Blood, Maps, And Fears: This Week's #LGBTWellness News

Some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past seven days.

Each week, LGBT HealthLink, a program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

How Lesbian Breast Cancer Activism Was Born

A researcher argued in a fascinating essay that activism around the breast cancer needs of lesbian women got on the map of public health officials largely by parlaying the organizing being done and attention paid to HIV in the early 1990s in San Francisco. The author also issued cautions about the categorization and containment of queer women into the single category of “lesbian.”

U.K. Eases Blood Restrictions

UPI reported that if you live in the U.K. and are a gay man or engage in sex work, you can now donate blood three months after having had sex, according to new rules issued by the government. The U.S. recently eased its lifelong ban on gay men donating blood, but still requires 12 months of celibacy – a requirement that is not equally applied to heterosexuals.

Mapping LGBT Health Centers

Researchers mapped LGBT community health centers around the country and found that most are located in urban areas and in states along the coasts. They added that resources may be more needed outside of these zones, where LGBT people more likely encounter stigma with regular providers. The most common services offered were related to wellness, HIV, and counseling.

Trans Patients Put Off ER Visits

A study of transgender folks in Rhode Island found that among those who had visited an ER in the past five years, 43.8% had avoided using the ER at some point when they needed it. Reasons included fearing discriminatory treatment and negative past experiences, as well as factors like long wait times. Participants wanted better staff training, data collection, and privacy protections.

Minnesota Schools Approve Trans Toolkit

NBC News reported that the Minnesota Department of Education approved a toolkit to help educators provide an inclusive education and safe space for transgender students. The state’s Education Commissioner cited research showing “harassment, bullying and feel[ing] unsafe” among transgender students as justifying this concrete action to improve school climates.

Debate Launched on “Outdated” Terminology

Researchers wrote in the pages of an influential medical journal that the term transsexual – which was used in a recent article published in said journal – needs to go. The word, which has survived in medical literature long after being abandoned by most of the transgender community, leaves out lots of trans-identified people and could increase stigmatization, they argued.