The Network

for LGBT Tobacco Control

Another great day in cold-rainy Dallas!!!

After running to CVS in the cold rain the morning of February 3rd, I attended another day-long institute titled Health Care for All: Health as a Tool for Social & Economic Justice to network and improve on my health advocacy skills.  I was not disappointed in many respects.  One of the many activities was to learn and understand the complex health related vocabulary, which brought me to my work as a librarian.  How do we utilize information and make it into power for communities to take action?  For example, understanding basic acronyms and terms like “transition exclusion” (a clause in healthcare insurance which does not cover transgender needs of transitioning from one gender to the other) is an essential tool for individuals and communities to be a part of the healthcare debate.

Most importantly, I had the opportunity to share in a small group the realities of LGBT people of color and how I usually feel excluded from health-related debate as a Latino man.  I feel like a “cantaleta” (repeating the same thing over and over again) for the last 10 years, when asking about issues and realities among LGBT communities of color in workshops like the one I attended today.  Usually, my point is quickly dismissed, but this time, I had the opportunity to share in a small group my concerns and most importantly, listen to theirs to make it a unified voice.  We believed that inclusion and unity will make a stronger LGBT voice.  Including not only physical representation of LGBTs of color in panels and Boards but incorporating what our language, immigration, acculturation, and other environmental and social realities are in comparison to the mainstream population (aka white gay men).  The passion in my group gave me hope that we won’t have to wait another ten years to have inclusivity and understanding of the needs and realities of LGBT people of color.


February 5, 2010 - Posted by | Creating Change 2010

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