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LGBT Health Research Falls Far Short
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff posted:
"Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered Americans are distinct populations with unique health health needs -- but what are those needs?

"We do not know exactly what these experiences and needs are," concludes the report of a panel of medical experts convened by the Institute of Medicine (IOM)." You can read the rest of the story about LGBT Health Research Falls Far Short .

Does your health care team understand your health needs as an LGBT person? What has helped you get the health care you need?

Byroney
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Debbie1Lawrence responded:
This is so true. And the research that is done is often discredited or ignored. But sometimes, it makes a HUGE difference.

Transgender research by people like Richard Novic MD, Laura Amato, and others who were transgendered has resulted in the discovery that the suicide rate among transgenders was far higher than expected, with possibly as many as 30% of all transsexuals killing themselves before they reach age 25. On the flip side, they discovered that of those who transitioned, 95% were happier, healthier, more productive.

There are many similarities as well as differences. Many transgenders are assumed to be gay, which means they experience the same kind of abuse and harassment as gays. LGBT share the common experience of having to keep their true identities a secret. There is the wasted energy of trying to maintain the secret, living like an undercover spy in hostile territory. For many, the experience seems like life-or-death, and a very slow and very painful death if they are discovered, outed, or rejected by romantic interest.

If a girl rejects a heterosexual normal boy, his heart is broken, but he has little to worry about. On the other hand, if a girl finds out that the boy is a sissy, rejects him, and then tells all her girl-friends who then start telling their boy-friends, is life is literally at risk.

The impact of right wing conservatives can't be underestimated either. Hearing a co-worker quote Fox News is almost a declaration of homophobia.

Bisexuals often have the hardest struggle, because they can be rejected by BOTH the straight and Lesbian/Gay community who label them "Ding-Dings" because they seem to bounce between partner genders like the ball in a pinball machine.

And all this stealth, secrecy, and fear means that we have probably radically underestimated the size of the LGBT population. There may be millions, or even tens of millions of each group living in stealth, doing the best they can to keep their secrets. Imagine if there were ten million gays, ten million lesbians, 20 million bisexuals, and 20 million transgenders, all living in stealth? Imagine what it would be like if they didn't have to keep their secrets.

Look at a kindergarten class in almost any major city. You will see boys who prefer to spend their time with girls. Possibly as many as 1 in 5 boys - 20% of the male population. Yet only 1 in 30,000 males seek SRS.

Part of the problem may also be the historical treatment of LGBT people. Often, they were "Cured" by performing shock therapy and when that failed (which it usually did), a lobotomy. Ranging from the "Ice Pick" lobotomy to full frontal lobotomy. This "therapy" was used even into the mid seventies.

There were also those who were misdiagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, or similar mental illnesses, sometimes for insurance reasons. Often, this prevented them from getting the help they really needed, and led to skewed populations in both the true problem (undercount) and the "On Paper" diagnosis (overcount).

And the WORST advice one can give to such a person is "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem". It shows the ignorance of the person making the statement. If you are LGBT, you may even WANT to be "Normal" but you realize the condition is permanent. At the very best, you can lie about it and hope and pray nobody "Blows your cover". For many, suicide is a permanent solution to a permanent problem.


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