One Colorado Concludes LGBTQ Health Awareness Week 

Denver, CO — One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, utilized this week to bring awareness to LGBTQ health during LGBTQ Health Awareness Week. Topics discussed included transgender health, LGBTQ youth, mental health, self-care and wellness, and HIV prevention. To conclude LGBTQ Health Awareness Week, One Colorado is asking community members to share their stories about successes and challenges around health care either through social media or One Colorado’s story tool. 

“Sometimes the work of LGBTQ advocacy organizations becomes so centered around policy and data that we must not lose sight of the human aspect and the reason we continue fighting for equality. On the final day of LGBTQ Health Awareness Week, One Colorado wants to bring the focus back to the people who are a part of our movement. We encourage LGBTQ folks, their families, and allies to share their stories around health and health care. This practice of humanizing the issues will help others for years to come.”

– Daniel Ramos, One Colorado Executive Director

 

“I wanted to learn to tell my story because I knew that by doing so, I would be making a change in our community.”

– Jude, transgender teenager after whom “Jude’s Law” is named

 

We have had a fantastic LGBTQ Health Awareness Week thus far, and the perfect way to cap it off is to hear directly from our community members. Sharing your story means that someone going through similar circumstances has someone to relate to. It gives people comfort and hope. I look forward to learning and growing from others sharing their experiences with us.”

– Marvyn Allen, Health Equity & Training Director

 

LGBTQ Health Awareness Week, recognized March 23rd – March 27th, is a week-long observance to bring awareness to the unique health needs and disparities of the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ people encounter discrimination in employment, relationship recognition, and insurance coverage on a regular basis. Consequently, they are less likely to be able to afford critical health care than their straight and non-transgender peers. For LGBTQ people of color, barriers to care and health disparities are even greater. This is the 18th annual observance of LGBTQ Health Awareness Week.

 

Here are a few important data points from One Colorado’s Closing the Gap report:

  • More than ever before, most of LGBTQ Coloradans – 95% – have health insurance, yet one in five people have been denied care by a provider for being LGBTQ.
  • LGBTQ Coloradans are more than three times as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression than the general public. LGBT youth are twice as likely to attempt suicide than their non-LGBT peers.
  • Thirty-four percent of transgender respondents have been denied coverage for an LGBTQ-specific medical services, like HIV medications, hormones, PrEP, PEP, HPV, vaccine, gender-affirming care.
  • LGBTQ folks experience barriers to coming out to their health care providers like worries around the provider not being supportive of LGBTQ people and being afraid of discrimination. Some LGBTQ Coloradans – 22% – feel their sexual orientation and gender identity have nothing to do with their health.