Friday, May 23, 2014

GLMA LGBT Health Digest Update

Teaching DO Students LGBT Health
In this May 1, 2014, article in The DO, the author outlines common concerns faced by LGBT patients when accessing healthcare, including seeing a healthcare provider who is not aware of or comfortable with LGBT-specific health issues. The article notes the lack of LGBT health education providers receive. “There are too few health professionals who are trained in LGBT healthcare. And you cannot rely on physicians and medical students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender themselves to deliver all that care,” says Henry Ng, MD, MPH, clinical director of LGBT health services at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland and President of GLMA. Sean Tai, DO student and recipient of the AMSA/GLMA Achievement Award, notes that sexual orientation and sexual practices fall under the osteopathic principal of treating the whole patient.

Henry Ng, MD, MPH, is the President of GLMA.
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Ongoing LGBT Health Disparities Addressed by Affordable Care Act

This April 2014 AAMC Reporter post details the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for LGBT people, including increased access to insurance, provisions prioritizing cultural competence standards and training to improve LGBT health outcome and increased data collection. Additionally, the ACA has shifted more attention to how healthcare policy may contribute to negative health outcomes for LGBT people, notes Henry Ng, MD, MPH.

Henry Ng, MD, MPH, is the President of GLMA.

Trans Bodies, Tran Selves to Be Released Soon

As described in this May 1, 2014, Washington Post article, a new resource for transgender people is soon to be released. With 672 pages and “encyclopedic in scope,” Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is positioned to be the go-to resource for topics from health and law to history and politics. Reflecting on the book’s predecessor for women, Our Bodies, Ourselves, editor, Laura Erickson-Schroth, “At a time when over 90 percent of physicians were men ... it was an extremely daring and exciting thing to publish a book in which women taught other women about their bodies, their sexuality and their rights.” As the article notes, the goal of the book is to empower transgender people and provide them with a wealth of information about their lives.

Laura Erickson-Schroth is a Member of GLMA’s Board of Directors.

Defense Secretary Indicates Military Should Review Ban on Transgender Service
As reported by ABC News on May 11, 2014, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has indicated the ban on transgender individuals serving in the US military "continually should be reviewed,” although not going so far as to indicate whether he believes the policy should be overturned. Hagel also said, "Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it."

HHS Expected to Lift Medicare Ban on Gender-Affirming Surgery
According to this May 8, 2014, Advocate article, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is expected to lift Medicare’s 1981 ban on gender-affirming surgeries, which claims the surgeries are “experimental” and denies any and all requests for coverage. Advocates argue the 33 year old ban is based on outdated science, which was reviewed by independent HHS panel formed last year.

Resource: SIECUS Releases New Edition of the State Profiles
For ten years, SIECUS has “followed the money” to provide educators, advocates and policymakers with an annual snapshot of how federal funding is impacting sexual health education across the country. For the first time, the newly released publication, SIECUS State Profiles: A Portrait of Sexuality Education and Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in the States, Fiscal Year 2012 Edition, also includes a State Profile At A Glance for each state, providing an overview of adolescent sexual health education state policies, data and federal funding. Click here to access the publication.

Resource: LGBTQ Organizations Release Intimate Partner Violence Community Action Toolkits
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) in association with GLAAD, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the Gay and Lesbian Taskforce and Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) announce the release of two community action toolkits that provide LGBTQ communities, survivors of intimate partner violence and advocates working on their behalf, resources to address intimate partner violence on the individual and community level. The toolkits are focused specifically on intimate partner violence in transgender and people of color communities and highlight the adverse impact of intimate partner violence on transgender individuals and LGBTQ people of color. Click here to learn more.

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Conference: 5th Annual Infectious Diseases Update
Friday, June 13, 2014
1:00pm – 5:00pm
New York City, NY

This half-day course consists of five lectures by leading experts from the fields of infectious diseases. There will be ample time for audience participation and opportunities to engage the speakers in dialogue about current controversies in HIV management. This Weill Cornell CME activity is designed to lead to improved patient care. The program will strive to: Summarize the advantages and disadvantages of commonly used first line antiretroviral regimens, discuss three new technologies available in the clinical microbiology laboratory, review the epidemiology and diagnostic approach to malaria, summarize the approach to managing HCV infection in 2014 and three teaching points related to outpatient infectious disease cases. To register and learn more, click here.

GLMA’s LGBT Health Digest is an electronic newsletter with information and resources for health professionals concerned about the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) populations.

The Digest highlights issues, events, publications and other newsworthy items pertinent to LGBT health. Please feel free to circulate the Digest to your colleagues.

To sign up, send your request to Also, to submit an item to be considered for publication in the Digest, please send your request to Emily Kane-Lee at

Thursday, May 22, 2014

U.S. Dept. of Education: Transgender Students Protected Under Title IX

Today the U.S Department of Education issued guidance clarifying that federal Title IX prohibits discrimination against transgender students.

HRC welcomes the guidance issued by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights, which says "Title IX's sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity and OCR accepts such complaints for investigation."

The need for protections for transgender students is clear.  Seventy-eight percent of transgender children in grades K-12 reported being harassed in school, 35 percent physically assaulted, and 12 percent sexually assaulted, according to a 2011 report from the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

According to “Growing Up LGBT in America,” HRC Foundation’s groundbreaking survey of more than 10,000 LGBT youth, more than four in 10 (42 percent) gender-expansive youth report "frequently" or "often" being called names involving anti-gay slurs and 40 percent report being excluded by peers “frequently” or "often;" and more than half of gender-expansive youth reported “never participating” in the majority of activities listed in the survey (e.g., sports, church/religious youth groups and service organizations) out of fear of discrimination.

HRC has long urged the Department of Education to make clear that transgender and gender non-conforming students are protected under Title IX.  This clarification from the Department of Education will greatly increase the potential for transgender and gender non-conforming students of all ages to be safe at school, to stay in school, and to succeed academically.

Honor Bayard Ruskin on a U.S. Stamp

We Have a Stamp!

Harvey Milk is on a US postage stamp! That's right, Harvey Milk is on a US postage stamp. And today, I'm very proud that the Task Force's Executive Director Rea Carey will be at the White House for the stamp's dedication ceremony.

With the help of the International Imperial Court System, many other LGBT organizations and you, we got Harvey the recognition he deserves. But we're not done -- and we need your help to recognize another hero.

In 2013, when President Obama posthumously awarded Bayard Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he said, "For decades, this great leader, often at Dr. King's side, was denied his rightful place in history because he was openly gay. No medal can change that, but today, we honor Bayard Rustin's memory by taking our place in his march towards true equality, no matter who we are or who we love."

Having Rustin's legacy as both a civil rights leader and an openly gay man acknowledged with our nation's highest civilian honor is amazing, but he deserves more. Bayard Rustin deserves a commemorative stamp just as much as Harvey Milk does.

Let the post office know that the Harvey Milk stamp was just the first step. Sign on to and share our letter urging the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee to recommend a stamp in honor of Bayard Rustin. (

Imagine: just like the new Harvey Milk stamp, Rustin's stamp will be sent around the world and become a collector's item. It will demonstrate our pride in Rustin's accomplishments and highlight the rights that he fought for. And we know this stamp will inspire more people in the quest for freedom, justice and equality.

Thank you,
Russell Roybal, Deputy Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

PS: We've done this before! Our heroes deserve to be honored. Sign up to honor Rustin right here. (

Supports and Services for LGBT Youth in Recovery. Webinar archived

On May 8, 2014, BRSS TACS hosted a webinar entitled, Supports and Services for LGBT Youth in Recovery. This webinar presented information about the experiences of youth, barriers to accessing existing youth-oriented recovery supports, promising approaches to LGBT-specific youth programming and best practices for engaging LGBT youth and fostering safe and inclusive environments.

Please click the link below to view the archived webinar:

All BRSS TACS webinars are recorded, closed captioned, and available for viewing at your convenience. Click here to access previously held webinars.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Two Important New Policy Advancements

Recent weeks have brought some exciting policy progress for LGBT older adults. First, the ACL (Administration for Community Living) issued guidance to its grantees that they must now follow a "place of celebration rule" and consider the terms "spouse", "family", and "relative" as being inclusive of same-sex married couples. This guideline from the Federal level will have a huge impact--read more about it here 

Second, new legislation has been put forward that would force Social Security to pay same-sex spouses survivor benefits.Read more about it here.