Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Latest News Stories from LGBT Health Digest

Have you told your LGBTQ health care story yet?
Rainbow Access Initiative, Inc. is committed to creating opportunities for LGBTQ health care consumers to tell their story. For too long LGBTQ consumers have been left out of the conversation. Contact us at mystory@rainbowaccess.org to tell yours. Find us on Facebook at Rainbow Access Initiative. - Why, because you matter! Help us build the largest video collection of personal health care stories specific to LGBTQ consumers!

Step 1: Contact us. Let us know you want to share your story. email: mystory@rainbowaccess.org
Step 2: Schedule an appointment (date/time) with an RAI representative that's convenient for you.

Step 3. Prepare. Think about your health care story. What is it that you would like to share?

Step 4: Document your story. Put it on video and help change the face of LGBTQ health care.
WPATH Releases Revised "Standards of Care"
On September 25, 2011, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) released a newly-revised edition of the Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People at the WPATH conference in Atlanta.

First published in 1979, the Standards of Care (SOC) is considered the standard document of reference on caring for the transsexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming population. The newly-revised, 7th edition SOC will help health professionals better understand how they can offer the most effective care to these individuals. The SOC focuses on primary care, gynecologic and urologic care, reproductive options, voice and communication therapy, mental health services and hormonal and surgical treatment.
Medicaid Coverage for Transgender Surgery Considered in NY
According to a September 29, 2011, Forbes article, a panel in New York is considering a proposed program that will provide Medicaid coverage for surgery and hormone replacement therapy for low-income, transgender New York residents. If approved, New York will join California and Minnesota in providing this coverage.
New Study Examining Impact of Social Inequality for LGB People
According to a recently published study, experiencing consistent stigma and social inequality can be stressful and reduce well-being for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people. The study's co-author, Ilan Meyer, PhD, stated, "Imagine living life anticipating exclusion from your friends, family and professional circles simply because of who you are and who you love - that resulting stress takes a toll on one's life and health."

"We'd Be Free": Narratives of Life Without Homophobia, Racism or Sexism was published in Sexuality Research and Social Policy and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Everyday Stigma May Take Toll on Lesbians, Gays
Stress results from daily exposure to inequality, not just traumatic crimes or abuse, study shows

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas Monday, October 10, 2011

The stigma and inequalities that lesbian, gay and bisexual people face on a daily basis can increase their stress level and affect their well-being, according to a new study.

"Imagine living life anticipating exclusion from your friends, family and professional circles simply because of who you are and who you love -- that resulting stress takes a toll on one's life and health," said the study's co-author, Ilan Meyer, of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

The researchers set out to determine how stress resulting from daily, non-traumatic events, such as isolation at work and estrangement from families, affected 57 lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) people. The researchers were interested in everyday occurrences, rather than overt abuse or hate crimes.

Black and Hispanic study participants reported the stress from homophobia, racism and sexism led to certain missed life opportunities, including educational advancement, and less self-confidence.

"For members of minority groups, day-to-day life experiences that may seem minor to others can and do have significant and lasting impact on one's well-being," said Meyer. "The idea that simply walking out your door will expose you to societal rejection and stigma creates a climate of stress that can lead to detrimental, long-term consequences."
The rest of the story can be read here.
HIV and AIDS among Gay and Bisexual Men
Gay and bisexual men - referred to in CDC surveillance systems as men who have sex with men (MSM)- of all races continue to be the risk group most severely affected by HIV. CDC's most recent data show that between 2006 and 2009, the number of new infections that occur each year increased among young MSM - driven by an alarming 48 percent increase among young, black MSM 13 to 29 years old. These data clearly show the urgent need to expand access to proven HIV prevention programs for gay and bisexual men, and to develop new approaches to fight HIV in this population.

The full fact sheet is available here.
President Obama Honors Janice Langbehn with 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal

GLMA congratulates Janice Langbehn for being honored with a 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal.

Langbehn is one of thirteen recipients of this year's Citizen Medal, which is the nation's second-highest civilian honor, and will be honored at the White House on October 20, 2011.

"The Citizens Medal was established in 1969 to recognize American citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens. Like last year, President Obama is recognizing Americans this year whose work has had a significant impact on their communities but may not have garnered national attention," according to the White House press release. The press release also noted why Langbehn was selected to receive the honor:

"While on vacation with her family in February 2007, Janice Langbehn's partner, Lisa Pond, suddenly fell ill and was rushed to the hospital. Langbehn was refused access to her partner, who had experienced a brain aneurysm and later died alone. With the help of Lambda Legal and GLAAD, she filed a federal lawsuit and worked to get her story out to the nation. Janice's story received attention from President Obama, who personally apologized to her for the way she and her family was treated. He went on to revise hospital visitation rights for gay and lesbian couples, which went into effect this past January for any hospitals receiving federal Medicare or Medicaid funds. Langbehn receives the Citizens Medal for her efforts to ensure all Americans are treated equally."

"Janice's leadership and courage has played an integral role in the advancements we have made to improve the health and well being of LGBT people," said Hector Vargas, GLMA's Executive Director. "GLMA joins the entire community in congratulating her for this tremendous honor the President has decided to bestow on her."

GLMA led a coalition of LGBT organizations to successfully change policies at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where Langbehn was refused access to her partner. In 2010, Jackson Memorial implemented a non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; a patient's bill of rights that demonstrates the hospital's commitment to providing quality care for LGBT patients; and a visitation policy that updates the definition of family to include same-sex partners and other people who may not be legally related to a patient.

Gautam Raghavan Named to White House LGBT Liaison Position
As reported in MetroWeekly, on October 5, 2011, Gautam Raghavan joined the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs as the LGBT liaison. In his position as Associate Director of Public Engagement, Raghavan will be the LGBT community's "point of contact" at the White House.
LGBT Movement "Founding Parent" Dies
On October 11, 2011, at 86 years old and after decades of fighting for the rights of LGBT people, Frank Kameny died. As has been noted by many in the press, including on The Rachel Maddow Show, Kameny started the fight for equality almost a decade before the Stonewall riots and two decades before Harvey Milk's election. His work has been archived and is on display at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

The LGBT movement has also witness the passing of another leader this October. On October 7, 2011, Paula Ettelbrick died at 56 years old. As reported in the New York Times, Ettelbrick's work "focused on defining 'family' in the broadest possible way."
LGVMA Announces 2011 Leadership and Achievement Awards
The Lesbian & Gay Veterinary Medical Association (LGVMA) is proud to announce both Lisa Greenhill and Shane Snowdon as the recipients of the LGVMA 2011 Achievement Award.

LGVMA Achievement Awards are presented to individuals and/or organizations at the LGVMA Annual Meeting. Recipients should evidence commitment to one or more of the following: improving the quality of veterinary services to animals belonging to the LGBT community; for bettering the professional environment for animal health professionals; for enhancing the academic learning environment for LGBT veterinary and/or veterinary technician students; and/or for contributing to the advancement of equality of the LGBT community or of the mission of LGVMA.

LGVMA is also proud to announce the Student Chapter of LGVMA/ Tuskegee the LGVMA 2011 Leadership Award. The LGVMA Leadership Award is given to individuals and/or organizations that show outstanding leadership and/or community activism within the veterinary profession.
The Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association
Join our network! Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association was developed in March of 2011 in response to a growing vocalized need for the exchange of ideas, community, and resources between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and allied (LGBTQI&A*) veterinary students. For more information on the organization or for information on how you can get involved, please visit our website.
Victory Congressional Internship is accepting applications for Spring 2012

The Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute will bring outstanding LGBTQ college students to Washington, D.C., for an intensive leadership program, including a Congressional internship with an LGBT-friendly member of Congress.

The program includes a generous stipend, placement in a congressional internship and travel to/from Washington, D.C., as well as travel and registration to the International Gay & Lesbian Leadership Conference in Long Beach, California, in December 2012.

Applications for Spring 2012 are due Monday, November 7. For more information, please click here.

The Victory Congressional Internship is open to current undergraduate students of all genders, orientations, abilities, races and political affiliations, including people with majors other than political science.

Information in this report is compiled from the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association's LGBT Health Digest, the National Coalition for LGBT Health's Updates and other LGBT health resources.]

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