LGBT Health Review: Pilot

Even though blogs by nature are pretty narcissistic and self-involved, I’ve been OK writing (mostly) about only myself for the past 5 months. I was conditioned to find narcissism appealing by concentrating on non-fiction writing in college. We would write stories about our lives, aspire to publish the next great memoir, and then congratulate ourselves for such brilliant expression. And, we were praised for it by peers and professors alike. If I had a nickel for every kid in Chuck Taylor’s with unkempt hair and Buddy Holly specs who told me “the writing process is so cathartic” I could quit my job and spend money like it was my job. Bottom line is, I’m accustomed to writing in great lengths about myself and my experiences and convincing myself that my life and its surroundings are fascinating enough for other people to take interest.
Reading paperbacks together is so cathartic.
Still, wouldn’t it be great if inquiring minds were not only extremely entertained by my ramblings, but also found useful information? Highlighting our famous lesbian foremothers raising their babies in the limelight is fun filler, but maybe it’s time for something more.

Writing the review of Fenway’s AI program was something really important to me, but maybe it doesn’t stop there. I feel spoiled living in New England because they make it pretty easy on the gays. Even when I lived in DC, the birthplace of the largest national LGBT civil rights organization, I didn’t feel the same kind of acceptance as I do in New England. And maybe that’s because it’s not ‘acceptance’ here, it’s just normalcy.

A bazillion years ago when I came out to two of my closest friends, their reaction was to have no reaction at all. This was both a comforting and a terribly anti-climactic end to all the angst with which I’d been torturing myself. Some (i.e. Meredith) might argue that my best friends’ non-reaction can be attributed to the fact that I was one of those obvious yet clueless lesbians. I like to think their lack of discomfort, shock or even mild intrigue to my “I think, maybe I sort of, um, possibly, like girls” admission originated from their roots. My friends weren’t just raised in New England, but spent their formative years in Northampton, MA, a place that houses more lesbians per capita than any other city in the US.

It all started with my two friends, and after living in NE for 5 years, I’ve just become horribly spoiled by the general population’s boredom with my sexuality. But I know it’s not this way in a lot of places, so I’m starting to research what other types of support, like Fenway Health in Boston, are out there. Like, for instance, The National Coalition for LGBT Health in Washington, DC.

The website is full of straightforward information minus any distracting bells and whistles, and the Coalition is also readily accessible through social media streams like Twitter and Facebook. The mission and values are spelled out simply as well, centering on 3 major (though not exclusive) goals:

– Change public and private sector policies, laws, and regulation regarding LGBT health and related issues.
– Increase resources to expand culturally competent health and social services delivery to a diverse and inclusive LGBT population
– Build and disseminate knowledge regarding LGBT population’s health status, access to and utilization of health care and other health related information

While I couldn’t find any direct correlation between lesbian pregnancy or insemination and the work being done by the Coalition, they have formed partnerships with groups like the Family Equality Council (and others) to expand and solidify the definition of “family” as it pertains to federal regulations. Together, with the National Partnership for Women & Families, the National Coalition for LGBT Health wrote the following blog post: http://blog.nationalpartnership.org/index.php/2011/03/paid-sick-days-standards-promote-lgbt-health/

As proof that living in NE has kept me far removed from the common prejudices the LGBT community faces elsewhere, reading the blog post made my jaw drop. The company I work for recognized Meredith and me as domestic partners even before we were legally married. And I’ve never hesitated to take sick time on her behalf for doctor’s visits. Broadening the definition of family is just the tip of the iceberg on the work the Coalition is doing on a federal level. Be sure to check out their website, and be sure to check back here for more information on organizations advocating for the health and wellness of the LGBT community. Or, you know, check back for more information on the fabulously and endlessly entertaining life of yours truly.

4 comments

  1. you should have “lesbianville, usa” tagged in this post. or “blfff – best lesbian friendly friends forever”.

  2. R. Shivar · · Reply

    That picture of those ladies reading together is the most disgusting thing i’ve ever seen on the internet,

  3. Meredith · · Reply

    Ryan. I loled more than ever at that photo. makes me want to quit the club. its horrible. and of course a ginge is involved.

  4. I’m from southern NH and my high school was incredibly open about that kind of stuff. My mom once joked that at least 80% of our school at least claimed to be bi. My sister took our friend from Revere to her junior prom and apparently in his school you’d get beat up for being openly gay. He thought it was hilarious how many same-sex couples we had at our prom and how ok everyone was with it. He even got really into it and start dancing with the gay guys and slapping them all the ass. I never realized just how open our high school was until I heard what a novelty it was for him to see people accepting openly gay couples.

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