Landmark longterm study underway on LGBT health

A large study began this past June to gather data from thousands of LGBT individuals in the U.S. using an Apple app.  The study originates from the University of California-San Francisco, the Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality, or PRIDE, Study is a two-part longitudinal study that could impact the way researchers and educators understand, treat and teach about LGBT health.

If you are interested in participating, please do!  I just signed up and started the process!  the study will last 6 to 9 months, and they estimate that the time commitment is about 15 minutes per week!  You participate using the mobile app!  The consent process is clear and easy to understand, and there is no shortage of detailed information about the study and the people who are conducting the research.  One thing I like is that you can follow basic information about the study as you go – for example, how many people are participating.  Today there are over 14,000 participants!

To learn more, go to http://www.pridestudy.org/.  Check it out!

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LGBTQ on Twitter!

There are heaps of ways to tune in to what’s hot and happening in the LGBTQ world – if you take advantage of Twitter!  If you are already a Twitter tweeter, or want to scan for LGBTQ news from a variety of sources, or are interested in finding good LGBTQ Tweets to follow, just enter #LGBT (hashtag LGBT)! If you add more letters (LGBTQ, LGBQI) you will get different results, all very timely and interesting! Whatever hashtag you prefer, you will you will pick up tweets from the most active LGBT groups – GLAAD, The Advocate, Freedom to Marry, It Gets Better, and many more.  In addition, if any mainstream group is doing something important for our communities, you will find it here quickly and easily!  This morning, the U.S. Department of State is coming up near the top of the list with news of the first UN Security Council on LGBT rights!

If you are interested in following any of your favorite LGBTQ advocacy groups, once you see their tweets from your hashtag search, you will see their twitter identity, and can easily follow those you find most interesting!  Don’t forget to follow LavenderHealth!  Our twitter identity is @LavHealthOrg – check us out on Twitter!

What are your favorite groups to follow?  And hints for hashtags?  Leave us your ideas in the comments below – we would love to hear from you!

But before you leave, today at the top of my #LGBT search is the NOH8 Campaign, pointing to John Oliver’s fabulous segment on LGBT discrimination!  I am posting the video here!

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John-Manuel Andriote on Gay Men’s Resilience

As we’ve written before, the capacity to bend in life’s storms without breaking is an important virtue, which is cultivated not by coddling a “cloistered virtue” but by testing and using these psychic “muscles,” is essential to mental and physical wellness. Also known as resilience, this capacity is a characteristic of queer older adults who have experienced many losses, struggles and insults, as documented by the Institute of Medicine.

Now journalist and author John-Manuel Andriote is undertaking to chronicle and translate the history and science of sexual minority men’s resilience in a book contracted to Rowman and Littlefield. With the working title Sacred Band: How Building Resilient Gay Men Saves Lives and Strengthens Society the book, according to Andriote, “will be the first and only ‘post-AIDS’ commercial book to draw on emergent research and the real-life stories of gay men–including my own–to present a bold and inspiring message: Gay men have a powerful source of health, resilience, strength, and pride available to us by claiming for ourselves what I call ‘gay America’s heroic legacy.'”

Andriote has previously written Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America. As he recalls, “‘Larry Kramer, our best-known AIDS activist, told me in an interview, ‘Singlehandedly, we changed the image of gay people from limp-wristed fairies to guerilla warriors.’ Coming out of my experience as a journalist reporting on AIDS for so long, and as someone who found out in 2005 that I am HIV-positive, I’m extremely interested in the subject of resilience.”

His hopes are that many audience will find the book useful: “Parents, pastors, teachers and counselors will learn how they can assist gay boys to grow into healthy gay men. College professors and their students will find a showcase of emergent research on gay men’s health that is so new it hasn’t until now made its way out of scientific journals into a commercial book.”

In addition, he envisions the book’s usefulness in HIV/AIDS education as “a valuable resource for HIV educators and policymakers, offering in one volume the most up-to-date thinking about how best to protect gay men’s health–and avoid HIV–through what are called ‘strength-based’ or ‘resilience-based’ interventions. In the book I’ll examine the connections between resilience and our physical and mental health.”

As a freelance writer working with a small advance on royalties from the publisher, Andriote is seeking the support of gay communities through crowd-sourcing funding: https://pubslush.com/project/2041

Posted in Education, HIV/AIDS, LGBT Health | 1 Comment

Documentary – “How We Got Gay”

Everyone is still marveling at the rapid emergence of gay rights in the past several years – a change that is, in some ways, a rapid evolution.  But in fact, it is a shift that has a deep and incredible history.  Earlier this year an excellent documentary was posted on YouTube that tells the amazing history of how gay men and women in the U.S. and Canada went from being the ultimate outsiders to occupying the halls of power.  It is well worth taking the 45 minutes to watch!  Watch it now and share it with your friends and family.  After you see it, we welcome your comments and discussion of the film here!

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Looking for an LGBTQ-friendly college?

LGBTQ people who are making plans for undergraduate or graduate study have the extra challenge of wondering what campuses will be the most welcoming, if not the least hostile.  It is stressful enough to select a place that provides the major you want, and the best faculty to work with, and even now most schools do not volunteer information about ways they are meeting the needs of LGBTQ students.  We recently learned of a resource to help – a web-based project to help LGBTQ students understand how many campuses are helping to make the college experience more welcoming and supportive – LGBTQ Friendly Colleges and Student Resources

The guide addresses how to create a safe environment on campus, suggestions for an LGBTQ inclusive curriculum, and a list of LGBTQ student organizations that are now found on many campuses.  Check out what they have to offer, and to explore resources you can use to improve places where you are already involved!

LGBTQ_Friendly_Colleges___Universities___AffordableCollegesOnline_org

Posted in Activism, Curriculum, Education, Welcoming Environment | 2 Comments

2015 GLMA Conference and Nursing Summit – Register Now for Early-Bird Rates!

The 2015 GLMA Conference and Nursing Summit will be held in Portland, Oregon from September 24-26, 2015!  But what you need to pay attention to now is the deadline for the early-bird registration – which is coming up in two days – on July 24th!

The GLMA conference is always a fabulous event for all LGBTQ healthcare providers and our allies – not only does the conference provide exceptional LGBTQ-focused educational programing, it is the only place where social networking with other LGBTQ providers from all disciplines!  The annual Nursing Summit, which once again kicks off the conference for nurses, is a one-of-a-kind event, where nurses work together to improve LGBTQ content in nursing education, plan implementation of LGBTQ nursing research, and improved care improved care for LGBTQ patients in practice.

If there is any way for you to be there – register today and take advantage of the early-bird rates!

GLMA_-_Annual_Conference

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New ruling protects against LGBTQ workplace discrimination in the U.S.

Last week the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) concluded that discrimination against LGBT workers is essentially discrimination based on sex, and therefore it violates  Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Here is how Time summarizes the rationale for this ruling:

In the past, courts have ruled that Title VII does not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation because it’s not explicitly mentioned in the law, but the EEOC’s ruling disputes that reasoning. “Sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination because it necessarily entails treating an employee less favorably because of the employee’s sex,” the EEOC concluded. The committee argued that if an employer discriminated against a lesbian for displaying a photo of her wife, but not a straight man for showing a photo of his wife, that amounts to sex discrimination.

After the Supreme Court ruling that assured the right of marriage for all in the U.S., attention turned to the fact that in most states, there is no protections against employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation.  This EEOC ruling is a huge step toward ending employment discrimination, but many believe that we still need legislation that addresses specific protections for LGBTQ individuals in both employment and housing.  Meanwhile, this ruling provides a major avenue for fighting against employment discrimination – and knowing it exists is as essential as the ruling itself!  So pass this along to all your friends and colleagues!

 

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Rise in Meth Use Among Urban Black MSM

As reported in the New York Times in June 2015, addiction treatment providers in New York have seen a rise among black and Hispanic men who have sex with men (MSM) in the use of the “club” or “party” drug “crystal meth” (methamphetamine hydrochloride, a more potent and more dangerous form of amphetamine, known by a variety of street names, including “Tina,” “poor man’s cocaine,” “crystal,” and “ice”).

Previously associated with white, affluent urban gay men, as well as the rural poor regardless of sexual orientation, crystal meth’s allure was tarnished in recent years by its association with serious health risks, including a increased probability of engaging in unprotected sex while using the drug.

Crystal meth induces euphoria, lowers inhibitions, and delays ejaculation in men, thus it has come to be used in “party and play” (PNP) sex, sometimes for extended periods of time.

However, it can also cause mood changes and longstanding brain changes, as well as cardio-vascular effects. Its euphoria makes users more inclined to engage in risky sexual behavior that may lead to HIV infection, and those already HIV infected are particularly vulnerable to its neurological changes. More information here: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine

Many of New York’s men of color are caught up in the intersection of race, ethnicity, and socio-economic class, as well as sexual orientation. They may be more likely to have been ostracized by their families and churches, to be targets of violence, and to be less stably employed.

The Times article features the work of the health organization Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD): http://www.gmad.org/

The article by Mosi Secret can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/nyregion/meth-finds-a-new-market-in-new-york.html

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LavenderHealth joins in celebration of the US Supreme Court ruling on Marriage Equality

Today, the landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the rule of the nation!  While there are many challenges ahead, the fact that there are so many symbols, everywhere we turn, of support and utter joy, makes this occasion one for unrestrained celebration!  Watch this video of the comments made by the chief plaintiff in the case, Jim Obergefell, whose story is a moving example of the importance of this decision and its effect on health and well-being:

White house rainbow2

Supreme court Love

Posted in Activism, Legal Issues, Marriage Equality | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Victimization of Transgender People

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is an internationally known group that is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Their work on LGBT issues spans decades and primarily focuses on the Southeast. They recently published a poignant article, In the Crosshairs, about the victimization of transgender people. The author, Don Terry, profoundly describes the horrific crimes that are perpetrated toward transgender people. It is eye-opening and illuminates the amount of work that still needs to be done for the trans community!

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