To put it simply, conversations change lives. Your story could be the bridge to someone else’s healthier future.
Consider this. Because of your sexual orientation and/or gender identity, you’re:
- More likely to experience more chronic conditions and a higher prevalence and earlier onset of disabilities than heterosexuals;¹
- At an elevated risk for mental and behavioral health conditions;²
- Likely to have higher rates of depression, isolation, substance abuse, and attempted (and achieved) suicide;
- More likely to be homeless as a kid (in fact, LGBTQ youth make up to 40 percent of all homeless youth in the United States)³
- More likely to live in poverty, especially if you’re a transgender man or woman, in addition to being less likely to have health insurance and often least likely among LGBTQ individuals to report your health as excellent or very good;³ Health and Access to Care and Coverage for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and transgender Individuals in the U.S., Kaiser Family Foundation, October 23, 2014²
- Likely to have reported a negative experience or two when seeking care. That could be anything from receiving disrespectful treatment, to encountering a provider’s lack of awareness of LGBTQ health needs, to being outright denied care, shamed, or blamed for an illness because of your sexual orientation or gender identity.²
So let’s talk about these things. The good, the bad, the indifferent. The health challenges we’ve overcome, and those we fear most.
There is strength in numbers, and our stories are powerful. Your coming out, your sharing with friends and family this fundamental truth about yourself, likely showed you that. Health Out Loud is a safe place for you to harness that courage once again and use the social media tools before us to claim our basic human right to healthcare — for ourselves and for each other.