Page 22

Health Status of LGBT Hispanics Income and accumulated wealth are closely related to health status, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity (Braveman, Egerter, & Barclay, 2011). Many more factors contribute to the health of LGBT Hispanics, however. Jeff Krehely, of the Center for American Progress, argues that health inequities among LGBT populations of color are largely a product of unaffordable health insurance, lack of cultural competence among healthcare providers, and prejudice about race and ethnicity (2009). Other researchers have examined the impact that anti-LGBT bias, race, poverty, and social support have on the health of LGBT Hispanics (Diaz, Ayala, Bein, Henne, & Marin, 2001, and Cochran, Mays, Alegria, Ortega, & Takeuchi, 2007). Mental health issues (Diaz et al, 2001), substance abuse, and HIV (Krehely, 2009) all affect LGBT Hispanics at disproportionate rates. Studies show that poor mental health often takes the form of depression, suicidal ideation, and social isolation (Diaz et al, 2001, and Cochran et al, 2007). Compared to heterosexual Hispanics, lesbian Hispanics are more likely to experience depression, and gay and bisexual Hispanics are more likely to have attempted suicide (Cochran et al, 2007). Compared to the general LGBT population, LGBT Hispanics have the poorest selfreported status of mental health (Fredriksen-Goldsen et al, 2011) and are more likely to experience depression and higher levels of stress (Fredriksen-Goldsen et al, 2011).

“One of the challenges for the current LGBT population is that they are not screened on a regular basis for sexually transmitted diseases, simply because the age stereotype applies to them as well… And if they are sexually active, they do not think they are at risk and a lot of the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases mimic the symptoms you have when you are aging.” - Study participant

Substance abuse is a health issue among LGBT Hispanics (Krehely, 2009). According to Krehely, 60% of LGBT Hispanics abuse alcohol (Krehely, 2009, and Cochran et al, 2007). LGBT Hispanics, particularly females, are more likely to suffer from the ill effects of substance abuse than the general population (Cochran et al, 2007). LGBT Hispanics, particularly gay Hispanic men, also have a high rate of HIV infection as compared to other LGBT populations (Grant, 2009, and Kuhns, Vazquez, & Ramirez-Valles, 2008, and Ceballos-Capitaine, Szapocznik, Blaney, Morgan, Millon, & Eisdorfer, 1990). Anti-LGBT bias and racism have a negative impact on health (Diaz et al, 2001). LGBT Hispanics experience bias throughout life in the form of verbal harassment, employment discrimination, and even physical violence (Diaz et al, 2001). One of the first studies of LGBT older adults that also studied the 22

In Their Own Words: Hispanic LGBT Older Adults  

This report was created by the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) in partnership with SAGE and sponsored by the Diverse Elder Coalit...

In Their Own Words: Hispanic LGBT Older Adults  

This report was created by the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) in partnership with SAGE and sponsored by the Diverse Elder Coalit...

Advertisement