Gay Women Face Health Disparities
Vice recently published an report on the health disparities of gay women versus that of straight women. They are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes, are at an increased risk for breast, cervical and ovarian cancer and are more likely to have a long-term mental health problem.
The reasons for these facts range from environmental factors, societal bias, and discrimination. According to studies, lesbian and bisexual women report negative experiences with doctors, discouraging them from getting checkups and treatment.
Harri Weeks from the National LGB&T Partnership points to environmental factors as having the most impact on queer people’s health. She talked to Vice about how most queer people are “clustered in cities, which can have a knock-on effect on things, like being around air pollution or access to physical activity.”
She also brought up the fact that “the safest space for these communities have for a long time been bars and clubs, which normalizes things like smoking, drinking and to some extent drug use.” She continued, “And then of course there’s the mental health repercussions of living with hate crime, low level discrimination, minority stress and exclusion. The health community is beginning to recognize isolation as a big trigger for a lot of health concerns.”
This story reminded me of a report I published here on the Realist Woman about how gay women were more likely to smoke marijuana than straight women due to the same factors.