The Network

for LGBT Tobacco Control

State and Cities: New Webinar – 411 on Including LGBT Disparities in CTG Proposals: Resources

 You may recall a recent Network webinar: State and Cities: New Webinar – 411 on Including LGBT Disparities in CTG Proposals: Resources.  Well here are some resources from that call!

Powerpoint Presention: States & Cities: New Webinar – 411 on including LGBT Disparities in CTG Proposals 6/13/2011

Cities_States CTG Webinar_Jun_13_11

We also have the Presentation and recording from our 6/2/2011 Call:

How to advocate for LGBT inclusion in Community Transformation Grants Webinar 6/2/2011 

Audio recording of 6/2/2011 Call: Conf_recorded_on_Jun__2_2011__2-50PM

June 21, 2011 Posted by | Presentations, webinar | Leave a comment

Tips for how to get health promotion messages into LGBT blogs

By Scout
Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute, Boston, MA
Reporting from Netroots Nation LGBT Pre-Conference, Minneapolis, MN

It's a packed room of bloggers and LGBT orgs at the Netroots LGBT Pre-Conf

We all have to build new skills

Remember just last year when many state dept of health folk were blocked from Facebook, Twitter and other social media? Well, perhaps because the feds have set a standard of using social media for their routine promotion work, we all now realize that Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter… all these are tools we will need to understand and use in order to ace health promotion work in this new era.

Well, despite the fact that you are reading this on a blog, don’t think we’re not as overwhelmed with all these new media as everyone else. We’re trying our hardest to learn how to use these new tools effectively. But boy it’s a lot.

Many of you know, lots of our LGBT print media has already gone out of business, some have switched to an all online format, some have just folded. This struggle is one of the reasons why the print media is really susceptible when folks like RJR Reynolds start pumping SNUS ads. Like happened in Minnesota, it’s often a real challenge to get the magazine or newspaper to refuse these ads in todays world. Face it, this is one of the main reasons why we have to struggle to raise awareness that we have health disparities like our crazy high smoking rate. It’s long past time for us to take some tips from major corporations and start being more savvy about how to get healthy messages integrated into LGBT media. But how do we do it with a fraction of their funding?

So, you know we’re at this Netroots LGBT Pre-Conf today… I’m listening avidly to all the many LGBT bloggers in the room. Let me share a bit of what I’ve learned about smart strategies for getting those healthy messages into LGBT online media.

First, what are the bigger LGBT blogs?

It’s a little hard to figure out exact readership, and some focus more on social versus serious messaging, but at least each of these LGBT blogs should be on our radar screens.

Tips for getting coverage in LGBT blogs

  1. Buy ads in them! Yes, the blogs are absolutely independent, but this is one way to start building a relationship which helps get your news noticed.
  2. Offer to write for a blog. One of the big ones, is actively seeking new contributors now, go on, sign up, one way to get health covered is to write the posts ourselves.
  3. Repost their stories on Twitter/FB, comment on the stories online, just start engaging with them.
  4. Make a short list of the editors of each of those blogs and send them press releases whenever you think somethink is news. Don’t worry if it’s not national, local is ok too. Pics help too.
  5. Give bloggers scoops or first rights to breaking news, this is one fast way to build a relationship.
  6. Write op-eds about health issues and submit them to blogs (customize them for each submission). See some of the op-eds we put up on the IOM report to see a sample of style.
  7. Did I mention buy ads on them? This seems to be a seriously underutilized strategy. Yet some of the blogs above get 40k views/day… that’s a lot of eyeballs we’d like to have reading our health messages, right?

Many of these strategies will work just as well for your local LGBT media as well. And many of them can be real smart strategies for health departments or hospitals to use as a way to demonstrate that your services are LGBT-friendly.

OK, now off I go to try to put some of these strategies into action!

June 15, 2011 Posted by | Action Alerts, APHA, Blogs en español, Break Free Alliance, CPPW, Creating Change, Creating Change 2010, Creating Change 2011, Minnesota, National Coalition for LGBT Health, NatNet, Presentations, Puerto Rico, Resources, Scholarship Opportunity, social media, Steering Committee, Tobacco Policy, two_spirit_wellness, Uncategorized, USSF, USSF_mlp, webinar | , , , | Leave a comment

LGBT Population Research Center Mtg on Intersectionality – part 3

Emilia Dunham
Program Associate of Network for LGBT Health Equity
Reporting from Intersectionality Working Group meeting of LGBT Population Research Center
The Fenway Institute, Boston, MA

Panel 3: Future Research and Policy

It was really exciting to sit in on the afternoon session of the Intersectionality Working Group meeting of the LGBT Population Research Center. There was a fantastic conversation on intersectionality among several researchers discussing bisexuality in public health research, LGBT communities of color and domestic violence, and transgender inclusion in data collection.

Dr. Wendy Bostwick

First, Dr. Wendy Bostwick (of Northern Illinois University) spoke about her expertise in bisexual research. Particularly she addressed the need to look at the bisexual community as different than gay/lesbian. Some of the specifics she raised in her conversation were:

“What does bisexual stigma mean for public health?”

“Considering comparison of lesbian and bisexual women with gay and bisexual women, how does that affect health outcomes?”

The answer to the latter question may be less availability of social support for bisexual people than for gay/lesbian folks. There may be a common assumption that bisexual people are much more privileged than gay/lesbians in social and healthcare settings. Contrary to that assumption, health outcomes of bisexual people are actually worse in many areas, so perhaps there are psychological barriers that affect bisexual health disparities unknown to us at this time.

Dr. Shawn McGuffey

Second, Shawn McGuffey (Boston College) shared the intersectionality of race, sexuality, class and domestic violence (DV). From media to academia, there is a public narrative about how you do “gayness” but there is no sexual script for bisexuals. Even when those sexual scripts are narrow, at least there is some sort of roadmap for gays/lesbians. Furthermore the script for LGBT People of Color (POC) is even weaker and our knowledge of DV in these communities suffers.

From studies we know domestic violence is the same for gay/lesbian couples as heterosexual women. Given that, how do we account for this and how do we consider the phenomenon of race and class. There is much more mutual violence in gay/lesbian relationships then the general population, so how do we provide services if we can’t understand it?

With sexual assault, conservative rates reveal 14-18% prevalence of rape experience among LGBT people. Therefore the intersectional benefits are so important as they consider switching from “why” versus “how”. Prevalence of interpersonal violence has good data but we don’t know how it happens, under what conditions, how to prevent it and how to better serve. We need to move from a gender to a power model, and we need to understand intersectionality of race, class since LGBT POC have more interracial relationships than any other group.

One of the most important practical considerations to take home is:

Which policies help all LGBT communities and which do not?

Dr. Scout

Finally our own Scout talked about some of the policy issues impacting intersectionality research right now. First he strongly encouraged the researchers at the table to add gender identity to their studies and surveys because by excluding it we tell national surveys and other researchers not to include gender identity in their surveys. Scout talked Jessy Xavier’s Gender Variance Model as one way to consider how sexual orientation and gender identity overlap in the field, and how what we label as homophobia might actually be gender discrimination.

Scout emphasized that for LGBT health and intersectionality overall, we’re at a time of real opportunity. It’s really a time where we as researchers should loose ourselves from the constraints of “what we were allowed” and think “what is just”? Then, we need to speak out when we see discrimination against us as researchers, because now is a time when people are trying to change that history. For instance, Health and Human Services (HHS) officials are asking us, “where at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is there a problem accepting LGBT research”?  One researcher in the room brought up an issue with NIH review forms, which don’t allow an option to say the study focuses on transgender people, only male or female. That’s a good example of what we can give feedback to HHS about. Scout also talked about the importance of mentoring researchers, and for intersectionality research, we might need to find ways to mentor before the graduate school level, because too many promising students have their prospects cut short before graduate school. For example, he noted he’s one of only two or three transgender PhD level health researchers in the country. And of course, Scout talked about the lack of data and prospects for changing it. Scout noted the most likely source of LGBT of color data, according to the researchers assembled for the LGBT of Color Sampling Methodology report, is consolidating data across several state’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys. So, one local advocacy opportunity is to work with your state to ensure LGBT measures are added to your BRFSS.

As you know the Network has been advocating for these inclusions through some of our Action Alerts. Another way the Network has done this is by advocating CDC to include health disparities (specifically LGBT) in new RFAs. Also be sure to check out some of our other policy papers on data inclusion, such as the one prioritizing datasets to add LGBT onto, and the overview briefing paper about methods. If you want to get alerted about LGBT health advocacy opportunities directly email and put “Advocacy” in the subject line.


The last hour or so of the day was spent brainstorming followup and possible joint projects by the participants. We’ll let those unfold when they do. The closing comments again showed just how much the participants really appreciated this opportunity to get together and share. Many people were effusive about how valuable the meeting was, if anything the biggest refrain was “more time!”

Congratulations to Judy Bradford and Aimee VanWagenen at the The Fenway Institute’s LGBT Population Center for convening this fabulous meeting, to Ilan Meyers and all the others who helped organize it, and to Phoenix Matthews for standing up and saying we needed it. Job well done all!

March 25, 2011 Posted by | Presentations | 2 Comments

In Awe of San Juan: Guest Report on 1st LGBTT Health Conference

Tom Rachal, Steering Committee Member

by Steering Committee member Tom Rachal

Reporting on the First LGBTT Health Conference in Puerto Rico

Have you ever spent an entire day attending a LGBT Health Conference and were glad you did?  Was that conference entirely in Spanish and you don’t speak the language?  Was that conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico only a few blocks from the sandy beaches?  Well, I, along with several members of the Steering Committee of The Network for LGBT Health Equity,  have just returned from such a conference and how glad I am to report it was absolutely outstanding!

The Puerto Rico Health and Tobacco Summit was attended by an overflow crowd, and they provided an excellent English interpreter for those few of us who do not speak their language. The entire program was filled by presenters who had their own Powerpoint presentations, and at no time was I ever bored by the information they provided.

Juan Carlos Vega (left) & Tom Rachal (right)

I learned many great things there but the one I find most disturbing is the following.  There are some unique problems on this beautiful isle which most of us do not face on a daily basis.  Hate crimes against LGBT people are rampant, the police don’t conduct proper investigations and many such crimes are not ever solved.  But, nonetheless, these are strong people who are determined to overcome all obstacles placed in front of them.  They will eventually win over their opposition… it is just a matter of time.

I cannot remember when I was so warmly greeted by the host organization as I was here in San Juan.  When you visit here, I am sure you will be glad you did and will dislike having to fly back home as I had to last week.

Tom Rachal

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Presentations, Puerto Rico, Steering Committee | 1 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

Comprehensive Health for the LGBTT Community in Puerto Rico – Panel and Discussion

 4th Educational Poster

by guest blogger, Juan Carlos Vega




Panel y Discusión: Salud Integral para la Comunidad LGBTT en Puerto Rico

4to Congreso Educativo: Apoderando Nuestra Comunidad LGBTT

Sábado, 20 de noviembre del 2010 (9:30am – 11:00am)

Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan, P.R.

Invita: Saliendo del Clóset, Inc.

Resumen del Tema: Escucha los resultados de la Encuesta sobre la Salud en la Comunidad LGBTT realizada por un año en Puerto Rico con el propósito de ayudar a identificar las realidades, necesidades y el desarrollo de servicios y eventos que promueven la salud y el bienestar de nuestra comunidad.  Participa en una discusión sobre este tema y aprende de medicina holística para matener una vida saludable en el Puerto Rico de hoy.


 Elba C. Díaz-Toro*, DMD, MSD, MPHc, Escuela Medicina Dental, Centro de Cáncer de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad de Puerto Rico

 Dra. Selene Portillo, Médica Holistica con Especialidad en Medicina Quántica

 Juan Carlos Vega*, MLS, Bibliotecario Activista & Consultor en Informática



Lissette Rodríguez*, MA, BSED, Educadora en Salud

*Representantes en Puerto Rico de las Redes Nacionales Latinos y LGBT para el Control del Tabaco y de la Coalición para un Puerto Rico Libre de Tabaco.

 Auspiciado por las Redes Nacionales Latinos y LGBT para el Control del Tabaco y por el Centro Comprensivo de Cancer de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. 


Panel and Discussion: Comprehensive Health for the LGBTT Community in Puerto Rico

4th Educational Summit: Empowering Our LGBTT Community 2010

November 20, 2010

 Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan, Puerto Rico

This Summit is sponsored by local LGBTT group, Saliendo del Clóset, Inc.

Abstract: Listen to the results of the Health-Tobacco Survey in the LGBTT Community of Puerto Rico collated the last twelve months in order to identify the realities, needs, and the development of services and events that promote a healthy local LGBTT community.  Participate in group discussions and learn how to integrate holistic approaches to stay healthy in today’s society.


Elba C. Díaz-Toro*, DMD, MSD, MPHc, School of Dental Health, Comprehensive Cancer Center of Puerto Rico, University of Puerto Rico

Dr. Selene Portillo, Holistic Medicine with a Specialty in Quantic Medicine

Juan Carlos Vega*, MLS, Activist Librarian & Information Consultant


Lissette Rodríguez*, MA, BSED, Health Educator

*Representatives and members of the CDC-sponsored National Latino & LGBT Tobacco Control Networks and the Puerto Rico Tobacco Free Coalition.


Panel and Discussion are sponsored by the National Latino & LGBT Tobacco Control Networks and the Comprehensive Cancer Center of at the University of Puerto Rico.


University of Puerto Rico/M. D. Anderson Cancer Center: Partnership for Excellence in Cancer Research (Outreach Program) 

November 17, 2010 Posted by | Blogs en español, Presentations, Puerto Rico | Leave a comment

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

Guest Blogger Christine Corrales on Addressing Tobacco as a Social Justice Issue at The Institute 2010

October 14, 2010 | Addressing Tobacco as a Social Justice Issue at The Institute 2010

Posted by: Christine Corrales, Program Assistant, APPEAL

Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend The Institute 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia on behalf of APPEAL where I got the chance to participate in a course entitled, “Addressing Tobacco as a Social Justice Issue,” taught by the amazing, charismatic, and very wise Bill Robinson, Executive Director of the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (NAATPN). 

By the end of Day 1, the class had collectively come up with a working definition of social justice, where everyone has access to healthcare and wellness opportunities, equal economic opportunities, and equal healthcare outcomes regardless of group membership.  In other words, equal access should yield equal outcomes for social justice in public health. 

Conventional wisdom told me that this isn’t the case today—otherwise I wouldn’t be concerned with health disparities.  So, where do health disparities come from and how do we address tobacco as a social justice issue?  Remember history.  Value culture and people.  Consider economics.

Despite all of the rich material and discussion over three days, Mr. Robinson stressed that all I needed to remember from his course were three things: (1) HISTORY, (2) CULTURE, and (3) ECONOMICS.  He challenged my fellow classmates and me to consider how the tobacco control movement has been impacted by these things in the past, present, and to consider their implications for the future.


I think it is safe to assume that many of us are familiar with the history of slavery, emancipation, or the Break, and the systematic denial of access to opportunities, resources, education, and etcetera to an entire group of free people in the United States.  But that’s history right?

While this may all seem far in the past, I’m sure many of us can identify current examples of unequal access and social injustice happening in the Black community, as well as other vulnerable populations – LGBT, low socio-economic status, and other communities of color. 

What is the total impact on health of this historic denial of access to our communities?  What needs to be done to ensure that we address avoidable inequities today AND that social justice and health equity are achieved overall?


Something Mr. Robinson said about Big Tobacco struck a chord in me: They know me better than I know myself. They know communities better than they know themselves. BIG TOBACCO IS THE MOST COMMUNITY COMPETENT BUSINESS…EVER! 

Historically, Big Tobacco was at the forefront of reaching out to the Black community – tailoring products for their use and incorporating cultural elements in their product designs and marketing.  Imagine experiencing systematic denial of access on a daily basis and then finding a product that makes you feel included and part of society – that you aren’t invisible after all. 

Today, cultural “hijacking” continues to be a powerful tactic deployed by the tobacco industry.  Their product designs and marketing schemes create an illusion of inclusion for historically disenfranchised groups – LGBT folks, communities of color, women, youth.  Many of us in the tobacco control movement find these tactics deplorable, but if there is one positive thing I can take home from this it’s that — cultural authenticity aside– wow! community competency works and the industry probably has mounds of data and research to solidify the case.

How will we counter the efforts of Big Tobacco targeting our communities?  Most importantly, how will we employ principles of social justice, equity and inclusion in the future of the tobacco control movement?


FACT: The money that funds tobacco control efforts comes from cigarette taxes, the master settlement, and lawsuits against the tobacco industry.  What does this mean for the tobacco control movement – past, present, and future?  How do we ensure everyone has access to healthcare and wellness opportunities, equal economic opportunities, and equal healthcare outcomes regardless of group membership?

When the course ended, I was left with more questions than answers but felt equipped with a more critical eye for looking at tobacco from a social justice framework.  As Mr. Robinson stressed in his course, remember these three things: (1) HISTORY; (2) CULTURE; and (3) ECONOMICS.  How else can we apply these when addressing tobacco as a social justice issue?  Let the marinating commence!

Once again, this is a contribution of Christine Corrales, Program Assistant of APPEAL.

October 21, 2010 Posted by | Presentations, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

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