- Health, Wellness & Sports
- Equality Directory
The topic of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) health disparities isn’t an intuitive one. We’re not biologically different than others. But it turns out most of health isn’t governed by biology, but social factors.
Over the years, my fellow LGBT health researchers have been steadily documenting a myriad of ways the discrimination we face takes its toll on our health. As just a few examples: our youth are at higher risk for suicide, too many of us avoid doctors or hide being LGBT to avoid discrimination, and we smoke at much higher rates than others.
The federal government has a large mechanism for addressing and trying to fix health disparities, millions of dollars are poured into these efforts every year.
Problem is, LGBT people are not counted in the health surveys, thus our disparities are not documented to the usual standards. No one argues they exist, but we are invisible on the biggest health surveys, which are often the basis of the major policy decisions.
Further, we know that treating everyone the same fails for us. As I say in every cultural competency training, “Until you show you are welcoming to LGBT people, we have no assurance it’s a safe space for us.”
Read Scout's full commentary reposted to The Daily Koz HERE.