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.
Sex Ed Advances to Include Queer Youth
The Atlantic reported on the trend in some states on making sex education more inclusive of LGBT youth, which has long been a deficit credited with contributing to disparities. Earlier this month, the Massachusetts senate passed a bill requiring school districts that have sex ed to be more inclusive of LGBT content, for example. Still, most states do not have such laws.
Concerning New Data on Trans Women of Color
A new study examined homicide rates among transgender individuals. While exact figures are hard to calculate due to potential underreporting and the unknown total number of transgender people, transfeminine Black and Latina individuals seemed to have significantly higher rates than did cisgender folks, suggesting a strong intersection between gender identity and race.
Bill Introduced to Improve Queer Data
The Wisconsin Gazette reported that Senator Tammy Baldwin is leading the charge in the Senate on a bill that would require federal data collection to include questions on sexual orientation and gender identity, which may unmask and explain health disparities. Baldwin, the first openly gay member of the Senate, was joined by colleagues who introduced the bill in the House.
Only 27% Protected from Conversion Therapy
Movement Advancement Project updated a report on “conversion therapy” to reflect that Rhode Island just banned the practice that proports to convert LGBT people to heterosexuality or a cisgender identity. While the Ocean State is just one of several that has recently taken the step, only 27% of the LGBT population nationwide lives in a state with such protections.
Teen Smoking Declines – With a Catch
The Washington Post reported on promising data that shows teen smoking on the decline over the past few decades, thanks largely to better regulation, they said. However, they cautioned that groups such as LGBT youth are still disproportionately using tobacco, and that the FDA has recently delayed enforcement of important regulations on e-cigarettes and cigars.
Rethinking How We Talk About Disparities
Researchers published an article suggesting that public health campaigns may want to think twice before emphasizing LGBT disparities. Such emphasis can backfire by making the unsafe or unhealthy behavior seem normal among members of the community, and increase stigma against the community by others. Research also showed such messages may not be believable.