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‘Historic’ report released on the need to gather critical data on LGBT health

More data is needed to understand the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and one way to gather that necessary information is to have federally funded surveys ask this information on forms, such as they do for race and gender, and collected in electronic health records, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

The groundbreaking report, considered "historic" by some, is another step in the federal recognition of LGBT people as a population who has its own specific health needs.

"It's easy to assume that because we are all humans, gender, race, or other characteristics of study participants shouldn't matter in health research, but they certainly do," said IOM committee chair Robert Graham in a statement released today. Graham is professor of family medicine and public health sciences and Robert and Myfanwy Smith Chair, department of family medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati.

"It was only when researchers made deliberate efforts to engage women and racial and ethnic minorities in studies that we discovered differences in how some diseases occur in and affect specific populations,” Graham added. “Routine collection of information on race and ethnicity has expanded our understanding of conditions that are more prevalent among various groups or that affect them differently. We should strive for the same attention to and engagement of sexual and gender minorities in health research."

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Transgender woman robbed in possible Atlanta bias crime

A 16-year old male is under arrest after he allegedly beat a transgender woman and stole her purse in a March 12 incident that is being investigated as a possible bias crime by the Atlanta Police Department.

The victim, 22, whose home address is listed as being in Baltimore, Md., told police the suspect and friends with him shouted "faggot" and "Are you even a woman?" at her, according to the APD police report. 

The LGBT Unit, including Officers Patricia Powell and Brian Sharp, was notified of the incident immediately after it occurred and the APD's Homeland Security Unit is investigating the robbery as a possible bias crime, said Carlos Campos, spokesperson for the APD.

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YouthPride benefits from annual Walk for a Cure

The 8th annual Walk for a Cure to raise funds to fight the spread of HIV will be held at Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church on Saturday and benefits YouthPride, a nonprofit that serves LGBT youth. The 5K walk will be held on the campus of the church.

“YouthPride’s focus has been to create culturally competent HIV prevention education based how youth brains function in the retention of educational messages,” said Terence McPhaul in a statement. McPhaul is executive director and CEO of YouthPride, a nonprofit offering services and resources to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth living in metro Atlanta.

"Until that cure is found, we have to ramp-up quality care for those living with HIV/AIDS. And we have to be vigorous about getting formidable prevention messages to those most vulnerable," he said.

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John Q collective introduces queer magazine JOSH to Atlanta

Dressed as police officers and wearing handcuffs, Atlanta's John Q artist collective piqued the interest of many who came to see the group debut its new performance while also signing copies of the Journal of Sexual Homos, or JOSH.

Wesley Chenault, Andy Ditzler and Joey Orr make up John Q and were the guest editors of the current and third installment of JOSH, a limited-edition magazine that is only sold in London, Berlin, New York, Chicago and, now, Atlanta, at Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse.

John Q held a Feb. 23 reading from JOSH, which includes original works by artists and photographers. GA Voice's Art Director Bo Shell is included with several of his  photos from John Q's "Memory Flash" public art performance that explored the city's gay history and memories.

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Faith & Religion: LGBT Atlantans who won fights to remain in their denominations

Rev. Erin Swenson and Pastor Bradley Schmeling

Rev. Erin Swenson

In 1973, Rev. Eric Karl Swenson was ordained by the Presbytery of Atlanta. But some 20 years later, Eric Swenson knew he was continuing to live a lie that he struggled with since early childhood. And so he began his transition from male to female and in 1996, Rev. Erin Swenson, after a few years of hard work, was able to keep her ordination. She made national news as the first known mainstream Protestant minister to keep her job during a gender transition.

Today, Swenson continues her work in the Presbyterian Church as well as advocacy for transgender people throughout the country. While the Presbyterian Church is currently struggling with gay and lesbian clergy being able to openly serve, Swenson continues to also work for the day when openly transgender clergy can also become ordained ministers in the Presbyterian Church.

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Trans group hosts mixer at My Sister’s Room

T.E.A.M. Atlanta (Transgender Education and Mentoring) will host its first monthly mixer / discussion tonight at My Sister’s Room in East Atlanta from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is open to all transgender persons, families and friends.

The discussion will feature a wide array of topics, including hormone replacement therapy, dating and relationships, name change assistance and more.

A half dozen speakers are scheduled to appear:

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Lambda Legal fights to keep trans woman’s court victory over Ga. legislature

Lambda Legal has filed papers before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit defending a lower court’s ruling that the Georgia General Assembly discriminated against Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman who was fired from her job as a state legislative editor in 2007 after informing her superiors of her intention to transition from male to female.

In July of last year, the district court ruled that General Assembly officials discriminated against Glenn based on her sex. The General Assembly's legislative counsel, Sewell Brumby, fired Glenn because he thought her transition "was inappropriate, that it would be disruptive, that some people would view it as a moral issue, and that it would make Glenn's coworkers uncomfortable."

The state has since appealed the Vandy Beth Glenn wins lawsuit against Georgia General Assemblyruling.

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LGBT youth from Georgia share their stories as part of photo-journalism online project

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people are sharing their stories on the website, “We Are the Youth” that invites youth to share their stories of coming out, the challenges they face as a sexual minority and the triumphs they’ve achieved.

“We Are the Youth” is a “photographic journalism project chronicling the individual stories of LGBT youth in the United States” according to the website.

“Through photographic portraits and written interviews highlighting the participants’ voices, We Are the Youth captures the incredible diversity and uniqueness among the LGBT youth population,” the website adds. “We Are the Youth addresses the lack of visibility of LGBT young people by providing a space to share stories in an honest and respectful way.”

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Gay Georgia organizations

Use the links below to find information on many of Georgia's LGBT organizations. To add your listing, please e-mail editor@thegavoice.com with your organization's details (including name, website, phone number,...
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Health & Fitness: Homophobia hurts your health

Homophobic attitudes don’t just hurt feelings. They also have a direct impact on LGBT health.

“The stigma and discrimination that the LGBT community faces is a primary factor in the health disparities that affect our community,” says Hector Vargas, executive director of the national Gay & Lesbian Medical Association.”

Access to quality healthcare is a key issue.

“One of our surveys shows that LGB people delay seeking medical care at almost twice the rate of the heterosexual population,” Vargas says.

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Health & Fitness issue

From weight success stories to the top 10 issues to discuss with your doctor, the new issue spotlights health