Queer Middle Schoolers Face Tobacco Disparity – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Middle School Youth Face Biggest Tobacco Disparity

The FDA published its annual report on youth tobacco use and found that major disparities exist for LGB youth. 30.9% of LGB high schoolers currently used some form of tobacco product compared to 22% of their heterosexual peers, and the disparities were worse at the middle school level, where 16.5% of LGB youth used tobacco products compared to 5.5% of heterosexual youth.

Unpacking COVID’s Impact

Researchers explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on LGBT communities, including the financial (in which LGBT folks are more likely to say they are worse off because of the pandemic) and healthcare access (already a problem for LGBT people due to stigma and lower insured rates). Much of what we should know about COVID-19 and LGBT people is lacking due to a failure to collect data. The journal also explored the topic on a podcast.

HPV: The “Other” Vaccine

A study explored how to make the biggest impact with HPV vaccination, which has historically targeted young women. They found that prioritizing sexual minority men would actually have the biggest total health benefit for the population, with heterosexual females being the next group who should be prioritized, and heterosexual males being the last.

Federal Protections Nixed

Human Rights Watch reported that the federal government has removed an existing rule that requires providers of health and welfare programs that receive federal funds to not discriminate against LGBT people or people in same-sex marriages. Among other things, the change will allow adoption and foster care agencies to exclude same-sex couples.

City’s Move Highlights Equality Challenges

KOIN reported that the city of Portland passed an ordinance to make family planning and fertility services inclusive of LGBT city employees and non-partnered individuals. Nondiscrimination laws and same-sex marriage have not solved many of the access issues LGBT people face in covering these expensive services. Oregon’s cities have been noted as leaders in many areas of LGBT equality where statewide laws have been lacking.

Jamaica Report Marks a First

Elsewhere in the world, UNAIDS reported on a new transgender health strategy led by an advocacy group in Jamaica that is the first of its kind in the English-speaking caribbean. Beyond immediate health concerns (like soaring rates of HIV), the plan also looks at issues like economic opportunity, food insecurity, and public safety that greatly impact health and wellbeing.

Advancing Intersectionality is a Great Resolution – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

New Year, New Focus on Intersectionality

The American Journal of Public Health published an op-ed on how to advance intersectionality research that is inclusive of people of color, LGBT folks, and other marginalized groups. We sat down with the article’s author, Dr. Rodrigo Aguayo-Romero, to talk about why intersectionality matters for LGBT health. Listen to our exclusive interview on the LGBT Wellness Roundup Podcast.

LGBT Folks Face Financial, Health Challenges

Movement Advancement Project published a new report that found that 66% of LGBT households had experienced significant financial problems during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 44% of non-LGBT households. Additionally, 38% of LGBT households reported being unable to get medical care or delaying care, compared to half that number (19%) among non-LGBT households.

Study Could Change Blood Donation Rules

NBC News reported that the FDA has begun a new pilot study that could result in lifting the restrictions on donating blood that currently target queer men, which advocates say are discriminatory. The study will recruit 2,000 gay and bisexual men to see if there are better ways to screen for HIV risk besides simply disqualifying those who recently had a same-sex partner.

LGB Veterans at Risk

Healio reported on a new study finding that sexual minority veterans were at higher risk of suicide mortality than their heterosexual peers. The rate among sexual minority veterans was more than double that of veterans generally, and suicide was overall the fifth-leading cause of death among LGB vets. While many studies look at suicide risk, fewer have been able to assess mortality due to limited data.

Obesity and Disordered Eating Among Youth

Researchers examined obesity and disordered eating among youths aged 9-10 who identified as definitely or maybe LGBT, and found that they faced 1.64 times the risk of obesity compared to their peers, and 3.49 times the risk for various levels of binge eating disorders. While identities are still evolving at that age, the study is important because most related research looks at only adolescents and adults.

Gay Circuit Parties Slammed

C’mon, folx. The Bay Area Reporter and LA Blade reported on massive New Years Eve parties held in Mexico by gay U.S. organizers. While the organizers claimed that public health guidelines would be followed, videos revealed that few COVID-19 restrictions were followed. Many in the LGBT community and press condemned the events as selfish and risky.

2020 Year in Review! #LGBTWellness Roundup

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.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

This week, we reflect back on some of the biggest stories we covered during 2020. Don’t forget that you can access our full library of roundups here and also subscribe to the LGBT Wellness Roundup podcast wherever you listen!

The Year of the Pandemic

While the COVID-19 pandemic was of course the defining event of 2020, it was also a major story for LGBT health and wellness. Have LGBT people been particularly at risk for COVID-19 infections or related complications? That’s hard to say, since little data has been collected by government offices in charge of collecting this data. Even in California – where a law was passed to add sexual orientation and gender identity questions to COVID-19 testing – that data has still yet to be collected.

Centers Stepping Up

The COVID-19 pandemic also meant that LGBT people were subjected to extreme isolation as stay home orders were issued and businesses, schools, and jobs were shut down; they were also more likely to face financial impacts as a result of the shutdowns. Luckily, LGBT centers across the country stepped in to provide remote services like support groups and social opportunities, as well as modified health services that reduced in-person contact, and emergency services like food pantries and other forms of aid. To help out or get support yourself, check out CenterLink’s interactive LGBT center directory.

Health Innovations Emerge

With many health centers closing for non-emergencies, transportation options being limited, and folks being advised to stay home, many health innovations emerged in 2020 that stand to benefit LGBT people in the long run (if they remain in place). For example, the CDC issued guidance on how to make PrEP more accessible with fewer visits to doctors and pharmacies – changes that could make this HIV prevention treatment easier to access moving forward. Transgender people in particular also benefitted from the adoption of telehealth services, which generally have been shunned by insurers and thus providers, but which have helped trans people in areas with few gender affirming care providers suddenly have a lot more options. 

Supreme Court Signals Change

Beyond COVID-19, another major story in 2020 was the landmark Supreme Court decision, Bostock v. Clayton County. This decision held that the law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in employment included sexual orientation- and gender identity-based discrimination, too. While employment itself is important for health and wellness (including through accessing insurance and income), the decision could have an even more direct impact on health as the reasoning of the case is used in healthcare discrimination cases.

Responding to Racial Injustice

As the U.S. reacted to the deaths of Black individuals like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, many in the LGBT movement stood up in support of racial justice. In Los Angeles, for example, the typical summer Pride celebration was exchanged for a march in support of Black lives. Many LGBT organizations highlighted the health disparities that LGBT people of color, particularly Black and Latinx individuals, face even when compared to their White LGBT peers, as well as to discuss the issue of racism within the LGBT community.

Trans Representation Grows

One way to advance equity is to increase representation of LGBT people in office. 2020 saw the election of several transgender candidates into state offices, from Vermont to Colorado and from Deleware to Kansas. 2020 also saw Pennsylvania’s secretary of health, who happens to be a trans woman, come into the spotlight as she led the state’s response to COVID-19 (and stood strong in the face of mistreatment). To find out how you can get involved in LGBT policy issues, too, check out our ActionLink program.

Acceptance Saves Lives – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Acceptance Saves Lives

A new study found that among LGBT youth aged 13-24, those who were highly accepted by at least one adult had almost 40% lower odds of having attempted suicide within the past year compared to their peers without such acceptance. Acceptance from parents was the most impactful, while acceptance from non-LGBT peers also made a big difference.

ACEs Impacting LGB Folks

Relatedly, researchers found that sexual minorities experience more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) than their heterosexual peers, and that these individuals were at higher risk for cormorbid substance use and mental health disorders. Bisexual women were particularly affected, with 43.8% reporting four or more ACEs. The study is the first nationally representative study of its kind. 

Data Promise Falls Short

Los Angeles Magazine reported that while California made headlines months ago for its new law to collect LGBT data in COVID-19 tracing, it still is not doing so. People continue to report that they are not being asked their sexual orientation or gender identity when being tested, meaning California (like the rest of the U.S.) does not know how the pandemic is impacting LGBT communities.

Eating Disorders Outside the Binary

A new study explored eating disorders and related issues among gender-expansive individuals, and found no statistical differences based on sex assigned at birth (unlike is the case for cisgender people). It found that gender-expansive folks had lower concerns around body shape and eating restraints than did transgender women, but higher rates than did cisgender men. 

Same-sex Couple Denied Surogacy Benefits

LGBTQ Nation reported on a gay couple who were denied insurance coverage of surogacy costs because they are both men – even though the same treatment is covered for heteroseuxal couples as well as same-sex female couples. The reason for the denial, puzzlingly, was that they were in a “male-male relationship.” The couple is weighing legal action against the insurer.

Fund Assists those Struggling through Pandemic

UNAIDS announced a new fund to help key populations of people living with HIV – including LGBT folks – who are struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is currently being piloted in five countries and will go to social entrepreneurs and small business people living with HIV.

Yes, HIV Self-testing is possible – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Yes, HIV Self-testing is Possible

The World Health Organization explored implementing HIV self-testing programs though an example taking place now in Bulgaria. The self-test provides a result in only 20 minutes and may be less work-intensive to provide, as well as more appealing to those getting tested. Self-testing fo HIV has been a hot topic during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to reduce person-to-person contact.

Self-testing Offers More Convenience, Less Stigma

In related news, researchers reviewed the available literature on preferences for HIV self-testing and found that overall, self-testing was preferred to being tested by someone else. Reasons included more practical things like convenience and cost, but also because self-testing mitigated issues relating to stigma that can come with being tested for HIV.

Disparities Found for Heart Disease Prevention

US News reported on new research finding that sexual minority adults were less likely to take medication to lower risk of heart disease than were their heterosexual peers, even though LGB adults are at higher risk. 21% of LGB adults were taking statins as a preventive measure compared to more than double – 44% – of non-LGB adults, highlighting the need to promote heart health among LGBT individuals.

Teen’s Case Tests Discrimination Rules

The Tacoma News Tribune reported on a transgender teenager in Washington state who is suing his healthcare plan for excluding gender-affirming care. The plan says it is following the instructions of the teen’s mother’s employer, a religious-based hospital that does not wish to cover transgender care. The case could test new Supreme Court jurisprudence on sex discrimination as well as religious exclusions from discrimination law.

U.K. Court Blocks Blockers

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that in the U.K., transgender advocates are concerned after a legal ruling means that doctors will now need a judge’s approval to prescribe puberty blockers to youth under the age of 16.  The LGBT Foundation saw a 60% jump in calls from concerned youth and parents who worried that the new rule could prove a barrier to life-saving care.

LGBT-inclusive Social Histories for Youth

The American Medical Association published guidance on how to take an LGBT-inclusive social history for young patients. Their tips include asking open-ended questions (versus, for example, “Do you use drugs?”); not assuming someone’s orientation and asking them to whom, if anyone, they feel attraction; and building confidence through demonstrating confidentiality. 

Many Turn to Hormone “Grey Market” – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Many Turn to “Grey Market” for Hormones

Metro Weekly reported that almost one in ten transgender individuals in the U.S. is accessing hormone therapy through unlicensed vendors. The same study also found that one in five transgender people has been denied hormone therapy coverage by their insurer. Experts warned that going to the so-called “grey market” for access put people at risk for complications.

Righting the Ship on HIV

UNAIDS announced the publication of a new report that sets new targets for ending HIV. They say that the world was already behind on the goal of ending AIDS by 2030, and that the pandemic further hindered progress. The new goals call for reaching 95% coverage of HIV services among specific key populations, eliminating laws that discriminate against people living with HIV, and reducing stigma and discrimination based on HIV status and gender.

Birth Certificate Rule Under Review

South Bend Tribune reported that Indiana is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court an appellate decision that struck down its rules on birth certificates. Currently, Indiana prohibits both spouses in a same-sex marriage from being listed on the certificate, which one couple says hinders their child’s access to healthcare and education. An appeals court said the rule is unconstitutional.

Health of Black Trans Southerners

QNotes reported on new research on the healthcare experiences of Black transgender southerners. Less than half said they always or often had positive experiences with healthcare providers, and the group had higher rates of mental health issues and HIV compared to the LGBT population as a whole.

HPV Vaccine Uptake Low

Researchers evaluated HPV vaccine use and knowledge among men living with HIV – a key priority population for HPV vaccination. Only 7% had been vaccinated, with nearly two-thirds saying that they believed they were low risk. Being younger and of higher socioeconomic status were among the factors associated with higher rates of vaccination.

Much to Learn on Trans Men’s Reproductive Health

Reuters published an op-ed calling for more research on reproductive health of transgender men. For example, one area in which questions remain is contraception methods for trans men that do not interfere with hormone therapy (which, contrary to popular belief, is not itself a means of avoiding pregnancy). The author says that more funding and attention is needed for research.

Understanding Pregnancy among Trans People – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Understanding Pregnancy among Trans People

Researchers explored pregnancy among transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, and found that 12% had been pregnant at least once. More than half (54%) of the pregnancies were unintended, and fifteen pregnancies occurred after testosterone initiation. Eleven percent of participants wanted to become pregnant in the future. The results were part of the PRIDE Study

Depression a Risk for Older Adults

A study found that LGB older adults were more likely than others “to fall into categories for mild cognitive impairment or early dementia.” The factor that stood out as contributing to this disparity was depression, with other areas (such as social connections and alcohol use) surprisingly not seeming to drive a difference in terms of cognitive functioning disparities.

Marking Trans Day of Remembrance

Time reported on this year’s observation of Transgender Day of Remembrance,  which began in 1999. The vast majority of transgender people who are killed in the U.S. are people of color, who comprised 89% of such victims since advocacy groups began tracking the issue. In Brazil, activists spoke of both an epidemic of transphobic violence but also newfound visibility.

Study Searches for Protective Factors

Researchers announced a new study that will examine what factors help prevent young bisexual and lesbian women from contemplating suicide. The $2 million national study will be the largest longitudinal study of this population ever conducted, and will address topics such as level of connectedness versus isolation and experiences during transitional periods in one’s life.

Trans Trio Sue West Virginia

LGBTQ Nation reported on three transgender individuals who are suing the state of West Virginia for denying medically necessary, gender-affirming care under state health plans. They are arguing that the exclusions are discriminatory since the same procedures are covered for cisgender people, and are using the reasoning applied by the Supreme Court in its landmark Bostock decision.

Paper Explores Research Ethics

The All of Us Research Program published a new white paper exploring the program’s ethical, legal, and social implications. The paper explains how All of Us is designed to bring forward new knowledge about groups that are underrepresented in scientific literature, including sexual and gender minorities, and that a commitment to diversity and inclusion is required to meet this goal. It also discusses how to acknowledge and address historical injustices faced by groups the program seeks to prioritize (such as LGBT folks) in biomedical research. Learn more about All of Us’s work with LGBT individuals here.

Anti-trans Media Messages Have Impact – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Anti-trans Media Messages Have Impact

A new study found that when transgender people were more frequently exposed to transphobic messages in the media, they were more likely to have symptoms of depression, anxiety, and global psychological distress. The study also found that exposure to such negative messaging was overwhelmingly common, with 97.6% of transgender people reporting this.

Some LGBT Folks Face Abuse During Pandemic

The BBC reported on abuse that has faced LGBT individuals during pandemic-related restrictions. Nonprofits in the U.K. say they have heard from record numbers of people reporting abuse from anti-LGBT parents or households, as well as partners who were not previously abusive. These challenges have left some homeless, and without help from authorities.

Evaluating Research on Trans Youths’ Families

Researchers explored the connection between family relationships and health for transgender and gender-diverse youth. Overall, they found moderately strong research in this area, but found some characteristics of strong families – including enjoyable time shared and spiritual wellness – were underrepresented in the literature, making these prime topics for future research.

Telehealth Opens Doors for Trans Folks

Housing Public Media shared how telehealth implemented because of COVID-19 is expanding options for transgender patients. Some patients who were displaced by the pandemic were able to keep their providers because of new telehealth options, and providers in big cities like Houston can now take patients from smaller cities and towns where gender-affirming care is lacking.

Bi Youth at Risk for Smoking

Futurity reported on new research that youth who came out as bisexual over a three year period were about twice as likely to pick up smoking as their heterosexual peers. Similar disparities were not found for peers who came out as gay or lesbian, suggesting that bisexual youth are especially at risk. Researchers attributed this to the stigma that bisexual folks face, even within broader LGBT communities.

When Unnecessary Exams Corrupt Care

The Feed reported on how transgender people are sometimes subjected to unwanted and unnecessary genital examinations when seeking unrelated care. Research shows that this type of treatment, and other negative experiences when receiving care, is sadly common for transgender individuals, and leads many to avoid getting necessary treatment.

Substance Use Disparities Grew among Youth – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Substance Use Disparities Grew among Youth

Researchers found that between 2005 and 2017, illicit drug use overall declined among high schoolers – but that the declines were sharper for heterosexual and bisexual students than they were for gay and lesbian students. The result was that disparities had actually increased by 2017 for gay and lesbian students compared to their peers, a troubling fact despite the overall decline in use.

Protections Needed in Schools, Online

Human Rights Watch found that governments around the world need to take more action to stop bullying and violence in schools, as well as in online “spaces” used by students. They say that LGBT students as well as girls, refugees, and students with disabilities are the most common victims, and that school personnel are often part of the problem rather than solution.

Recruiting LGBT Youth for Research Studies

A study examined methods for reaching sexual minority young men and transgender youth on social media, and found that ads targeting those populations garnered better recruitment for a health survey than ads that did not. They also found that video-based versus photo-based ads helped with recruitment in some groups, and that their ads did better than a comparable, national campaign at getting Latinx and multiracial participants.

HIV Diagnoses Decline in U.K.

Attitude reported that HIV diagnoses among queer men in the U.K. dipped to just 1,700 in 2019 – the lowest number of new infections in that community since 2000. The total number of infections among all individuals fell 10% between 2018 and 2019. Officials say that frequent testing, access to PrEP, and quality treatment for those living with HIV are all needed to continue the trend.

Healthcare System and Black Queer Youth

Popsugar reported on how the healthcare system fails Black queer youth in unique and troubling ways. For example, they point to research from the Trevor Project finding that almost half of Black queer youth have wanted mental health services within the past year but have been unable to receive it. Black queer youth also require systems to address both a lack of LGBT knowledge and understanding, and and anti-racist policies and practices, to be able to adequately serve them.

Sexual Minority Republicans Feel Disconnected

The Advocate reported on new research finding that sexual minorities who identify as Republicans feel less connected to the LGBT community than do those who identify as Democrats. They also were more likely to report that they would prefer to be heterosexual and that their sexual minority identity was not an important part of who they are.

Special Edition!! Coverage of CenterInk’s V-Summit – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Last month, LGBT HealthLink and our parent organization, CenterLink, hosted a “V-Summit” to bring together LGBT leaders from across the country. In this week’s special edition of the LGBT Wellness Roundup, we look back on some of the many fascinating sessions that involved LGBT health.

HIV Services During COVID-19

Dr. John Brooks of the CDC presented on “COVID-19: The State of the Pandemic and Implications for HIV Care and Prevention.” The pandemic has presented myriad challenges to providing HIV prevention and care services. For example, from January through May, lapses in PrEP use at Fenway Health in Boston increased 191% while new starts dropped by 72%, according to recent research; HIV and STI testing also dropped 85% during that time. The CDC has issued guidance to HIV care providers on how to continue services during the pandemic, such as by using telemedicine and at-home testing. Francisco Ruiz of the CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign encouraged LGBT service providers to continue sharing their many resources and social media tools to ensure LGBT folks do not let their guard down on HIV, despite the public’s heavy focus on COVID-19.

LGBT Puerto Ricans are Stronger than Crises

Dr. Wilfred Labiosa of Waves Ahead presented on “Adapting Mental Health and Ancillary Services in Times of Crisis.” Dr. Labiosa discussed the need to constantly adapt services amid crises the island has faced in recent years, ranging from hurricanes to political unrest to COVID-19. They have also been helping create vigils to recognize the murders of six transgender people in the island since January, as well as celebrations of their lives. Kiaranel Castro Lebrón discussed the organization’s Descubrete program, which includes coaching, training, and mental health services to LGBT older adults to become entrepreneurs and manage their own microbusiness. She discussed how helping people manage their mental health issues allows them to pursue economic opportunities that they might not otherwise have. Castro Lebrón also said that the pandemic has posed a major obstacle to the program’s participants in accessing services, as well as in continuing their businesses, especially given a lack of technological resources.

Bringing Research Home for LGBT Folks

Mahri Bahati of PRIDEnet presented on “Research and the Community: Listening Sessions with SGM People Across the Country.” She discussed research initiatives including the PRIDE Study, a nationwide long-term study following LGBT people to learn about their health, and the All of Us research program, a federal initiative that includes an LGBT component. She discussed the importance of researchers seeking out LGBT voices at all points in the research process, such as design and publication, and not just when looking to recruit participants. Bahati also discussed how often, LGBT people do not feel that research applies to them specifically, or do not see how policies or programs change as the result of research. More collaboration and communication with the community can address these issues and make LGBT folks feel invested.

Keeping Connected to LGBT Older Adults

The session “Senior Programming Before COVID, the Pivot and the Future” discussed how LGBT center programming for older adults has changed during the pandemic. Adrienne Percival of Compass discussed moving in-person events to virtual settings, while also keeping the center physically open by appointment and using phone trees for outreach to seniors who could not join virtual meetings. Britta Larson of the Center on Halsted discussed pairing volunteers with seniors to be able to have one-on-one conversations weekly, as many lacked social contact and needed someone to talk to. They also offered a pop-up pantry and events where seniors could take meals to go, as they were concerned with food insecurity among LGBT older adults being exacerbated by the pandemic. 

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