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Transgender Inclusion within Organizations Serving the LGBT Community: A Transgender Awareness Week BrownBag Webinar with Talia Mae Bettcher and Susan Forrest

In honor of Transgender Awareness Week, on November 11th at 2:30pm EST/11:30am PST the Network for LGBT Tobacco Control will be hosting a BrownBag Webinar on transgender inclusion about Transgender Inclusion within Organizations Serving the LGBT Community: A Transgender Awareness Week BrownBag Webinar with Talia Mae Bettcher and Susan Forrest. We will have our first ever co-lead Webinar with Network member Susan Forrest and Dr. Talia Bettcher who will co-lead a Webinar on Transgender Inclusion in Health and Community organizations/agencies serving, or that could potentially serve, transgender people. Types of agencies could include Departments of Health, cessation groups, LGBT organizations, Tobacco Control organizations, Health Centers, etc. With their cultural competency training experience, Talia and Susan will speak to how organizations can be more inclusive of the transgender community in general with mention of how even LGBT-focused cessation programs can be more inclusive of trans individuals.
Susan and Talia will introduce the call with a 15 minute presentation, and then we’ll have 45 minutes of discussion. The discussion will allow others to discuss how organizations can be trans competent in other ways like through data collection. This webinar is open to all, and is a great opportunity for folks looking to learn more about transgender inclusion and for folks who have experience and information of their own to share with others.

About the Presenters: Talia Mae Bettcher is the Director of the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities at California State University in LA whose academic interests include Transgender Studies with published articles on transgender and feminist topics. Susan Forrest is an HIV Resource Specialist for the Community Assessment Service Center and Community Activist who’s planned and organized several trans-focused events and organizations. The two perform transgender cultural competency trainings to various organizations and agencies and have a website called “Learning Trans” which is a project to produce, and to highlight trans community-produced knowledge.

About the BrownBag Series: It’s about linking people and information: The BrownBag Networking call series is designed to be an open space for, you guessed it, the Network. So pull up a chair and enjoy a virtual lunch with us to network, share, and collaborate with collogues from around the country. For descriptions of past BrownBag Webinars, see our blog.

To register, click here.

by Emilia Dunham


October 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Quitlines Serving Youth: A BrownBag Webinar by Oasis Youth Center

Join us for a Network BrownBag Webinar on October 13th, 3pm EST called “Quitlines Serving Youth: A BrownBag Webinar by Pierce County AIDS Foundation” which will be led by Oasis Director Seth Kirby. Seth will lead a discussion on quitlines serving youth by introducing his successful Queers Kick Ash program in Tacoma, WA.

How it started:
It was a dark and stormy night in Tacoma, WA. Oasis youth members picked up a copy of the Advocate and found an article with the story of a group of youth who had been kicked out of school for wearing anti-tobacco t-shirts. The article featured the tobacco cessation program, Queers Kick Ash, started at The Center in Salt Lake City, UT.

With funding, an Oasis representative traveled from Washington to Salt Lake City to learn more about the Queers Kick Ash program. Back in Tacoma, Oasis staff and youth developed a comprehensive LGBT youth-specific curriculum, combining Queers Kick Ash’s curriculum and Emily Brucker’s Out and Free: Sexual Minorities and Tobacco Addiction, along with several other models.

About Queers Kick Ash:
Queers Kick Ash incorporates group and individual-level interventions and includes a media literacy component, along with a support group for youth members who use tobacco. The peer-led five-session series focuses on the root causes of tobacco use among LGBTQ youth. In addition to developing a comprehensive program, other adaptations included: pledge cards used at an annual “Last Drag” dance; a youth contest to design an Oasis Queers Kick Ash t-shirt for participants; tobacco specific questions on Oasis intake forms; and vouchers for free medical intervention for tobacco cessation.

About Oasis:
Oasis is a confidential drop-in, resource and support center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth ages 14-24 and is located in Tacoma, WA. Oasis saves individual lives, builds community, and develops young leaders who can change the world. Oasis is a program of the Pierce County AIDS Foundation. Oasis is a youth-adult partnership in which young people and adults come together for shared teaching, learning and action. More information is online at and Facebook.
This Webinar will take place on October 13th at 3pm EST. Please register at this link:

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**Edit: If you missed the webinar, the audio recording of the BrownBag is available here: Quitlines Serving Youth Audio Recording

October 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Youth BrownBag Webinar: Back to School Edition

Youth BrownBag Networking Webinar: Back to School Edition

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Please join us and the National Youth Advocacy Coalition for a conversation with service providers for LGBTQ youth. What are your strengths and your challenges? What kind of support do you need in this work? Want to strategize on how to build the strengths of your LGBTQ youth programming? For answers and to share opinions on these questions and much more, spend an hour with NYAC and your colleagues for a lively discussion!

This discussion will be moderated by jb beeson and shay(den) gonzalez from NYAC. jb beeson currently serves as the Deputy Executive Director at NYAC and comes from fierce, progressive organizing and community building with queer youth of color communities in California. shay gonzalez comes to NYAC from the Streetwork Project, a drop-in center for homeless and transient youth in Manhattan where he actively developed groups and workshops with, and for, young people around gender, race, class and how they relate to sex and sexuality.

If you would like to register for this call click here. Call in information will be sent directly to registrants.

About the BrownBag Series: Linking people and information: The BrownBag Networking call series is designed to be an open space for, you guessed it, the Network. So pull up a chair and enjoy a virtual lunch with as to network, share, and collaborate with collogues from around the country.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized, webinar | , , | Leave a comment

Health Advocacy Webinar Summary and Information

Emilia Dunham, Network Program Associate

On January 31st, 2011, The Network held a BrownBag Webinar with Trevor Project’s Dave Reynolds, Hunter College’s Barbara Warren and CenterLink’s Terry Stone. This webinar discusses what Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is doing to enhance their states suicide prevention programs to be LGB and T inclusive, but your help is needed to support that work.  SAMHSA distributes the largest block of suicide prevention funds in the country and requires State Departments of Healths to apply for these funds. The change is that now SAMHSA adopted the new strategies and significantly enhanced the LGBT language in the scored section for several suicide prevention RFAs,  so states will need you to know what to say to get these awards!


The webinar went over the following items (links at end have more info):

  • Overview of this Advocacy Opportunity – Dr. Scout, Network for LGBT Health Equity
  • Linking with the Right State/Tribal Rep – Dr. Scout
  • LGBT Youth Suicide Prevention Strategies – Dr. Barbara Warren, Hunter College Ctr or LGBT Soc. Sci. & Public Policy & Dave Reynolds, Trevor Project
  • Real World Examples–Dave Reynolds
  • Comments from CenterLink & Equality Federation staff

Request for Funding (RFA) Overview:

  • Title: SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) RFA Cooperative Agreements for State-Sponsored Youth Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention (Short Title: State and Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention)
  • Purpose: suicide prevention
  • Nickname: Garret Lee Smith awards
  • Due Feb. 16th, 2011
  • 32 states/tribes can apply to get awards for up to $480k/yr (no cost sharing between orgs required)
  • Length: up to 3 years
  • States/tribes can designate contractors to do the work for them.
  • LGBT inclusion plans are requested in two categories that total 55% of all the points you can earn on the proposal.
  • See full RFA at, look up RFA # SM-11-001


  • Find the SAMHSA rep for your state/tribe: see all reps in this listing.
  • Call them, see if they’re preparing a Garrett Lee Smith proposal.
  • If no, tough luck.
  • If yes, find out who’s in charge of preparing it. Contact them.


  • Be armed with some LGBT suicide facts to help make your case compelling
  • Present yourself as offering help to the preparer, you are their LGBT inclusion solution, right? So be bold and confident!
  • Don’t necessarily do this work for free. You are providing a service and should be compensated.

Resources from the call (Click links):

Slideshow of the webinar with pertinent information.

Health Advocacy Webinar Recording.

Contact information from those on calls (excludes phone numbers)


February 8, 2011 Posted by | social media, Uncategorized, webinar | , , | Leave a comment

LGBT Surveillance: Next Steps for the Federal Government Summary

On Monday, November 22nd, we held a BrownBag Webinar called “LGBT Surveillance: Next Steps for the Federal Government.” The call focused on a discussion on federal opportunities for LGBT data to be considered for inclusion in national surveillance (surveys).

The crux of the conversation’s goal was to gather Lessons Learned from stories that callers shared on gathering LGBT data on the state level. In our highest attended BrownBag, participants shared their strategies for LGBT inclusion as well as barriers that have come up in that process. Scout introduced the call by requesting stories on state LGBT data implementation that can be used to help the federal government in whether/how they would include LGBT data questions on national surveys.

Among the reasons LGBT data has been left off national surveys, several myths circulate on why exclusion continues. For instance, surveyors fear higher refusal rates, break-off rates and confusion from respondents taking these surveys.

Current National Surveillance Efforts:

o       Despite failed efforts to include GLBT questions on the national Census, researchers are studying same-sex partner data gathered from the survey.

o       DHHS is including LGBT health measures on their major health survey (National Health Institute Survey : NHIS) but that is still within the works.

o       The National Adult Tobacco Survey includes multiple questions on LGBT as a singular question.

o       CDC sponsored survey on LGBT data in the United States in “Sexual behavior and selected health measures: Men and women 15–44 years of age

o       A group of researchers and advocates are working on a document for how gender identity questions can be added to national surveys (i.e. education, health.)

State Experiences

  • New York: City Health Department in NYC had a strong experience with adding sexual orientation and gender identity

o       Unexpected positive outcome: Mainstream scientists are excited about looking at LGBT data because they care about health disparities showing that LGBT data collection is not just a minority issue.

o       Positive Outcome: Multiple surveys point to LGBT data

  • California: California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) has included sexual orientation (not gender identity)

o       Barrier and Solution: When respondents are confused, the protocol is to reinforce the need for complete understanding of demographics/disparate populations and that no one is forced to answer the question.

  • Illinois – YRBS – does not include LGB, but Chicago does include a question asking folks “Which best describes you ‘gay’, ‘bisexual’, ‘lesbian’, ‘not sure”
  • New Mexico – NM has made a lot of progress in adding LGBT measure

o       Strides: “Sexual orientation” was added to both the Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS) in 2003 and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFS) in 2005.  Since 2009, both surveys added a question including “transgender”.

o       Barriers and Solutions:

  • A few participants questioned why LGB was asked, but confusion why that was added was explained.
  • In early years, there was confusion from 65+ year old individuals about LGB questions, so NM limited how many seniors received that question as many responded with “I don’t know.”
  • Lack of youth data is a major gap that needs to be filled. Since 2005, advocates and researchers have been proposing that “sexual attraction” to be added to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS) as no LGBT questions are currently asked on this major survey for youth.

o       Positive Outcome: NM APHA data paper from 2003-2009 showed refusal rates of sexual orientation question in BRFSS to only be .8- 1.8% which compares with refusal rates for other categories like 4.1-4.5% on household income.

  • Ohio – Led focus LGBT focus groups with reports on what was asked as well as transcripts for the groups. Another report is here.

o       Barrier: There weren’t enough respondents

Resources on LGBT data collection and best practices

Next Steps:

  • Please send emails or comment here with experiences of “Lessons Learned” at
  • We are looking for folks who have information on who has adult tobacco, YRBS, BRFFS, Quitlines
  • Another call continuing discussion will be announced.
  • A separate call on program data may be useful for folks who are looking for assistance on including LGBT data themselves.

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Presentations, social media, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Implementing Affordable Care Act, Section 4302: An Overview of Federal Efforts and Implications for Data Collection

by Emilia Dunham

Reporting on “The Affordable Care Act (Part II): Section 4302 and Implications for Data Collection” call earlier this afternoon

(Webinar was sponsored by the Aetna Foundation and AcademyHealth)

On the call today David Meyers of the Center for Primary Care, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality discussed how Section 4302 of the ACA lists requirements for data collection of disparity populations affecting prevention, public health, expansion of coverage and access to care. Here were some take-aways:

  • Data from national surveillance will be available for public research, but privacy will be maintained.
  • Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will establish data collection standards, calling for specific language for funding.
  • Five specific standards for data collection at a minimum: Race, Ethnicity, Primary Language, Disability Status and Sex.
    • All surveys and all agencies supported by DHHS would be required to collect for these standards.
    • Secretary Sebelius has authority to require additional standards and is considering additional categories.
    • There will be listening sessions for the public to include comments on adding additional categories such as sexual orientation and gender identity. They are asking for comments on burden versus value of adding categories.
    • Next steps: Input will be incorporated, and the DHHS Secretary will either add, reject, ask for more information or more time on new categories to include.

 What to ask in listening sessions and what feedback we should provide to the DHHS?

DHHS is looking for answers on the following questions

  • What characteristic(s) do you think should be added to the current list of race, ethnicity, sex, primary language and disability status to further address health disparities?
  • How many individuals would be affected if data addressing this topic is collected?
  • Is there evidence that a health disparity exists for this characteristic?
  • Have any instruments been developed and tested to measure this demographic characteristic? If so, please provide a brief summary of the measures and evaluation results.  If not, do you have recommendations as to the questions that should be asked or how the measures should be developed?
  • Has information on this characteristic ever been collected, presented, published, or televised? If so, where has this been done? 
  • Recognizing that demographic data, especially data related to disparities, may be sensitive, elicit prejudices, and affect individual’s willingness to provide information, do you have information about how collecting information on this category may affect overall data collection activities and how to maximize data quality?
  • Do you have any recommendations as to how the Secretary should decide (i.e., what criteria should be used) whether the potential for burden of adding your proposed characteristics would outweigh the need to gather additional information to address health disparities?
  • Do you have any other recommendations with respect to any other demographic data regarding health disparities that you would like the Secretary to consider?

Feedback relating to our community

One person on the call asked whether additional populations will be captured under the current 5 categories like transgender populations. Presenters stated that sex is without a doubt not just “male” or “female”, but it’s possible that options can expanded to include “other”, “transgender” or another option. HHS is needing answers on how to expand the category of sex/gender to include transgender categories.

Next Steps:

There will be additional listening sessions though many were sent by invitation only.

The Network is having a BrownBag Webinar on Monday, November 22, 2010 at 4pm to discuss what information to submit and how to respond about adding LGBT measures for federal surveillance. Please email us with thoughts or information at or register for the call here.  See our blog post for more information.

November 18, 2010 Posted by | Presentations, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

LGBT Surveillance: Next Steps for the Federal Government

As tides change on the federal level, there is opportunity for our community to mobilize and discuss next steps to assist federal agencies to include LGBT communities in federal efforts. A major gap on the federal level is LGBT Surveillance, so the Network would like to host a BrownBag titled “LGBT Surveillance: Next Steps for the Federal Government.”

The goal of this BrownBag discussion is to share stories, lessons learned, strategies and successes through a discussion of the pros and cons of incorporating LGBT data as well as how these questions have been implemented in the field from state LGBT surveillance efforts.

We would love to bring together state representatives, researchers, and community folks that have implemented LGBT surveillance, or have been working on incorporating efforts in their state.

Join us on Monday, November 22nd at 4pm (EST). Please let us know if you are able to attend by completing the Registration below. Call/log-in information will be sent out Monday morning.

BrownBag Registration

About the BrownBag Series: It’s about linking people and information: The BrownBag Networking call series is designed to be an open space for, you guessed it, the Network. So pull up a chair and enjoy a virtual lunch with us to network, share, and collaborate with collogues from around the country. For descriptions of past BrownBag Webinars, see our blog.

November 18, 2010 Posted by | Presentations, social media, webinar | , , , | 2 Comments

Transgender Inclusion within Organizations Serving the LGBT Community

by Emilia Dunham

Reporting on the Transgender Inclusion within Organizations Serving the LGBT Community BrownBag Webinar on November 11th.

On November 11th, we held our Transgender Awareness Week BrownBag Webinar on Transgender Inclusion within Organizations Serving the LGBT Community with special guest co-presenters Susan Forrest and Talia Mae Bettcher. On the webinar, Susan and Talia provided great background on how the transgender community has historically, and is still often, been excluded from the LGBT community. They spoke about challenges of inclusion within the GLBT community like unique tensions that trans people experience from gays and lesbians. This is important to consider when working with the entire LGBT community since trans people may be cautious of even gay & lesbian/LGBT spaces since they feel (and often are) unwelcome in these spaces.

Talia and Susan provided some personal anecdotes that effectively illustrates their points, making the issue of transgender inclusion and sensitivity a real human issue. The two mentioned how it is important to treat transgender people as they deserve to be treated in line with their gender identities, and realize that trans people deserve the same respect as non-transgender people.  For instance Susan spoke about how shocking, irritating and mortifying it was when at a trans education presentation an audience member asked the two graphic questions about their genitals. This clarified the important point in not asking blunt unnecessary questions of transgender people that most people find too personal unless in absolutely necessary (ex. It’s not considerate to ask someone whether or not they have had “the surgery” if they are looking for smoking cessation help.)

In addition to discussing how to best understand how transgender people have been excluded by the gay, lesbian and greater GLBT community as well as how to be sensitive to transgender people, Susan and Talia mentioned how agencies can welcome the transgender community. Susan and Talia started the conversation with a very basic suggestion for including the transgender community by asking whether we have an “Us versus Them” mentality. Agencies should not be thinking about how to bring “them (transgender people)” to “us (the agency)” as agencies should be already seeing transgender people as part of “us” (the agency.) A good start is doing specific outreach to the trans community, offering specific trans services (medical consultations, legal advice, etc), supporting and advocating for trans events like Transgender Day of Remembrance as well as hiring trans individuals. It’s important to realize trans people should not just be hired for specific purposes of outreach or service just for the trans community, but can be seen being valuable employees serving other functions too. Taking these important steps will gain your agency the respect and trust of the trans community who will be more likely to be drawn to the organization.

Susan and Talia

On an administrative point of view, the unique yet justified needs of trans people should be appropriately addressed. For instance, trans people should always be referred with the correct pronoun/name. Similarly, trans folks should not be restricted in bathroom access, but your agency may want to look into converting some bathrooms into single stall of gender-neutral like those listed on this website:

This blog doesn’t begin to do their presentation justice as there was tons of information and material, but both the slides of the presentation and audio recordings of the presentation are available below. So you should check it out!

Slides of the presentation are available on our website:

If you missed the Webinar, you can listen here: Transgender Inclusion BrownBag Webinar Audio Recording

Resources shared on the call:

The Learning Trans Website is a project of BrownBag presenters Susan Forrest and Dr. Talia Mae Bettcher to produce and highlight trans community-produced knowledge.

National Transgender Discrimination Survey Report on Health and Health Care with nationally significant statistics on transgender health, health care experiences as well as tobacco prevalance rates as discussed on the webinar.

Recommendations for Inclusive Data Collection of Trans People in HIV Prevention, Care, and Services – examines the issue of reliable inclusion of the transgender population in HIV data collection. Topics include questions to ask, helpful implementation of data collection, and resource assistance.

Transgender Awareness Training and Advocacy website: of BrownBag Webinar attendee Samuel Lurie – A community-produced website dedicated to mapping safe restrooms for transgender people across the country. This is both a great resource and an opportunity to contribute. – A website dedicated to raising awareness of Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) and promoting TDOR events across the country.

A few resources mentioned on the call that are specific to transgender men who have sex with men

Transgender Men who Play with Men:

Great site on Paps for Trans Guys:

November 15, 2010 Posted by | Presentations, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment


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