One Colorado Statement on LGBTQ Health Awareness Week and Personal Health and Well-Being

Denver, CO — One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families released the following statement from Executive Director Daniel Ramos and Director of the Office of Health Equity Web Brown on LGBTQ Health Awareness Week and Personal Health and Well-Being:

“LGBTQ Coloradans – especially transgender Coloradans – experience wealth inequality and its impacts on health outcomes at a greater rate than their non-LGBTQ peers. One Colorado’s most recent health report showed that about 43% of respondents at least sometimes worry about the having enough money to pay their rents or mortgages, compared to 8.4% of the general public. Forty-two percent of respondents at least sometimes worry about having enough money to pay for nutritious meals, compared to 18.2% of the general public who at least sometime struggle to eat balanced meals. Toxic stress, perpetuated by harassment and discrimination, further impacts behavioral health outcomes in ways that we don’t see with non-LGBTQ people. ”
One Colorado Executive Director, Daniel Ramos

“We each have unique life experiences based on where we were born, where we live, how old we are, our gender identity, sexual orientation, and race, among other factors. These life experiences shape our health outcomes. In fact, data shows us that the social determinants of health — where we live, work, learn and play — determine nearly eighty percent of our health. This means factors like income, education or neighborhood determine our opportunities and choices. When we also face more systemic barriers because of sexual orientation and gender identity, we have even fewer opportunities available to be healthy.” – Web Brown, Director of the Office of Health Equity, Colorado Department of Health and Environment

LGBTQ Health Awareness Week is March 25th – March 29th, a national 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 vital health care than their straight and non-transgender neighbors. For LGBTQ people of color, barriers to care and health disparities are even greater. This is the 17th annual observance of LGBTQ Health Awareness Week.