LGBT+ Issues: How Does Being LGBTQ+ Influence Physical, Mental, or Social Health

  • I've had my share of hate, slurs, discrimination, health issues and mental issues.
  • Dr. Kelly Bennett spoke on behalf of myself, stating that I really needed the surgery due to health conditions.
  • We are losing too many people on a daily basis for a stupid reason.

Being a member of the LGBT+ community (I’m a 38-year-old transgender lesbian), I’ve had my share of hate, slurs, discrimination, health issues and mental issues. This is an issue that every LGBT person in America faces every day. Judgment, hatred, slurs, loss of family and friends, and health issues and the lack of medical care.

LGBT (or GLBT) is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since the 1990s, the term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, which was used to replace the term gay in reference to the LGBT community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s. Activists believed that the term gay community did not accurately represent all those to whom it referred.

I recently attended a couple of symposiums. The first was the Out in West Texas Third Annual Symposium hosted by Out in West Texas, a non-profit organization based out of Midland. The second symposium was PCORI Lubbock Symposium in Lubbock, hosted by PCORI, Texas Tech Office of LGBTQIA Education & Engagement, TransForward, and The Texas Health Institute.

The first was explaining how businesses and companies could be LGBT inclusive, and the effects of businesses on LGBT individuals. The second was to educate the transgender community and medical professionals on the needs of the LGBT community, and the needs of individuals and medical professionals in Texas. Both were very informational and I learned a lot from these events.

I volunteered for the Out in West Texas Third Annual Symposium, as I am part of OUT in West Texas, and I was amazed at the turnout for this event. Keynote speakers showed up from all over Texas to speak on behalf of businesses and LGBT individuals.

At the PCORI Lubbock Symposium, I was invited by my doctor, Dr. Kelly Bennett, and the doctor that most of us transgenders see in Lubbock for our HRT needs. She was also a speaker at this event and spoke on the needs of several of her patients needing gender confirmation surgery, and the lack of insurance or facilities in Texas that accept the insurance.

This is a complication that I have experienced and have written about in previous articles (the Hardships of a Transgender Person in Texas and Transgender Healthcare in Texas (or the lack thereof). I wrote about the lack of Medicaid or insurance to low income individuals in Texas, and the lack of facilities that accept Medicaid for gender confirmation surgeries.

Dr. Bennett spoke on the need for individuals that have access to these procedures and the lack of help these individuals get in response to their needs. She spoke on behalf of myself, stating that I really needed the surgery due to health conditions, and if I got the surgery, I could stop taking the TBlocker that is harming my kidneys.

This session was very educational, not just to us attending, including Out In West Texas, the Doctors, and the LGBT community, but also for PCORI and Transfoward.

Sex reassignment surgery (SRS), also known as gender reassignment surgery (GRS) and several other names, is a surgical procedure (or procedures) by which a transgender person’s physical appearance and function of their existing sexual characteristics are altered to resemble that socially associated with their identified gender. It is part of a treatment for gender dysphoria in transgender people.

Stanford University has an annual study, entitled the PrideStudy, and I highly recommend that all LGBT individuals take this survey. It takes roughly 45 minutes, but the answers that they receive will go to help researchers, doctors, and individuals understand how being LGBT influences physical, mental, or social health.

“The PRIDE Study is supported by the community engagement efforts of PRIDEnet, a national network of individuals and organizations that engage LGBTQ+ people in health research. The main question we want to answer is: how does being LGBTQ+ influence physical, mental, or social health?”

Link to Pride Study

Also here is a list of LGBT inclusive businesses in the USA.

I sincerely, ask that Texans and everyone in America acknowledge the hardships that LGBT individuals go through on a daily basis, and educate themselves on issues they do not know. LGBT individuals are human. They bleed just like any other person and we have feelings and needs just like everyone else.

We need medical care that is normally denied due to our choice of being LGBT, or the lack of facilities that take insurance for procedures that are needed to survive.

We have the right to live happily. We have the right to be human, and we have the right to receive medical care that is deemed necessary. Hundreds of LGBT individuals die every day due to health complications because of a lack of medical services, and many end up committing suicide because of the hate they receive or the lack of care.

We are losing too many people on a daily basis for a stupid reason: hatred and lack of medical care. We need to assist these individuals with the care they need to live.

I will not stop fighting until I get my voice known for all LGBT in the US, starting with Texas. I will fight for all LGBT rights, the right to equal employment, access to medical care, access to insurance, and equal pay and treatment in the workplace.

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Addison Perry-Franks

Addison Perry-Franks is a proud Texan and Scurry County resident, active in her community. She has built a thriving small business that has successfully delivered IT solutions to national retail chains since 2008. She came out as transgender in May 2018 and has been happily married to her wife, Lacey for 11 years.  They have five children. 

Addison is also running in 2020 for Texas House of Representatives, District 83.

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