LGBTQ individuals embark on important political careers in the U.S.

Recent  U.S. elections (state, regional and local) resulted in a record-breaking number of history-making results – women, people of color, and LGBTQ people winning in unlikely places!  Just a few days before these elections hardly anyone would have predicted the

Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington, DC USA

Danica Roem*

kinds of victories that happened, but they happened!  This inspired the GLMA Nursing Website Team to document LGBTQ election victories in places all over the globe, with links to more information about the people in the “Resources” section on the GLMA Nursing website. We know it is far from complete – we want to eventually include LGBTQ elected officials already in office at any level – from local school board, to city councils and mayors, to state legislatures.  If you know of someone we have not yet listed, please let us know.

Here is our list so far – from the November 7th and November 14, 2017 elections:

 

Allison Ikley-Freeman – Oklahoma State Senate (Elected November 14, 2017)

Andrea Jenkins – Minneapolis City Council (Elected November 7, 2017)

Danica Roem –  Virginia House of Delegates (Elected November 7, 2017)

Jenny Durkan. – Seattle, Washington Mayor (Elected November 7, 2017)

Lisa Middleton – Palm Springs, California, City Council (Elected November 7, 2017)

Tyler Titus – Erie, Pennsylvania School Board (Elected November 7, 2017)

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LGBTQ Communities – Open Enrollment for the ACA Underway

Today is the start of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act coverage for medical care in the U.S., and in the face of so many things happening in our country to roll back protections and rights for our LGBTQ communities, this is a prime opportunity to take positive action. The short video below summarizes why the ACA is so important to our communities. The efforts to weaken and destroy this important step toward assuring access to basic healthcare for all particularly hurt LGBTQ people and families.

BUT the ACA is still the law of the land, and one way to fight back is to assure that everyone in our communities who needs this coverage actually signs up and gets it.  Nurses and other providers, and anyone concerned about healthcare for LGBTQ communities – we can all help to make sure that our friends, families, colleagues – that everyone in our circle of acquaintance – knows how to enroll now!  Open enrollment starts on November 1, and ends on December 15th (half the time in previous years) – so it is vital to take action now!  Here are some links with more informtion about the current status of enrollment, and what you can do now:

American Journal of Nursing Blog

Get America Covered

Out To Enroll LGBT resources for 2018 enrollment

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Alphabet soup, anyone?

As much progress as we, as a western society, have made in understanding gender and sexuality, the fact remains that these complex constructs still perplex even the most informed among us! This is brought to the surface in a vivid account by Dawn Moonbisexual flag titled “How Queerness Erased Bisexuality”  In this article Dawn recounts the challenges lurking under the surface over the years working as a queer activist. Her explanation of “Q” is one of the best I have seen:

To me, as a queer activist and young scholar in the early 1990s, the term queer seemed to capture it all — the political urgency of combating heterosexism, my feeling and knowledge that the binaries of gender and sexual orientation were created through forced conformity and repression, the indeterminateness of my own experiences of gender and sexual attraction.

But the message of her article focuses on the many ways in which bisexuality is erased in the contexts of even our most dedicated LGBTQ spaces where sexual and gender diversity are valued.  Drawing on her own experience of feeling compelled to hide her bisexual identity for fear of being relegated to an “outsider” space in that even the most radical queer theorists and activists tended to imply bisexuality as being pretty much “straight.”  The fact remains that the prevailing ideas of L, G, and T remain anchored in a realm of gender and sex binaries of male or female.  Queer theory and activism has aimed to dismantle and problematize these binaries, but have failed so far to deal with  “inbetween-ness” possibilities and complexities.  Dawn described how she came to feel compelled to tell her story, concluding that:

The alphabet soup acknowledges all the people who are harmed by a rigid gender binary, but queer politics is just beginning to open up to the vast ranges of human possibility. 

I highly recommend reading Dawn’s story – it raises important issues for all of us!

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GLMA Nursing Summit and Annual Conference – September 13-16

GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality is the only organization and dedicated to advancing LGBTQ health and healthcare!  The Annual Conference, along with the Nursing Summit, convenes this year in Philadelphia at the Doubletree Center City hotel.  The Nursing Summit will be all day on September 13th, followed by the GLMA conference opening reception in the evening, and the multi-disciplinary conference continuing through Saturday the 16th.  Visit the GLMA nursing website for a sneak peak at the Summit program, and the GLMA website for details about the conference program!  GLMA is the only only organization bringing together LGBT health care professionals from all disciplines, and the GLMA nursing section is the only “home” for LGBTQ nurses!  All are welcome to join us!  Registration details are here!

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Pride Month!

All over the world LGBTQ communities are celebrating our achievements and to inspire movement going forward!  The month of June was designated as “gay pride” month to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, which were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. The riots were in response to police raids and brutality aimed and gay and lesbian residents frequenting social clubs in the city.  While much has changed since those days, and we have many LGBTQ rights to celebrate, the very occasions of public pride events in towns and cities all over the world draw attention to ongoing challenges for LGBTQ people and families.  These celebrations are reminders that all of us can, in even small was, contribute to improving the health and well-being of all LGBTQ people, and assuring that all receive the best quality of nursing and health care. All healthcare providers can join in celebrating LGBTQ pride by tuning in to resources that provide insight about the needs of our communities.  For example, HealthCetera, the blog for the interdisciplinary Center for Health Media Policy, is celebrating Pride month with a focus on how one health center cares for the transgender community. And of course, follow our LavenderHealth blog and explore the many resources we make available for all to access and use freely!

And not be missed … the annual premier event focused on LGBTQ health and healthcare. This year the GLMA: Health Professional Advancing LGBT  Equality annual conference will be in Philadelphia, September 13-16, 2017.  The entire day of September 13 will be dedicated to the Nursing Summit – so plan to attend!  For more information visit the GLMA Nursing website!

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