QUEER VOICES

LGBT Wellness Roundup: April 18

Each week HuffPost Gay Voices, in a partnership with bloggers Liz Margolies and Scout, brings you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit our page dedicated to the topic here.

  • 1 Advocates Fear That LGBT Youth Are At Higher Risk of E-cigarettes Use
    The targeting of youth by e-cigarettes companies has been <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/e-cigarettes-friend-or-foe_
    Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images
    The targeting of youth by e-cigarettes companies has been all over the news this week, which raises concerns among LGBT youth and health advocates that LGBT youth will be at an even higher risk of using these controversial products. LGBT youth have significantly higher rates of tobacco use, due in part to stigma, stress, targeting by tobacco companies, and smoking being “passed down through the LGBT generations socially."
  • 2 LGBT Community Honors Secretary of Health and Human Services
    Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/kathleen-sebelius-lgbt-legacy_b_5132588"
    NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images
    Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigned last week after a successful close to ObamaCare’s first open enrollment. LGBT Health Advocates and leaders credit her for helping to ensure LGBT inclusion in health care reform, and consider her a “True Ally” for LGBT health rights.
  • 3 HHS Clarifies Health Care Protections for LGBT Individuals
    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/blog/2014/04/health-care-prote
    Shutterstock / lenetstan
    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responded this week to confusion around the “landmark civil rights provision”, Section 1557, of the Affordable care Act. HHS reinforced that Section 1557 “prohibits discrimination against individuals based on sex, which includes discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity”, and they stressed the importance of outreach, education, and communication in increasing LGBT access to Health Care.
  • 4 Good news: Transgender health is being discussed with increased frequency across the country.
    Across the country the lack of knowledge of transgender peoples' health experiences is <a href="http://online.liebertpub.com/
    Shutterstock / docent
    Across the country the lack of knowledge of transgender peoples' health experiences is being challenged: research out of Harvard illustrates the links between social stressors and health disparities such as suicidal thought and attempts, illicit drug and tobacco use, and HIV status. Meanwhile, the city of Boston is working to make more inclusive policies and increase access to health services for transgender city employees, and UIC hosted a forum to increase health service access and education about transgender health.
  • 5 Marriage Equality makes for healthy families!
    A New England Journal of Medicine study <a href="http://www.bilerico.com/2014/04/report_marriage_equality_is_good_for_family_
    Shutterstock / Amy Walters
    A New England Journal of Medicine study reports that marriage equality results in a host of positive health outcomes for families headed by same-sex parents due to a reduction in anxiety, depression, stress, alcohol use disorder and other negative health outcomes, and increases in health care access.
  • 6 International: India’s Recognition of a Third Gender will Improve Lives and Health for Stigmatized Communities
    In international news this week, an unexpected <a href="http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/india-supreme-court-recognizes-tra
    Getty Images
    In international news this week, an unexpected ruling by the Indian supreme court will now allow transgender individuals to designate themselves as a third gender. Additionally, they will now be classified as an officially recognized marginalized group, allowing for legal protection from discrimination, and awareness campaigns to address social stigma.