The Network

for LGBT Tobacco Control

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 lgbttobacco@gmail.com.
  • 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.
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November 29, 2010 Posted by | Presentations, social media, 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: safe2pee.org.

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: http://lgbttobacco.org/files/Trans%20Webinar%20ppt.ppt

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: www.tgtrain.org of BrownBag Webinar attendee Samuel Lurie

Safe2pee.org – 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.

Transgenderdor.org/ – 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: http://www.apiwellness.org/tm4m.html

http://www.queertransmen.org

Great site on Paps for Trans Guys: http://www.checkitoutguys.ca/

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

   

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