New Tips From Former Smokers Ad Features Effects of Tobacco & HIV

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     Felecia King

    Project Specialist

   The Network for LGBT Health Equity

 
 

This week, the CDC launched the next phase of the Tips From Former Smokers Campaign, and this time they are tackling the issue of tobacco and HIV. The ad features Brian, who smoked for 30 years, and suffered a stroke as a complication of his HIV and tobacco use. (read more about Brian’s story HERE)

Smoking is especially harmful to people who are living with HIV. For example, smokers with HIV:

  • Are at higher risk than non-smokers with HIV of developing lung cancer, head and neck cancers, cervical and anal cancers, and other cancers;
  • Are more likely than non-smokers with HIV to develop bacterial pneumonia, Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP), COPD, and heart disease;
  • Are more likely than non-smokers with HIV to develop two conditions that affect the mouth: oral candidiasis (thrush) and oral hairy leukoplakia; and
  • Have a poorer response to antiretroviral therapy.
  • People with HIV who smoke are also less likely to keep to their HIV treatment plan and have a greater likelihood of developing an AIDS-defining condition and dying earlier than non-smokers with HIV.

(the above examples are from Aids.gov <– Click the link for more info!)

For these reasons, smoking is a significant health issue for all individuals, but it is even more of a concern for people living with HIV, who tend to smoke more than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 19% of adults in the United States are smokers. However, the smoking rate is two to three times higher among adults who are HIV-positive.

 

SmokingLGBT    

Philly the City of Trans Love

Pride Center Staff Photo
 
 
#bishopmakalani-mahee
Philly the City of Trans Love
Bishop S.F. Makalani-MaHee

 

 

 

The moment I got off the plane I felt it.   While I was waiting for the shuttle bus to take me to my hotel in downtown Philly another transman just looks at me and extends a brotherly greeting , and we end up on the same shuttle bus sharing and laughing the whole ride into the city.   This is the start of trans wholeness and wellness the ability to search each other out, recognize each other, and to be willing to extend ourselves to one another.

Walking through the doors of Philly Trans Health Conference all you could feel is the energy of connection, and more importantly the empowerment  of possibilities that comes from our  interconnectedness.  What I am seeing here at Philly Trans Health is a sea of recruits enlisting in an army for social justice daring to explore the possibilities of being conscious objectors to assigned gender conformity.

This City has long been known amongst African-Americans as “The City of Brotherly Love”, but from the second I got off the plane and connected with my trans brother all I have been feeling is the trans love in the City.  A love that sees, values, affirms, and yes even trans-forms every individual here. Because of the love in this place those who have been invisible become visible, and those who have been silenced find their voice; our nurtures /wise women in the room sound the trumpet and #JusticeForJane  is our call to action

From this birth place of independence we dare to affirm ourselves and each other, and vision a state of being that experiences more struggle for the generations to come after us because we will have created a world where human beings will truly be judged by the content of their character and they will not know a world of gender restriction.  Just as the gathering in this city liberated a country, and changed the world the demand for representation and equality for all citizens is as loud today as it was then; and our boldness will once again change the world.

Continue To Walk In The Light, Redefine Your Faith, and Remember It’s All The Rhythm.

#lgbt hlth equity  #philly trans health

 

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN…and win prizes!

Our very own Dr. Scout may be coming to a town near you! Dr. Scout will be out and about over the next few months; leading cultural competency trainings in many states, speaking on an all Trans pride panel, in Philly at the Trans Health Conference , co-writing an LGBT Health Research Textbook, at the Netroots Nation Conference and many other places.

So, over the next few months, if you happen to see Dr. Scout, take a picture with him and post it to your (and your organization’s) Twitter and Facebook page! And, when you post your picture, we will send you a free gift!

Here are the rules:

  1. Take the perfect selfie with Dr. Scout
  2. Post the picture to Facebook and/or Twitter
    1. If you are posting to Facebook make sure to tag us (@The Network for LGBT Health Equity) in your post.
    2. If you are posting on Twitter make sure to tag us in your Tweet (@lgbthlthequity)
    3. Also please use the #’s:
      1. #LGBTHEALTHEQUITY
      2. #CATCHMEIFYOUCAN
  1. Once you have posted we will send you a direct message (Twitter) or message (Facebook) to get your mailing information and send you some sweet swag!

 

Now that you have your rules, here’s the list of events to catch Dr.Scout:

June 10: DC to NIH speaking on a pride panel

June 12-13: Philly for TransCon

June 14-15: Pittsburgh Author Meeting on LGBT Health Research Textbook

June 16-20: Denver – National Jewish Hospital for quit line staff

July 10-14: San Diego Phoenix Group cross-disparities meeting

July 15-20: Detroit for Netroots Nation Conference 2014

July TBD: St. Louis

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!

Congrats To Two of Our Winners Charles and Kira

Catch Charlie

   catch Kara




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (Here are some examples of the swag we will send you!)

lady t-vneck

 t-shirt men

 

 

 

 

 

 

sharpie

sharpies

Passing the Skinny, Young, Good-Looking Guys

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As published on Huffington Post’s new LGBT Wellness blog, see original at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scout-phd/passing-the-skinny-young-_b_5398022.html?utm_hp_ref=lgbt-wellness

As I travel around the country for the Network for LGBT Health Equity, I get to hear the greatest stories from people. I heard a local newspaper profiled Robert Boo’s incredible wellness story, so I asked him to tell me more.

It all started with the Smart Ride, a 165-mile bike ride that raises money for HIV/AIDS. Robert Boo is the Chief Executive Officer of The Pride Center, Ft. Lauderdale’s LGBT community center, so he was crewing for the event.

People tried to get me to ride the first year and I was like ‘Are you crazy?’ But then I’m driving the van and I’m seeing all these people who were older and more physically challenged than I am so I thought, ‘there goes my excuse.’ Then as I watched all these people cross the finish line. It was so emotional I was crying; I wanted to do it.

“One of my board members does triathlons, he saw I was interested and next thing you know he’s taking me out to shop for all this gear.” Robert laughs, “I looked like a stuffed sausage in my lycra.” Had he even ridden a bike recently? “Oh I used to have one, but I was tired of using it to dry clothes, so I gave it away.”

So Robert started training with the other riders, and eventually he got rid of the shirt and shorts he was wearing on top of his lycra. “Come to find out I loved the riding, I loved everything about it. And it turns out I was really good. Here were all these really skinny, young, good-looking guys in their biker shorts looking all pretty. And I was all sweaty and gross-looking but I could go faster than them.”

Robert was riding every weekend, making new friends, slowly building his mileage up to 150 miles a week of riding. “I got hooked into it and then the weight just started coming off. I modified my diet a bit too and over the course of eight months I lost 75 pounds. People couldn’t believe it, it was a whole new me.” I asked him if he’d ever imagined losing that much weight. “No, I’d tried before of course, but I just came to terms with being ‘big boned.’ So now it’s wild.”

Then the day of the big ride came. This time Robert wasn’t behind a wheel, he was out there with everyone else raising money for The Pride Center and it felt great. “It’s not a race, it’s not a competition, but on the first day out of 480 riders I came in 30th. And I’m an HIV positive 53-year-old!” he adds. “It was wonderful, I felt like I could have ridden the whole 165 miles that day.” When he crossed the finish line the second day he was crying again, but this time for intensely personal reasons, “I never expected how much it would change my life.”

It’s been a year since that fateful ride; one of the things Robert didn’t expect is how much of an impact his journey would have on everyone else around him. “So many people come up to me and say I inspired them to start training and working on their own health.” Knowing that he’s become a role model for others helps Robert too, “I know I have to keep the weight off, so I’m swimming several times a week. People tell me they could never do it but I just say ‘seriously if I can do it, anyone can.’ There’s nothing special; I hate going to the gym but I like being outside so that’s why cycling worked for me.”

The Pride Center offers senior wellness classes several days a week, Robert used to go by the classes as he gave tours and they’d always beg him to come in, now he happily jokes they’re not working hard enough. “They’re almost religious about those classes, I love seeing that enthusiasm.” The Pride Center also offers a LGBT health directory of welcoming doctors and runs cancer support groups in conjunction with the local Gilda’s club chapter.

Robert finds himself the unofficial mascot of wellness at the Pride Center but is more than pleased he’s in that role. For him the ride was the beginning of a lifetime commitment and all the people he’s inspired are in turn inspiring him to new heights. As we end the interview his face breaks into a big grin, “I even just competed in my first triathlon. Bucket list: check!”

Sia Inspires Me to Be a Healthier Trans Person

An Evening With Women Benefiting The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center - Red Carpet

There’s something oddly intimate about a person’s exercise playlist. If you’re like me and hear the same songs every day for 30 minutes to an hour of sweating, the playlist takes on its own life. Memories of pushing, sweating, and endorphins get laid on top of each track like delicious frosting. But these are popular singers, so you may like the music, but you rarely have a personal connection to the performers.

So imagine my surprise when I realized that several of my treasured workout songs are sung by a woman I first met at a meeting to plan a trans visibility action. At first I was disbelieving. I knew that their names are the same, but I told myself that the Sia who sings “Titanium” and the Sia I first met on that grassy hillside must be different people. My daughter finally convinced me that they are one and the same.

My most pronounced reaction was incredulity: She supports us! I already respected her for taking a leadership role in such a beautiful and strong visibility action, but now, knowing the pressures of the heady professional world she travels in only increased my respect tenfold.

Every day, as I ran, swam, or cycled further, it was like I had a friend encouraging me every time a song of hers came on. But when I thought further about the situation, I realized that the other side of the story was the really sad part: My incredulity at Sia being willing to stand up and support trans people showed how much I had internalized the norm that most celebrities would not stand up for my rights. They would not be moved nearly to tears thinking about the daily threats of violence that some trans people endure, or the staggering lack of safety that so many trans youth face as they try to survive. For every Lady Gaga, for every Sia, there are hundreds of celebrities who could use their potential to influence public opinion in our favor, yet they stay quiet. As we always teach in our cultural competency trainings, considering our history of discrimination, until you prove you’re a friend, we have no way of knowing you’re not an enemy.

Sia’s far from an enemy. She’s unabashedly one of us, publicly proclaiming her bisexuality. “I’ve always dated boys and girls and anything in between,” she’s said. “I don’t care what gender you are, it’s about people.” I know that a few other singers have said similar things, but I also know of many, many more who have worked very hard to hide any LGBT tendencies. Actions send messages, and the negative ones are still much more frequent than the positive ones.

Now I follow Sia stories with particular interest. I was fascinated to read of her effortsto keep her pictures out of the media, in what was a cogent analysis of the false promise of widespread fame. I also heard with concern how her own health issues led her to consider retiring from singing forever.

Every day, as I push myself to become stronger, as I chase the wonderful endorphins that help calm and center me for a world whose winds too often blow cold for trans people, I have a visit from a friend as Sia’s songs come on. Sia has inspired me to become a healthier trans person. I’d love to be able to return the favor in person, but until then I can only hope that Sia is taking good care of herself too.

Follow Scout, Ph.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/scoutout

We’re working toward a tobacco-free future for LGBT communities!

Here at the National LGBT Cancer Network Summit in NYC, we wanted to get in on the Surgeon General Report excitement! #SGR50photo

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All Hands on Deck: 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report Out Tomorrow!

Scout

Scout, Ph.D.
Director, CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity

It’s a crazy week here at the Network for LGBT Health Equity… not only are we dashing off to the start of the Cancer Network’s historic first National LGBT Cancer Summit, but we’ve been hustling like mad to get ready for one of the biggest tobacco events in our era — the release of the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco & Health. They were even supposed to release it today, but at the last minute they moved the event to tomorrow — AT THE WHITE HOUSE. Hmm, I. wonder. why. that. could. be??Screenshot 2014-01-16 08.17.01

Remember, everyone can watch the official launch tomorrow at http://whitehouse.gov/live. We’ll have our dear Bill Blatt in the audience directly reporting all the behind the scenes action on the blog. And watch for #SGR50 on Twitter. And don’t worry — we don’t know what exactly is in the report but LGBT is definitely there! Other than that, all they’ve told us is the report will expand the circle of what’s affected by tobacco.

But the fun doesn’t stop there… all our work this week has been to create LGBT specific materials, so look for our infographic on 50 years of LGBT tobacco history to debut by tomorrow, and a press release too. We’ve got some pretty big drama numbers in there, so far all the advance reviewers have had one response… “Wow!” So… stay tuned and be sure to be part of the team sharing it widely!!!