identity. The project has the following specific aims to develop the infrastructure for population research regarding the health of sexual minorities: (1) develop and support a multidisciplinary faculty to advance the study of sexual and gender minority populations, (2) create a shared research library, to include selected population-based datasets and findings from a large clinical dataset, and (3) disseminate the products of our work through the internet, a monograph, and peer-reviewed journal articles.  A team of researchers with diverse qualifications has been assembled to address these specific aims, with the assistance of a National Advisory Board of experienced population scientists and technical experts. The input and collaborative work of these researchers will lead to a common framework for multidisciplinary scholarship that advances understanding of sexual minority populations and how social, cultural, and institutional factors influence their health. This work will provide a foundation for culturally competent treatment approaches and behavior change models for sexual minorities.

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Breaking News! NY Hospitals Announce Mandatory LGBT Cultural Competency Trainings

Scoutby Scout
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute in Boston, MA
Reporting from Bellevue Hospital, NY

I’m down here in NYC and very, very happy to be at the press conference where New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation just announced mandatory LGBT cultural competency training for all their 37,000 employees! They also debuted the excellent new LGBT cultural competency video created by our friends at the The National LGBT Cancer Network. The Cancer Network created the full training to be administered to every NYC hospital employee, both the trainings and video are available for purchase or replication. (Don’t forget, the National LGBT Cancer Network is also our collaborator in our brand new LGBT Wellness NYC Marathon team.)

To have the head of all NY public hospitals reinforce that LGBT cultural competency trainings are a mandatory part of good healthcare is historic, let’s hope other cities and hospitals soon follow! See their press release here.

L to R: NYC Councilman Daniel Dromm; Liz Margolies, ED of National LGBT Cancer Network; NYC HHC President Alan D. Aviles, NYC Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs, and HHC doctor.

Even HHS Secty Sebelius weighed in on what a big deal this is:

“I applaud the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation for its leadership in ensuring LGBT patients are treated with the respect and dignity we all deserve. HHC has offered a path to a fairer America and HHS looks forward to seeing other efforts from care providers from around the country toward that same goal.”

We were also live-tweeting from the event with all play-by-play tweets on @lgbttobacco and @lgbthlthequity with some major help from friends on the ground @cathyrenna and @RennaComm, so check out updates there.

The video shown features the stories of several LGBT people who have experience bias in hospitals and in the healthcare system. You may have already seen an article about these trainings in Huffington Post, and an excerpt of the powerful video can be seen here:

Let’s hope the news spreads fast and other hospital systems follow suit.

See more press about this in:

  1. Advocate Magazine: NYC Hospitals Adopt LGBT Competence Training
  2. New Hospital Program Addresses LGBT Health Woe
  3. New York Times Blog: For Public Hospital Employees, New Training on Gay Patients
  4. NY1: New Program Attempts To Eliminate Barriers For LGBT Patients
  5. Rainbow Access Initiative: Breaking News! NY Hospitals Announce Mandatory LGBT Cultural Competency Trainings
  6. University of Arkansas for Medical Science: Center for Diversity Affairs to Sponsor LGBT Cultural Competency Strategies Webinar